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(early) dawn barking/waking in crate

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Thank you. It is good to have options. Will aim for the crate route first as we want to be shot of the playpen if possible but if the problem persists (now we know we need to do more toileting at night) I will revert to crate+playpen option. i was just worried that he seemed slightly too comfortable pooing in the playpen - because that is what he did as a puppy on pads before his vaccinations... so I think there is an association that that is OK at night. Whereas he doesn't poo in the kitchen in the day (famous last words!).
That's the thing about pads, you need to untrain that it's ok to toilet indoors. But you'll get there, truly!
Just caught up with this. Did you keep him confined to the house before his vaccinations? Did I read that right? I know some people read the advice "cannot go out" as meaning cannot leave the house. This, as you may now know, is not so and puppies can go into an enclosed garden and can go and visit with vaccinated dogs etc. Forgive me if I got that bit wrong.

I am with Joanne on back to basics with house training. Timing is everything. He must realise why he got the reward. If he comes towards you, or sits before he gets it, he will not learn that he is being rewarded for the toilet in the garden. So you need to be there and, as you are a clicker trainer (yes!), you can click as he poos and reward him when he is finished.

Over time he will have the thought "oh I need a poo" followed by "if I hold on I will get a fantastic treat in the garden!"

I love crates but just sometimes they become a problem that is not helping the situation and we have to think outside the box again.

It is possible to have a puppy in the crate beside the bed and then move them out gradually as their bladder and bowels mature. You never let them take themselves upstairs so the puppy learns that "going upstairs" is not an option in later life.
Thank you gypsysmum2! So helpful to have different angles on these things. I have treated lavishly for all poos since day one. However i have not clicked for them and I do ask him to come to me, because there is a problem with him eating them, so I need get him away from the poo first! I think the clicker will help though as it will accurately mark the behaviour I am treating, won't it? So that's a great suggestion, thank you. I will also give poos a new name, different from pees...

I am nervous about upstairs crate training. If I have to I will but I would prefer to leave the crate and all dog stuff downstairs (psychologically, for me!). However I will keep it as an option if we don't get very far. I think he is 'holding on' but just cracks too early and starts barking as can't take it any longer. If he were in the bedroom I guess I would hear his discomfort perhaps before he started barking. I'll keep that option up my sleeve for sure. Thank you.

And yes, we were told categorically not to put him in the garden to toilet train until all his vaccinations were done. This was by a trainer! Who also didn't really encourage puppy pads but said it was the only solution until he could go out. One vet backed this up (we have a lot of foxes visit our garden so there is potentially hazardous fox poo in the garden) and another dismissed it. So I went with what the trainer said. In the crate it hasn't caused a problem but as last night showed, out of the crate he thinks he can poo on the floor of playpen at night. Hmmmmmmm not good! I'm hoping that when we remove playpen (soon!!) the association with crate+pen+night=poo will be removed... In the meantime I will persist with the crate training and see how we go, but be more responsive to morning noises/need for garden trip.

Thanks for advice. Really helpful.
The reason puppies are not vaccinated until they are 8 weeks old is because they have their mother's immunity blocking the take up of the vaccine. This protects them if they go out into the garden. Although foxes do carry some risk to our pets' health I think it is minimal. I knew of a vet that took her 8 week old puppy out for little walks because she trusted the maternal immunity to protect her puppy.

I would think that your puppy has as Joanne says, inadvertently, been trained to toilet indoors. The only thing preventing it happening more often is the crate. It is a huge hurdle to overcome but judging from your highly informed posts I think that you will get there fairly quickly. I knew of an elderly lady who did exactly the same thing with her puppy. She was very slow to respond to the signals the puppy gave off, however, and so failed miserably to train the, now vaccinated, puppy to use the garden. The puppy had to be fostered for a while to be house trained by someone with more mobility.

You have already identified the timing issue of rewarding the outside toileting so once you crack that I am sure you will make good progress. It will take time of course and there will be set backs but I am sure you will get there.
Thank you so much for your support! I am really annoyed that we were so misinformed about the vaccination thing - my partner and I both questioned it (having him toilet indoors) endlessly- it just didn't seem right to us. But with the "threat" of scary sounding fox illnesses and the advice we were given, we pushed back our instincts!

The good thing is that he doesn't seem to be toileting indoors in the day - this seems to be just a night-and-not-in-crate issue. Last night we crated him again. He barked very briefly at 6 and we got up immediately and went down. Took him out and he was desperate for a wee. Then when we came back in he wanted to sleep again.

So we are just going to have to take his barks as sign he needs the loo. The risk with that is that we reinforce the barking. Others must have this issue as well? The only solution I can think of is the crate in the room so you can hear him stir before barking starts but my other half doesn't want him in the room either! So we will just go quickly when he first barks - so tough to go from deep sleep to garden!

We are using the clicker and a new word for poos so hopefully can get that business done a bit quicker in future...
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That's great progress. It is hard to wade through all the conflicting advice out there but it sounds like the little soul does just need an early toilet. If it's any consolation, my boy won't even contemplate going out before 10 am. So once his little bladder and bowel mature you will likely get back to long lies.
Edited to add, I would definitely respond to his barks now, he is telling you he wants a toilet. Which is brilliant!
I sooooo needed to hear that JoanneF!! Thank you!

