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Puppy house training / sleep advice

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by kev51773, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. kev51773

    kev51773 PetForums Newbie

    Aug 28, 2013
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    Hi all,

    I've recently bought a 14 week old female Rottweiler cross Bullmastiff pup. We've had her for about 10 days now. I've got two problems that I'm struggling with.

    The first is house training. Because the weather was good when we had her, we've basically left the back door open since we had her (as long as we're in the house and awake). If the back door is open she does her business outside 100% of the time and has done since day one. If the back door is closed she goes by the back door with no warning at all. I'm trying to figure out the best way to get her to let us know that she needs to go out so that we don't need to continue leaving the door open all the time.

    The second is sleep (or just being left alone at all really) With all my past dogs, I've been a firm believer in just leaving them in the room they're going to sleep in and ignoring the crying for 2-3 days until they get used to it. This time, that absolutely will not work. I've given her some of my old clothes for a familiar scent, I've given her a hot water bottle, a ticking clock, left a radio on and just about anything else I can think of. She will quite literally stay awake for the entire night scratching and banging on the door and digging up my kitchen floor. This has been going on since we had her and we're about to start having serious issues with the neighbours because of the noise.
    Yesterday I borrowed a crate from a friend and introduced her to it over the course of the day, when night time came, I left her in the crate in the living room where she's most comfortable and then left her. She was exactly the same and in the end, in the interests of preserving both my sanity and relations with my neighbours, I took the crate upstairs into my bedroom.
    After about a minute of whining she settled and slept.
    I'm not a huge fan of dogs in the bedroom but if it works I can live with it, but it gives me a problem with house training again. I set alarms for every three hours through the night to take her outside. At the first alarm I picked her up and took her outside and waited 20 minutes. She just lay on the floor and went to sleep. I put her back in the crate and half an hour later she'd done (both) her business in the crate.

    I could probably think my way around the problem if I could get a few hours sleep but I'm currently dead on my feet. I've kept dogs all my life and never had such difficulty.

    Any advice on where to go from here?
  2. Buzzard

    Buzzard PetForums VIP

    Aug 10, 2012
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    Hi. Our puppt was the same at night time. Then we did crate training. I put the crate in the lounge and slept on the sofa for 2 nights. First night in view of Mac, 2nd night on the other sofa out of sight. 3 rd night sneaked upstairs. Always leave radio on low for him. We didn't want him upstairs as we have two young children who need a place to play lego etc without a puppy getting in the way.m

    Regarding the housetraining, when you let the pup out during the night is he toileting every time? The way we did it was gradually increase the gap between. Every 3 hours, then 4 hours until we had him through the night. Mac was holding through the night by 14 weeks (lab x springer).

    Regarding toileting by the back door, try and interrupt him as soon as he goes to toilet by the door and say no and put outside then if he does some outside always praise and treat.

    Good luck.
  3. DirtyGertie

    DirtyGertie PetForums VIP

    Mar 12, 2011
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    You're not exactly training her are you? She's going out and toiletting but she's not being taught that's the right thing to do. Have a read of the house training sticky http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/75317-housetraining-your-pup-older-dog.html which should help.

    I got some Poochie Bells and trained Poppy to ring them when she wanted to go outside. There are other types of bells too, google should find them.

    Can't help with the sleeping situation much as I didn't have too much of a problem but I think either try Buzzard's idea or I'd be taking the crate up to the bedroom and when your pup is used to it I'd start moving it further away, onto the landing, then eventually where you want her to sleep.
  4. LolaPup2013

    LolaPup2013 PetForums Member

    Jul 5, 2013
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    I cant really offer much advice in the terms of your training as i stay in an apartment so i have no access to a backdoor/garden. However i think this has helped me greatly as when we are in the house and in living area - i can close door over and after only 2 dirty accidents (in 6weeks weve had her) and stil a few pees now and again she does sit at the door and whine especially if she needs a number 2.

    What i would suggest is going back to basics as having the door open isnt really teaching her what to do in event of the door being closed. So the times you should have her out are first thing in morning. After food (with Lola we take her out after food and sometimes she will only do a pee as she cant hold pees for too long while awake, then she will tell us when she needs a number 2 but before she did we would leave it 20-30mins for her food to digest then take her back out again). Also whenever she wakes up and if shes been running around/playing really excited then prob need a pee.
    Always go to same door and make her sit if she can wait long enough, and eventually she will know sitting there means open the door i need out.

    We have Lola in our bedroom in her crate from day one. Is she in a crate still?
    If so make sure its not to big and theres only room for her to turn around and comfortably lie down - this avoid her doing toilet in there as a dog wont toilet where they sleep but if room at the back they may go there if bursting. IF in a crate i wouldnt set an alarm - we did the first night but now we take her out at 12 and she sleeps until 7:30/8am straight and is only 12weeks old.

    I would defo do the crate, in ur room if you dont mind it, and not set an alarm as you will hear her if she needs out, the straight out do toilet, no big lights, quick good girl then back to bed.

