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Ask The Dog Trainer: Crate Training And House Training

ask the dog trainer crate training

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Question: From her first day with us I started to introduce my dog her to her crate and now she is ok to spend the night there. I close the door of the cage so that she gives me sign when she needs to go out. I take her out at 9 pm and she usually wakes me up at 3-4 in the morning, when she takes a pee and also produces waste. When I wake up to let her out, we live in a house with a garden attached, I do not talk to her or pet her, only let her go out and then close her in the cage again. After that she accepts to be sent to her place but starts whining and scratching in an hour or so. I go to her cage, tell her to go back to her place and stay, but in three minutes, she starts whining again. I have little kids and do not want them to be distrubed, so I go back to her and we keep on doing it until an hour or so – depending my tenacity. Please note that I only go out to her when she stops whining.

Food: She eats a mix of different kinds of food.

Walks: In the evening I take her out at 9 pm when she pees and poops. I tried to take her out at later hours but still she got up at 3-4 am so I learnt to go to bed early.  Thank you so much in advance for your precious help.

Ask The Dog Trainer: Crate Training And House Trainingask the dog trainer crate training


By Lynn Brezina, CPDT-KA, of FetchFind

Thank you for your excellent question.

I want to assure you that you are on the right track.  Most puppies do not have bowel or bladder control until they are 16-weeks-old. Once that happens their need to eliminate in the middle of the night diminishes.  When that happens they are able to sleep through the night. You are almost there. Be patient.

From what you say Candy can go six to seven hours through the night without having to eliminate. That is pretty good for a young puppy. I suggest you push back her last trip to her potty spot to 10:00 or 10:30 and see how that goes. I read that you tried that before, but she is a little older now (every few days with a puppy brings better control) so try it again. You can still take her out at 9:00 if you like and then one more time an hour or so later.

Make sure that when you return Candy to her crate you close her crate door. Perhaps I misunderstood what you said, but the way I read your question it sounds like you are not doing that and that Candy is leaving her crate. She is too young be allowed out of her crate unsupervised.  Like children, puppies have developmental milestones to achieve. These milestones interfere with housebreaking. Unsupervised freedom can lead to failure to get completely housebroken.

I understand that you are worried about Candy waking your children.  After you return her to her crate you can try covering her crate with a blanket. This often helps control barking. If that does not do the trick perhaps you can move her crate to a place where the children are less likely to hear her. You can run a fan in the children’s bedroom to help diffuse puppy noise.

Keep up the good work. For more help, find a reputable dog trainer in your area. If you need help finding one, contact us at


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