It’s easy for most pet owners to potty train their pups for the daytime. Pet owners usually know the drill. They take the puppy out when they wake up in the morning, once they have eaten, and any other time they start to get a little too sniffy. The main issue starts when night arrives. And you have to remember that puppies are, after all, babies. So are you wondering should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? Then you have to remember that potty training puppies do mean more work and less sleep. This will ultimately pay off when you see that your dog is conducting most of their business outside. So read on to find out why and how you can train your pup for overnight potty sessions.
The Details To Night Time Potty Training
Most pup owners are yet to comprehend the fact that it takes a huge load of work to raise a puppy. You need to carry out the potty training and command training in tandem. In the meantime, you need to ensure that your puppy has enough chew toys so that they leave your shoes alone. Your puppy is a bundle of energy, and if you are still not sure if you should wake your puppy up to pee at night, then be rest assured you need to wake up at night to take them out as part of the potty training.
It’s All About The Age
If you are an owner of a young puppy, then it must be under your serious consideration to take your pup out to pee at night by waking them up. You must know that puppies that are below four months are not well capable of controlling or holding their urine throughout the whole night. At some point in the night, they will get the signal to pee from their bodies. If they aren’t trained, be prepared to find a mess in their crate or on the floor in the morning. So add it to your task list to take your puppy out to pee at least once during the night.
Setting Up The Crate
You should not give in to the urge to get a crate that is too large for your dog. A dog normally does not want to soil the area they sleep in. You should look for a crate that is big enough for them to just turn around in. As they grow bigger, you can get larger crates. This added expense will be worth it when you consider a better experience for the potty training. You need to wait until your dog is completely trained and has grown fully before getting the bigger crate that you always wanted for your dog.
There are some crates that you can buy that has a divider that you can put in while they are small, then take it out when they grow into the crate.
Get Prepared For Bedtime
Ensuring that there are no untoward incidents the whole night with your pup requires more than just setting the alarm. The bedtime needs to be prepared for by taking all the required precautions that warrant an accident-free night. The best practice is to feed dinner to your puppy at least 4 hours before they go to bed and pull up their water a couple of hours before bedtime. To some, it might seem like a cruel practice. But in reality, you will not be dehydrating or starving your puppy.
In fact, if you feed your pup early and pull their water a considerable amount of time before bed, you will be ensuring that your puppy will finish their business well before they go to sleep. To make this happen, you need to take them out right before you put them to bed. So if you are still thinking, should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? Your question can be answered by feeding your pup early.
Set The Alarm for Night Potty Time
The alarm should be set for just after 4 hours of your pup going to bed. You must be sure to follow this, especially for the youngest puppies. You need to get the timing just right enough for your pup to have enough in their body to do their business, but not late enough so that they cannot get out the door. If you notice that the pup has already soiled the area, you need to set the alarm for 3 hours instead of 4 for next time. And if the crate has not been soiled, then set it for 15 minutes later than the previous time.
“HURRY UP!!. I GOTTA GO!!”
By shifting the times around according to the situation, you can reduce the likelihood of a re-occurrence. The main objective of the whole process is to make sure that your pup does not go inside the house under any circumstance, no matter what.
Going To The Night Potty Area
“I’m half awake, but I really needed to potty. Thank you!”
Once your furry friend is up at night, you need to calmly take them to the area that you have designated for potty. Be sure not to do anything that might give them the impression that it is now time to play. Your dog must realize that potty time is for business only, not for playing or anything else, especially if it’s at night since you do want to get some sleep afterward. If they start to sniff around, quickly ask them to go potty. Once your pup has finished doing their business, you should praise them in a calm and quiet manner. Be sure to not let any situation get over-the-top during the alarm potty sessions of nighttime, or none of you will get any sleep afterward.
Going Back To Bed
“Now back to dreaming.”
After your dog has finished their business, do not waste any time and take them right back inside the house to their crate. Just part with them with a “good pup” and quickly go back to your own bed. Do not stay back with your dog for any period of time, as this might result in un-training the sleep routine you tried so hard to enforce in the first place. The whole target of the process should be to minimize night time disruption and get the business done as quickly as possible.
Summary of Potty Training at Night
You might be concerned about should I wake my puppy up to pee at night? There is no alternative to waking up at night with your puppy for the night time potty training to be successful. If your puppy is really young, you might need to get up twice every night. But their bladder will grow as they get older. You will come down to waking up once every night soon. And then eventually you will not need to get up at night at all. You have to be patient and persistent throughout this whole process if you want the training to be successful. So follow the tips mentioned in this article to get the best results for potty training.