    Good Luck :)
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    With the toilet training I would go back to basics and start like you would from scratch with a pup when you first bring them home. Although you have been lucky that she takes herself outside, without proper training and re-enforcement that's the only place to go then that's likely why she toilets indoors too. Pups at her age even though they may be getting there often have relapses anyway, and you need to pro actively toilet them for a good while.

    I would take her out every 30/45 minutes and go out with her, usually taken out frequently for shorter periods works better then infrequently and staying out there. I wouldn't continuously have the door open either. When she starts to go, use a word of choice, if you use it everytime she will associate the word with toileting eventually and once she does you can use it as a toilet cue/command often getting them to toilet on command. When she has finished lots of praise and give her some treats, that will re-enforce that is the correct place, and also encourage her to want to do it again and eventually more likely tell you when she needs to go. They usually need to go after drinking, eating, playing and sleeping, so make sure that you get her out then too.

    If she has an accident, make sure you clean up with a special pet stain/odour remover as any smells left will encourage repeats in the same areas. Also don't tell her off for accidents, it can make some, become nervous about going in front of you and more likely sneak off and do it. It can also make toilet training harder in general.

    Personally I had mine within sight and sound of me when toilet training at night, so that when they woke or stirred in the night then I took them out. I found that as the days went by they stirred or woke less and less, and the times they needed to go in the night decreased until they were going through until morning more naturally. It probably took 2 maybe nearer 3 weeks before they were going through until morning.

    Some people do set an alarm and take them out in the night once or twice, and it does work if they cant go right through yet, due to not having the capacity to hold large amounts for long periods or enough control yet, there is always the rest though that you are waking them when they would have naturally carried on sleeping or they don't need to go, which maybe is whats happening with her. Its usually the need that makes them wake or stir naturally. As your having trouble with her being vocal and wont settle anyway in the night, its probably not a bad idea to have her with you while doing the toilet training, while you are training her to cope and sleep alone too.

    By having the door closed, and physically regularly taking her out and training and re-enforcing thats the place to go consistently she should begin to tell you when she needs to go eventually. Or all mine have, one stands by the back door and whines or barks to tell you to open it, and another of mine, comes up to you vocalises and walks backwards to tell me she needs to go, the other runs up and runs round in circles so they do develope their own various ways of telling you or so Ive found.

    Has she got access to you all the time in the day and when your in? If she does then that can make the over dependant and unable to cope alone, from her behaviour at night, it sounds like she is getting stressed and anxious about being left.

    Its usually best to start weaning them off gradually, when you are in so that they learn to cope starting with short periods as part of their routine. If the kitchen is where she is to stay ideally, when you are out or at night, make that the place for her routine times of self amusement, wind down and rest.
    If you are shutting a solid closed door on her then that often doesn't help. A dog control gate to confine them is often best taller and ore robust then a baby gate as its not so isolating.

    The best time to start is after a walk, training or play session when they have gotten rid of excess energy, be more tired and more likely to settle.
    Just take her there no fuss, and leave her with something to self amuse and make a good association with being left. A safe type chew, a kong stuffed with wet dog food if on wet or a kong wobbler if on dry, you can use some of her meal allowance, or the kong classics you can fill with various things and even freeze to make them last. Just leave her with something and walk away with no fuss. At first you will need to return before she starts to get vocal and stressed, even if it is for very short periods. Let he out with no fuss and ignore her for another minute or two and then call her to you and lots of praise and fuss. You then build up these routine periods of time alone gradually in time while you are in. You can still use all the other things you have been using too that so far didn't seem to work as they may help.

    Once she can cope and for longer periods and being alone becomes part of her daily routine, you can then do the same thing, when you do go out and then at bed time too.
    Picklelily likes this.
  6. dogandbone

    dogandbone PetForums Member

    Apr 21, 2010
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    I have always let all my puppies sleep in the bedroom with me, partly because I'm a bit of a softy and don't believe in the tough approach of leaving them alone during the night and ignoring their cries (it's a big enough ordeal for them being separated from their mum at such a young age) but also so I can hear when they stir during the night and I can let them out for toilet training.
  7. kev51773

    kev51773 PetForums Newbie

    Aug 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for all the replies, I'll take a little time to digest them and formulate a plan.

    To clarify further,

    Regarding house training - I have been rewarding outside toileting and putting her outside when I notice one by the back door to reinforce where to go. The back door is mainly left open as a 'just in case' measure. However, I guess this may not be helping the situation as she seems to expect it to be open now and if its not she doesn't even pause for a second before going about her business.

    Regarding bed time - She probably is over dependent currently as a result of school holidays in a house with 4 kids and one toilet which is next to the kitchen. Giving her any alone time to self amuse is rather difficult. I've only tried the crate for one night so far and I guess if I can get her to tell me when she needs the toilet during the day, then the night times in the crate ought to work better too.
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