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crate at night? What about mess?!


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Hi all. New to the group.

We picked up Buddy 4 days ago and he's incredible. Sleepy and playful in equal measures.

We've got a large crate for buddy and a small crate for Penny, our Jackihuahua (Jack Russell/chihuahua - very small). However we leave the doors open at all times so they can go to sleep if tired, and buddy tends to just sleep on the floor so we carry him into the crate if this happens - now both dogs seem to like sleeping together in the big crate.

 

At night we leave them in a kitchen diner with both crate doors open. Both go to the toilet outside in the day with occasional accidents which is fine and at night we put 4 puppy pads down. In the mornings there are always several poos and puddles, most on the mats but some not.

 

I'm reading that a lot of you lock them in their respective crates at night. Makes sense to me, but with so much toiletting happening at night how can I do this? Should I set my alarm to let them out throughout the night?

 

Appreciate any tips - dont want to set us up for a hard time by being too soft early on!

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How old is Buddy? How old is Penny? If Penny's an adult dog, she shouldn't need to go to the bathroom overnight. How occasional are "occasional accidents"? It sounds like neither of them is really housebroken. For puppies, you should set an alarm to let them out throughout the night, or crate them somewhere you can hear them and take them out if they wake you up, then right back in the crate. I think you need to enforce the "no pottying in the house" a little more- both during the day and at night. Also, locking them in their respective crates may help them hold it a little longer if the crate is appropriately sized. But it sounds like they both need to be on a stricter schedule until they get the potty outside thing down.

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I read that when dogs go to sleep their system shuts down to a certain extent. If this is so, maybe when they get out of the crate for some reason this may interupt this shut down period and they may need to go. When we got Juno at 10 weeks old I got up every 3 to 4 hours for a couple of weeks. Even though I was up for only a few minutes it was still a major inconvenience but it was well worth it in the long run. Since then she has been in her crate every night for over two years now and the only time she has had an accident is when she was sick (parasite)

Congratulations on your new pup!

Bill

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Thanks for the replies guys.

 

Buddy is almost 8 weeks and Penny is only 3 months so both puppies. Seems a shame to split them up at night though when they have formed such a bond over the last few days but I guess I'll try shutting them in their respective crates and checking every 2-3hrs tonight.

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First off, I am not an expert, but just two weeks ago we picked up our lovely border collie girl. And we trained her not to have to go potty at night pretty quickly. She's ten weeks now.

 

We started crate training immediately and also worked towards "no accidents at night" immediately. This meant:

- sleeping is always done in the crate, with the door closed. No exceptions. No attention when whining.

- Before putting her to bed at night: playtime, feeding, little outside time, and a good number 1 and number 2.

- At night when she started whining we waited a little until she calmed, but gave her the benefit of the doubt, and let her out to do her business, and right away back to the crate with the doors closed.

 

After a week she caught on, and she slept through the night, without any accidents. Puppies do need to go out lots of times during the day, but at nighttime, when they're sleeping their digestion and everything does slow down, so you should be able to work towards a 6 hour night without mishaps pretty quickly. We are at 8 hours now, without her being uncomfortable.

 

To avoid accidents in the first weeks: pick him up and carry him outside right away instead of letting him walk, when you get him out of the crate.

 

Hope it helps.

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DutchBorderfan gave good advice.

 

Essentially, smallish crate so they don't have space to mess. Let them wake you up rather than checking on them (as Donald McCaig says)- which will probably wake them up and then you will HAVE to take them outside. [by extension, their crates should be in your bedroom (or the next room?) so you can hear them.]

 

When you do get up in the morning - hopefully after 6-7 hours of peaceful sleep - be ready to take the pups out *immediately*!!! Once you start stirring, you may only have time for a quick pee yourself and throw on some clothes. I would lay out my clothes the night before so I could jump out of bed, quick pee, throw on the clothes and run the pups outside. No dilly dallying for you or the pups. One time I made the mistake of letting my pup out of the crate while I brushed my teeth (maybe one minute). You guessed it, he peed on the floor. Of course, as they get older, they will be able to hold it longer, but you will have to build up the length gradually.

 

Another issue: I would not have both pups in the same crate. First, they may wake each other during the night, and you are trying to keep them sleepy and calm so they can last the night without messing. Second: Their crates can be next to each other at first, then gradually separate the crates too. You are setting them up for a situation called 'littermate syndrome' by letting them bond too closely. [Google 'littermate syndrome'.] They may whine a little now upon separation, but better now than dealing with it throughout their whole lives.

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If you check them you'll wake them up. Let them wake you up.

 

This. Why on earth anyone would want to train their puppy to get up every few hours (that's essentially what you'd be doing) is beyond me.

 

Wink seems to have taken longer to sleep through the night than some puppies, which may have been my fault for giving him his last small feeding too late. (Because I feed raw, there's more moisture in the food than kibble has.)

 

But he sleeps next to my bed and when he'd cry I'd get up and take him out. He always legitimately had to pee and we came right back in and into the crate again and back to bed. No fuss, no play.

 

He's been sleeping though the night for the last couple weeks (since about 15 weeks old) even with the late feeding.

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Let them wake you up rather than checking on them (as Donald McCaig says)- which will probably wake them up and then you will HAVE to take them outside. [by extension, their crates should be in your bedroom (or the next room?) so you can hear them.]

