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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
3 days ago I brought home an English Cocker Spaniel.
He is 10 week and 4 days. On Sunday he will be 11 weeks old.

During the day time I keep him in my office in an ex-pen or in the kitchen & hallway with me when I cook. During the night he stays in a crate.

He whines and need to go potty about 3-5 times a night. So I wake up and take him out and then put him back in. With this routine he rarely has had an accident so far.

When should I stop waking up at his whines and let him sleep all night long?
How old should he be? Or what are the signs that it's time for me to stop waking up and let him in the crate all night long?

I want him to learn, in the end, that waking up during night and peeing is not on option.

Thank you.
 

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You've got a while to go - probably at least a couple months before he doesn't need to potty in the night and ignoring him just means he learns that he uses his crate as a bathroom, which you don't want.

And honestly, he'll probably stop waking up and whining when he stops having to go.
 

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And honestly, he'll probably stop waking up and whining when he stops having to go.
Yep.

Most likely, somewhere around 4-5 months he will be down to either 1 potty break in the night or sleeping solidly through the night depending on how long "nighttime" (as in, are you the type to go to bed at 11 pm and up at 6 am or 9 pm and snooze until 9 am?)

Some pups sleep through the night at 12 weeks, some need a potty break till 6 months. But generally if the dog is whining to go out and pee and actually does pee when given the chance, then they simply need to go and ignoring it just leads to peeing in the crate.
That said, if he whines to go out and doesn't pee but just wants to play around, then you need to make potty breaks shorter and more boring or you can set an alarm and take him out before he whines and then right back inside. One option is to use the alarm and set it a bit later into the night each night or two (as long as he isn't whining before it) to slowly increase the sleeping time.

But overall, I'd figure at least 1 potty break in the night for the next 6-10 weeks or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. Good to know. Although, to be honest, I was not prepared for this :) especially since I need my sleep to finish my dissertation, but I guess it comes with the package.
He does pee when I take him out in the night and he does not have many accidents.
Wow...that's going to be tough...6 month from now on to have to wake up every hour or so..
(no kids here so no training for this)
 

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Then, when your dog is around 10 or 12, he'll need to start getting up and going out at night again.

That's why senior dogs should live with senior humans. We're getting up anyway.
 

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Thank you. Good to know. Although, to be honest, I was not prepared for this :) especially since I need my sleep to finish my dissertation, but I guess it comes with the package.
He does pee when I take him out in the night and he does not have many accidents.
Wow...that's going to be tough...6 month from now on to have to wake up every hour or so..
(no kids here so no training for this)
It is pretty unlikely to be 6 months of waking up every hour. Really unlikely. With the foster puppies that I had that were 3-4 months old, I'd take them out about 10 pm and wake around 3 am and then get up for the morning around 7 am.

The more solidly they sleep, the less they tend to need to pee. Just like humans, their body functions slow during sleep (think about the difference between sleeping 8 hours vs say, an 8 hour work day and how often a human typically needs to pee) but once awakened, its hard for them to go back to sleep without a pee. So things like a crate cover and a fan running for white noise can help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is pretty unlikely to be 6 months of waking up every hour. Really unlikely. With the foster puppies that I had that were 3-4 months old, I'd take them out about 10 pm and wake around 3 am and then get up for the morning around 7 am.

The more solidly they sleep, the less they tend to need to pee. Just like humans, their body functions slow during sleep (think about the difference between sleeping 8 hours vs say, an 8 hour work day and how often a human typically needs to pee) but once awakened, its hard for them to go back to sleep without a pee. So things like a crate cover and a fan running for white noise can help.
He has a plastic crate, and no lights. He is in a kitchen I am in a living-room (no doors between us). I put my twin bed mattress on the floor in the middle of the living-room to be close to him. But not in his sight.
If you have any tips of what should I do to minimize the bathroom needs it would be great.
I am getting a little tired to be honest. And I need a clear mind, at least 2 month from now on.
 

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Something that folks have implied, but I don't think was written explicitly is that the puppy does not 'want' to wake up and whine. The puppy is waking up and 'needs' to go out. Under 6 mos, puppies are still learning to control their bathroom habits, so you are fortunate that your puppy wakes you before having an accident.

