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We finally brought our Saluki puppy home yesterday. She's 8 weeks and a few days, and it was an 8 hour drive home. The only time she didn't cry and howl on the drive home was when she was asleep. We had a few accidents in the crate in the car as we couldn't get off the highway in time after she woke up, and she didn't go at the stops we made.

We got home at 8, and I fed her and offered water. She drank a little, not much. We waited an hour for her to pee, and then we were all ready to sleep at 9pm. I put her crate facing us on my bedside table so that she can see and hear us, and I can stick my fingers into the crate to reassure her.

When I put her in her crate, she fell asleep at first for about 30 minutes. Then she woke up at 9:30 and started shrieking and howling, so I took her outside to pee. She did, and went back into the crate and cried herself to sleep. She woke up again at 10pm, so I took her out to pee. She shrieked in her crate even though her bladder was empty. Every 30-40 minutes, she would start a 15 minute long shrieking and howling episode. I started try to ignore her as I'm afraid I'm reinforcing her behaviour by taking her out when she cries, especially considering she cries when I put her back in.

For several rounds, she cried herself to sleep with no event. However, at 2am, I smelled the aroma of urine, and quickly changed the towel. Apparently that cry bout was for pee, but I didn't know as she's been crying for attention for so long. According to the breeder, the pups sleep from 9pm-5am at her place, so I thought our pup could hold it longer. I didn't take her out again, as her bladder was clearly empty by this point. She continued to howl intermittently throughout the night. At 6am, I waited for her to stop crying before I let her out of the crate. She was quiet because she was hiccuping from all the crying; it was heartbreaking! I let her rest on my chest for a minute before rising, and she peed in the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth.

She "gets" the potty thing. She goes immediately when I take her outside. I'm sure she wouldn't have gone in her crate if I'd taken her outside.

My question is, how do I know when she's crying for attention or for potty? I know she's capable of holding it 8 hours at night. She's gone as long as 3 hours without urinating and as often as every half hour with me. Poor hubby went to work this morning without having had a wink of sleep. I'd like to make this easier on everyone, somehow.

How would you handle this problem? Will she automatically be able to hold it longer as she's settling in? Should I take her out every time she cries, even if she just peed half an hour ago? I sure hope we don't have many more nights like this...
 

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She could go from 9p-5:30a at the breeder's because that was her home and her routine. Now she's been completely uprooted, away from her mother and siblings and the humans that she knew, and has to learn a new routine. Which is hard for an adult, let alone a baby.

Keep in mind that at 8 weeks old she's still just an infant. She barely knows what it means to feel like she has to pee, let alone being able to control it consistently. It's a mistake to think that she already "gets" housetraining or that she "will" or "should" be able to hold it for x hours. And yes, they can pee and then turn around and have to pee again 30 minutes later (or 20, or 15, or even 10!).

Having said that, this was her first night and it probably won't continue so much as she settles in. But she is a baby. Expect her to act like a baby (which includes some loss of sleep!). Personally, I did get up every time there was fussing - but it was "all business". No playing, no cooing, no hugs and smooches. Just outside, do your business (or not), and back into the crate with as little fuss as possible. That way if she does need to pee you're covered, but they're not getting any "fun" attention, either.

Good luck! Puppies are wonderful and maddening all at the same time.
 

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Thanks, it's reassuring to know other puppy owners go through this! We knew it wasn't going to be easy, but we like to sleep just a little.

I've heard about the rule of taking the puppy out every [age in months + 1] hours, which in our case is 3 hours. Would it make sense to set my alarm to 12am, 3am, and 6am and take her out regardless of whether she's crying or sleeping? Would she go back to sleep after 6am considering that it's starting to get light out?
 

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You could try the 12am, 3am, 6am schedule, but you still might have a few accidents. As sassafras said, very young puppies sometimes don't even know the feeling of needing to go pee/poop. It just kind of happens, sometimes, just as with an infant. As they age, they learn what the feeling means, and what they're supposed to do. And, keep in mind, puppies don't gain full physical control of their bladders until about 6 months of age, give or take. So, knowing what to do, and doing it are sometimes completely different! Imagine a toddler and mama asks, "do you have to pee?" Toddler says no, but 10 seconds later they pee their pants....it's just about not physically being able to control it every time.

Lots of folks have success early on, and think the job is done. But, potty training is an ongoing process, and there will usually be setbacks, caused by anything from teething to changes in routine....

As for whether she'd go back to sleep after being let out to pee at 6am: maybe, maybe not. One of our dogs is a late sleeper, he'd sleep til 9 am every day if he could. The other, she's up at 6 am every day. What you could try is, give her a frozen, stuffed kong to chew on when you put her back in the crate at 6 am. She might not sleep, but it would keep her quietly occupied til you want to get up.
 

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An update on progress...

I decided to let her out every time she woke up during the night, which was roughly every hour. Needless to say, I'm exhausted now!

She was very good for the first half of the night. I'd get her out just as she was stirring, she'd do her business, and settle after only 5-10 seconds of soft whining. She also didn't struggle when I was putting her in her crate. However, around 3am I took her out and she didn't pee, so I put her back in, and she started the ruckus again. It's an improvement over yesterday, but still exhausting. I had given her a hot water bottle and some Rescue Remedy spray. I also put my fingers in her crate after I put her back in after doing her business.

I'm thinking of sticking to my 12am, 3am, 6am plan, but I'm worried that when she wakes up it's because she really has to "go" and it will end up in her crate. Plus, going on my schedule will probably cause her to cry a lot more. She's going to the vet for her first checkup this afternoon, and I'll ask about Dog Appeasing Hormone.

Her elimination schedule doesn't follow the textbook. Yesterday she defecated 1/2 hour after breakfast. Today, she defecated just after I let her out of her crate (I picked her up just as she started to squat and we ended up trailing bits on the floor on the way outside... I still had my toothbrush in my mouth). We got up at 6am each time. She doesn't eliminate within 20 minutes of eating as the books say... I haven't noticed a pattern yet. She does pee after a nap though, at least that is predictable.
 

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I'd say the 20 minutes the books say is a guideline, for sure, and not a strict rule. With our older dog, Harper, that's about right, 20 minutes, sometimes 15 minutes. But with Abby, it's usually at least 30 minutes, maybe 40. Dogs are individuals, just as humans are, so look at it as a guideline instead of a rule.

And, really, I'd just re-emphasize, she's the equivalent of a human infant at this stage. And, as she's new to your home, she may not have settled in to a potty schedule yet. Nerves probably have something to do with it, as do lots of other things, like whether you're feeding the same food as the breeder, or feeding at the same time.
If you are really concerned, you could keep a journal of when you feed and when she pees/poops, and within a few days you should start to see a schedule of sorts, at least you should if you're feeding on a strict schedule.
 

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I did the every 3 hours thing but I had an older pup, mine was 3 months old when we got her... I set my alarm and my hubby and I traded off. So each of us got 6 straight hours of sleep.... I've never had a puppy as young as 8 weeks old though.... fwiw and this is just my semantics beef; I think of months as 4.5 to 5 weeks long... not 4 weeks. The only 4 week long month is February... So when I say my pup was 3 months old she was 14 weeks old.
 
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