Too many potty breaks? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Too many potty breaks?

Ok, so potty training has gone unbelievably well. Pepper is only 11 weeks old, and has had fewer than 5 accidents in the entire time we had her, and all were our fault. My question is about at night. We crate train her, and so far, we’ve been waking up every two hours to take her out, whether she’s up and fussing or not. Every article I read says she can only hold her bladder for 2 hours, since she’s only about 2.5 months old. Is this accurate though? Reading through other posts, and other blogs, I’m seeing that many people only give their puppy one potty break a night. Am I interrupting her (and our) sleep unnecessarily when she could go longer? I have no problem doing it every two hours if she needs it, but if it’s better to let her sleep, I want to do that. What is everyone’s personal experience
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 08:06 AM
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General rule of thumb is months of age plus one hour for how often they need to 'go'. So, at 2 months they should need to go about every 3 hours, 3 months = 4 hours, etc.

That said, I haven't had a dog yet that will intentionally potty in their crate, so at night I let them dictate how many times they need to go out. The first few nights I may take the puppy out every few hours, but beyond that, they go out if they fuss in the crate in the middle of the night.

Some puppies will sleep through the night from a very young age, some need to go a couple times through the night. It really depends on the dog. As long as the crate is close enough that it will wake you up if the puppy starts to fuss I would let them sleep until they need to go. If you are a heavy sleeper and won't wake up if the pup fusses then an alarm every few hours might not be a bad idea.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 08:08 AM
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Honestly, I’ve never gotten up in the middle of the night to take a puppy out, and have not had accidents in the crate. At 11 weeks, I’d definitely start eliminating those nighttime outings.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:55 AM
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I put the crate right next to the bed and only take the puppy out if it wakes up and fusses. Some pups have needed to go out once or twice during the night for a brief time, others slept through until 6 or so.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 10:38 AM
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I never had to take a pup out between 11.00 PM and 6.30 AM after 10 weeks of age. But they sleep next to my bed in a crate so they tend to be calmer, which helps. Also last feeding at 6.00 PM and no access to water after 8.00 PM.
You are suffering needlessly. In your case I would get up only once to wean her off this routine.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 07:03 PM
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I had to take mine every 2-3 hours. Until he was 5 months, he HAD to go at 6am otherwise if I'm late by 30 mins to an hours, he'd have had an accident, it was like a biological clock to him. But as he passes 7 months, he was starting to be able to hold it more than 8 hours. Now he can hold it up to 12 hours (but I take him out every 5 hours max of course).
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiB89 View Post
Ok, so potty training has gone unbelievably well. Pepper is only 11 weeks old, and has had fewer than 5 accidents in the entire time we had her, and all were our fault. My question is about at night. We crate train her, and so far, we’ve been waking up every two hours to take her out, whether she’s up and fussing or not. Every article I read says she can only hold her bladder for 2 hours, since she’s only about 2.5 months old. Is this accurate though? Reading through other posts, and other blogs, I’m seeing that many people only give their puppy one potty break a night. Am I interrupting her (and our) sleep unnecessarily when she could go longer? I have no problem doing it every two hours if she needs it, but if it’s better to let her sleep, I want to do that. What is everyone’s personal experience
When speaking about holding their bladder mostly folks are talking about daytime when pups are playing and moving about. At 11 weeks I would start watching for signs that she has to go, but at night let her sleep. Pretty sure by 12 weeks Shadow was sleeping from 11 to 6 or 7. I do restrict food and water until generally 6 months to a year. So no food after 6, no water after 7 or 8. A healthy pup should be consuming enough water through the day to keep them hydrated. Even at 6-7 weeks I only give potty breaks once through the night. But kudos to you for taking potty training seriously and getting it done, these next two weeks will set the tone so don't give up on diligence just yet.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-23-2018, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken Clean-Air System View Post
General rule of thumb is months of age plus one hour for how often they need to 'go'. So, at 2 months they should need to go about every 3 hours, 3 months = 4 hours, etc.

That said, I haven't had a dog yet that will intentionally potty in their crate, so at night I let them dictate how many times they need to go out. The first few nights I may take the puppy out every few hours, but beyond that, they go out if they fuss in the crate in the middle of the night.

Some puppies will sleep through the night from a very young age, some need to go a couple times through the night. It really depends on the dog. As long as the crate is close enough that it will wake you up if the puppy starts to fuss I would let them sleep until they need to go. If you are a heavy sleeper and won't wake up if the pup fusses then an alarm every few hours might not be a bad idea.
I've never heard that rule. Everything I've read and heard is x month = x hours. 2 months = 2 hours. I guess it doesn't matter. Every dog is different.

OP...different dogs, different habits. Some can go all night. Some have to go once a night. With mine, I took away his water at 8pm every night. The last walk was about 1am. I wanted a good 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, so I took him out as late as possible, usually around 1am to 1:30am. First walk in the morning around 5:30 - 6am. It worked very well for me. There were a couple nights I had to wake up in the middle but otherwise he made it through most nights. In fact he wasn't even sleeping in his crate at that time.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! You’ve given me some really great advice. I’m going to start weaning Pepper off of the multiple potty trips at night. We did 2.5 hours instead of 2 last night, and things went fine. We’re going to try a night or so at 3 hours. If that goes well, we’re going to switch to only one potty break a night. I have to say, I’m looking forward to more sleep soon 🙂
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-24-2018, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by NikkiB89 View Post
Thanks everyone! You’ve given me some really great advice. I’m going to start weaning Pepper off of the multiple potty trips at night. We did 2.5 hours instead of 2 last night, and things went fine. We’re going to try a night or so at 3 hours. If that goes well, we’re going to switch to only one potty break a night. I have to say, I’m looking forward to more sleep soon 🙂
Just don't jump to her rescue as soon as she seems to be awake as you will install a habit. Wait and take a deep breath to let her know that it is quiet time, maybe let her smell your hand. She might go back to sleep. I think you are too cautious and I would add a few more hours to each stretch so you can feel human in the morning.
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