View Full Version : 8 week old puppy and bedtime.

Harvey Arches
1st February 2011, 09:16 AM
Hi All,

So Harvey is settling in quite well now but I have a couple of questions regarding bed time.

So we are crate training him which seems to be going reasonably well, we have had him for 3 nights now.

On Sunday night we had him in his crate with the door closed and I got up approx every two hours to take him outside to the toilet. He was barking and whining for the majority of the night and then from 6.30am he was not stopping, he wanted to get up :p so up we got!

Last night I tried a different approach - my downstairs bathroom is quite big so I papered the floor popped his crate in and brought him there to sleep. We left the crate door open so he could get in and out as he pleased to go to the toilet oh and we left a small little battery operated light in there ! Well he cried and barked and whined for the majority of the night again, I got up at 6am and left the main light on for him as I figured the battery may have gone in the other light. He seemed to quieten down from then on.

The main question is; what is the way forward? Harvey's daddy thinks we should try and leave him in the crate in the kitchen all night and do no toilet breaks - I don't agree and this will not be allowed - in less someone tells me from experience that this is what should be done? I think I have overread online so any feedback would be much appreciated.

Oh he just did his first poo outside for me :jmp: (I brought him out during the mail)!

Also should he be ok sleeping in the dark? It,s just with him being a puppy I want him to feel as much love as possible and be a happy dog.


J n Harvey x

1st February 2011, 11:46 AM
Congratulations on the new puppy. We have had similar problems at night with our puppy who is now 9 months old. I had never used a crate before although we do have an older cavalier. What we did was let ours sleep in the crate in the day time but at night put him in his plastic bed in the kitchen with the door closed but left the radio on and I know some leave a piece of clothing with them so they have your smell, we put pads and paper across the floor if accidents happened We did have a bit of a problem with stratching on the door so we then bought a stair gate to put across the door frame. To a certain degree you do have to ignore some of the crying and whining which I know is very hard. If our`s does wake up in the early hours we do put him in the crate for a while. It`a a bit of trial and error as we know as we tried all sorts, they do improve with time. Good luck your get great pleasure from him.:)

1st February 2011, 12:27 PM
Can you put the crate in your bedroom? It could be that he is just lonely. We had a similar problem with Max - he didn't sleep through the night until we got Rylie probably (and he was nearly a year) so I'm probably not the best one to give advice. Partly I think it's because I did continue to get up and take him out long past the time he needed it - at eight weeks chances are Harvey still needs it though.

My dogs still wake in in the night (they sleep in our room) from time to time. I find covering their crates helps - it lets them know it's still night time. Now maybe a smarter person than I would cover their crates in the beginning so they may not wake up at all:p

When you do get up with him in the night don't say a word to him just carry him out - let him do his business and put him back in his crate. You don't want him to learn that it's party time.

1st February 2011, 01:29 PM
I agree with Mindysmom in that there is no way he can make it through the night at 8 weeks. I would def NOT go with what your partner says as locking him in his crate all night means he would have to soil his own bed and dogs don't like that. As well as being not nice for little Harvey you would see your housetraining set back a while as he will be getting used to soiling his own area and this would mean a nightmare for the housetraining. As far as where he should sleep, I would say it depends on where you plan to have him sleep longterm. If you intend for him to sleep in your bedroom, I would crate him in your room and take him out through the night until he is old enough to have enough control to hold it that long. If you intend for him to sleep downstairs long term I would put him in the room you intend for him to sleep and set up his crate leaving the door open at night. You could put down newspapers outside the crate. The only other option I can think of is if you intend for him to sleep downstairs longterm but don't want to put newspapers down you could put him in the crate, keep door closed and purchase a baby monitor which would alert you to when he would need out during the night. Good luck. I bet hes really cute!

1st February 2011, 05:26 PM
8 weeks old is much too young to expect a pup to go all night without needing at least one potty break. But the location of the kennel is up to you guys, try to pick a place and keep it consistent for a few weeks until your puppy accepts the crate. I found when we were crate training Coco she seemed a little more upset if we changed her room.

The crying is to be expected. At first no dog really loves the crate, it is a safe and cozy place that natural denning instincts will finally kick in some time and your dog will like the crate. Start by feeding in there, putting toys in there, and praising in there. When the door is closed, absolutely ignore all whining and barking. That is the hardest part. Expect to get less sleep. It will get better after a few days of the puppy realizing crying is futile. Do however get up at least once to let the pup relieve himself. What makes preventing accidents more helpful is ensuring the puppy is as empty as possible before bedtime; so pick up water at least one or two hours before bedtime with lots of extra potty breaks before going in the crate.

Coco was able to go all night without needing a break by 12 weeks old. That may not be the case for every puppy, but around 12 - 14 weeks old should be where the control should finally be starting to develop.

Good luck and congrats on your new pup!

1st February 2011, 06:10 PM
You do not need to take a puppy out every two hours all night -- a single break should be fine.

Crate training is a process during which owners should not end up with an unhappy puppy or adult in a crate crying and whining to get out. This indicates the dog has not been introduced slowly and properly to the crate in the first place or allowed to build up time to where sleeping in a crate all night is OK. Crate training needs to begin in daytime. Many trainers do not advise crating young puppies at night at all and instead recommend letting them sleep in a box near the bed. You can also get a Snugglepup or other toy that is soothing for a small pup. If you lock him up all night and he soils the crate, then you have taken a giant step backwards in using a crate at all, so this is not advised. Better to set up Ian Dunbar's puppy playpen area (see below). Most pups will settle after a couple of nights in a strange place but a Snugglepup and/or some chew toys help a lot.

