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First few nights of puppy - some pre-pup questions
  • I did read a couple of vaguely related posts from a search but not quite what I was looking for. I was wondering, what sort of shedule / approaches are there to getting puppy to settle and slerp thtough the night as quickly as possible? Here are a few I've heard of / thought of: 1) Whenever pup cries, go down to take him to the loo and praise if he wees or poos, say nothing if it's not the toiket he's crying for and put back in crate 2) Set the alarm every 2 to 3 hours to offer a loo break on your schedule 3) let pup out onve in the midfle of the night 4) sit by the crate for a few minutes to reassure him if he cries but dont touch 5) ignore all crying completely (now number 4 and 5 cant be right im sure, surely pup must need to be let out for toilet?)

    My other question is, where should the crate be? We want it downstairs in the lounge-dining room, we don't have a lot of spave upstairs on the landing but could fit it in our bedroom. Should we keep him downstairs from the get go or should we allow the crate in our room the first week or so? I just worry that moving it down after being up will create more trouble as pup will have gotten used to being with us, only to be banished doenstairs. There is no way i want him to dlerp in our room for the rest of his life!

    [changed category ~mod.]
    Post edited by curlytails at 2013-11-05 20:18:03
  • I am by no means an expert on this, but I do have a few things that worked for us. I think the reasoning behind 5 is that you don't want them to think that crying means someone comes, or they'll never stop crying.

    In relation to your questions about letting the puppy out at night, Shiba puppies are actually (generally) really easy to housebreak and can hold it for longer than other breeds. Now this doesn't mean don't take him out at all at night while he's a baby, but you probably will need to take him out less than you think.

    In my opinion, the location of the crate is sort of your (and the puppy's) preference. We started out with the crate in the living room, buuuuttt Kit had different ideas. She would cry nonstop at night, I mean, I've had dogs before and they have all cried for like 10-15 minutes for the first few days, but would then settle down... Not Kit, she cried for literally hours the first night. Well night 2 rolls around, and she's doing the crying thing again, don't worry we definitely checked on her, but she was just being a stubborn brat. Suddenly the crying stops, and I'm thinking, great she's finally calming down. About ten minutes later I get up to go to the bathroom and see this little thing roll across the floor.

    She hadn't stopped crying because she'd settled down, she stopped crying because she had literally broken out of the kennel and was running around. She snapped a weld on the side of the crate and squeezed out between the bars.

    The point of this long story is that as a result we had to move the crate to the bedroom where there was a wall that could block the hole she'd made in the crate. This actually worked and she stopped crying at night. We also discovered that a blanket over the front of the crate worked wonders for keeping her quiet unless she actually needed something.

    Edited for spelling errors (oops!)
    Post edited by Kit_Keet_ at 2013-11-06 09:46:31
  • I'm going through this right now with my Akita pup, and have been through it many times with other puppies.

    Crate in the bedroom, because otherwise, how will you know if the puppy cries to go out? Also, the puppy will feel much less lonely (and thus tend to be quieter) if they know they are not alone. Every puppy I've had has settled down to sleep pretty easily if they know we are nearby.

    It's not true Shibas can hold it "longer' than other dogs. They tend to want to be clean, but no puppies have complete bladder control when they are young, and they need to be taught where to go, of course.

    I stop giving water well before bed. Since I go to bed late, that's around 10 pm for my puppies. Though they are usually crashed out before this, I take them out right before I got to bed (around 1 or 2 usually). Then the puppy usually sleeps through the night pretty easily, but they almost always wake early (right now Zora wakes up at 6) and needs to go out. I stumble out with her, then put her back in her crate for another three hours of sleep or so, before finally getting up with her for another trip out and her breakfast.