 

If crate near you doesn't work, a baby monitor will also do the trick. You can get them pretty inexpensively.

 

I would love for Livi to be sleeping in our room, but the cats were here first and our bedroom has always been their safe zone from kids and guests and anything else. Until/unless they become completely comfortable with her, she spends time with us all day but sleeps downstairs. She doesn't seem to mind.

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I put pups in a crate at eye level beside my bed (I put them in a crate on top of another crate). When they wake up they are reassured in their new home by my presence. If they need to potty they'll let me know. I've done that for the first couple weeks with each new pup I've brought home over the years and it works well. I get lots of sleep and pup gets pottied. :)

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When I have young pups I try to feed dinner rather early and also pick up the water bowl a couple hours before bed time.

 

I think all dogs should learn to be alone and ok with being alone and learn to be crated alone. At some point in their lives for some period of time they will not be able to be together so why not teach them it is all good now. Also even with potty pad the more times they walk out and take care of business in the house the harder it will be to teach them Where to go, When to go and that they need You to let them out. If you are gone all day fine, they will not be able to wait that long but if the door is shut they will wake you up. I get up, take them out and we all go right back to bed. This teaches them in the middle of night is not play time and just cause you cry doesn't get you play time. It also teaches them to go out and take care of things asap - during the day they get to play After potty time.

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I will second (or third) the advice not to wake them at night and let them wake you. My neighbor thought that he needed to get up and let the new dog out every three hours during the night. Now the dog is three years old and still insists on being taken outside two or three times every night, usually just to sniff and stargaze. Ack! (Of course, my neighbor could stop this behavior, but the point is don't even let it start).

I will also caution you to avoid littermate syndrome. Having two puppies at once is inadvisable. Since you already have them, do what you can to avoid letting them bond too closely with one another this early in their lives.

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This. Why on earth anyone would want to train their puppy to get up every few hours (that's essentially what you'd be doing) is beyond me.

 

If the options are "wake puppy up to take out to toilet" or "let puppy learn that crate is a toilet" I'd go with the former 100% of the time. Those may not be the only two options, as some pups will learn to hold it early on, but I'm so grossed out by crate soiling and the problems that come from it... I'm happy to lose a few hours' sleep if that means I can avoid it.

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^^ But why would they be the only two options? The third option is take the puppy out when it wakes you up, as almost all will do when they have to go.

 

I suspect you may have read my comment out of context, which was taking the pup out when s/he cries to go out or using an alarm clock to wake yourself up and then wake the puppy out before it's asked.

 

And taking the pup out when it whines to go out does still interrupt your sleep. Absolutely. But it's a far cry from waking the pup up before it needs to go and essentially training it to that routine so that you have to keep doing it far longer than necessary.

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One further question guys. If we sleep upstairs and the dogs are currently downstairs in the kitchen, would you suggest moving the crate upstairs with us at night?

 

Will make the quick dash to the back door a longer one with stairs to negotiate.

 

Or would you suggest me hitting the couch for the first few nights so I can hear them and act quickly.

 

Want very much to adopt this whole 'let the dog wake me and act quickly' whilst it gets used to being shut in overnight, just working through the logistics!

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Dear Mr. Carter,

 

DO take the pup out just before you go to bed. Wake him up if you must

 

A quick dash to the back door is important.. I'd couch until the pup's sleep schedule syncs with yours . As he's squatting say "Go pee" (calmly and quietly) and praise the pup when he's done. Don't play with him. Don't rev him up. Back in the crate and lights out. Won't be long before he's sleeping the night through.

 

Donald McCaig

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All my pups have been in crates by my bed. I toilet them last thing at night before I go to bed and usually get them out between 5.30 and 6.30 the next morning or when they are restless. Never seem to have had an accident in their crates. There have been occasions when the pup is restless in the night and I get up but that is rare. And yes in the morning the pup needs to be express rushed outside so they dont pee on the way out.

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Update if you are interested. First night success!!

 

Fed them at 6pm

Water removed from 7.30pm

Last trip outside with them at 10pm then both locked in their own crates, in the kitchen side by side.

Went to bed 10.30pm and set an alarm to check on them at 2am. Snuck downstairs - no noise, so I thought I wouldn't risk it and just crashed on the couch. I was expecting to get woken up at any time so had rubbish sleep (not bothered) but it was only when our 4yr old boy came downstairs at 6am that I could hear that the Collie was awake - not crying just playing.

Went in to kitchen to get a massive lovely greeting, straight outside for a wee. He did poo in the kitchen after though - I'll work on that separately - but all in all an overwhelming success - 8 HOURS in the crate, no crying, no mess.

 

Thanks again for all your inputs it's making a difference here (so far - only night #1!)

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One other thing about puppy peeing: Since they have small bladders and are not accustomed to fully expressing their bladder, they may pee again once you bring them back inside. My brother had this problem with his Weim pup, and I told him to let the pup stay outside a little longer so he could do that second and maybe third pee. Helped tremendously with the issue. Pups do get distracted outside so sometimes they don't do their business.

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Sounds as though it is going well so far.

It is true that sometimes they will need to go potty twice, so leaving them out a bit longer after the first wee is a good idea. (I find this is necessary these days also with Jester, my 15 year old).

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