I couldn’t pass up this article. It is a funny way of understanding and taking care of a puppy you just brought home through the puppies view. Article is by Kathy Callahan, CPDT-KA.
The secret to getting through the first year is empathy. Remember your pup was taken from a different culture!
A secret thought – unutterable even to family members – keeps more than a few new-puppy owners up at night:
“What if this was a mistake?”
New owners tell me, sometimes in a whisper, that they must be missing something. Getting a puppy was supposed to be fun, but all they feel is stress. Frustration. Even anger.
They seek me out for the Magic Answers, the training tips that will bring peace. Tell me they are at their wit’s end with the biting, the peeing, and the destruction. They get out their notebooks, ready to record expert information, personalized for their situation.
I absolutely do have those tips and tricks, strategies and game plans. Here’s the problem: They’re not going to work without the right mindset. There is actually just one thing I want new owners to write down in that notebook, so they can make it a part of every interaction they have with their puppy:
“This is a baby thatI kidnapped from another planet…”
The way to enjoy puppyhood – and emerge from it with a beautifully trained dog – is to get in the right headspace. A real, live puppy won’t fit neatly into your regular life, and trying to make it so is a recipe for constant angst. The happiest puppy people are the ones who dive into this phase and back-burner their other things.
Need a convincing reason to do that, because it feels wrong to prioritise a little ball of fluff? Try this:
Just a baby!
From another planet!
Far away from its own people, its own customs.
Lead with the empathy that idea demands, and you’ll find your groove. When you adjust your expectations for this little puppy to where they should be, suddenly training is simple. Not easy, but simple. Just remember the puppies view.
A FRUSTRATED MINDSET BLOCKS PROBLEM-SOLVING
The “poor baby” bit may sound ridiculous to you if you have a new puppy now napping, rather indulgently, in your lap. After all, this pup is lucky to have landed with you. Not only is there plenty of food, but there is an expensive dog bed and an overflowing toy basket. More importantly, you have turned your whole dang life upside-down for this dog. It seems like all you do is deal with the puppy!
But the more relevant truth is this: Before you took him home, that 8-week-old puppy spent every single moment of his little life in a cozy, warm scrum with his own kind. He was cheerily hanging out with his family doing everything that comes naturally to dogs: wrestling, biting, sniffing, chewing, and jumping. Never was he alone.
He had no idea you were going to swoop in, kidnap him, take him to a new planet and, here’s the kicker, suddenly be mad at him for everything that is prized in his culture. All from a puppies view.
Let that sink in.
Take your time.
Aw, shucks. Now you feel sad. And you want to know what good it does to ponder this depressing thought. After all, this is how it has to go – it’s not like the puppies can live on Planet Dog together forever.
But forcing yourself to sit with this concept increases your empathy for the puppy in front of you. If your mind is focused on your own disappointments (pee on the carpet again! more chewed shoes!), it leads to negative interactions with your puppy that can only hinder progress.
If, instead, your mind is filled to the brim with what your poor puppy must be feeling (confused, lonely), your own anger should evaporate. And that makes room for effective problem-solving. Think like what the puppies view in our world.
In my experience, the Magic Answer to all of puppyhood is empathy. Not some fancy dog-trainer technique. Plain old empathy. I promise it’ll make you happier and make you a dramatically better dog trainer, especially as you learn to negotiate your kidnapped alien puppy’s native ways: using one’s mouth to explore the world, co-sleeping, moving around in an unrestricted fashion, and going potty whenever and wherever one has to.
Let’s look at how empathy can help you deal with each of the puppy’s natural, normal behaviors that you may find problematic.
Puppies View: EVERYONE BITES ON PLANET DOG
On Planet Dog, everyone in polite society explores new things by mouth. Given the absence of hands, it’s the most effective, most satisfying way to engage. Puppies, in particular, use their mouths to play with their friends and to learn about the world.
People who don’t give any weight to their puppies view background culture are alarmed by this mouthiness. They feel they may have picked “the wrong one.” They stuff the pup in the crate for another hour, thinking, “That’ll teach her.” The kids cry, saying,
“I don’t like her! She’s biting me!”