I think Shell said it clearly - things will get better as he ages. You can try to put him on a predictable schedule, and ~6 mos he may be sleeping through the night. And as RonE offered, eventually your dog may be able to hold it better than you do ;-)

However, when you start getting to your orals and to your defense [what topic and title?], you may have to accept a few accidents [or be prepared that in some fields, even the dissertation is not as predictable as hoped ;-) ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He will probably hold it better than I will. I'm not as young as I should be.
Yes...the dissertation is something that I Don't have patience for anymore. After 8 years..imagined. I want to wake up with him and clean dog poop for about 6 month to an year from now on.. That's all I want. Of course after I defend this damn thing that will not change the earth rotation around its axes ..
Sorry. this is a dog forum and I bother you with something else...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
, so you are fortunate that your puppy wakes you before having an accident.
]
So far he is a good dog. Whine very little; stays in his ex-pen and he is rarely very agitated, plays outside when I want to play with him, and he already follows me in the backyard, and even brings the toy back 8 out of 10 times. He already knows what "NO " means...
I had him for only 3 days. He is lucky, I guess that I am at home 6 days out of 7. He is also luck that he is as cute as it can be; and also very beautiful. A tri color ECS. ( But you know ...the beauty is in the eye....)

It's just this bathroom thing that I hope I'll survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I did a mistake last night but I had to.
I let the pup in the ex-pen, all night long, with a few small towels around and some toys. I let him do his business there as I could not wake up every two hours.
He pooped and peed in there.

How bad is this going to affect his house breaking?
Can I use this strategy in the long run? Waking up every 2-3 hours is not an option for me right now. At least not for the next 4-5 weeks.

Thank you
 

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I think I did a mistake last night but I had to.
I let the pup in the ex-pen, all night long, with a few small towels around and some toys. I let him do his business there as I could not wake up every two hours.
He pooped and peed in there.

How bad is this going to affect his house breaking?
Can I use this strategy in the long run? Waking up every 2-3 hours is not an option for me right now. At least not for the next 4-5 weeks.

Thank you
Letting him poop and pee where he sleeps will generally make it significantly harder to potty train him.

He will get used to going where he sleeps instead of you being able to take advantage of a dog's natural reluctance to soil its "den"

Now is about building good habits as the dog develops the physical ability to hold it and the mental connections to know when he needs to go.

A couple weeks now of getting up in the night will make the following 6+ months much easier.

If you must let him potty inside, at least set up a proper pee pad or litterbox set-up but that still can delay potty training. Better than peeing randomly where he sleeps though
 

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A couple weeks now of getting up in the night will make the following 16 YEARS much easier. :) But I understand the issues.

Long, long ago, we used to potty train by using newspaper. It seemed to work fine, but was messier and took longer. If you must use a similar method, taking a riff from Shell, then try to make a distinct separation between his crate and his ex-pen - so that he can easily sleep in his crate, then get up and potty in his ex-pen, without soiling the crate. It's important to clean up as soon as possible.

You can cover the floor of the ex-pen with newspaper. Ideally he will potty far from the crate ... ideally. ;-) Remove anything that he soils, b/c it retains the smell, indicating "potty here!" Then, you can take a very small piece of soiled newspaper [?] and place it near one corner of the ex-pen on the newspaper away from the crate. If you keep things clean and 'mark' a potty area, he will learn that his bathroom is in that indicated corner. When you see groupings [of droppings ;-) ], you can begin to remove clean newspaper to help guide him to his bathroom area. If you are rigorous, he can learn his area in about 2 weeks. However, you can't trust him until 6 mos at the earliest, b/c pups don't have full control, they are still growing, and distractions or other factors can result in minor setbacks. So, it is important to clean up any area with enzyme cleaner to remove the smell, unless you are OK with using that area for pottying.

It is still important for you to take him outside to potty, so that he can learn to signal and that you can learn his signals ... just echoing what Shell already wrote...

Note: puppy growth and maturity is NOT linear. It's 2 steps forward and 1 step backwards ... if you're lucky ;-) So, expect accidents and setbacks ... when you're in your suit planning for the defense. So as part of your defense, etc., include cute photos of the puppy ... sprinkling liberally throughout the presentation.
 

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I'm going to be the odd one out to say make sure your puppy HAS to go out.
I got my standard poodle at 9 weeks. The first night, not a peep out of him, didn't potty in his crate.
Next night. he whined at 6:30am so I got up and let him out. he went pee, but just a quick pee, since I knew I probably wouldn't fall back asleep I just stayed up.
Night 3, he whined at like 3am. got up let him out, again he peed, but just a quick pee, cried for a bit after going back in his crate. I was like, hmm I don't think he HAS to go.
Night 4 he cried starting early and cried forever!! I didn't let him out. He finally settled, in the morning, no pee in his crate.
Night 5, no crying, no peeing in the night
Never had to let him out in the night again.

