House Training at Night: Outside vs. Paper Training?

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Christine1992's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-19

Hello everyone,
I've searched around the Net and in various books for a while but I can't find a clear answer to the question:
How do you house train your puppy at night?
There seems to be two basic opinions on how long a puppy can go without eliminating for, either their month + 1 and that's how many hours (i.e. a 2 month old puppy can go three hours) or every 45 minute-1hr for puppies less than 12-13 weeks of age. I would prefer to avoid paper training and just teach the puppy to go outside, but roughly how many times would I have to take him out at night to avoid messes in the crate? What are the techniques you guys have used? I am no longer sure what age I will be picking him up at, as I thought 12 weeks may be inappropriate (the socialization window narrows at that age, apparently) if the breeders will not make an effort to properly socialize him to a wide variety of strangers/being handled in sensitive areas by people (i.e. mouth, ears, legs, etc).
Thanks for any and all responses.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

I'm not sure where that formula came from, but the number varies. I went through this last year with Princess. I had to drive a day and a half to pick her up. I used a spare Schauzer crate (24" x 17" plastic) for her travel crate and her first few nights at home. Fortunately my breeder had started crate training so there was no wimpering during the night. (She was also the next to last to leave at 9 weeks, the first was at 8 weeks). She woke me up once during the night so we went out and she quickly did her business (sub-freezing temps at the motel). Back home she sometimes got me up twice and sometimes only once.

No matter what magic forumula you use, the true schedule is determined by the puppy, not the formula. If you decided to be logical and economical and get the 42" x 26" that is suitable for a full grown Dobie, be sure to get one with a divider so you can limit the space available to the puppy. Otherwise rather than get you up they will just go to the other end and go. The will do all they possibly can do to not go where they sleep. After the small crate, I then transitioned her to a 36" x 24" crate and had no problems except the night she had diarrhea, so I do not count that against her. At about 5 months, I moved her into the 42" x 26" wire crate, which she is still in at 18 months.

Unless you or someone is home during the day or have the ability to come home during lunch, your problem is really going to be during the day, not at night. I found that once she finished eating, I would time 5 minutes and take her out. It seemed to work well, as they are ready to go very shortly after eating. They have not developed the muscles necessary to go longer at the early stages.

I know you planned to pick her up at 12 weeks, but would recommend 9 weeks or 8 weeks if you can. It is a little more work, but at 8 weeks they should be ready and if you get too far beyond the 9 weeks, the bonding will generally take longer. Now, that being said, I got my red male (Red) who is now just over 7 years old, at 12 weeks, and he bonded just fine. In the evening he likes to lay on my feet (a way of claiming me) although during the day he and Princess like to play outside. She was a little slower to bond, maybe because of the dominant presence of Red, not her age. Keep in mind the generalizations are true, but your pup many not have read the rule book and may react a little differently.

Christine1992's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-19

Thanks so much! I intend to get a crate for a full sized Doberman but with a divider. So Princess would usually whimper or signal to you at night that she'd want to go out? During the day is no problem, I just finished university for the summer so the puppy will have my undivided attention until late August when I have to go back to class again. For sure I know that he must be taken out immediately after eating and after play sessions. That's a lovely Doberman in your display photo by the way, is that Princess?

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Joined: 2010-04-13

Hi  :) Christine, First let me welcome you to the forum and congratulate you on you new baby...I'm new here too but not new to being owned by dogs.  ;D However I am new to the Doberman breed!  :D

This is what I do. There will be others with their way of doing it. You have to work out what works best for you.

Last potty is at 10:00 PM, put to bed (crate) ignore whines, cry's, no talk, no consoling, as it will only delay the process of accepting. After about 4 nights to a week he will calm down. It takes some a bit longer to accept. But just know Pup will get there. The whining I am talking about...not the potty training.... that is longer. And just so you know all mine love their crates and sometime ask to be let in.

Get up time is 7:00 AM, then Potty, feed inside crate, then potty again.

When a new puppy arrives I take them out a lot like every 15 minuets for a few days, then 30 this continues till they start to urinate less often.

I do not get up in the middle of the night. I don't want to teach a behavior that later I would have to break. So I deal with the wet beds now vs on going. After all it's the wet bed that teaches them ewww I don't like this. They will figure it out sooner then you will expect them too.

Make sure his night crate is just big enough stand up and lay down.

If it were me I would pick my puppy up by 8 weeks old.

Congrats and Happy Mothers Day!!!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

No, that is Windy, my first Doberman that I got in 1982 at the age of four months. She had been purchased by a older couple who had just lost a Min. Schnauzer and wanted another dog. Their son was a good friend of the young man who had bred his female so bought a Dobie puppy without knowing how to handle a larger dog. They like a lot of people allowed their Schnauzer to jump up, but a 20 pound dog doing it and a 60 pound puppy doing it are two very different things. They did not know how to break her of it, so were giving her back to the breeder.

I was on the way home from work one evening and needed a tube of grease. There was a foreign auto parts place on the way home, and since grease is grease, I stopped in. She was laying on a pad in the corner and when I came in she came over to greet me. I was taken with her and commented on her and the counter man said she was for sale. I was surprised because of her age. He told me to come by the next day as the breeder (the owners son). would be there and I could discuss it with him. I did so and got to meet mama Doberman as well. She was behind the counter and when I went up to the counter she came out. Apparently I passed her inspection for she introduced me to the Doberman nose bump. She was well tempered and liked people, but she did not like being ignored, so she would take her nose and flip my arm up to tell me to keep petting, sucker!