It doesn’t need to be this way. Owners who operate out of Planet Dog empathy will wake up in the morning to a bitey pup and their first thought will be, “Oh! You are missing playing with your friends the way you used to! You’re trying to play with us that way!” The thinking cap goes on and the mind is open. As your puppies view only guide to Planet Human, how can you help this dear toddler who’s trying her best in a challenging transition? Suddenly the answers are obvious:
Bite-wrestle playdates with other puppies or gentle adult dogs. This is not a luxury, but instead an everyday need for all from Planet Dog. Once puppies have a happy outlet for that mouthy socialization, they are beautifully able to begin to learn our human ways.
Long, flat, fluffy toys that allow pup to safely play a familiar-feeling bitey game (tug of war) with her human friends.
The gentle teaching of new games that do not involve mouthiness: fetch, sit-spin-touch for treats, “find it,” etc.
People often tell me their puppy “just doesn’t understand the word no,” particularly regarding mouthiness. My answer is that when you set up your puppy’s day to match her needs, you’ll barely need to say no. Saying “no” a lot means you may have forgotten that you – say it with me – “Kidnapped! A baby! From another planet!” Having taken that dramatic action, it’s only right to do everything you can to help her adjust.
THERE IS NO ALONE-NESS ON PLANET DOG
Foster pup Lita is learning to be okay “alone” as author Kathy Callahan works on the other side of the gate. Callahan’s book, 101Rescue Puppies: One Family’s Story of Fostering Dogs, Love, and Trust, is now available
On Planet Dog, puppies are virtually never alone. From the moment they’re born, they’re surrounded by littermates and within a leap or two of their mom. That makes for constant companionship, exercise, and warmth.
Once brought to Planet Human, a puppy might spend the vast majority of his time alone in a cold crate in an empty kitchen. When this toddler naturally cries out for companionship, he is yelled at by the human who is his sole connection in this new life. “He needs to learn. He already had a walk around the block, plus I just played with him for a while. Now I’m busy.” Sigh.
Leading with empathy makes it obvious that, while of course eventually this baby needs to learn to hang out alone, shock treatment is not the most effective learning experience. Furthermore, it can easily have the unintended consequence of making it even scarier to be alone. Once inside your puppy’s head, you’ll gravitate toward a stair-step approach to help your pup learn to be confidently alone. You’ll think about combining:
A wonderfully tiring morning doggy playdate.
A little brain-stimulating training.
Moving your laptop into the kitchen for a while; then to the spot right outside the kitchen gate but in puppy’s sight.
As our little alien gets used to life with humans over the first weeks – aided by Planet Dog-oriented approaches like these – pretty soon puppy is happily enjoying his own company for reasonable stretches of the day that can get longer every week.
THERE ARE NO LEASHES ON PLANET DOG
Few puppies have had experience with having a leash attached to their collars before they are adopted. Don’t expect your new family member to immediately accept, much less understand, pressure from a leash.
Imagine a recently kidnapped puppy’s terror when a tight thing is slapped on and suddenly she is pulled around by the neck! Even worse, she is yanked outside into a world she’s never seen before, with loud noises and other creatures that are utterly foreign. Her struggles to escape only make matters worse – the noose tightens!
So many new owners are mystified when this pup is reluctant to accompany them. They just pull her along thinking, “She’s so weird! All dogs like walks. I’m sure she’ll get used to it.” And generally, she does – but only after experiencing a lot of fear and losing trust in her human.
In contrast, owners who remember the key information – “Just a baby!” – will consider how terrifying this controlling neck-strap could be, which opens up the mind to all sorts of ideas. “Hmm … How could I make this vital safety equipment less frightening to a baby?”
Maybe spending the first afternoon with just a light little collar and progressing to an attached light kitty leash the pup can drag around.
Perhaps by the end of the day you’re picking up the end of the leash from time to time, throwing treats ahead of the pup so her focus is forward, on that.
Later, you’re happily doing all of that out in the backyard, with the pup getting used to tension on the neck every now and then while you’re feeding a tiny bite of hot dog.
Maybe you’re also sitting together out front and watching the world go by, sharing a bit of cheese when loud trucks or new folks pass, just to form some happy associations.
Within days, this pup raised in empathy is happily walking on leash up and down the street with her trusted owner, who feels all the closer to her pup for the mini-journey they’ve just taken. (It’s likely that the other owner, who was in a rush to get these walks going, still will be wrestling with a skittish walker weeks later.)
