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Toilet/Crate training at night

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Sazzer, Aug 6, 2009.


  1. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    We have had Suki for 4 days now and are in need of some advice! She's a 10 week old westie pup and we're having problems at night. During the day she is downstairs I'm taking her out every hour or so - she seems to be getting the hang of going to the toilet outside already and we only had one wee in the house yesterday when I took my eyes off her for 2 minutes!

    The problem is at night. For the first few nights we had her bed in our room upstairs (the downstairs is alarmed at night) but she found it really hard to settle and kept trying to get up on our bed. We ignored her but didn't get much sleep! She also weed and pooed upstairs during the night.

    I spoke to a friend who has a dog and she recommended crate training so she has her own little den and learns that this is her safe place to sleep. So yesterday we got her used to her crate, making it cosy with a blanket over and putting toys/food in there. She was going in there on her own accord during the day and seemed pretty happy. I knew it was going to be a hard night for her with the change but it was a nightmare!

    We moved her crate upstairs into the room next to ours (we don't really want to encourage her to sleep in our room so thought we'd get her used to the other room asap) but she cried for hours. I went in at about 2am (still crying) and she had pooed in her bed so I got her out and cleaned up and she went back in again. Then she carried on crying for about an hour - so hard not to go to her but we didn't. I got up at 7am and she had pooed again and had some diarrhea this morning poor little thing.

    I took her straight out this morning and she pooed outside, although still runny.

    I feel absolutely awful about leaving her crying last night and her being so upset :(

    Should I get up in the night to let her out to the toilet, even if she is still crying? I don't want to teach her that crying will mean she gets let out and attention. But then I know she's only a puppy and can't hold her bladder for that long.

    Any advice appreciated x
     
  2. Fleur

    Fleur Vassal to Lilly and Ludo

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    I've just posted this on the serious whining at night thread.
     
  3. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Fleur, it's good to hear another viewpoint and your method sounds preferable to letting her lie in her own mess -it seemed very wrong to me. It's so hard to know what to do with so much conflicting advice! My only worry would be if she still cries all night in our room - did you offer any reassurance when your puppy was in the crate in your room e.g. talk to them or pat them, or did you ignore them until they were asleep and then just take them out if they started crying again? Did they revert back to crying when you moved the crate?
     
  4. Pam/Holly

    Pam/Holly PetForums Senior

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    I would leave the crate downstairs if she is happy to go in there in the day you are half way there, and only make the problem worse by moving her. She needs a routine in one place.
     
  5. Ted&Sarah

    Ted&Sarah PetForums Junior

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    We had a similar problem - left him downstairs but after 3 weeks he still cried a lot at night and pooed so we brought him to our bedroom and straight away he slept all night quietly without messing. He is still upstairs with us but on the landing, not in our room. He does have a crate which he is in at night and when we go out, which he likes but on the whole likes to be with us!

    It seems to me that some methods work for some dogs but not others. We plan to slowly move him down stairs to the kitchen to sleep.

    Hope this helps!
     
  6. Vikegirl

    Vikegirl PetForums Junior

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    Sorry to butt in, but just interested as to how some of you move the crates up and downstairs to allow pup to sleep near you? Our crate is 30 inches long, and weighs a ton, and I don't think I'd physically be able to carry it up the stairs, especially not every night. Do you use a smaller crate or something? Just trying to work out the logistics of how we are going to make this work.
     
  7. Nicky09

    Nicky09 PetForums VIP

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    The dogs sleep downstairs in their crates we've never allowed them in the bedroom. If you get up a couple of times a night and just take her outside no fuss wait until she goes and then back to bed. If you do this from day one its much more settling for her rather then moving the crate around.
     
  8. Pam/Holly

    Pam/Holly PetForums Senior

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    I would leave the crate in one place do not move it around. I don't allow my dog upstairs.
     
  9. Hb-mini

    Hb-mini PetForums VIP

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    I agree with everything fleur said! :)
     
  10. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.

    We need to move her upstairs at night as the house is alarmed downstairs. Also, when we start to leave her when we go out she will need to go upstairs (again - because of the alarm) so we want to get her used to it - eventually we want her have the run of one of the rooms upstairs when we're out/at night.

    Good news though :), we had a good night last night with different tactics! I think moving the crate is unsettling her so we're going to leave it upstairs from now on (Vikegirl - the crate is a collapsable one and isn't that heavy so is easy to move about). Last night we put it at the other side of our bedroom and put a hot water bottle in there for her to make it cosy. We also put a ticking clock next to it to soothe her and I sprayed some DAP spray in there (replicates pheromones produced by mum and helps calm them). When we went to bed she settled in there nearly straight away and slept through all night, no crying! We didn't close the door - that's something we've decided to build up to slowly once she's happy in there and comes to see it as her own safe place.