I think 5 times a night is excessive (unless you are in bed for longer than 'normal'). The puppy shouldn't really hve to go that often if he's just sleeping in his crate. I think 2 times a night should really be more than fair. I would try to set your alarm to go off twice with equal time between the alarms and let him out at those times and ignore the other cries and see how he does. If you try it for a couple nights and he has accidents add another alarm to split the night into 3 times of letting him out. If you do 2 times and no accidents for a few days, you can see if you can do only 1 time a night. At least that's what I would try
 

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I second setting an alarm. We got her at ~13 weeks, so she was a little bit older than the OP's puppy, but for the first few weeks we had Ida, I had an alarm set for 12:30 and 3:00am (we normally go to bed at ~10pm). Alarm went off, we went outside until she peed or until a 2-3 minute timer went off, and then we went back to bed. At 15 weeks we went down to one alarm at ~1:30am, and within another couple of weeks she was sleeping through that alarm, and I figured no point in both of us losing sleep if she doesn't have to pee. She was also uncrated at night and so was able to wake us up if she had to go. But she was mostly sleeping through the night before she was 5 months.
 

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at that age if you are taking him out and he is going to the bathroom thats good if he is making you get up for nothing you need to ignore him its a tough call sometimes all dogs are different i have had 2 dogs s that loved the create my beagle mix not so much but he was the quickest house brake of them all and the least destructive of them all
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
THANK YOU all for your help.
After reading your posts I got back to waking up every time he whines. I sleep in the next room with no door between us.
I do not set an alarm clock because I do not want to condition him to wake up. If he does not need to be awake, even better. When he needs to pee he whines. (At least this is what he did so far). He does go to potty when he wakes up.
Now I have 2 different issues.
1. What if he learns that I am "at his back and call" and he will whine whenever he is bored, wants to play..etc? How can I prevent that?
2. What can I do to minimize his need to go potty during the nighttime?
My goal is for him eventually to be able to stay in this crate from 10:30-11 pm – till 7 am ( sometimes 8 :) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I think I forgot to mention his / our schedule.
1. I am at home 6 days a week. I teach on Friday for about 6 hours (plus commuting)
2. He is taken out during the day time every hour or so.
3. He has an ex-pen in my office where he stays when I am at my desk
4. He sleeps in a crate in the kitchen next to an older dog (our Doxie) who sleeps in a crate too.
5. He eats at 7 am and at 6 pm ( one cup of...whatever the breeder said)
6. I put him in his crate around 11 pm.
7. I pray to God every night for him to sleep through but he wakes up at ` 12:30 am; 1:45 am...and 4:45-5:00 am.
If only I could make him stay / sleep from let's say 11 pm till 6 am.
8. He is grazing. This is his deal - eats grass . The breeder said I should not be worried, but....what do you think?

ANY SUGGESTIONS ? Any changes that you think you help him sleep through?

Otherwise, HE IS A GOOD DOG. Rarely whines / cries out of the blue, he is loving beyond belief (after all he is an English Cocker Spaniel) and he is VERY beautiful. I mean VERY. Show dog quality ( HE HE...in my eye at least :) )
 

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THANK YOU all for your help.
After reading your posts I got back to waking up every time he whines. I sleep in the next room with no door between us.
I do not set an alarm clock because I do not want to condition him to wake up...

1. What if he learns that I am "at his back and call" and he will whine whenever he is bored, wants to play..etc? How can I prevent that?
You can prevent that by setting an alarm, like other posters have recommended. Gradually adjust the alarm so he is holding it longer and longer as he matures. Either you are training him to wake up and go when you tell him to (with reasonable expectations), or he is training you to wake up when he tells you to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can prevent that by setting an alarm, like other posters have recommended. Gradually adjust the alarm so he is holding it longer and longer as he matures. Either you are training him to wake up and go when you tell him to (with reasonable expectations), or he is training you to wake up when he tells you to.
I see. OK. I guess it makes sense. I'll keep you posted of how it goes.
THANK YOU ALL so much for your help.
Never had a pup before.
 
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