ON PLANET DOG, YOU CAN PEE ANYWHERE
The #1 issue creating the tossing and turning of the new-pup owners I counsel is the challenge of housetraining. Even the most committed seem to buckle at the three-week mark and confess to yelling.
Alas, our little kidnapped baby just learned, from that angry shout, that her person is scary. Unpredictable. Not to be trusted. Training will now go more slowly. Maybe she will always hold back just a bit because of the intimidating yelling from “her person” at this sensitive age. Who knows what lesson she learned from that punishment? Options include:
I’d better hide from humans if I need to pee! Maybe behind the couch.
I don’t want to pee in front of a human, so I won’t pee on leash anymore.
Right before my person yelled I was looking at the small child, so that must be a bad thing on this planet. I will run from small children now!
Our human housebreaking rules make very little sense to the folks from Planet Dog. While it is obvious to you that the dining room carpet is no place to relieve yourself, to your puppy it seems ideal: it’s away from the prime living space, and it’s got nice absorption, plus traction! Start with empathy, understand that your pup has drastically different instincts than you, and set him up for success:
Do not give him the freedom that will lead to “accidents.” (They’re hardly accidents when the individual doing them has no idea they’re doing something wrong!)
Keep eyes on that puppy 100% of the time he’s not in his crate. “Eyes on” does not mean “in room with laptop open.” Learn his signals (abruptly walking to a corner? sniffing the ground?) and respond immediately.
A human needs to get that pup outside, and walking around, once every half hour to start! Only with success can that stretch to 45 minutes, then an hour ….
No shortcuts. I’d sugar-coat it for you but that doesn’t do you any good in the long run, so here it is: After a week or two, every “accident” is your fault. I’m so sorry.
“Hey!” You may be saying. “Where’s the empathy for the human?!?” I know. It’s just that you’ll get that elsewhere, when you talk to other humans who can’t believe you actually got a puppy. I’m here to speak for the puppy, who did not choose to be kidnapped by aliens who thought they could carry on their regular day-to-day afterward.
THE DREAM IS IN REACH
Frustrated new puppy owners think they’re not asking much. “Sheesh, I just want to hang out with him and cuddle.” But that’s not actually true. We also ask them not to bark, jump, bite, pee, sniff, or chew. Sometimes, it’s as if we’re asking them not to be dogs.
It is frankly amazing to me how well puppies do during this overwhelming period of transition, from one planet to another. They are beautifully adaptable – so adaptable that even when shoe-horned immediately into a human’s world of doggy “no’s” they often do okay.
Understanding Planet Dog and Puppies View
But in the homes where Planet Dog empathy rules from Day One? Those are the homes where the whole puppyhood thing looks just like it does in the storybooks. Sure, some real-life things had to be put on the back burner for six months. But there was no tossing and turning, and there were no secret thoughts of regret. These are the folks who wonder what they did before they got this new friend. They are also, by the way, the people whose dog is walking at a relaxed heel with a loose lead, gazing up at them, wondering what happy thing might be next.
Dogs can make a mess of your yard when they relieve themselves anywhere they want. Dog pee causes brown spots on grass and makes your lawn less attractive. There’s also the chance that you’ll miss some poop with the scoop, only to step in it later. Plus, it’s not very sanitary or appealing to spend time in the yard if your dog does their business anywhere and everywhere, a particular concern for parents. Fortunately, you can potty train in one spot that you select.
Choose One Spot to Potty Train
Choose a dog potty spot outside of the high traffic areas of your yard. The spot you designate should be appropriate for the size of your dog. A small area might be fine for a toy or small breed dog, but larger breeds are going to need more space. Your dog won’t want to keep peeing and pooping in a tiny area that becomes very smelly and dirty.
Sometimes, a dog will choose its own spot. If your dog often returns to a particular area to relieve itself, try to make this the toilet area. Just make sure the chosen spot is realistic for you and your desired yard use.
Keep the Potty Spot Area Clean
It’s important to keep your dog’s toilet area clean. You can leave one pile in the area during training to let your dog know that’s the right spot, but make sure not to leave any more than that. If the area gets too soiled, your dog may look to relieve itself somewhere else.
Potty Train In One Spot With Command
Observe the Dog’s Routines
Start by observing your dog’s physical cycle. While you can teach your dog to eliminate on command, you can’t force a dog to eliminate when it’s not physically ready to do so. In addition, you’ll need to understand your dog’s outdoor behaviors: What does it do in preparation for eliminating?
