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Good afternoon all!

Firstly, I hope everyone well is well and managing with the current situation.

We've recently (almost two weeks ago) brought home our new family member, an (almost) ten week old Weimaraner pup named Skye!

She's been settling in well in many ways, but also struggling a bit in others. I was having a bit of a research online for some tips and hints and came across this site and thought it was great! so, I've signed up and carried on reading... and learning!

I'll no doubt have some questions before too long but for now I'm just trying to process as much info as possible!

Thanks for reading!

Awesome pup, congrats and good luck. Share stories, pictures.
Lovely pup. Welcome to you both. My whippet was running with her Weimaraner friend this morning. Therapeutic to say the least.
Welcome to the forum. Looking forward to hearing about your pup.
Hey everyone, thank you for the warm welcome :)

I've been working all day on the crate training tips I've found on here. Skye is already keen on her crate during the day. She actively takes herself in and settles, she will eat her meals in there but won't let me close the door unless she's already asleep! The problem I have is night time! If I place her in the crate (or even if she goes in by choice), close the door and leave, she will almost instantly start to bark and cry. Further to that, she will poop almost straight away, even if she's just been out and relieved herself.

To give a bit of background, when we collected her, the breeder advised the "tough love" approach, and as she's the breeder and we don't have any recent experience with a puppy, that's what we did. She cried from the moment I put her down (approx. 9:45pm) until around 4:30am, and the crate was a real mess! So, I rang the breeder back the next morning and explained, and she re-assured me that it would be best in the long run, as she's used this approach with all of hers, with the exception of one, who then spent the next 7 years waking everyone up! Therefore, we persevered the approach on the second night, and she was marginally better (cried 9:45am-11pm then 3am-5am) but she'd still pooped in the crate, which was again.. everywhere!

Fast forward to now, and we're still going with the "tough love" approach, she cries when the door is first closed, for around 10 minutes, and then settles off until around 4-5am at which point she will cry and bark.

Now, after doing more research, and reading about crating at night, I'm completely split on what the right thing to do is. On the one hand, I feel awful that Skye is (potentially... probably) stressed and I'm not coming down to let her out to relieve herself when she cries, but on the other hand, I'm trusting the breeder and their experience and knowledge to guide me in the right direction.

My main concern here though is that the pooping doesn't seem to occur as a "natural" requirement, but more so of one out of stress/worry, which I certainly don't want to continue. I'm contemplating sleeping downstairs for a bit so that I can be close to her and try and re-assure her but moving the crate to our room isn't on the cards as we've agreed to keep her downstairs at all times. Any advice welcome on this one!... and please don't judge me too harshly!

In terms of everything else;

The house training is going well, she's only had two accidents inside in the last four days (aside from the night time crate issues),
She's eating well, responds well to the commands we've worked on so far (goes to crate when told, sits on command, waits (on occasion!) and sits and waits on the door mat when returning inside after going to the toilet outside.

The next steps (again.. aside from night crating) are working on less biting/nipping! and getting used to a lead and then harness.

She's had her first lot of injections, but hasn't had her second set yet, so there's no walkies yet!

Apologies for the long post and thanks for reading!
The breeder's advice is outdated, I'm afraid. Being so distressed for hours every night that it makes her poo isn't good for her at all, just as it wouldn't be for a human baby. Puppies should feel safe and secure, and trust that you won't cause anything scary to happen. If the 'tough love' approach seems to work eventually, it isn't because the dog is now happy to be left, it's because she's given up hope and feels helpless.

Have a read of this article on crate training, written by canine behaviourist Emma Judson: Crate-Training.docx - Microsoft Word Online
when we collected her, the breeder advised the "tough love" approach,
Absolutely agree with Judy. I'm sure the breeder is good at breeding, but in the same way as you wouldn't ask a dentist to repair your car, I wouldn't ask a breeder about behaviour issues.

Emma's guide to crate training is excellent. I would add the following thoughts.

At this stage, she is an infant who has just been separated from mum and littermates and meeting her emotional needs is just as important as meeting her physical needs. When she is crying, it is because she is alone in the dark and anxious. So have her in your room at night, or you sleep in hers. It doesn't have to be forever, when she is calmly sleeping through, you can move her bed, in stages, towards where you want her to sleep.

By you being there for her, you won't make her clingy, you will help her develop her confidence by protecting her from the scary night time and she will grow in confidence as she learns there is nothing to fear.

You are not ”rewarding her crying,” you are meeting a fundamental need of an infant.

Hopefully you wouldn't leave a child who was afraid of the dark to cry themselves to sleep, alone. Your puppy is the same. The dogs that stop crying don't do so because they suddenly realise everything is ok, they do it because they have given up hope. It is an extreme example but in trauma victims, it's the silent ones who are most damaged. This article explains the science behind it.

Self Soothing & Cry It Out Are Neurologically Damaging Here Is Why - Simply Behaviour Dog Training Courses
Hey @JudyN and @JoanneF , Thanks for your replies, they're much appreciated! I've read both of the documents you've provided, and they definitely do make sense. The crate training document is the one I've been working through today, which seems to be working well so far.

I'll keep you posted!
Morning all!

Just here to provide a quick update from last night. I tried a slightly different approach with Skye last night. Usually I would take her out to go toilet, then introduce her to the crate and "close up for the night". As mentioned before, this is usually met with around 10 minutes of crying until she settles. However, last night I took her out to toilet, then stayed in the room with her until she went into the crate on her own. I rewarded the action and she lay down calmly, which again I rewarded, but very much left her to it. I then gradually started to lower the lights, until they were off, but remained in the room with her, with the crate door open. I then closed the door, but remained in the room. She was fine with this and settled off to sleep, at which point I left and went to bed.

