Help with Peeing and Sleeping

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MaddeMama's picture
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Well it's been a little less than 2 weeks since our little Madde Girl came home.  The first week was hellish - never had a Dobe before and someone forgot to mention that these little kids are NOTHING like any other puppy we're ever had (And we've had quite a few).  Because of this, the crate went in the bedroom, just like any other dog we've had, next to the bed.  When the "shreiking, screaming, emergency siren" sounds didn't let up after 2 hrs, I let her out to potty & put her back in.  The eardrum shattering commotion continued for another 45 min to an hour at which point I preceded to break the cardinal rule and let her out.  Yes, I know, Bad Human - Bad bad human... Hey, I'd never had a puppy who cried to be let out, not to play or eat or pee or just generally cause trouble, but for the sole purpose of sleeping ON ME.  Especially the first night they came home!  Most puppies don't want that much to do with their people until they've at least been around them for a couple days...

So shamefully, in the bed she went for the next 4 nights.  I must say, she behaved.  Not only did she sleep most of the night, by some miracle there were no potty accidents either.  We both knew this was wrong and it had to stop.  Plus neither of us were getting any sleep with grunting puppy nose, feet and butt in our faces all night.  We talked to Steve, our wonderfully helpful breeder, who explained the "rite of puppy passage" where she should be on the other side of the house, and yes, she was going to cry herself hoarse.  And she did, but she got over it.  It also seems to help that we keep the radio on for her at night.  We let her out in the middle of the night (seeing as she's only 8 weeks) every 4 hrs.  Goes to bed at 10:30, out at 2:30, up for the day at 6:30.  No play, attention or anything for the 2:30.  Just out & back in bed.  We also went out and got an Xpen which is where she stays during the day unless it's potty, walk or play, we & restrict her water after about 8pm.

I also started leaving her alone in the crate (when she was pooped out) for no more an 2 hours at a time.  When I'd return, she was quiet - but pee in the crate.  I was concerned about her not being able to hold it 2 hrs or less so Steve suggested she go get checked for a UTI or other prob.  Sure enough, she had a really slight bladder inf and has been on clavamox twice a day since last wed.  Seems to have kicked in, no more accidents in the xpen or house, out every 3 hrs or so or after eating, napping or rough play.

Here's the problem - 10:30 to 2:30 she's pretty good.  Few cries when first in bed then sleeps, no pee in the crate when I get up to let her out at 2:30.  Goes out pretty easy and pees almost right away. Between 2:30 and 6:30, pesty as all get out and pee in the crate.

Is this something she's just got to grow out of or am I doing something wrong?  I just don't understand how she's fine for the first 4 and can't hold it for the next, especially since she's not had anymore liquids in the meantime?  Thank God I'm not working right now and am home all day, but even so - the whole not sleeping thing is killing us.  I'm not a total moron (at least I don't think) and I'm not expecting the poor baby to sleep all the way through for 8-10 hrs, but seriously - is 2 increments of 4 hrs too much to ask? ???

I'm also worried that the peeing in the crate might be a behavioral problem down the road, as I've always known dogs to not want to mess where they sleep at almost all costs.  She seems to not be bothered by it?  I guess as long as I know we're not doing something terribly wrong, and it's just a growing up thing, I'll be ok.  I just want to nip it in the bud if it's not and might continue to be a problem.  Plus it sure as #$&^ would be nice to not dread going to bed every night  :)

AlphaAdmin's picture
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It's good you checked her for UTI. Girls are susceptible to them. Little girls are also, in general, very leaky. Boys are too but not as bed.

At her age, she might just be sleeping deep only the second 4-hour period, so when she gets that relaxed she starts leaking. I alway suggest keeping two puppy beds - one for the puppy, one for the washing machine - and have them trade once a day.

I think you're doing everything right. You have her crate trained and she knows that outside is the place to pee. I thinks she's just falling into deep sleep and her little puppy butt falls asleep too.

Make sure she always had access to water, especially since she now has a history of UTI's. This should clear up in a few weeks. Sometimes females stay a little leaky until after their first heat though. This doesn't mean she will, but I usually try to urge people to wait until after the first heat, or preferably the second, before altering for this reason. Altering before those changes can sometimes make the "puppy-leakyness" a permanent thing.

Good work though. I know it's tough the first few week and the lack of sleep. My wife and I kept a system for our puppies. (try having a whole group of them) I would go to bed about four hours late.  :)

This didn't prevent the peeing in the pet though. I just kept news paper down in their bed. 

sems_yates's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-20

Why is it so bad for her to sleep with you?
  All of our dogs sleep with us! lol
Keep a crate in your bedroom for her to sleep in.
Dobermans are the type of dog that want to be with their family.
Although crate training for the purpose of potty training is such a great idea.  I live by that rule.

 

MaddeMama's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-18

Yeah the urinalysis was Steve's idea, I never would have thought of that myself.  Couldn't catch a specimen on her cause she's so little so they had to do a cyto but it was worth it. We had a leaky girl Lab, but she was a submissive leaker, which Madde's not thank god.

That's funny that you should say that she might be in a deeper sleep the second half of the night.  She seems like she sleeps harder the first part of the night.  The second half is when she makes all the racket wanting out and such.  I get more cries going back in & she starts back up again around 4:30-5am.  That's why I was a little worried that it was a "I want out, I want out...If I pee I get taken outside!".  I know it's a stretch at her age, but you should see some of the other strings of logic she puts together.  She sure doesn't seem to think like only an 8 wk old.

She's SOoo vocal too.  I swear she's constantly crying, wimpering, barking, groaning or grunting.  Some of it's hilarious, especially when she's frustrated and grunting crying and playing with her toys at the same time.  She sounds like a really old man laughing :P  I can't help but wonder if she'll keep it up as an adult - and what it's going to sound like then!?

How long do you think I should keep up the 2:30 potty call?  I know they're creatures of habit and I don't want it to get ingrained that it's "time to wake up and potty!" when she could be sleeping through the night?
I keep an older towel in the bottom of her crate in lieu of the bed & swap it and wipe the crate out with vinegar water when she gets up in the am.  She likes the towel cause she can root around and bunch it up the way she wants it.  We tried a bed but she kept digging at it, like she was trying to get it the way she wanted it.  She seems just as happy with the towel, plus we've got lots and it washes up better with some vinegar and detergent in the washer :)

MaddeMama's picture
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sems_yates wrote:

Why is it so bad for her to sleep with you?
  All of our dogs sleep with us! lol 

Hah, no - I suppose there's nothing wrong with it.  As long as everyone involved is getting a good nights sleep, which we were not :)

In fact, our Golden sleeps in bed with us sometimes, although just until he gets hot, usually only about an hour or so.  When she grows up and is totally potty trained, knowing my husband, she'll be back in bed :P

I know they need to be with their "pack" but they also need to learn it's ok to be alone too.  Something she's still a little shaky on.  Gotta stop that separation anxiety before it starts!

AlphaAdmin's picture
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OK, I misunderstood the first time. Perhaps she's anxious the second half of the night. What you can start doing is moving up the bedtime break, that's how I'd do it, especially if the first half is her good half.

I find towels better for puppies too, and you're very correct about teaching Dobermans how to be alone.  ;)

MaddeMama's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-18

Thanks, you know you think you're doing the right thing... and then your sleep deprived mind at 3am starts thinking "this isn't normal, this CAN'T be normal... I must be doing something wrong. I'm going to ruin her for sure!"  :D