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Should I ignore my puppy during the night?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by CML2020, Aug 21, 2020.


  1. CML2020

    CML2020 PetForums Newbie

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    My cocker spaniel puppy is just over 4 months old, his toilet training has gone really well, hardly any accidents, I’ve been letting him out regularly during the day and we’re at the stage where he will go to the door and ask to go out ... night time is a different story though!
    He sleeps in his crate downstairs at night, but ever since we got him at 8 weeks he has barked at some point during the night to ask to go out, this can range from 2am to 6am, I go down, let him out, he has a wee, I praise him and then he goes back in his crate and I go back to bed - I realise this was normal for a puppy at 8 weeks old, but now at 4 months old should he be able to last from say 11pm to 7am? Should I be ignoring the barking during the night? I worry by keep going to him in the night he has no reason to even try to hold it and will always expect me to get up and let him out even when he’s an adult, I’m just not sure if he’s still too young to ‘force’ to hold on?
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Hello and welcome

    No you shouldn’t ignore him, he is telling you he needs to go does he go before bed ? Four months is still little.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    No.

    At 4 months he’s still very young and they often take a backward step too.

    Maybe set an alarm for say, 5 and if he hasn’t woken you himself earlier go down and pop him out to wee. That way you can gradually start to move that time closer to your own routine, hopefully.
     
  4. CML2020

    CML2020 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, yes we always let him out for a wee and usually a poo before bed. At what age should I expect him to sleep through the night? It doesn’t bother me getting up to let him out as he does actually go, I was just worried I was teaching him to not bother holding it and it would come back to bite me when he is older!
     
  5. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    It really depends on the dogs in my limited experience. My boys held it through quite young but my female boxer would often need to go in the night. It’s good he’s asking to go out now. Ps puppy photos are a must.
     
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  6. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    I’d never ‘force’ him to hold on. It won’t work - at his age, when he can’t hold on, he’ll go. By letting him out, you’re not teaching him to not bother holding - you’re just letting him meet a natural need and showing him that he’s doing the right thing. And, actually, if he has to go in his crate you might actually negate the value of the crate in toilet training - the idea that a dog won’t go in it’s own space and that once the dog has ‘gone’ (because it has no option), it crosses a rubicon and may then continue to do so.
    So, yes, get up when he barks and let him out. It’s actually great that he’s alerting you and he’s learnt that he needs to tell you when he needs to get out. As he is able to hold himself, he will do so, so don’t worry about that. :)
    There are various rules of thumb as to how long a dog of a certain age should be able to hold itself, but I think it varies from dog to dog, as Boxer123 says. I also suspect that smaller dogs cannot hold as long as bigger dogs - but that’s just my own theorising, nothing more - it just seems to make sense from a physiological point of view.
    So, just keep up the good work. :)
    I’d also back up Boxer123 on saying we like to see photos!
     
  7. CML2020

    CML2020 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the replies, I’ll carry on with my early morning wake up calls ... thankfully I find it easy to go back to sleep!

    I have posted pics before but have ended up with 2 accounts, (my phone seems to log me into one and my computer logs me in to a different one that I thought I had lost the password for!) and I think the pics were in my other account :confused:


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    I just want to say thanks to everyone who has replied to me posts, the help and advice has been so valuable. It’s been 20 years since I had a puppy last and it’s a bit of a blur so it’s really nice to be able to ask people who have more knowledge or more recent experience. I am sure I’ll come across more random situations that I want to ask questions about so please bear with me!
    I am really enjoying having Charlie, he’s such a sweet puppy, full of energy and mischief and always making me smile :D
    I’m really enjoying training him (and he seems to enjoy it as well), it’s so nice to see him learn new things and how quickly he grasps them ... sometimes a bit too quick, like he has realised when I put my jacket on it’s usually because I’m about to take him for a walk so he goes nuts and hyper so I’m having to put it on at random for 10 minutes to take the excitement out of it :D
    Anyway, a bit of a ramble but thank you all!
     
    LittleMow and Lurcherlad like this.
  8. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    Well, Charlie made me smile - on a very wet, miserable day! :) Thank you.
    ‘Hyper’ is a working Cocker’s main mode, isn’t it? :D
     
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  9. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    What a cute little pupper.
     
    CML2020 likes this.
  10. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    He's gorgeous.
    And yes, keep getting up to let him out.
     
    Lurcherlad, CML2020 and JoanneF like this.
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