    In theory, she could "hold it' for about 4 hours, but in practice, she's not a particularly clean pup, so she will pee in her crate if she needs to. Overnight she never does that, but during the day she often pees in the crate even if she's been out within the hour. During the day, I stick to a strict "puppy goes out at least once an hour" schedule, though I pay attention, and if she starts sniffing or circling, out she goes. Left to her own devices, though, she will drink and drink and drink, so she pees more than most puppies! She's nearly 10 weeks old.

    I think expecting a very young puppy to only need to go out every 3 hours in unrealistic, unless we're talking about overnight.

  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    We had Kouda's crate downstairs from the beginning. Pretty much right by the back door, so it was convenient. The first week we slept downstairs in his view. We actually left the light on the first night. Every night we'd move a little farther away, until we were out of sight but still downstairs where we could hear him. If he stirred, we'd move around a bit and make some noise so he'd know we were still there. We also played music for him 24/7 (and still do when we leave him alone).

    As for potty schedules, we took him out every hour at first. But at night if he didn't do anything once outside, we'd extend the periods. After about a week, he could go a full night. We kept a log and noted how often he actually went and adjusted from there. We set an alarm to wake us up for his night potty breaks. We didn't wait for him to cry, we'd just get up and take him out on schedule, praise him if he went outside, and put him back. He never cried with urgency to be let out, but if he did, we would have attended to him. Any other cries for attention we would ignore, but pretty much he was exhausted by bed time and just slept. A tired puppy is a good puppy. :)

    Those first few weeks were rough, haha!
  • Benji immediately let me know that he despised pee pads on the terrace and would do his business on the grass in front of our apartment or nowhere. Eight weeks and his own opinion! I thought he would explode at first, but no. He also slept through the night from the start, from 11 pm to 7, never waking or crying except when I once tried, mistakenly, to send him to bed early. He was not amused. At first, I took him out every 2 hours during the day, based on his period of high jinks followed by sleep, and then potty again. After a month, it was 3 hours and then an hour more for every month. I just needed to look at his behaviour. There were a few mistakes off schedule, but never in the night. I guess every puppy is an individual.
  • I didn't mean to make it sound like they could hold out indefinitely, but I had read that they tend to have better bladder control than other breeds at a young age. Maybe that's wrong? But it definitely held true with my Shiba versus my mixed breed puppy!

    Oh well, maybe the larger point there was that although (2) Setting an alarm every 2-3 hours sounds good, for me anyway, it worked better to wait until the puppy woke up and told me she had to go out rather than waking her up, largely because disturbing her sleep didn't really seem to be effective.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Like @zandrame, I also had Sagan's crate downstairs right next to the front door for convenience. The first week was pretty typical--whining and screaming in the crate, but we did take him out every 4 hours or so. I go to bed fairly late, so when he was a puppy, we'd stroll around at 10pm, again around 2am, and then a "proper" / longer walk when we were awake around 6-7am.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • I remember placing the crate everywhere in our appartment when Molly was a puppy. She wouldn't stop crying until, one day, we brought the crate inside our bedroom. We slept a full night that time and never moved the crate away. When she hit 6 month old, we stoped crating her during the night, as we tought that she was well trained and wouldn't have accident. Beside 1-2 misstep, that worked well.

    Recently, we upgraded to allow her to stay in the bed with us. Never would have tough i'd go this far but hey, they are little fur ball, what's not to love about that!

    The point is you'll prolly have to move it and see how this pan out. Wherever you place it, it's likely that she'll cry a lot during the first night(s), like other member have pointed it. Best luck to you!
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    We also had our crate downstairs, in the breakfast room so it was very close to the back door. We also had a baby gate at the entrance into the breakfast room and closed off the kitchen door so Kaji could not get out onto carpeted areas. If you can, try to bring home your puppy in the morning, or as early as possible. That way the pup has more time to explore and get used to his/her new surroundings, and most likely will be more comfortable when it gets to bedtime. Kaji came crate trained, so he slept pretty well from the beginning. But he didn't sleep long hours, so we had to let him out to potty every few hours. Also, the crate is in a busy part of the house and I can see the crate from my computer desk, so Kaji never really got lonely except if he woke up in the middle of the night and we were all sleeping. Also, I stay up late... at least to 2am most nights, and used to get up around 6:30 to get my kids ready for school, so that was the longest Kaji would be crated at night.
  • I will definitely need more than 4 and half hours sleep! But will get up in the night to let him out for toilet. I'm just wondering, do I let him out when he cries or do I set my alarm to get up every 2-3 hours to let him out, on my schedule? Just getting up when he cries, he could cry all night long so at some point I guess we have to ignore it for a while?

