I have a three month old cairn terrier and westie mix. I was hoping you could tell me, or at least estimate, the growth stages of his bladder.
When should I start taking him out less often? I follow almost to the T your puppy schedule you have posted on here. I was just wondering at what age I should start expanding the time periods in the schedule.
When will he be old enough to go through the night without me getting up at 3 to let him out to pee? Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated!
It sounds as though you're doing great with the potty training, and I'm so glad that the Potty Training Schedule has been helpful.
Of course, all puppies are different, and smaller breeds will always need to 'go' more often than larger ones. However, you should have seen an improvement in your pup's bladder and bowel control by now.
It can be difficult to tell when he really needs to 'go', and when he just wants to go out and play, but by 14 - 16 weeks he shouldn't be needing to potty every 30 mins. I would continue to take him out after each nap, mealtime and so on. But over the course of the day, he should be able to go an hour, to an hour and a half before he's needing to potty.
By now, it would be realistic to expect him to go through the night without needing a break. Of course, you don't want to spoil all the good work that you've done up 'til now by forcing him to mess in his crate because he's desperate.
So, be prepared for a few nights with a bit less sleep than normal and here's what I would suggest you do......
- Be sure not to feed your pup after 6pm, and pick up his water bowl by 7.30pm at the latest.
- Take him out for his potty break as the very last thing you do before going to bed.
- Start to push back his 'night time potty trip', by about 30 mins to an hour each night. For example, if he normally wakes at 2.30pm and wants out, don't go to him right away. Wait 30 mins or more (this is where the sleepless nights come in for you!). Then go and take him out.
- The next night, do exactly the same thing.
- The next night he may wake a little later, if so, only make him wait 30 mins, then take him out.
- Continue like this until he's going through until about 6am or so.
- Use your own judgment (relying on how he's handled this routine so far) to decide just how far you can have him go. If you normally get up at 7am, stop there.
If at any point he has an accident in his crate. Don't despair, it's not the end of the world. He's already pretty much crate trained, and one accident isn't going to change that. Just adjust your expectations and move forward.
The trick is to learn when he really (and he means REALLY) needs to go out, and when he's just complaining because he WANTS to go out. Puppies are creatures of habit, and he's now in the habit of waking up at 2 or 3 am. It's not necessarily that he's waking up because his bladder is full, more because his body clock is on that schedule.
As with most areas of puppy care, a lot depends on the individual pup, and you know him best. Be confident in your knowledge and experience so far, and you'll probably get it right.
Best of luck, keep up the good work and he'll soon be sleeping all the way through.