Are there times of day when it seems to need a walk?
When you take it outside, when does it urinate or defecate?
Does your dog need to poop multiple times a day?
Is there a particular time of day when you can pretty much expect your dog to poop?
Whenever you take your dog out to relieve itself, pay attention to its behavior. Dogs usually let us know when they’re about to go by doing things such as spinning, sniffing, or pacing back and forth in one spot. Figure out the signs that let you know your dog is about to relieve itself.
Set a Regular Schedule
It’s easiest for a dog to learn to eliminate on command when it can anticipate a walk. It’s a good idea to have regular walk times; many owners walk their pets first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, and add in a couple of additional walks at convenient times after work or school. Even if you live in a safe area and your dog doesn’t actually need a collar and leash, it’s a good idea to use both during the training period. This will ensure that your dog doesn’t wander off or get distracted as it learns to eliminate on command.
Add a Command
Once you know what behaviors will precede elimination, it’s time to add the command. Wait until you see your dog pacing or spinning, and give the command “hurry up,” “time to go,” or any other command you choose. Say the command clearly and wait until your dog relieves itself.
Reward Good Behavior
As soon as your dog goes, reward it. Give your dog lots of praise in a happy tone of voice and maybe a treat or two. Be sure the reward is something your dog will really enjoy and work for, as it will take some practice for your dog to learn to poop on command.
Practice the Command
This command may take a little longer than some others to teach a dog simply because you can only practice when your dog has to go. To get the fastest results, you need to be consistent. Every time you take your dog out, wait for the signals that it’s ready to go, and then give it the “hurry up” command. Be sure to reward it for going potty immediately. If multiple family members walk the dog, be sure they do exactly the same thing, using the same commands at the same time. Avoid allowing your dog to eliminate outside on its own during this training period.
Problems and Proofing Behavior
After you’ve practiced the command over the course of several days, you should notice the time between giving the command and the time your dog relieves itself getting smaller. It’s time to test the command.
On your next trip outside, take your dog to the spot where you want it to go, and give it the command without waiting for the pacing or spinning or other signals to begin. If your dog has a good understanding of the command, it should relieve itself quickly. If not, go back to practicing for a few more days and then test it out again.
Once your dog seems to have a good grasp of the command, you can make sure that it goes in a timely manner. Start rewarding it only after those times with a short gap between when you give the command and when it relieves itself. If you give the command and it spends several minutes sniffing around before going, it should not get a reward. The dog will quickly learn to go as soon as possible once you give the command.
Confine to Potty Train In One Spot
Just as you don’t allow a dog who isn’t house trained to have free run of the house, a dog not trained to go in one spot shouldn’t have free run of your yard. The best way to keep your dog from going outside of the area you choose is to keep it on a leash. Stand in the spot you’ve chosen, and wait until the dog goes. Don’t let it explore other areas of the yard until that happens.
You can also use temporary fencing to block off the area. Place your dog within the enclosed area and give the potty cue. Let your dog out of the enclosure once it has done its business.
Reward Good Behavior
If your dog relieves itself in the right spot, give it a reward. As soon as the dog goes, praise it and let it off leash to have some playtime in the yard. If your dog doesn’t go, take it back inside and try again later. Don’t allow your dog the run of the yard if it has not gone potty yet.
Read Body Language
During the times you allow your dog playtime, make sure to supervise it. Keep an eye on the dog’s body language.
Most dogs give a sign that they’re about to relieve themselves. They pace or spin or sniff. When you notice your dog engaging in any of these behaviors outside of the designated potty area, interrupt it and bring it to the right spot.
If your dog eliminates before you can stop it, then stop playtime and bring the pup indoors. Alternatively, if the dog holds it and does its business in the proper area, remember to reward it.
Problems and Proofing Behavior
If your dog manages to go outside of the spot you choose, be sure to clean it up quickly. Scoop poop or rinse urine with a hose.
Don’t punish the dog by scolding. Instead, ignore the behavior and immediately take it inside. Your dog will quickly learn that relieving itself in the right spot means it gets to play while going anywhere else brings playtime to an end.
You can proof this training anytime you are not at home with your dog. For instance, when visiting someone’s home, ask them where they prefer your dog to go. Take your dog to that spot, give the potty command, and wait. The same can be done in a public park by selecting an out of the way spot. Of course, you need to pick up after your dog no matter where you are.