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Help!
I have a 6 month old shih tzu puppy, who suddenly won’t sleep through the night. When I first adopted him at 10 weeks, he wouldn’t sleep during the night at all. Normal for that age, I know. I finally managed to get him crate trained and he began to sleep 8 or more hours through the night without waking me. Yay!

This lasted for about 2 months. He was doing great, and now all of the sudden he is waking me every two hours in the night to go out. I’m so confused. I haven’t changed where he is sleeping, he has been to the vet recently so I know he’s healthy, our routine hasn’t changed at all, I take the food and water away about an hour before bed, and take him out right before I crate him. Two or three hours later he is up barking his little head off waking the whole house.
I don’t know what to do! I take him out and he goes, just to be woken up a few hours later for the exact same thing. This has been going on for a while now. Help?
 

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Hmmmmm....I think he wakes and is lonely. So he barks to get your attention. The attention is taking him out.

This is a bit like a toddler waking in the night. When the toddler wakes, they realize they are alone, they will squawk until you come in. Most new parents will change the nappy, feed and play with the child. This gives the child the attention they seek.

To train the child to sleep the night. You need to allow them to squawk for a bit, then go give them a hug, change nappy (if needed), then back to bed and leave the room. Yes, the first few nights will be horrible, but soon you will hear the child wake, fuss a little, play with a bed toy then zonk out again.

Pups are similar craving attention. You can try similar steps. When the pup is squawking, let the pup fuss for a bit, get up, go see the pup, do not let out of crate or open crate to pet, just go say hello to reassure the pup, then leave. Soon the pup will learn that fussing does not achieve his goal.
 

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Since this is something new, I would have him checked for a urinary tract infection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hmmmmm....I think he wakes and is lonely. So he barks to get your attention. The attention is taking him out.

This is a bit like a toddler waking in the night. When the toddler wakes, they realize they are alone, they will squawk until you come in. Most new parents will change the nappy, feed and play with the child. This gives the child the attention they seek.

To train the child to sleep the night. You need to allow them to squawk for a bit, then go give them a hug, change nappy (if needed), then back to bed and leave the room. Yes, the first few nights will be horrible, but soon you will hear the child wake, fuss a little, play with a bed toy then zonk out again.

Pups are similar craving attention. You can try similar steps. When the pup is squawking, let the pup fuss for a bit, get up, go see the pup, do not let out of crate or open crate to pet, just go say hello to reassure the pup, then leave. Soon the pup will learn that fussing does not achieve his goal.
Hi! Thanks for the suggestion! I tried this for a few nights, only for my dog to end up pooping all in his crate. This is a small kennel mind you, so you can imagine the mess I had to wake up to the next morning. I didn’t even stop taking him out during night, he was only in there for five hours. I would take him out at 4:00 a.m. and go back to see him at 9:00. Absolute disaster. I’ve called the vet and they say it sounds like behavioral problems. Any more advice? This is the fourth time I’ve had to bathe my dog this week because of an accident in his kennel.
 

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Ok....more suggestions. Get a floor grid for the kennel. Line the pan with potty pads.

Try adjusting the feeding schedule. Generally, an adult dog will process food in 6-8 hours. To be blunt what goes in at 12:00 will be expelled between 6:00-8:00.

The floor grid will allow the waste to pass to the pan below and keep the dog separate from the waste.

It also seems the dog needs to have outside relief outings more frequent than 5 hours. Remember the dog is only 6 months old, he doesn't have full control of his functions. You are still in potty training.

Be patient and keep at the potty training methods. Some dogs will take a year to be fully trained.

Shoot, my dog is 4 yo and we still have the infrequent accident in the house. Generally, these episodes are my fault for a shift in the normal routine.
 

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Ok....more suggestions. Get a floor grid for the kennel. Line the pan with potty pads.

Try adjusting the feeding schedule. Generally, an adult dog will process food in 6-8 hours. To be blunt what goes in at 12:00 will be expelled between 6:00-8:00.

The floor grid will allow the waste to pass to the pan below and keep the dog separate from the waste.

It also seems the dog needs to have outside relief outings more frequent than 5 hours. Remember the dog is only 6 months old, he doesn't have full control of his functions. You are still in potty training.

Be patient and keep at the potty training methods. Some dogs will take a year to be fully trained.

Shoot, my dog is 4 yo and we still have the infrequent accident in the house. Generally, these episodes are my fault for a shift in the normal routine.
Thank you for all the suggestions! I thought I would post an update in case anyone else is having this problem.
My puppy is doing much better now. I changed his eating schedule to where he eats three times a day, and then take the food three hours before bed instead of two. I take the water two hours before bed. I also bought him a bigger kennel recently since he’s been growing so much, to make sure he’s comfortable at night. I also stopped letting him nap during the day any time he stayed up late into the night. I would keep him awake all day long, and sure enough the night after he would be too exhausted to wake me often. He now gets me up once, sometimes twice each night, which is SO much better. Hope this helps anyone out there having sleeping problems with your pup!
 
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