    As for picking him up, he's a 3 hour drive away so do plan on leaving as early as possible to come and get him, but we'll probably get hom around lunch time if traffic is good. So he'll get at least 10 hours ro explore his new house before bed time. Luckily, I've got 2 weeks of Christmas holidays so I can easily cope with the disrupted sleep, maybe I'll take naps when he does! He'll be 9 weeks old when we get him.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    For the exploring, take slow, one room at a time so he doesn't get overwhelmed. Plus you should get him use to you first :)

    I think it depends on your puppy. I got Bootz a little older around 10-11 weeks. But she came potty trained and slept through the night. However, My shihtzu mix actually woke me up at night and needed to tinkle. I lost a lot of sleep with her...

    A lot of people use alarms, and slowly extended the time little by little so their puppy can hold it for longer periods of time, and eventually throughout the night. I think this is safer since, if you have a whine-r. You can't tell if he has to pee or just want out of the crate.
  • Yea I plan to introduce him one room at a time, it's what I did with the cats when they were kittens, and when we moved house last week! (Though Miles had other ideas and meowed at the top of his voice at the lounge doors until I let him explore the room behind that door, then he'd wail at the next and the next until he'd seen the whole house. Only then did he settle down for the night!)

    I think I'm in favour of putting the crate where we want it downstairs, and set an alarm twice in thenight for the first week or so then start lengthening the time like you say. If he gets really distressed we will be able to hear him, as we don't live in a mansion big enough not to hear him in any part of the house!
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Regarding #5, I believe Tatonka was somewhat crate trained when I got him (11 wks) but lost it because I let him out of his crate when he cried the first night I had him. He did this sooner and sooner each consecutive time, and by the tenth time the crate was just unacceptable to him.

    Of course I didn't have much choice at the time. Tatonka crying sounds very weird and loud, and my downstairs neighbor was a dick and tried to get me evicted for noise many times.
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1588
    This is a very good article on housetraining your pup. Following the steps she sets out will be very helpful to you and any new puppy owner.

    There is also a link to Pat's article on crate training made easy...a very useful read!

    Hope it helps a bit.

    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • millerb7millerb7
    Posts: 132
    It REALLY helped us to put the crate in our bedroom. We got Chloe at 4 months old. If we left the cage away from us at night she cried for hours. In our bedroom, she slept great without whining. First week she woke up in the middle of the night each night to go potty... but that soon stopped. She's now 5 months old (coming up on 6) and sleeps in bed with us now through the night. Occasionally she'll still wake up in the night, but it's almost always to get a drink not go out.

    The best thing we did though was move her cage into our bedroom.
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I had 2 crates for Kira, one in the living room that she stays in while we are at work and the one that she slept in upstairs next to the bed. Kira was a dream, she slept throughout the night and woke up at 6am whining to go out. As she got older, she made sniffing and huffing noises to let me know that she was ready to wake up. Now she sleeps in bed with us and licks our arms to wake us up.

    I would not set alarms to let your puppy out in the night, she might get used to the ritual and you WANT her to sleep through the night. Keep her crate well within earshot and let her out when she gets antsy. Good luck with your first nights!
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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    Post edited by Kira_Kira at 2013-11-08 22:09:09
  • MishiMishi
    Posts: 8
    Hello, I've some questions about sleeping at night for my new puppy that will be arriving in a month. :o3 I-)

    1- How long can a shiba puppy 8 weeks old stay alone at night before I need to let her out for toilet? I've read about 3 hours, is this correct?