    We're planning to move it a bit each night until she's in the other room - fingers crossed!

    She seems a lot happier today anyway and is full of beans. I think some dogs are just more sensitive than others and closing the crate door and leaving her just made her get herself into a state.

    Incidentally, I spoke to the vet yesterday and she said that the pooing in the night thing would stop once she gets a bit older and can control herself more. She was a dog owner and said she hadn't got up to let them out in the night and that they'd grown out of it pretty quick. Although I'm guessing toilet training will be quicker if you do let them out in the night.
     
  11. Pam/Holly

    Pam/Holly PetForums Senior

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    Glad you had a good night last night, it is a matter of finding what suits both you and the dog best and they are all different the same as we are all different.
    It does make it a little more difficult trying to housetrain if your dog is kept upstairs but I am sure you will get round that eventually.
    We have the sensors that are pet friendly on our alarm so that she can't set the alarm off.
     
  12. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    Yep I think it is making it more difficult taking her upstairs, especially since its more of a trek to the garden! Pet friendly alarm sensors sound good - wish we had those! Am sure we'll get there eventually though with some patience :)
     
  13. fun4fido

    fun4fido PetForums Senior

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    Hi,

    You are doing the right thing by crate training, and it's normal for her to cry and whine when left alone, until she's settled in with her new family and new routine. But you are quite right, you shouldn't go to her when she's whining/crying, wait for a quiet moment (this only needs to be 5 secs), then go to her, but only if you think it's because she needs to eliminate.

    Do you have a daily routine going, this would be really helpful, so write up a schedule for

    • feed time
    • toilet time
    • play/training time
    • crate time (she should go in during the day for a few hours here and there to rest/sleep, or when you can't supervise; so that she can't practice undesired behaviours, build up time gradually)
    • socialisation time
    • handling time (where you practice grooming her, cleaning ears etc)

    Getting her in to a routine will really help with toileting and settling her in, make her environment fairly predictable

    Some pups need to be given the opportunity to eliminate at least once during the night, so make sure she has eliminated last thing before you put her to bed. Then don't wait for her to wake you, you go wake her up half way though sleep time, take her outside, no play, no fuss. When she eliminates give her calm, quiet praise, and then straight back to bed.

    I think you will also find this helpful:

    Successful Crate Training
     
  14. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    Great advice many thanks, and the crate training article is also very detailed and useful.

    Suki is doing really well, she is sleeping in her crate at night no problem (with door open still at the moment) and we've now moved it to the opposite side of our room near the door. Hoping to move it into the room next to ours in the next few nights so she's not sleeping in our room at all.

    We are getting up at about 5.30am to let her out to the toilet which is also working.

    I'm now going to start training her to let us close the door to the crate. Going to start off with short periods as the article says and try to build it up. I'm also leaving food and treats in there and training her to go in there when I say 'bed'. Fingers crossed this method works.

    Can I just say to anyone reading this article that many people (including the vet) told us to put her in the crate and leave her all night. This has NOT worked for us and just made her be scared of her crate - something we're now working to rectify. Depending on your dog you'll need to alter what you do to suit them - I guess some dogs take to it quicker than others.
     
  15. Pam/Holly

    Pam/Holly PetForums Senior

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    Well done to both you and your dog. I am so pleased to hear that it is working for you slow but sure, you are a caring and very patient dog owner and I am sure you will get there very soon.
    I totally agree all dogs are different and need different training. My dog was used to being in a crate from a puppy with her siblings and this helped tremendously.
     
  16. betterdogs

    betterdogs PetForums Newbie

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    What I would suggest you is to get your dog trained. The best way to train your dog is to train it at your home. I know of one such trainer who trains your dog right at your home. They are Better Dogs. They specialize in Gwinnett County dog taining and many such services.You can visit their website for more details. I am sure they will be of great help. Kudos!
     
  17. Sazzer

    Sazzer PetForums Newbie

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    Good news, Suki slept in her crate in the other room last night! :D

    A bit of whining and complaining at first but my definate 'bed' commands seemed to work and in the end she got the message and went to bed. Hooray!

    Message to others - be patient and you'll get there! It's only taken a week and we've achieved our goal of her not sleeping in our room with the minimum or upset and fuss.

    Now just need to crack the toilet training which is still quite hit and miss! Yesterday she was going to the back door to be let out for a wee - thought I'd nearly cracked it! However, think I spoke too soon as today she seems to think under the kitchen table is the place to go! Ah well, will just keep trying :rolleyes:
     
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