Post # 1
I could use some tips or advice from anyone experienced with young puppies. A couple weeks ago my parents decided to get a dog, who was 8 weeks old at the time. They never had a dog before and had no idea what they were getting themselves into. I try giving them advice, but I adopted my dog as an adult and don’t have a huge amount of experience with puppies. I offered a while ago that if they did get a puppy and felt like they made a big mistake, that I would take the puppy on.
So my Mom’s at the point where she wants to give him to me. I’d be ok taking him, but I think everyone would be happier if I could help them get him to a point where he’s easier to handle.
The biggest problem is that he doesn’t sleep through the night. He generally wakes up and starts barking some time between 3 and 5 a.m. He doesn’t really need anything at that point, he’s just lonely. At night he sleeps in the kitchen in a gated area where he has a bed and puppy pads. They can’t really just let him bark it out because they’re currently at their 2nd home in FL, which is a condo. They’ve already had a noise complaint from the neighbors too :(.
Any advice on how to handle this? I told them last night to keep him up as late as possible, because he tends to sleep in the evenings. I told them to keep waking him up if they had to, and hopefully he’d sleep later. I think it was a little better this morning, but he still cries when he wakes up alone.
Anyone have any ideas? Do puppies eventually grow out of this? By going to see him when he gets up are they reinforcing bad habits?
Post # 3
2 things I would try
walk him and/or play with him in the evening rather then letting him sleep
maybe put a shirt or something in there with him at night that smells like them, so when he wakes up, he won’t feel as alone because the familiar smell will comfort him and hopefully make him go back to sleep and not bark
Post # 4
They should try putting him in a crate instead of just the kitchen, it’s a big space for a little puppy and he’s probably crying because he doesn’t feel safe by himself… dogs are pack animals and especially if he’s a really young puppy he’s used to having his siblings around.
A crate will give him a smaller area to control and keep him feeling safer… They should put a blanket over 3 of the sides so it feels like a den. That helps considerably!
That said, the short answer is yes, puppies grow out of this… However it can take a while and the sooner your parents get him feeling safe the sooner he’ll quiet down…
The other thing I can think of is if he is really neat and is pretty well housetrained at this point he might have to go potty… Some dogs REALLY hate going potty inside even if there is a pee pad and with the pup being little they have tiny bladders, his crying might be a sign that he needs to go out in the middle of the night.
ETA: What kind of dog is it?
Post # 5
Is he not burning enough energy throughout the day? Depending on the breed some are more hyper than others. With my puppy I make it a point to play with her everynight to tire her out, shes very energetic.
I do feel like going to him when he barks is a bad habit, but I cant speak from experience.
Post # 6
To add to the post above, feed him closer to bedtime (even if it’s just a little snack) he may be waking because he’s hungry. We know that puppies basically have endless stomachs!
Post # 7
something else to consider: this could likely turn into a learned behaviour that if he cries/barks, they come running.
If he’s crying to go out to pee, they need to wake up BEFORE he does and starts barking, so that he doesn’t learn that this will bring them.
You say that he has puppy pads, so this might not be an issue.
Are they crate training him? I would highly suggest this. Dogs are den animals, they like enclosed spaces. IF they create him at night, once he’s used to the create, he’ll see it as a safe spot. It’ll be “his” and he’s less likely to cry.
We have two puppies right now, and they are both create trained. The oldest one cried for maybe a week at night, and the second one maybe two weeks. That means that they stopped crying at night at 9 and 10 weeks respectively.
It’s already been suggested but if they keep him up as late as possible, then it should get better. Puppies sleep ALOT, so if they keep him up till they go to bed, then he should sleep better through the night. Not just keep waking him up, but play with him, walk him, etc, so that he is tired out completely.
Post # 8
Play with him as late as possible and exhaust him. Wake up at 2:30 (before the barks start) and take him outside to pee. If he doesn’t go, you don’t have to do this more than a few times. I also recommend getting a dog toy/stuffed animal and sleeping with it for 2-3 days and then putting it in with the puppy.
Post # 9
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I’ll definitely recommend the t-shirt idea. I have some questions about the crate though. So he’s not fully potty trained yet. Yesterday was his first day with no accident (peeing in the house but not on papers/puppy pad). He’s so young, he can’t hold it very long. So if they put him in the crate, should they leave the door open so he can go out and go to the bathroom? Or if they do that, do they need to get up constantly to let him out every couple hours?
