Puppy's Sleeping Habits
by Amber A
(Gering, NE, U.S.A.)
We have a female shih-poo that is about 4 1/2 months old and we have only had her about 3 weeks.
She sleeps in her own bed right beside our bed every night, but she gets up a lot in the night. We go to bed around 10:00 every night with her - and then she is up at 1:30 to go out to use the bathroom and then she is up again at 3:30 just to whine and then she wakes up at 5:30 to want out to go play.
Is there anything we can do to help her so she sleeps most of the night and does not get up so often? This makes it so we are all losing sleep then....
or will she get better with time? Thanks for your help!
At her age, your puppy really shouldn't need more than one potty break during the night, and she shouldn't really need that for much longer. I would recommend feeding her dinner at around 5pm and picking up her water by 6pm, then make sure you take her outside for a potty break immediately before going to bed. That way she is mostly 'empty' before going to sleep.
However, because she's got into the habit of waking at 1:30 she may continue to do that for a while, even if she's not desperate to 'go'. I would recommend getting her a crate and using it to control her night time habits, she can go back to sleeping in her bed, without the crate, once she's sleeping through. Check out my Crate Training page for general tips and advice on this method of housebreaking.
Once you're using the crate, I would recommend that you not take her outside immediately when she wakes up, try to gradually extend the period you make her wait until she's waking up later and later. Once she's had her potty break for the night, ignore her if she wakes and wants to whine or play. If she doesn't get any attention or interaction, she will eventually decide it's not worth waking up several times.
Puppies are like babies, and it takes time for them to learn to sleep through the night, but if you're patient and consistent she will 'get it' given some time.
Best of luck with her.