Advice needed on when to move puppy downstairs to sleep on his own

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Advice needed on when to move puppy downstairs to sleep on his own

This is a discussion on Advice needed on when to move puppy downstairs to sleep on his own within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hi everyone, hope you can help. Apologies in advance for the long-windedness! We've had our 10 week old miniature schnauzer puppy for 2 weeks now, ...

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Old 02-02-2016, 04:48 AM
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Advice needed on when to move puppy downstairs to sleep on his own

Hi everyone, hope you can help. Apologies in advance for the long-windedness!

We've had our 10 week old miniature schnauzer puppy for 2 weeks now, and things are going relatively well.

At the moment, we have him sleeping in a crate in our room at night (door closed). He whined/howled the first couple of nights, but has been sleeping pretty well/quietly since. We set an alarm every night at 3am to take him outside to go to the toilet, and he pees every night then goes back to sleep.

Ultimately, we want him to sleep in his crate downstairs in the kitchen. We are not the sort of people who want a dog to sleep on our beds; I feel there should be boundaries and the dog should (eventually - I know he's still a baby) be taught to be independent.

We were planning on gradually moving him downstairs, but last night our vet told us that if we were to have him sleep elsewhere, we should do that immediately and have him live by our rules from the start. Other people have said that dogs are pack animals and need to be with their packs until they're accustomed to their surroundings.

He also told us that we should not be getting up to let him out to go potty as he'll get used to that - but that goes against everything we've read/heard to date about puppies not being able to hold their bladders for the whole night. Indeed, the only times he's whined in the crate in our bedroom seems to be when he needs to go potty. So I'm confused.

I work from home, so the current set-up during the day is that his crate is in a small area of the kitchen which is fenced-off, so that he can't get up to too much mischief when unsupervised. I've been trying to work in other areas of the house for stretches of time so that he doesn't get too used to seeing me there all the time. He has food, water, toys to chew and I leave the radio on for him when he's alone. He's not housebroken yet so there is often a poo or a wee to clean up. That doesn't bother me as much, we will housebreak him eventually.

Most times when he's in his area, he's fine. Sometimes he whines a bit, and sometimes he barks the house down. I'm really worried that he will go crazy howling at night and bother the neighbours. Then again, he is used to napping in his crate in the kitchen during the day, so maybe he will adjust more quickly to it?

So here is my main question - it's going to be another 10 days before we can bring him outside (after his vaccinations). Should we wait until we can walk him/tire him out outside before making the move from bedroom to kitchen at night? Or does it make a difference?

Also, should we continue to close his crate door at night (and continue to get up to bring him out to wee), or should we let him have the run of his little area?

There's a lot of conflicting advice out there, it's hard to know what to do. Any help much appreciated!

Last edited by Neon8482; 02-02-2016 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 02-02-2016, 05:29 AM
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Hi there- congratulations on your new puppy! I am no expert, but I can share with you what has worked for us. We have a 14 week old schnoodle (mini schnauzer/ poodle). He came home to us at 9 weeks and we began crate training right away. From the very first night, he slept in his crate in the laundry room (away from us) from 10 pm to 7 am. He has never had any accidents in the crate. And he's a tiny little thing (he was about 3.5 pounds when he arrived and he's only 6 now). So, I do think it's possible for some puppies to hold it.

(We took up food and water 2 hours before bed time, water probably more like 3 hours before)

I don't mean to give advice as to what you should do, but rather share my experience that it is possible.

As for the day time, I also crate my puppy. He is in his crate for up to 3 hours at a time, with the door shut and with me at home (or me running errands or whatever). I have him out of the crate for a few hours during various times during the day, but I watch him and play with him (( I understand you can't do that since you are working). From what I understand, crate training helps them learn to hold their bladder and helps with housebreaking.

What is your puppy's name? I wish you nothing but the best. This forum is great- full of people who have great ideas and experiences!

Jen
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:02 AM
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Congratulations on your new puppy and welcome to the DF!

It is very very rare that your puppy is going to be able to go the whole night without having to pee. I don't agree with your vet at all.
Whenever my puppies cry during the night (their crate is in our bedroom until they're trustworthy, then they are either in bed with us, or loose in the bedroom) I get up leash them, and go stand outside. There is no playing, there is only potty-time. I wait 10 minutes, if they go treat and praise and back in the crate. If they do not, back inside the crate.
Also, your puppy can 100% go outside! You just shouldn't take him to heavily dog infested areas (dog park, petstores, busy dog neighborhoods). As far as letting him have access to his area, unless you are using pee-pads, every single time your puppy goes potty in the house, it is reinforcing for him. That's not to say it will be impossible to housetrain, just that if you can prevent accidents in the house, you'll have a much easier time.
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Old 02-02-2016, 06:58 AM
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Hi Jen and Shandula,

Thanks for your input and the warm welcome! His name is Ted.

We're definitely leaning towards continuing to get up during the night to let him out to wee. I'm not sure why the vet said otherwise, but it doesn't seem right.

The biggest issue is when to move him downstairs. Now, or wait til we can bring him out for walks in 10 days? We have been bringing him outside for walks down to the beach, etc., but carrying him - not letting him on the ground and not letting him near other dogs. We'd literally have gone insane if we hadn't been able to leave the house before now!

He will go into his crate of his own accord in his fenced-off area during the day, but I don't close the door. He stays there snoozing and will occasionally come out to play, eat, or try to get my attention (if I'm in the room). I make an effort to come and give him attention whenever I can every few hours, play with him for short bursts, let him out into the back garden to go potty, etc. before putting him back in.

Both myself and my partner have been struggling a little bit with puppy blues/anxiety on top of everything else, so this issue is causing us a lot of confusion! He's a good dog otherwise and we're happy to have him, but just want to make the adjustment period as smooth as possible for all of us. So this 'sleeping separately' thing is a priority for us.

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:43 AM
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Bumping this up as it's basically the same scenario as I'm in. Tips to move from bedroom to living room without them screaming the house down?
Sensitive neighbors won't appreciate that.
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