Where should your puppy sleep at night when you are housetraining? Should you keep things in the crate?
This is a fairly straightforward topic, but a question that I get frequently. My short answer is that puppies should sleep in someone's bedroom.
Why in the Bedroom?
- It is important to be able to hear your puppy walking around at night. If he walks around, there is a good chance he has to go potty. If he goes potty in the crate, this is kind of a big deal.
- Puppies sometimes sleep better with someone around. Chalk it up to their social nature, being afraid of being alone, or whatever, but this often is the case.
- It provides extra bonding time. There are so many hours that people are usually away from their puppies, this gives everyone a chance to be together -- even if everyone is sleeping.
Night Time Strategies
- Keep all bedding out of the crate to limit accidents. A bed can act as a diaper and wick away all the moisture from your puppy. Crates are used to motivate a puppy to hold it longer.
- You can cover your puppy's crate with a blanket -- or not. Try and see if it makes a difference. My clients have had success both ways.
- If your puppy is anxious, try putting the crate somewhere where he can see you. Sometimes this helps.
- Keep in mind that puppies can usually hold it MUCH longer at night, so don't use his night time length of time dictate how long he is alone in the crate during the day. You might come home to an accident.
What If There Are Accidents
If you find accidents in the morning, take the bedding out for the next two weeks if you have not done so already. Then, you have to set your alarm and take your puppy to a pad or outside in the middle of the night. The more your puppy has accidents in the crate, the farther away you are getting from your goal. When a puppy gets used to going in the crate, this can be a BIG problem.
This stage should last a few weeks. Remember, your puppy should be able to hold it 15 minutes longer each week as his bladder becomes stronger.
I have had plenty of clients over the years that are either really light sleepers, have a tough work schedule or just frankly can't deal with waking up in the middle of the night. In that case, I recommend a long term confinement at night and practice crate training techniques whenever they are home.
This is the final housetraining video in my series. If you have farther questions, don't forget to watch the other videos. Be patient, and remember, you are dealing with a puppy. Think of how long it takes humans to potty train! 2 or 3 years!!!
You can do it!