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Discussion Starter #1
I have a Chihuahua/Yorkie mix that is a little under a year old. I rescued him from a trailer house when he was 3 months old. We put him in a cage at night with our other dog. Lately he has been whining a lot starting around 4 am until he is let out. He has always been a whinny dog and I think it's because he wants attention. I have been following advice that I have read on the internet, like not giving him attention when he is whining and rewarding him when he is quiet. My husband and I live in an apartment and we are getting close to the point of having to get rid of him. He has only been whining in the mornings and does not whine when we leave him in his cage during the day. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep him. HELP!
 

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Sudden changes in behavior warrant a trip to the vet. It's possible he is experiencing pain or a UTI or something, so better safe than sorry.

Do you take him out to pee at 4am? Small dogs have small bladders, he might just need to go.

Also, has anything changed recently? Did you move, did someone move out or in, did you rearrange the furniture? Change stresses dogs, even change that a human wouldn't think twice about.

Whining is about the most annoying thing dogs do, so I appreciate your willingness to try instead of rehoming him.
 

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My first thought would have been to get up & take him out for a potty, then put him back in. He's certainly old enough to hold it all night. Do you take 'em out last thing before bed at night? You could try picking up the water dish a couple hours before bedtime.

He's also old enough to stay quietly in the crate until morning. Do you work with him on basic commands? Take him for a walk? By "walk" I don't mean step outside just long enough to potty. I mean walking through the neighborhood. Training and walking make for better behaved dogs in general.

I've heard people say "small dogs have small bladders," and it makes me wonder, they don't need big bladders -- less intake, smaller kidneys. Are you saying they are designed with inadequate bladder capacity? Where does that theory originate? I'm not disputing it, just asking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I take him out before we go to bed every night. He used to be able to hold it it until 7am. I will try taking him out at 4am tomorrow.

We moved the couches, but he has been whining before we moved the furninture around.

I take him out for a walk on a regular basis (he is a very high energy dog). He is very skiddish and does not like strangers. He has always been this way and does not interact with most dogs, which is strange because he grew up in a trailer infested with dogs.
 

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Any sudden behavior changes could do with a trip to the vet. He could have a urinary tract infection that makes him uncomfortable to hold it as long as normal. He could be ill/have an infection that makes him uncomfortable.
 

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I've heard people say "small dogs have small bladders," and it makes me wonder, they don't need big bladders -- less intake, smaller kidneys. Are you saying they are designed with inadequate bladder capacity? Where does that theory originate? I'm not disputing it, just asking.
That is logical, but I've never met anyone with a big dog that had nearly the trouble housetraining that people with small dogs usually do. Of course, the plural of anecdote is not data, so maybe I just know a lot of small dog owners that are bad at housetraining.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I took him out to the bathroom later than usual and left a small bowl of food in his cage at night. He didn't whine this morning:)
 
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