Crate training a new puppy to sleep through the night in his crate in 7-10 days isn't really that hard. ok ok... yes it's gonna take some work, in some cases A LOT of work. But you can do it!
BUT the good news it, the nighttime approach to crate training your puppy is basically the same as the daytime with a few differences.
And if at all possible, before your puppy is going to spend the night in his new sleeping quarters, it would be ideal to have introduced it earlier during the day. That way your puppy has had ample time to investigate his new sleeping quarters and realize that it is a safe "den-like" place to stay.
1. Make sure that your puppy has had a lot of exercise before bedtime.
2. Don't allow your puppy to nap prior to bedtime. Do whatever it takes to keep him awake and active prior to going into the crate.
3. If he's thirsty, go ahead and let him have a little drink, but by all means don't let him "load up" during the last hour prior to bedtime!
4. And last of all.... make sure that your puppy has eaten his dinner several hours before bedtime...a good rule is 4 hours prior. This way he will have plenty of time to do his business outside in the yard before going into his crate for the night.
When crate training a new puppy for bedtime, it's important that you don't make your puppy feel separated from his pack
leader, (that's you by the way), ideally you want to place your puppies crate in
your bedroom close enough to someone who is a light sleeper. This way
they can hear your puppies cry in the event he wakes up in the middle of
the night and needs to go outside and potty.
It's very rare that a young puppy can sleep through the night without the need to go outside and potty.
Actually, prior to coming home with you, most puppies spend the night in an enclosed cage, a dog run or a breeders yard. When the puppy wakes up in this type of confinement, it basically allows the puppy to walk over to an area where he isn't sleeping and go potty. Then he goes back to his sleeping area that's all nice and clean. He's no dummy!
As you can see, being in a confined area prior to coming home to you does nothing to help the puppy develop good bladder control...so this is now your job. This is where you get to create and maintain a crate training schedule for your puppy dog.
Just like a human baby, you the parent, have to put forth the time and effort to help your baby learn to control their bladder over time.
I mean really, they certainly don't come home knowing that when it's time to go potty they run off to the bathroom! Luckily for you though, babies do wear diapers. Whew! NO, you can't put diapers on your new puppy and call it done! Really? lol
But, since diapers don't play a part here with your new puppy, be prepared....there
most likely will be accidents.
So when crate training a new puppy, make sure you are paying close attention to his signals that he has to go AND the amount of time between potty breaks. Working like this, diligently, will help your puppy get on a schedule.
On Average, a normal 6-8 week old puppy's potty schedule will go something like this:
For the first 3 to 4 nights he will wake up every two hours and need to go potty.
If he goes to bed at 10:00 pm he will wake up around midnight, 2:00 am, 4:00 am and 6:00 am in the morning.
As you are crate training a new puppy for nighttime, don't hesitate, get up and take your puppy outside to go potty.
Make sure that as your walking outside with him in your arms hopefully, to say "let's go potty." This
begins command recognition. Bring him back in and place him into the
crate. No talking at this point.
I always have a leash attached to my puppy and walk with him as he does his thing.
NOTE: Even if your puppy isn't used to the leash go ahead and use it so he won't run away to play or chase those little flying objects in the air.. believe me they will use any excuse to play.
Don't laugh, my current puppies did that to me! Try running around in your jammies at two o'clock in the morning freezing and scrambling to catch that little stinker of a puppy. . . we quickly started using the leash!
Sooo, as his bladder starts to regulate you will notice that around the 5th night he may only wake up around 1:00 am and then 4:00 am to do his business.
The 6th and 7th night you may be really lucky and he only
wakes up once around 3:00 am. Every puppy is different, so be ready to adjust.
I find that after the first week or so of being diligent with the nighttime potty training, your puppy should be sleeping through the night.
Oh 'come on now don't get discouraged if it takes a bit longer when crate training a new puppy. All puppies are different and you need to work with them accordingly. They do take some work, they don't just come home all equipped and ready to go ya know!
Well I suppose they do come home with "equipment" but. . . well you have to "train" the equipment to work properly. Enough said right?
