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Puppy sleeping through the night regression

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We have a 13-week border collie, and we're having trouble getting him to hold it through the night.

At about 11 weeks, he slept through the night (11:30p-7:00a) numerous times, but recently, he has been waking up at 4:00a, 5:00a, or 6:00a everyday and needing to go potty - usually first a pee and then 15-30 minutes later a poo. Then he has been whining when he gets back in the crate (even though we're very careful not to make nighttime potty outings fun).

We feed him dinner at 5:00p and we take away his water bowl at 9:00p. Is this timing okay?

One idea I have is that we aren't tiring him out enough in the evening. It's tricky though, because he usually sleeps (outside of his crate - he chooses to sleep) from 9:00p or 9:30p until we wake him up for his before bedtime pee. If we wake him up at 11:00p, then we have 30 minutes to tire him out before bed, but then he can't pee again right before bed because it's too soon. We've tried waking him up earlier (10:30p) so he can pee right before bed at 11:30p, but we can't keep him up for the full hour because he's so tired. Any suggestions for how to handle the evening schedule so we can tire him out but he can still pee right before his bedtime at 11:30p? I hope this isn't a silly question. I'm just new to puppy routines...

Thanks for your help!


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I don't make potty time fun. During the day it is potty first them time to play or eat. At bed time and through the night it is only go out do what you need to then back to bed. I think they are smart enough to complain, get you up go out and potty and then think they should have have play time.. Crying to go out gets to be more of a means to an end rather than necessary. Pups eat sleep potty and play maybe take up water a bit earlier or try feeding 30 min later should be plenty time to go potty but sounds like breakfast is not till after 6 so that makes it over 12 hours. I keep a few quiet toys in their crate and they learn to play with them by themselves.


He will adjust to your schedule but if he is ready to rock and roll at 5 am then maybe adjust your schedule a bit, put him to bed sooner and get up a bit earlier. Heck my dogs seem to know when I open my eyes even if I don't move- no matter the time.

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  • 2 months later...

Merlin is 17 weeks and my concern is starting him sleeping through the night too soon and him regressing. At the moment he goes to sleep around 8:00 pm, I wake him around 3:00 for a piddle, then up around 6:00. This last week waking him at 3:00 or 3:30 is a task.
How soon should one expect their pup to sleep through the night?

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Puppies, like human babies and toddlers, will have differing schedules and changes within those patterns for a while. 13, and even 17 weeks is still very young.


It's a simple fact of life and part of what you signed on for when you got a young puppy. Deal with it. ;)


My last puppy went through several changes of nighttime patterns but didn't sleep reliably through the night until he was 6 or 7 months old. That's older than most, but you can't really control their bodily needs. (And no, I didn't make potty time fun, and I didn't get up at the very first whine -- i.e. give in to attention whining -- once he'd gotten the concept of being clean in the house.)

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I've raised quite a few pups and I'll go with what has always worked for me. Rather than any set schedule or trying to wake a pup at night or any such thing, I potty and put the pup to bed when we go to bed and if he/she wakes me during the night or early in the morning, I take the pup out for a business-like potty break, and then back into the crate (or whatever the sleeping arrangement is).


I don't wake a pup in the night if he/she is sleeping, I let the pup let me know when he/she has to go. Dan came to us at eight weeks of age and only once, when he had a digestive upset, did he wake me up between bedtime at 9 pm and get up time at 5 am. And he held it during the work day from 7 am until almost 3 pm, when the neighbor boy got off the school bus and pottied and played with him. And he's still good going at 5 pm and not again until 7 or 8 am if I let him (I don't).


No so with Celt, who needed a middle of the night potty break for some months after he came home at seven weeks of age. And he's spent his entire life being pottied for the last time at 9 pm (more or less) and having to go again at 5 am in the morning (he's an early riser who likes to seize the day, and it's 4 am when we are not on Daylight Saving Time).


Like children (and adults) pups (and dogs) have their own bodily schedule that you can help train and modify generally but which varies with the individual. While most of my pups have slept through the night anywhere from two months of age (Dan, an exception to many rules ;) ) to four months or so of age (Celt), in terms of daytime needs, none of them have been dependably trained before six months of age - but I have become more well-trained with experience and so accidents, etc., have been almost eliminated with later pups compared to earlier pups.


I'm not one to adhere to rigid schedules but, as you have said, you do want to employ an approach that sets the pup up for success (and you for reduced frustration and clean-up ;) ).


Best wishes to all with pups - this stage, too, shall pass and we all miss it when it's gone, at least in some ways.

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The "deal with it" comment is interesting.


I didn't mean it to be offensive, if that's what you mean. Thus the wink instead of an eye roll emoticon. ;)


But the fact of the matter is that there's really not a whole lot beyond the basics of limiting evening water consumption, not making potty time play time or giving in to every whine for attention that can be done about it until the pup's body matures to the point that she or he no longer needs to go out during the night. Until that happens people just have to accept that this is part of a puppy's growing up and be patient with the process.


Since all of the things I would have mentioned had already been remarked upon, it didn't seem helpful for me to repeat them so I just offered the only thing I know, which is accepting it while it lasts (which isn't forever).

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