crate training/potty training
by Marisa Heidt
(Golden, Colorado, USA)
We have had our puppy 1 day. We are potty training. We don't let him wander the house. We take him from his crate directly outside to go potty. If he goes we bring him in and he has play time. If he does not he goes right back in the crate and we try again an hour later.
I have heard this works well to program a dogs brain in a week or two that outside is where they go to the bathroom. Now the question. At night we sleep for about 8 hours. He pooped and peed in his crate. I have heard pups don't usually go potty where they sleep. He did cry at 2am. Should I have gotten up and taken him out?
I don't want him to learn that he gets to wake me at 2 am the rest of his life to let him out.
Congratulations! So far you're doing great on the daytime training. You're exactly right, if you get him into a 'routine' and prevent as many 'accidents' as possible, he will learn quickly.
Young puppies can't 'hold it' all night though. To help him get through for as long as possible, feed him his last meal at around 5:00 - 5:30pm and pick up his water at 6:30pm. That way he will be fairly 'empty' by bedtime.
When he wakes at 2am (or whenever, some puppies need more than one night time potty break to start with), take him outside right away. But this is a 'business only' trip! No games, no petting, playing or even eye contact. And use a low voice. As soon as he's done his business, it's back in the crate for him - and back to bed for you. If he starts to cry (which he may well do) just ignore him.
Once he's gone back to sleep, if he wakes again before morning, repeat the process. Always take him out as soon as you wake up in the morning too.
This stage doesn't last too long, although it may not feel like that when you're sleep deprived! Don't worry about him doing this for the rest of his life, he won't as long as you make it no fun to be awake in the night and don't respond to his whining and crying when you know he doesn't need to go outside.
If you need any extra information, tips or advice on taking care of your new pup, check out my New Puppy Care page.
Best of luck with your little guy.
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