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Archived Message
Night crying
by Jim & Lynn

We've had Buttons for 3 weeks now, we got him from a pet store where he was obviously caged. We're having problems potty training him at night. When we put him in his cage he cries and runs back and forth like a wild animal and ends up with poop all over him. He would like to sleep with the kids but until he is trained we can't do it. My question is how do we get him to settle down at night so we can sleep and how do we get him to wait until morning or at least not wade in his poop? Another question - how do we get him to come to us? When we need to put him in his cage we have to chase him all over the house. Help!!!
It's a little hard for me to remember, but Taffy too cried and carried on at night. I got up every two hours or so and went out with her until she was potty trained. This took less than two weeks, and not one accident since. I think the early training and time pays off. To be able to sleep, we put her in bed with us, she has never gone there either, she is 17 months old. You might want to try taking the food and water away in the early evening, usually when they eat, they have to go "out" too. She was just lonely at night, and wanted to cuddle up. She started sleeping very well at that point. You get worn out getting up, but it lessens as time goes on, and well worth it later, I feel. When I got her I knew I would have to invest the time and lack of sleep for this. I have potty trained several dogs, and have always done it the same way, with the same luck. I hope this helps in some way.
Robin K.
Dear Jim&Lynn: It sounds like part of the "poop in the crate" problem may be when his last meal was? Do you feed at certain times of the day or is your puppie allowed to eat at will? You may try to feed (last meal of the day) early so the body has time to digest and eliminate. When we first got Sofi, like you, we were concerned about her being in her crate all night and having accidents. We made sure her dinner was over by at least 6-6:30 so that by 10 (last time outside) she was completely empty (and it may take three trips between 6 & 10). She has never had an accident. If you are allowing your puppie to eat at will, versus putting the food down three times a day, it may be difficult to know when and how much has been consumed. In regard to the going crazy/not wanting to enter the crate it could be the following: If your puppie has had accidents in the crate, the smell may linger. Dogs do not like being around their own waste so a clean crate is really important. To help make your puppie more comfortable in the crate, it should be in an area where he can see everyone and doesn't feel isolated. Have you tried to put favorite toys inside? This helps. When giving treats during the day, give them to your baby in the crate and leave the door open so he can exit afterward. This will help him to know that the crate can be a good experience too. I hope this helps, I've crate trained three dogs and each one of them has been unique. Good luck with your new baby!
Jim and Lynn, You did not mention how old your new baby is. The reason I ask is that my little rescue gal was caged and seems to have lost the instinct for cleanliness. As well, because she had been caged for so long, we opted not to put her through that again, even for housebreaking purposes. Now, she will voluntarily go sleep in a crate, and I am glad she has that as a haven of her own choice.You might want to consider if your little baby is demonstrating that he is mad at you for being put in there; it is a possibility. You might try one night in bed, and see how it goes. I have heard several on this board comment that there little ones have not had accidents, even when house breaking was not complete. ALso, you can try diapering him. Cuddles never potties in her diaper, so it works similar to the crate. However, she did poo-poo once, and that ended in a bath, but it has only happened once. You can buy new born diapers, cut a hole for the tale, and hold them on with either ironing board stays (the elastics with the clips to keep the cover on the ironing board. Or, I have used elastic, crossed and pinned in the back, and stapled to the diaper, with the sharp points away from the skin.) Good luck, and lots of patience, smile!
We have crate trained dogs too, but didn't have success with our maltese in the crate. We have 3 different sizes of crates and nothing worked. She made the biggest messes in the crate which were all over her every night. We finally gave up that idea and bought a playyard from Toys R Us. We put her small bed in there and a wee pad. She does much better and doesn't upset herself so much. She worked herself into such a frenzy each time we tried to put her in the crate. The playyard folds very easily for travel.
If he's reacting badly to the crate because of the pet store, another way that I've read about here is confining them to a small area with the wee pads so that you only have to clean the small area and he might be more comfortable than the crate. Maybe a utility room/kitchen where the floor is not carpet with baby gates or maybe an buy a little exercise pen or old baby playpen. Just more suggestions, good luck. It takes a lot of patience.
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