Needless to say I was hooked. It is a bit ironic since I was very leary of Dobermans growing up. I worked summers in the Air Conditioning industry and it seemed that every house we worked on had a Doberman next door that wanted to come over the fence and eat me. I now know they were just making sure I was aware they were there and they wanted to make sure I knew where the boundary was.

Here is a link to a discussion about posting an Avatar, and a full size photo of Windy that I scanned in.

[url=http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum]http://www.gentledoberman.com/forum]

I was blessed to have her until she was almost 7 when I lost her to cancer. I got a second Dobie (a red male) about two years after I got her, and have had at least one Doberman ever since.

Christine1992's picture
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Joined: 2010-04-19

It's a pity when people decide to take on a dog without researching how to care for it and then get frustrated when the dog acts out. Windy was lucky to have found a competent owner, rgreen4. I went to visit a friend yesterday and there was a German Shepherd in the yard nextdoor to her place that gave several warning barks but quickly quieted down once he/she realized I wasn't a burglar/sketchy character  :P
Thanks for the welcome and the advice, Judy and Izzy! I think I'll try following your method of house-training and see how it works with my puppy. After all, it does make sense not to accustom him to being taken out of his crate frequently during the evening - I assume in the morning you give the puppy a wipe down or bath? Would you suggest perhaps taking him out if he wakes up and begins to whine (once he has adjusted and accepted the crate, of course). I'm sorry for all the questions, but I thought what better place than to get tried-and-true techniques!
I sent a message to the breeders today asking how they socialize the puppies that are picked up "late" (past 8 weeks of age). After what you guys have told me (as well as a friend I spoke to who has a Labrador that he picked up at 8 weeks) I think I might reconsider taking him late.

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Joined: 2010-04-13

Yes Christine I do on those rare occasions answer the call!!! But and only after months of training and months of dry beds... Just last night my tiny male barked around 3 AM. I tried to ignored but he was persistent. All he did was pee however. Sometimes we all just gotta go. It was a rare occasion for him to wake us up, so I knew something was up..

You know, To each his own. But Yes I do bathe and/or wipe down. Clean the bedding and crate. I love crawling in my bed when it is has fresh sheets...I bet the do too? If I wiped today, tomorrow they smell stronger of urine. So the next day I will bathe and so on. But b/c I heard not to bath too often! Or they'll get skin problems.

Girl don't be sorry for needing and seeking help!!! That is why we are all here, well I am for sure!!!...you will see me needing help any day of the week...maybe tomorrow! LOL I been where you are and I don't mind Sis'ta giving to you what was already giving to me! Pass it on! Good luck and someone will be here when you need them, it may be a day, but someone will come by to lend a hand.

This is an awesome group! Not too chatty so it is easier to keep up with and not judgmental. We all do our best with the knowledge we have! Yet sometimes we still mess up!! Forgiveness is the best hug!  ;D

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Yeah, they said they could not break her of jumping up on people. It took me 2 days to do it, and she was my first dog in 8 years. When I went over to pick her up, they had her tied to a tree in the front yard. I was glad to get her out of there. She was a very good dog, and very regal. She would lay there, cross her front legs at the ankles, and arch her neck. She knew she was the Queen. She was also the primary watch dog.

Two years later, when I brought 8 week old Hans home, she sniffed at him and he jumped up and bit her on the neck, She gave no reaction. I started calling him Tiger for a while, and named him Hans Tigre (Tigre is German for Tiger). I was mowing the back yard about a month later and I looked over and she had him laying up against the fence and she was wrapped around him protecting him. I knew then that she would make a good mother, and she did. She had two litters with Hans, the first was 10 and the second 8.

As for crying in the middle of the night, I have always taken that for what it is, they need to go. I would rather get up and take them outside than clean them and the crate the next morning. If they start whining right after you put them to bed, then I ignore it. But in the middle of the night, they usually don't wake up to cry to get out and play, they need to go. I don't think I ever took Princess outside once in the middle of the night when she did not have to go. Now I sleep soundly, and on occasion have not heard her, with the result I need to do a clean up in the morning.

It is now about 10:30 Eastern, so in about 30 minutes, I will put them outside for a potty break, and hopefully we can all sleep through the night.

JO_SIE70's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-01

Pet Profiles

Hi all,

 

Housetraining a clever Dobe is very easy. My 9 week old puppy will already go 6 hours over night without toileting, it means I am getting up at about 6am, but it is worth it when I know he is settled and clean all night. I taught him to toilet on command following my own method. You can read all about it and watch 8 week old Mac toileting on command only 24hours after I got him. Follow this link for the toilet training guide!

If you are clear and consistant and don't expect miracles then your little pal will soon get the hang of things. I still have to make sure during the day that I am ready to take him out at all the key times as outlined on the blog (see link above) but if I do my job properly then Mac certainly does his.

 

Hope this helps

 

Jo Clarke ACFBA MGoDT APDT

Go Fetch it Dog Training

www.gofetchit.co.uk