    2- I see most owners here use the crate. Is this mandatory? I was thinking about just buying a dog bed and leave it at the room where she will sleep, and close the room door / use a fence or something to keep her in the room during the night (I have this big room at my apartment with a big window that is not being used and has no furniture or cables or anything dangerous for a puppy). Is this a good idea?

    3- About going potty: if I use the dog bed and a hygienic dog pad at the room, should I still come and pick her up and put her above the pad during the night?

    Thank you for any help! I'm a beginner with shibas and I'm worried about her first nights at home. I've read a lot but found some conflicting info so I'd like to know the opinion of the owners in here

  • dougfoodougfoo
    Posts: 41
    have you read Dunbar book on puppies? do a search on Google it's a free pdf u can read in one day.

    crate sounds like a surefire way to potty train - all other methods are less reliable from what I gather.

    you have time to prepare (1mo) - read up and try to create a consistent program that works for you (ie, there is a lot of great advice here but everyone has a different situation). and be patient a puppy isn't a robot it won't do exactly what the textbook says or what u would expect... it sounds so easy but it can be a challenge!
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584
    @Mishi - All puppies are different, so your mileage may vary.

    1 - An eight week old Shiba should be able to hold it between 2-3 hours during the day under normal activity. However, you should always take the puppy outside for a potty break immediately after playing, eating, and waking up. At night, most eight week old puppies can hold it 4-6 hours, some less, some more. It is all going to depend on the dog's physiology and its prior potty training from the breeder. If you have questions about this, I would talk to your breeder about his/her schedule.

    2 - A crate definitely helps speed up the potty training process and is recommended to use for both potty training and keeping the puppy out of trouble. Plus, it is a good idea to get them used to a crate early on in case of emergencies later in life.

    I would not recommend closing the puppy in a room with a door. This could cause some severe separation anxiety or anxiety over closed doors. If you use a separate puppy room (this may be a good idea during the daytime period while you are at work or otherwise unable to supervise), I would use an exercise pen or baby gate. If the room is large, I would start with a crate or ex-pen and then graduate to the whole room with a baby gate as the puppy matures and is able to hold her bladder.

    3 - I would highly recommend not using puppy pads. They confuse the dog and make house training much more difficult than it should be. Just start potty training outside from day one. There are loads of threads on potty training that will be helpful if you have never done it.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
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  • MishiMishi
    Posts: 8
    Hi people!

    Now Mishi is with me, I thought I could share a few experiences here.
    I've read Dunbar books like @dougfoo suggested and I've been following the instructions with some success so far.

    Thank you for the crate recommendations, @sunyata. I've opted using the crate because of what you said, and it is indeed a very nice way of potty training!

    During Mishi's first day, I kept her in the crate and would let her out every 1h15min and took her to the puppy pad, where she peed. The first day she missed some times (she walked away from the pad to play and peed before I could get her back), other times she did it in the pad, then I gave her treats and praise. The second day she got it right most of the times.

    I know puppy pads are not ideal, but since I leave in an apartment I see no other way (at least not until she has completed vaccinations).

    Now... I've noticed sometimes when I let her out of the crate she is so exited to play that she pees unintentionally, maybe she's not aware of what she's doing? I don't know. So now I'm trying leaving her crate open and using Dunbar's long-term confinement (I leave Mishi, the crate and her bathroom pads at her ex-pen, something like the picture:


    She has gotten it right every time. When I see her doing it, I praise and give her treats. It worked better for me then the crate short-term confinement so far. Still, even in her ex-pen, she spends most of her time chewing her chew-toys inside the crate.

    Let's see how this keeps going!
    Thank you againd for your hints ans suggestions =)

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