Post # 1
Hey all! Going to try to make this short, as I have a little fur ball right by me. SO and I got a puppy a couple of days ago, and while he’s a big change, he’s great. Very friendly, brave, smart, and affectionate. While we’ve had a view accidents in the house (pee’s) he’s been really great about peeing and pooping right as we get him outside. However, we have a problem.
SO and I live in an apartment. It’s spacious and dog friendly yes, but still an apartment. That means we’re surrounded by other people that did not sign up for the issues of having a first puppy. For the past couple of nights the puppy has woken us up about 3 hours after going to bed. We fear he won’t make it outside, so we have a designated Pee Pad set up for when he needs to be in the middle of the night. However, the past two nights he has woken us up with whinning, he has NOT peed. We make it as boring of an experience as possible, so that he knows the ONLY reason we’re up is to help him pee. However, last night was the second night he whinned by didn’t pee.
We’re starting to think that he’s whinning to get attention and are worried that, if we continue letting him out to pee when he whines, he’ll continue doing it to get attention. The fact that he’s showed us TWICE that he can hold it through the night leads me to belive he just wants attention.
We have his crate in our room where he can see us. It’s soft with some fun toys and, during the day, he’ll go into his crate to play by himself, so we know he feels safe. We tried to ignore his cries to see if he’d calm himself down and know we’re not getting up to play, but he gets LOUD and there are people around us sleeping that I don’t want to disturb. But if we do let him out when he whines, we feel it’s training him to continue.
How do deal with whinning at night when you can’t let them “whine it out” because you live in an apartment and others to consider? Thanks, bees!
Post # 2
I know not the same but if it was a crying child, but if you were sleep training you would stick with it for the short term for the long term gain, regardless of the neighbors. Could you knock on your neighbors and explain it is just short term, maybe bring them some cookies or something so they know you are trying to be considerate?
Post # 3
My puppy is a year old now, but just stick to the taking him outside and putting him back in the crate afterwards. I know it’s a pain, but he will learn. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, he will get the routine. I don’t know if you use one particular word when you take him out, but you can try using a command like “go” or “potty” and try not to interact with him other than that. Also–think about picking up his water shortly after dinner, to help with need to go at all.
Post # 4
yourhandinmine : The fact that he’s showed us TWICE that he can hold it through the night leads me to belive he just wants attention.
I just don’t think this is true. Puppies are like children, their bladders are small and their ability to hold it in is limited. Just because he didn’t pee in the night two times doesn’t mean it was a big scheme made up for attention.
It is annoying but for a few weeks you are just going to have to bare with it. He won’t always go when you want him to and other times he will go when you don’t want him to. A few days isn’t enough to have a routine yet.
Post # 5
Thanks for the insight, bee’s! I do pull up his water 1.5 hours before we go to bed. SO and I just moved to a new city and he hasn’t started work yet (and I haven’t started looking yet) so all day we play with him tons in between his naps. Before bed, we play especially hard with him by getting him to change things, playing tugs, and mental games with his kong. So you all think we should still let him out to the pee pad when he whines? When we put him back in after he doesn’t pee to go back to bed, he still whines. SO as sat by his crate and will sometimes put his fingers in the cage for the puppy to lick, and that usually calms him down. I just worry if we keep waking up to his whines, it will start a habit of him whinning just to get out of the cage. Again, we make it super boring for him. Take him out, set him on the mat, say “potty” and don’t look at him. When he doesn’t do anything, we pick him back up and place him back in his crate.
Post # 6
Agree with PP, keep sticking it out. When he whines, get up, take him out or to the pee pad (no talking to him, no petting, no eye contact, no cuddles), give him a minute or two to pee, then back in the crate and ignore.
Does he get really loud after being taken out? Or does he settle?
Also make sure that he’s warm enough. We had a winter puppy and she got cold – remember that up until going home with you he slept in a puppy pile being warmed by the body heat of his siblings. Try wrapping a hot water bottle in a towel and putting that in with him – we found it helped with our winter puppy (who unfortunately we brought home during an extreme cold snap )
Post # 7
How old is your puppy?
If hes 8-12 weeks old he won’t be able to hold his bladddr overnight (even if he has shown you twice that he can – he’s in a crate, he doesn’t want to pee in a crate).
I advise you continue to let him out in the night to toilet. Continue making it boring. My puppy soon learned that if she cried in the night it was for toilet only and no play. Ensure you reward toileting outside though with a quick good boy and treat. Then no fuss back to bed.
Post # 8
Have you considered that keeping him in a crate at night might not be the right thing for him? He’s a baby. Even if he uses the crate when it’s open, that doesn’t mean he won’t feel lonely when he’s locked in all night. When we had a puppy, her dogbed was next to my mum’s bed and my mum would lie so her hand was near the edge and when our puppy woke up, she was able to reassure herself that all was well. As time went by, the dogbed was moved to a corner of the room. She was never allowed on the bed and after the first few weeks never tried to sneak in.