There's good advice for crate training from all the qualified trainer's websites pinned at the top of the training section. Also a good approach is simply to use Ian Dunbar's free book download which explains the process of crate training.


But you can start with these:


Some 8 week old puppies have no problem lasting through a night (one of mine was fine) but most will need to be taken out for at least a week or two at 3am or so. Most can last the night by 10 weeks.

Harvey Arches
1st February 2011, 07:51 PM
Thank you all so much for such helpful replies.

Harvey has been very good, we have both given him trials in his crate throughout the day without us in the room and he whines at the start and then goes asleep :-) I think this is a good sign.

As per all the replies we are going to continue with how we did it last night - downstairs bathroom with the crate door open and the floor covered, although this time I will make sure his light has full batteries in it. I know it will take time with him I suppose its like everything you don't realise the work that is involved until you get a pup.

I will try and upload some pic's so you can see how cute he really is!!

On another note it is amazing how attached you get, I went out for a couple of hours today and I found myself ringing to see how Harvey was :luv:!!

1st February 2011, 08:49 PM
We had Ruby from almost 7 weeks old, and at first I was sleeping in the front room with her for the first 5 nights, and letting her out on a pad every 3 hours. It got better and I left the room to sleep back upstairs setting an alarm clock to get her out at 12.15am, 3.15am then morning wake up at 7.15am out for toilet then breakfast.
As from about 9 weeks I decided to not come down and see if she would go all night, she had only 2 accidents in that week so....

Took water away at 8.30pm and decided to make her crate smaller by using a cardboard divider so she only had enough room to sleep in and not to go up the other end and wee, which is what happened before. It worked she did not soil at all. however I was taking her out every hour before bedtime to make sure she was pretty empty and her bedtime and mine was 11.15pm.

Now after a few more nights she started trying to eat the cardboard divider so I thought now she has a few nights without weeing she may get the hang of it, so instead I literally filled her crate with all her toys making sure no area was left so she could squat, all fine, so we have carried on like this.

She is now 11 weeks old and touch wood all is going well, leave a lamp on in the corner of the room , and also used to leave in her bed my worn pyjama top and that definately helped over the weeks...you have to laugh tho as she has moved on from that and now has my little girls old dressing gown, well it is a disney princess one!! she loves it..weird but suits her fine, tried fleece blankets but nope wants the dressing gown.

I have never had a dog before and have tried to start as I mean to go on and have kept the crate in the front room, and not moving it to the bedroom.

I have had some good advice on here and read a lot of helpful things, so I thought Id post to let you know how it was for me currently with Ruby at 11 weeks old.

Harvey Arches
1st February 2011, 10:00 PM
Paulette - thank you so much for you detailed reply.

I think I will try and give your regime a go from the weekend when he will be 9 weeks. I am currently letting him drink as much water as he likes :( this will soon stop.

1st February 2011, 10:28 PM
I'm not sure you need to leave a light on for him - that may confuse him into thinking it's time for play, and so he could cry more for you.

With Maddie we had problems with sleeping, what we ended up doing was having an old fleece jumper of my OH in her crate, which had the door open and she was penned in a bigger area with newspaper on the floor in case she needed to do anything and didn't manage to wake us. The crate was covered so it was properly dark. Each night we stayed with her until she settled (she was in the kitchen) and then tiptoed upstairs to bed. We actually could hear her from upstairs ( we kept all the interior doors open and I'm a light sleeper) and let her set the toileting schedule. Our problem was her settling down again after a toilet trip, even though we didn't fuss her or play with her. I solved this by teaching her the "bed" command - literally picking her up and placing her in her crate and telling her "bed". This is still her most reliable command so we must have used it loads in the early days. :o.

After I had a work trip away for a week when she was 7 months old her sleep routine was majorly upset, and took 6 months to fix properly. Because I can't sleep with the dogs around (too much snoring and noise, and OH snores as well) we took it in turns to sleep downstairs with her for reassurance, gradually moving ourselves away from where she sleeps. It took a while but now she's good as gold, and the problem was fixed before we got Pippin so he didn't learn any bad habits.;)

Pippin is a boy who likes his bed. From the first night at 8wks old he only woke once for the toilet and rattled the stair gate to let us know he needed us. He, in fact, never had any accidents overnight even at that young age, and we never took his water up before bed.
Good luck, there's some great advice already on this thread, and I've waffled on loads as well. I'm sure you'll find a method that suits you. Remember, it's early days and what will work quickest is to choose a method / sleeping place and stick with it. Consistency is the key here.

1st February 2011, 11:17 PM
I'm just going to ask here since it's on topic, though I'm not really answering any questions, haha. But when I first got Helio at 8 weeks, I was crate training him and taking him out in the night, but he would still pee the bed (actually, an old towel, they were easier to clean than his actual bed we bought him). It got to the point where he was doing it every night, no matter how many times I took him out before bed and during the night, and I had started taking his water up before bed too. So I let him sleep in bed with me, since he's never (knock on wood!) had an accident in my bed, no matter what. He sleeps there with me now, and I just wanted to know, is that bad that I let him sleep there with me? I don't want to be teaching him bad habits, but he also seems much more comfortable and eager to go to sleep when he's curled up next to me. Sorry to invade your topic! :[