View Full Version : Outgrowing middle of the night potty breaks?

11th December 2006, 07:39 AM
Posey's doing very well with the potty training—we haven't had any accidents at all for several weeks, and she's great about using the jingle bell we have tacked next to the door (she even quickly adapted at my mother-in-law's house over Thanksgiving—we brought the bell along, and no accidents all weekend!).

The problem is, she's asking to be let out at about 3 am every night—she sleeps in her crate in our room, and she taps on the crate door just loudly enough to wake one of us (no whining, no crying, just a polite rattle). One of us takes her downstairs, she does her business, and she's back in her crate (and us back asleep) in about two minutes flat—there's no playing, no talking, no fun stuff that would encourage her to wake up for attention. She goes again when she wakes up for the day, at about 7 am.

We've had middle-of-the-night potty breaks every night since she came home at five months old—at first, they were at 1 am and 5 am, so I guess we have made some progress. I thought she'd outgrow them as she (and her bladder) got a little bigger, but now she's eight months old, and no dice. I'm thinking the issue is that she's very small—just nine pounds right now, and our vet is predicting she'll top out at about 10... maybe 11.

But if she isn't going to physically get much bigger, will she still outgrow this? Is there anything we can do to help it along, besides patience? We haven't restricted her water intake in the evening, but she tends to settle way down at about 8/9 pm (it's cuddle on the couch time), and it's rare that she goes for a drink after that. She goes to the bathroom before we put her in her crate, too (somewhere between 10 and 11 pm). Four hours seems to be her capacity, regardless.

Any ideas or words of wisdom? Thanks everyone!

Cicero's Mummy
11th December 2006, 11:59 AM
Oh I remember those middle of the night potty brakes... Yawn... I hope she grows out of them so you can get some sleep!! :D

My Wesley
11th December 2006, 01:26 PM
Have you tried ignoring her during the night and just letting her fall back to sleep?

Wesley is 9 weeks now. The first two nights we let him stay in our room with his crate. Fortunately the earliest he has woken up to go potty was maybe 5am. But ever since we moved him downstairs, I don't hear him til around 6:30-7am.

It might be possible that she's a light sleeper and can hear you shuffle around at night, so she wakes up, then realizes she could use a potty break as well.

My husband and I do that as humans. If we are awakened in the middle of the night for some reason (i.e... kids, puppy, etc) we tend to also use the restroom. But if that's not the case, then we can sleep right through it as well.

Try moving her to another room, or possibly getting something to drown out the noise like a fan.

Good luck!

11th December 2006, 04:21 PM
We've tried ignoring her for a bit - she kept up the rattling for over half an hour, though, so we took her out. (She has, on occasion, tapped on her door just after we've taken her out, which is definitely ignored, and she stops after a few minutes.)

Between the precise time that she wakes up, and the fact that she does her business very promptly (she zooms to her spot outside and gets right to it), I believe that she really has to go - and if we ignore her completely, she'll regress and make a mess in her crate. Or do you think her instincts are strong enough that she won't?

11th December 2006, 04:33 PM
what about moving her downstairs because eventually this is gonna be another hurdle for you to cross.. ive never had lily upstairs & she 13 wks & has never had us up during the night. I had her in the living room & used to be wet on the morning then i moved her to the bottom of the stairs where i can hear her & she dosent make a sound until at least 7 am...

11th December 2006, 07:09 PM
At 8 months, the pup should no longer need to go outside at night. Even though she's small, her bladder should be proportional to her size. Ergo, she drinks what she needs and she can hold it. Both of my full grown girls are under 12 pounds, and neither of them needs to go out at night. Cedar, the only one we had since she was a puppy, stopped needing to go outside at night by about 10 weeks old. Full grown, Cedar's just over 11 lbs.

I assume the doctor has ruled out a bladder infection? Sometimes UTI can make the dog need to go more often.

It is possible (perhaps even probable) that Posey wakes up and wants some attention. She's learned that if she rattles her cage, someone gets up and spends time with her. You take her out, and she goes potty (you would too if you woke up and sat on the toilet, even if you didnt wake up because of a need to go). Even though she's not playing with you, she is getting some attention, probably even a pet or cuddle.

I would either ignore the rattling or move her crate to another room. She could make quite a bit of noise when her signal (rattle) doesnt get the reward she's used to getting. She'll have to learn that she is to sleep through the night.

Of course, another way to go could be to let her sleep with you. She might not express a need for attention at night if she can cuddle close to you.

11th December 2006, 07:16 PM
Thanks for the advice! That's what I needed to hear - that her small size shouldn't be preventing her from going all night. We'll put her crate in the second bedroom tonight (it's warmer upstairs at night than downstairs), and put in the earplugs.

thanks so much!

My Wesley
11th December 2006, 07:27 PM
Good luck! Let us know how it goes tonight!

11th December 2006, 08:53 PM
You know I'm getting a little worried about myself as I'm actually excited about hearing how other dogs potty training goes! :roll: :lol:

Do let us know how she gets on! :D Incidentally I think it would be a good idea to restrict water intake from 6pm on. Bit late for tonight I know but maybe for future reference, especially if she has a problem holding it tonight.

Hope it goes well for ye!

11th December 2006, 09:13 PM
It's only 1:15 pm here, so I can definitely restrict the water tonight. I'll keep everyone posted!

My Wesley
12th December 2006, 03:37 AM
I take Wesley's water away from him around 5:30-6pm. Obviously has worked for him. Again, good luck!

12th December 2006, 01:47 PM
How did it go?

12th December 2006, 05:22 PM

Potty break at 11, then into her crate in the adjacent bedroom, then back out at 6 am when we wake up—she was VERY excited to see us. If she did cry or whine, we didn't hear anything.

Thanks everyone, for the reality checks and advice!

My Wesley
12th December 2006, 05:32 PM
That's fantastic! Glad we can help make life a little easier on you!

Last night Wesley made it from about 9:30pm-7am. He's better than the kids when they were babies! :)

12th December 2006, 06:09 PM
Well done Posey! :rah:

12th December 2006, 11:45 PM
I'm glad to hear all went well. It is so much nicer when what we think of problems really arent problems at all. I'm sure you'll be enjoying your sleep over the holidays!

13th December 2006, 12:02 AM
I'm just glad I asked—I didn't really even consider it a problem (I could stay half-asleep while I ran her outside), but it's nice to know it doesn't even need to happen!

It's also interesting to find out how good she is at getting our attention whenever she wants! Here I was convinced it was an urgent nightly matter :lol:

She has us well trained...

13th December 2006, 12:08 AM
Isnt it amazing how skilled they are?!! I think Cavaliers should be trained to be spies or something. They'd get whatever they wanted without anyone realizing it!! Little squirts. ;)