I think he is burning energy throughout the day. My mom was afraid maybe too much. They take out him for ~2 mile walks and play with him and then after he eats dinner he starts falling asleep. They said eventually he gets so tired that no matter what they do with him he won’t stay awake. So he naps on and off in the evening, then goes to sleep in his area and wakes up around 3 or 4 am. They’d really prefer he’d be awake in the evening and sleep until at least 7 am.
Post # 10
Definitely crate him at night, and I’d suggest putting a blanket over the crate as well. When we moved our puppy from her teeny crate to one that she could “grow into,” she would do the exact same thing — bark and bark all night. A friend suggested her not feeling “safe” and to put a comforter over the crate, and lo and behold, the exact night we did it she stopped barking. Crate training for is verrry important for puppies! Don’t let them give up, the first few months are the hardest when training but if they really want a puppy it will be worth it soon!!
ETA: I’m not too familiar with the puppy pad method since we simply crate trained our puppy, but in our case we would have to wake up and let her out a few times a night. (Keeping crate door closed.) This lasted maybe a month, until she was a little older and got used to holding it through the night while she slept. It does suck, but puppies are almost like babies at first! Like I said, it was 3-4 weeks that I was getting up once or twice a night. Puppy is now 6 months old and has been trained for 2 months, so we must’ve done something right!
Post # 11
@MrsMaine: I really like the feeding idea! My mom did think he might be hungry when he wakes up, but she didn’t want to encourage him by feeding him that early.
I really like the feeding idea! My mom did think he might be hungry when he wake up, but she didn’t want to encourage him by feeding him that early.
@anotherbee: How many hours do you keep them in the crate at night? My parents are worried that he just doesn’t have the control to go long enough. I feel like he could may be go 6 hours, but that’s just my guess and they don’t really believe me.
@o0olibelulao0o: He’s a havanese.
For everyone’s viewing pleasure:
Post # 12
@Future MrsB: He is too cute!
We crate trained both of our pups, and they would usually cry to go out if they needed to. We would let them out to go potty and then back in the crate with no problems. I also like PP’s suggestion of waking up in the middle of the night before she barks though.
Is it possible for him to be in the same room as your parents? We had the crate in our bedroom and I think that might have helped. Of course that’s more difficult without a crate.
Post # 13
@Future MrsB: omg he’s so cute!!!
The idea of the crate is to keep them from pottying in the house, so you would leave the door closed and take the puppy out a couple times during the night… Some people get a slightly larger crate and put a pee pad in the back half so they can potty on there if they need to, but if the crate is too big that won’t help the crying problem. You could also try giving him a stuffed animal that’s about his size, and maybe a heating pad set on low to curl up next to, set up so it would feel like a litter mate, not just a heated floor… Sometimes that helps with really little puppies too.
Post # 14
So when you say, “So if they put him in the crate, should they leave the door open so he can go out and go to the bathroom? “
Where is he supposed to be going to the bathroom?
I crate trained both of my dogs from when we got them until a year old. When they are little they need to go out right before they go to bed and be woken up to pee at least once or twice a night. So for example take the dog out at 10pm then put him in the crate. Set and alarm for 1am and 4am, take him out both time. Then when you get up at 7am take him our immediately. The rules of thumb for puppies is they can usually hold it an hour for every month of their age. If they don’t take him out and let him pee in the house he will never learned to be trained.
And in regards to food, maybe feed at 6pm and take water away about 8-9pm dependng on what time he is going to bed.
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
I echo the “crate + blanket” comments.
They need to teach him “back to bed” or “back to sleep” and I promise they will be so glad about that later on in his life. We taught it to Junior Mink when he was a little puppy. When he first came home, I took him out every 45 minutes for the first couple days, then every hour for a couple days after that (this was to house train him), and increase the length between visits each night. Every time we came back in and I put him in his crate, I’d nicely say “back to sleep.”
Once we were done with the crate, if he woke us up too early in the morning, I could just say “back to sleep” and he’d trot to his mat and curl up until we got up.
Post # 16
He’s ADORABLE!! I second third 4th ect the crate training. He does not need to be left in the open with food and water. We didnt leave food or water overnight with our puppy, he got his last drink around 10pm, then nothing until morning. He’s probably just lonely in the middle of the night. For the first few weeks our pup would bark because he had to go to the bathroom. For such a small pup, they will have to get up several time to let him out to potty. Mine’s a large breed so he was able to hold it over night by 10 weeks, but he still woke up and barked at 5am due to being lonely. Once we moved the crate up to our room so he could be with us, the 5am barking stopped immediately and he would let us sleep in till whenever we want to get up.