From the very moment your puppy comes home he should be put on a regular potty schedule and where that place is, the yard. Crate training a new puppy the very first day should be your goal.
Crate training puppies during the day and night are exactly the same, you must keep a regular schedule to be successful.
Every two hours (day and night) and outside you go all the way making sure to say "let's go potty." Praising and loving him as he does his business.
Years ago we had the privilege of working with a wonderful trainer who taught us everything we know in regards to all areas of crate training a new puppy.
And just so you know, we've never had one get up the next morning and act scared of us because of the prior nights challenges.
On the contrary, they get up the next morning like nothing ever happened and seem to say "wooo whooo! this is a whole new day!"
Ahh there's that unconditional love they give. It's the best! Isn't crate training puppies so much fun! Smile, you wub your little puppy!
Puppies love love love discipline...done correctly with love not anger.
Challenges you may experience:
And just how will he let you know you ask? Believe me, he will make it perfectly clear with all his loud complaints, whining, and barking and if he could talk he would be saying something like. . .
"HEY I DON'T WANNA BE IN THIS CRATE ANYMORE! LET ME OUT NOW!
I'm laughing as I'm writing this because it sounds so funny, but I know in the middle of the night it just doesn't have the same Ha Ha factor. Believe me, I'm not laughing in the middle of the night either!
Alright, so in this case what I do is slap the top of the crate not too hard and tell him "knock it off!". Humm so his quietness might last ohh let's say 10 to 15 seconds.
Now for some crazy reason your puppy may act as if he didn't hear you and will most definitely move on to yet another yelling match that is even louder. You ready...
Ok, so this is decision time. Who is going to be in charge here, you or your puppy? It had better be you for sure! Remember the purpose of crate training?
Welcome to the puppy challenge... Just like kids, puppies will challenge your authority to see just who makes the rules, you or him. I sure hope your saying it's you, you are right?
If he just came in from going potty, don't give in to his bad
behavior and complaining! Ignore his fussing.
He must realize that nighttime is for sleeping not playing and you have to teach this to your puppy. He needs to understand that YOU are the pack leader and YOU make all the rules that HE must abide in. Period!
He may complain again, and at this point ya gotta take a slightly different approach. (Funny, in the wee hours of the morning I seem to be better at disciplining my puppy than during the day. . . I suppose because I'm tired and want to sleep!)
Anyway, remember, your crate training a new puppy, (a really really cute puppy) so he continues to complain about going back into his crate.
Get up, open the crate, take him from the scruff of
his neck (not aggressively here people, just with authority) and take him out of the crate. Firmly tell him "Quiet" gently place him back into the kennel
closing the door and go back to bed. No talking.
In a weird but funny way, at this point you probably won't hear another sound from your puppy, most likely because he's assessing what just went on with this new "boss in town" and decides that you must be the pack leader, and what the pack leader says goes.... well hopefully. If not, just repeat the above. But honestly, you have to ignore him.
Side Note Here: The only difference is this, if when you went outside for that potty break, your little darling didn't do a thing, then yes, he may very well need to go back outside. It's kinda a hit and miss in the early stages of crate training a new puppy for nighttime. Your just going to have to asses the situation as it comes. But please please don't ignore it because your tired! It does get easier, I promise. After all, YOU did want this new little bundle of joy....right?
Stop Already!! Come on....You have to win this one too parents!!
Remember, you're the pack leader not your puppy and you want to have success in potty training. You both will be happier in the long run. He really wants to know who is in control so he's not confused.
A confused puppy can turn into a skittish, nervous dog...and that is not a happy life for him or you.
Ultimately the purpose of crate training is to make him feel very comfortable and safe in his crate at all times, day or night. You love him so you can do this, I have faith in you.
I really want to encourage you not to get discouraged if potty training your puppy for nighttime is hard. You have to understand that temperaments in dogs are all different. Depending on what type of temperament they have will largely dictate how crate training a new puppy of any type will go.
Believe me, I have worked with THE most defiant dogs and that type of temperament is really tough and takes more effort on your part, but it's so worth it when you succeed!
So don't give up the ship!