The other point is the pee pad. Most dogs don’t like doing their business where they live, eat or sleep. Some will accept pee pads, but I even know dogs who absolutely refuse to do their business in the garden. Since the puppy has shown that he can actually hold it in, try going outside instead of using the pee pad.
Post # 9
He’s a puppy, he has to pee. Has he actually understand he’s supposed to pee on the mat? Probably not. If you aren’t using the pee pad during the day it’s entirely possible he just doesn’t know to pee there. My puppy (who is now 7 months) needed to physically walk around sniffing to be encouraged to pee and successfully potty trained. He wouldn’t pee on a pee mat (I also temporarily tried the mat and gave up). Long term if you take him all the way out to grass to pee at night he’ll be potty trained much quicker; there will be no confusion between the mat and the grass… My mom’s dog was potty trained on a mat, she then started having accidents on door mats and bath mats. They are virtually the same size, not her fault.
Post # 10
yourhandinmine : He’s just a baby, of course he wants your contact in the night! Can you raise his crate so it’s on level with your bed? He needs to know you’re immediately there next to him (fingers or arm in his crate) when he wakes for reassurance. That’s why he calms down when your SO sticks his fingers through the crate. The alternative is to sleep on the floor next to his crate.
I highly recommend this Facebook group, they have fantastic resources and offer expert advice: https://www.facebook.com/groups/374160792599484/
Post # 11
Could we have a photo please?!
Post # 12
When he whines, you should take him out to pee. Like all the way outside. I know it’s cold, dark and far away, but that’s better for housebreaking. Pee pads are good for emergencies, but you really want him to know that going outside is what he should be doing. If the pee pad is too close to where he sleeps or eats, he won’t want to use it. Or he may just not like it.
So when he whines, ask him “Do you need to go outside?” Then grab his leash, open his crate and attach the leash to his collar. Take him all the way outside. Say a command while he does his business. Like if he pees, say “Go potty. Good job for going potty outside.” Then give him a treat and affection when he does his business. Take him back inside, take his leash off and put him back in the crate. No playing or anything, but make sure you praise him for doing his business outside.
Remember, this is part of the housebreaking process. Once his bladder is bigger, he will sleep through the night. Most dogs don’t have to be trained to sleep when you sleep. So don’t worry about that too much. Also, it’s a really good thing that he is whining. He is communicating that he needs to go outside. That will make housebreaking so much easier. Some dogs, especially puppies, really just leave you guessing on that one.
Post # 13
We had a similar problem when we got our puppy last fall. We even paid extra to have the breeder do some crate training before we brought him home to alleviate some of the issues, especially since we live in an apartment. It didn’t matter. He cried SO long and SO loudly for hours maybe like the first 2 weeks. At first we were taking him out to go to the bathroom every time he cried, but then he would just never stop crying after a while. It was awful and we did feel really bad for our neighbors, but we knew we just had to wait it out because it would be best in the long run.
A little different from you – we kept the crate in the living room and completely covered it with a blanket at night. We were sleeping on the couch in the living room at first until the breeder and our vet advised it would be better for us to sleep in a separate room so he couldn’t as easily hear us all night.
Eventually it does get better, trust me. We had a really difficult case but we made it through and now he sleeps just fine in his crate every night, which comes in really handy when he needs to stay with someone else when we are away.
Post # 14
Fellow apartment-dwelling dog owner here. I agree with previous posters that using the pee pads is not the best idea. We tried that with our puppy when we first got her and she simply did not understand that the pad represented a place where she should pee. Moreover, I think even trying to get her to use the pads at night for a few days really confused her and slowed down potty training because it made her feel like it was okay to pee inside. I know it sucks, especially in the winter, but you should take your puppy outside when he whines in the middle of the night (even if he starts tinkling before you can make it all the way out of your bulding- keep some cleaning spray easily accessible). When you get outside, give him the same verbal command every time, like “potty.” You don’t have to stand out there forever, just give him an opportunity to do his business, give him lots of praise and a small treat if he goes, and then take him back inside. If he keeps whining after that, just let him tire himself out, apologizing to the neighbors in the morning if necessary. Having the crate next to your bed, if you’re not doing that already, might also help him feel safe and not whine so much. There will probably be several weeks of sleepless nights on your part (puppies are like babies in that way!) but eventually he will understand the routine and will start sleeping through the night more often. Best of luck! Oh, and stock up on Nature’s Miracle- it’s the best spray for cleaning up puppy messes!
Post # 15
Have you tried a heart beat pillow? It has a device that makes a heart beat, and you can also warm it up in the microwave before bed!