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Hi guys, I'm new to puppy ownership and new to the forum, so I'll be asking some silly questions over the next few months!:p

So my girlfriend and I have a 8 week old Dalmatian called Brutus. We have had him one week. We have a crate for him, a big one (42") possibly too big? He's pretty comfortable in it and sleeps reasonably well in it.

My main question is, we leave him in the crate overnight, and have been told by other dog owners - friends, family etc, not to go to him when he cries. I generally go to him around 5am for his first toilet visit of the day. What I'm worried about is he's not able to hold his bladder all night, and so is weeing in his crate ( but not pooing). Surely this isnt good for him and his house training though? At the same time, I don't want him to think I'll just appear whenever he cries.

Any advice will be gratefully received :thumbsup:
 

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You are right! Pup needs to go out at least once to wee at night. Its not good for his housetraining to force him to soil his crate bed.

The thing that has worked for me for 4 puppies in a row, is to have the crate right next to my bed at night. When puppy gets restless in the middle of the night, I know its time for a potty break. He will learn to trust you to help him go out so he does not have to pee his bed.

Here's the routine... Make sure pup has had plenty of exercise and is nice and tired before bedtime. Take him out for his last potty just before you are ready to go to sleep. Put him in his crate gently with a couple of small treats. Everyone goes to bed and turns out the light. Pup may fuss a little. Do Not say anything to him. Neither scold him nor sooth him with your voice. Instead, just reach your hand down so he can lick your fingers. That will help settle him. He should settle down and go to sleep within a half hour or so.

In a few hours, his little bladder will have filled up and he will wake up and be restless. He may even cry or paw his crate door. Go ahead and take him out on his leash, to his potty area outside. Make it a business trip, so don't encourage him to play, just stay low key. When he wees, give him a small treat (as you always do when he pees outside) walk around a few more moments (so he does not learn to hesitate to pee, for fear of outside time being over immediately) then bring him back to his bed. Return him to the crate, again with a couple of treats (kibble will do fine).

Turn the light out and let him settle the same way as before. He may fuss for a few moments, but if he is well exercised from the day before he will settle soon. Then pup will likely need to be up again early in the morning to potty. Once it gets light he'll wake up and his bladder will feel full. Before you even go pee, take him out, so he does not have to soil his crate.


This routine works great for house training and for developing trusting communication between the two of you. Now go ahead and get a couple of books so you are getting better advice than your friends are giving! ;)

Here are my two favs.

Amazon.com: Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog (9781577314554): Dr. Ian Dunbar: Books


Amazon.com: puppy primer



Also, read through some threads here in the puppy sections. You'll pick up a lot of tips!



And watch some kikopups videos. She's the master!




 

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mine didn't need a night wee at 8 weeks but I found if I left any kind of bedding sometimes he'd wet it. So he gets a hard floor and if he needs to pee he will cry to go since the bedding doesn't absorb it and he seems to realize the pee will roll around if he is on a hard floor.

ETA: mine went out around midnight and got up about 630 and we took up the water past 7 pm and made sure he didn't eat any more or exercise a lot after the water was gone.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys!

The crate we are using is quite big, and needs collapsing to move around the house (to take upstairs for example).

We do have a smaller one which we could use for in the bedroom. Would that be a bad idea? Having two crates in the house, would it be confusing for him?
 

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Thanks for the replies guys!

The crate we are using is quite big, and needs collapsing to move around the house (to take upstairs for example).

We do have a smaller one which we could use for in the bedroom. Would that be a bad idea? Having two crates in the house, would it be confusing for him?
Two crates is actually excellent. It has been my technique as well. It won't confuse the pup. In fact, a small night time crate is ideal for a full night, and the larger day time crate becomes more of a contained area where chewing on toys and watching the world go by, as well as napping, are all activities to be enjoyed in that safe space too.


And to Marbear, perhaps your pup did need to wee at night, that's why he would do so if there was bedding in his crate. Certainly it is uncomfortable for a mammal to have a full bladder with no relief! ;)
 

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Ok, here's a quick update! He went in the smaller crate last night and slept through from about 11.30 to 5.15. Took him straight out and he did a pretty big wee! Also, more importantly, he hadn't done any wees during the night - probably because he didn't have the space to do one without sleeping in it!

In his big crate he has space to wee away from his bed. I think we'll continue with his smaller night time crate for now - hopefully it will continue to improve his bladder control as he gets older.
 
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