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The Midnight Pooper

March 19th, 2004, 09:56 AM
I need some advice as to how to teach my puppy to wait for the morning. Almost every night she will wake me up to take her outside...generally between 2 and 4 in the morning.

The things is - I know she can hold it, she used to do it in the past and she can now go all day but for some reason she has started to demand to go out in the middle of the night.

I have tried everything I can think of...from ignoring her and encouraging her to go back to sleep (which doesn't work since she will just whine louder and I am afraid she will wake the neighbors) to feeding her earlier/later...long walks before bed...I don't reward her and neither do I punish her but I really want (need) this to stop!!

Thanks :confused:

Lucky Rescue
March 19th, 2004, 11:16 AM
How old is your puppy, and when and what do you feed her?

March 19th, 2004, 12:04 PM
Scheduling feedings and watering can help with housetraining.

A young puppy usually is fed 3x day and after eating usually goes to the bathroom within 15 to 30 minutes.

without knowing the age of your puppy I would just suggest scheduled feedings (not free feeding) and take away the water dish about an hour before bed time.

Also are you crate training? This can be an invaluable tool in housetraining.

If the pup is older and physically mature enough to be able to hold it all night, it could just be behavioural.

When you tell us the pups age and whether or not you are crate training it will be easier to know.

March 19th, 2004, 05:02 PM
She is just over five months old and has been fully housetrained (aside from the odd accident) for the past few months.

I do keep her on a schedule, feeding her three times a day - 8am, 1pm, and 7pm and the brand I use is Nutro puppy mix. She has never been free fed (she's definitely an alpha female and I am well aware of what that would cause...besides she's like a goldfish, she would eat herself to death if I gave her the chance!)

Now that she is older, she usually takes a few hours before she needs to go. She almost always does both on her last trip outside around 11pm.

She is crate trained but I don't make her sleep in her crate...I have tried and she puts up such a fuss that she would keep the neighbors up all night and she is good overnight.

The crate definitely helped with the housetraining and now she can hold it all day (and used to hold it all night). She only goes a few times a day but unfortunately one of those times is in the middle of the night!

March 19th, 2004, 05:44 PM
That sounds anoying.

What size of crate do you have for her?
Is it the size she needs?
Does it have a nice, soft blanket or rug in it?

The crate should be large enough so she can turn around in it, and tall enough so she can stand with a few inches to spare. It should have a rug or something soft in it. Imagin how it would feel to us if we were locked inside a crate with nothing soft on the floor!:eek:

Try to crate train her. Putting a blanket so she can't see out of her crate might help. Be firm and consistant. Going out in evening time is 11:00. For morning it is 7:00, for example. Make it so she can hold it. When she asks you if she can go out, maybe you should put her in her crate. On the other hand, you could let her keep asking you until morning. That might teach her that she can go out in the morning, but not at night.

Good luck:)

Lucky Rescue
March 19th, 2004, 05:46 PM
When you take her out in the middle of the night, is she peeing and pooping, or just peeing?

The first thing to do is have her checked for bladder and urinary tract infections. This can certainly make her feel as though she needs to go!

If she checks out o.k. and is pooping too at that hour, then I think you need to push her last feeding up. I would not feed her later than 4:30 or 5 p.m.

If you do that, and then take her out at 11p.m. there is no reason for her to wake you up.

So - if she is healthy, you feed her at 5 and take her out at 11 she should be fine. If she has no bladder infection, then you are inadvertantly letting her train YOU to take her out in the middle of the night. She cries, you get up and take her out.;)

What you can do is get an alarm clock and set it for the time she wakes you up (3:00 a.m?) then each night, set it to go off a little later, until it is going off at the time YOU want to get up. This will teach her to be quiet until she hears the alarm. That will be her signal that it's time to get up!

Until she learns this, you must not under any circumstances, get up until the alarm goes off.

March 19th, 2004, 05:55 PM
Hey good idea LR. I was thinking of something like that, but couldn't quite grasp an idea.;)

March 19th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks for the help...before she was housetrained I had papers down and she almost always would hold it all night but this started once she was trained to indicate to go outside. I still keep papers down but she is such a good little girl that she is just trying to do the right thing and refuses to be quiet until I get up and take her out. Bossy puppy :)

I know that I accidently trained her to do this but nothing I have done to train her to stop will work. She alternates...sometimes it's just pee or just poo, sometimes its both...

I worry about feeding her so early - won't she get hungry?

Her crate is the right size...she has enough room to move around and I do have an old blanket in there for her (which she loves to rip open so she can chew on the bedding). I could try putting her there overnight with it covered and see how big a fuss she makes.

I will try your suggestions...all I know is I'm tired :o

March 19th, 2004, 09:30 PM
She's only five mons old and I wouldn't worry too much about feeding her late. Pups should be fed 3/4 times a day.

Sadie is almost 4mons and I just reduced her from 5 to 4x a day and she's always slept through the night.

One thing, do you do a lot of exercise with her or play b4 bedtime. This can make the bowels the stool formed okay?

The long walks b4 bed are probably your problem IMHO!

March 20th, 2004, 12:41 PM
They get used to a routine. She might get hungry, but it won't hurt her unless when you feed her she eats too quickly.

If you put her in her kennel and cover it, you should only cover it when she is making noise. When she starts whining, take the blanket over to her, and cover the crate. If she's whining to get to you, it should work, but if she needs to go out, it probably won't work. I've heard of putting blankets over birds' cages to make them quiet, so I tried it on my dog and it worked!

You should probably try to kennel her at night. Even if she does make a fuss, you should ignore her and put the blanket over her cage. At the time when you always get up (make it always a certain time) let her out to go to the bathroom. Its amazing how they learn. Soon she'd be ready for being out again.

You could try some comforting things to put in her kennel. A hot water bottle, a clock, maybe her favourite stuffed animal or toy. My dog settles down when you take a deep breath and let it out noisily.

Or you could try LuckyRescue's alarm clock method with a variation: Keep the dog in her kennel at night. Set the alarm clock so that its just going off about 15 minuts after she starts whining to go out. She should stop to see what its all about, and as soon as she stops, praise her. Then take her out to the bathroom. In time she'll probably see that alarm clock ringing means bathroom time. Keep moving the time up to when you want to get up gradualy.

If all else fails you could put in a doggy door so she could get outside without you opening the door...

April 13th, 2004, 09:17 AM
So, I tried many variations (and as hard as I tried I just couldn't set my alarm and get up at 4am if Molly wasn't asking to go out!) and I have now been able to sleep until about 6:30 or 7am everyday!

Earlier feeding for the dinner really helped, we went through a bit of a transition where she was really hungry in the morning and was waking me up to get fed but she adjusted to a new schedule within a week or so.

A little trick actually ended up making all the difference though. Before I would never let her up on the bed to sleep (she's alpha) but she would always try to sneak up after I fell asleep and I would always push her off. But what I started to do was pretend I didn't notice and let her stay to see if that would help and it did!

Then when she would sneak back off the bed and whine to go out in the middle of the night, I would take her out and then put her in the crate when we came back until morning. So, she soon figured out that if she didn't wake me up she could spend the whole night on the bed and so she never asks to go out and waits til the morning! It's one of those - I know but you don't know I know deals. Honestly, the games you have to play!!

Lately though I've been wondering if this solution is the best one - she's a total bed hog, steals the covers, and sleeps right on top of you :p

April 13th, 2004, 09:42 AM
Thats great that something actualy worked!:) I'm so happy for you!