What's the general time-frame for a sturdy bladder (she asked not at all in desperation....!!)? Obviously it will vary between breeds and individual dogs but is there an age people notice a "turn" in these matters??
The rough rule is one hour per month of age but I found overnight my boy was fine after about three or four months. I think overnight they don't need as frequently. At least it's not midwinter!
Reading through this thread has taken me right back to when we were struggling with crate, barking, play pen &. Pads. Waking at 5 or 6 every morning and barking. We also didn't want her upstairs. She is now 11 months old, sleeps in her bed in our room. She has last wee at 10.30 and now isn't allowed 'up' until 8. She may wake at 7'ish but is told to go back to her bed. I wish I had taken advice earlier and had her in our room from the start and definitely no puppy pads. She isn't allowed upstairs during the day and is learning the distinction. Our turning point was when we gave up with the crate and moved her in with us at about 7months.

Another really good piece of advice was given by Gypsysmums or JoanneF, that in order to avoid standing in the cold and rain waiting to reward toile ting immediately, it was ok to stand in shelter watching and use clicker as soon as she went. This worked a treat, she weed, I clicked, she hurtled back indoors to get treat and I remained warm and dry (all winners). We still do this if she is weeing on command.

Good luck Bombolone. Hang in there, it really does get better.
I think that must have been Gypsysmum's tip !
I think it might have been but wasn't sure. But certainly a good one!
Peegee sorry I didn't see this. Thank you so much for your reply and encouragement.

We are still battling with he early morning barking and today is a really low day. Having accepted that he is barking to go to the loo, we have been getting up and taking him out - i.e. Reinforcing his barking. Ok if he needs the loo and is telling us. However it turns out that he only needs the loo 50% of the time (or only goes that often at least).

He has started barking reliably at 5 (cover over crate, radio on etc). Today we took him out at 5. Nothing. Then back in crate where he willingly went and stayed quiet for 40 mins. Then barking so out again 5.40. Nada. Back into crate and quiet until 615 barking when we took him out again and he weed.

We are tired and fed up (hubby was on duty today) and seriously regretting getting a dog.....

This pattern has been going on for a few days now. We both feel that the crate is not the problem - he goes in pretty happily and settles down. Waking up in there is probably the issue - or being alone - he is "calling us" one way or another.

I have been given so much useful info on here but at this moment really not sure what to do. Hubby won't have dog in our room.

So exhausted. I should also say that he is FAST ASLEEP by 830 pm and almost impossible to wake at that hour. We take him out at 1030 and then put him into crate. But he is asleep on floor way before then. Also in mornings he dozes a lot - he is not raring to go.

So sorry to bang on about this. He is getting on for 5 months.
Sorry things are no better. I know you really don't want to do this but since things aren't improving with the other stuff you have tried, is it perhaps worth trying the crate in or near your room? If not in the room, perhaps just outside the door in the hallway? If he is there you can settle him more easily. At 5 months he is probably reaching the age when he should be able to hold all night so reassuring him that you are there and telling him to settle might be enough to get you all a good night's sleep?
Hi JoanneF thank you again for your support. We are going to have to move the crate, I think you are right.... I'll let you know how I get on and if/when we have a breakthrough... thanks so much
Yes, we all have principles about dogs in bedrooms, on beds etc but sometimes our sanity must come first. The brilliant thing about crates is that they can be moved, ever so gradually, out of the bedroom and then the bedroom door gradually closed.
How are you getting on with this? We are having similar issues with our 7 month old cockapoo. I'd love to know if the alarm thing is helping!
The alarm thing has been a nightmare! Sorry to report this. We set alarm for 5 and woke him and took him out about 3 times. Was satisfying to wake HIM and that is the idea, to break the barking-for-us-to-come habit. Then the next day we went to 5.15. That worked. Once. Then the next day he woke barking at 4.45. Then the next day 4.40. Then the next day we woke him. etc. etc. It seems totally random. But more often than not he is waking us barking. 3 am one night. Give us strength. However he has had bad tummy troubles so we are trying to be patient. Am hoping we are going to resolve these soon....

If we could be 100% certain that he wouldn't poo in the kitchen we would be tempted to give up on crate. But he goes in it at night very happily - in fact I would say he really loves it at 'bedtime', he jumps in there happily and snuggles down. It's just the night/dawn waking up. He has had tummy problems so we assumed it was that waking him up to bark for us to be let him out. But a couple of times he has barked and we have taken him out and HE HAS DONE NOTHING at 5 am. So we were mightily UNAMUSED, as you can image. He just wanted to be let out of his crate, not to go to the loo.....

Not sure what to try next. WE had crate in the room with us but made no difference, still barked at 5. We are so exhausted. This is not fun.
We ditched the crate with Holly very reluctantly around the 4-5 month stage (there is another thread on here about that), but for no obvious reason she had stopped wanting to go in it - she would also go in happily up until that point!. She had always woken really early from the time we got her even with a loo break in the middle of the night and would never go back in the crate past 5.30am even with a kong or other treat.

Once her crate aversion started we ditched it at night time to start with and let her sleep on the landing and to be honest its been so much better. My husband has to more or less drag her out of bed for the loo when he leaves for work at 6 and then she's straight back to bed until whatever time I get up.

Holly is pretty good at waking us on the odd occasion she does need to go out in the middle of the night although more often than not it will be because she's drunk all her water.

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