She was fine and didn't make a sound until (almost bang on) 4:30am, where i was awoken by her crying. I came down and was once again greeted to huge amounts of mess.

I'm now torn between whether it's a stress issue, general toilet issue, or both as if I introduce her to the crate and leave too quickly she will almost instantly cry and poop, whereas if I do it more gradual she will settle, but then poop and cry after some time.

I think the next step is to probably repeat last nights settling routine, but then set an alarm for maybe 3:30(ish) to come down and let her out. The problem here is, I really don't want to set a pre bed routine or even one where she want's to be going out every night at 3:30am for the rest of her life!
Just to add to this as well, she voluntarily entered her crate this morning at around 9:30am, and promptly fell asleep. She allowed me to close the door (she looked around when I did that), and went back to sleep. I then returned around an hour later and praised her for her good actions, but it does make me question the night time issues (I suppose it points to needing the toilet)
And here she is now..


quick edit: It's worth noting I never leave her collar on if she's in the crate and I'm not there to supervise.. :)
I'd go with your suggestion of setting the alarm for 3.30 and taking her out. Either that, or moving the crate into your bedroom so she wakes you up when she gets restless. Don't worry about setting a precedent - if a week of 3.30am toilet trips solves the problem, you can move it to 3.45 for a while, then 4.00.... and so on.
Good afternoon all,\

Just thought I'd come to give a quick update and hopefully get some more wisdom!

following my last post on Sunday, I noticed that Skye mainly barked at around 3:30-4:30 ish. So, I set my alarm for 2:45am so that I could come down and let her our, before she made a mess in her crate. Unfortunately, she woke me at approx 2:30am, crying, and I came down to a poo in the crate. I cleaned up, took her outside and put her back in the crate. She went back off to sleep and when I came down in the morning at 6:15am, she was still asleep and all was well.. no mess..

great... I thought... Now I just need to set my alarm a little earlier to catch her before she does anything.

Last night, I set my alarm for 1:35am. I got up at 1:20 (it must have been on my mind), I came down and there Skye was, wide awake (no crying), sat next to a poo! So again, I cleaned up, took her out, put her back in for sleep and set my alarm for 4:30am to try and "catch" (not literally) the next one. However, at around 3:20am I was awoken by her crying and yep.. more poo!

I'm really at a loss of what to do next. Aside from setting my alarm for every hour (which I'm certainly not in a position to do), I'm a bit lost. It's not an option to have her in our room, but I could sleep a little closer to her.

I'm fairly sure it's not an anxiety issue, as she does settle and sleep, and in the day she's more than happy to take herself to her crate and go sleep for an hour or two (or three), but having said that; yesterday she was getting particularly nippy with our middle child (3y/o) so I put her outside the back door (glass so she can see in), and remained inside. She instantly started to cry and whine then promptly pooped all over the floor (quite a bit... I honestly don't know where she stores it all).

The other thing worth noting is that if I try to take her out before bed time for a wee and poo, she will always, without fail, wee.. but will rarely do a poo. She tends to do a wee then head for the door and not budge until she can go in. So if the last one she did was (for example) 7-8pm, and she doesn't do one at 9-10pm before bed, it stands to reason that she's going to want one at some point in the night.
What are you feeding her (including whether grain-free or not), how many times a day (and night) does she poo, and what is their consistency/size like? Does she reliably ask to go out if she needs a wee or a poo in the day?

It could be useful for you to sleep close to her crate for a few nights - then you might be able to work out whether she cries and then poos (suggesting either anxiety or a request to go outside), or has a poo and then decides that as she's awake, she'd quite like some company.
Hi there, at 10 cannot train your pup's pooing habits. Bowel movement have mind on their own and as you have already discovered, various things can stimulate it. At this age their bowels are not set into routine or one that is easily followed/controlled. As it here is only so much room in pups insides...even full bladder can be too much and create urge to poo. All we can do is trying to be there when the pups shows signs of wanting to do it. But as you do sleep away from the pup, you are not there when the first poo alert are done.
I don't want to sound too negative but, try not to expect too much too soon. At that age pups are usually only just started to be toilet trained and that can take some weeks at best or months if they are slow learners. Each pup is different. If the mess is stressing you out, I would recommend to do 'camping' and sleep near your pup.
They don't learn to be dependent as even if you wanted to carry on sleeping next to them as they grow up...they will naturally want to distance themselves from you as they get older. All our girls are brought up with close sleeping arrangements and now as adults...they sleep all over the place..swapping beds and areas through out the night and when they feel like, they do still get close to us too. But they are not dependant of that contact.
if I try to take her out before bed time for a wee and poo, she will always, without fail, wee.. but will rarely do a poo.

It sounds like it would be easier if she could poo sometime a little before bed time. You would still need to set an alarm but probably just for the once.

So what I would do now is add a few kernels of cooked or tinned sweetcorn to one meal. That will help you find out which meal she is pooing first in the night - the one before 1.20 last night. Then I'd try adjusting the feeding time of that one so it is easier for her to pass it a couple of hours earlier.

Are you using a cue word when she is toileting? While she is actually in the act of toileting, use a word and keep repeating it while she is actually doing her poo. After about a week of doing that, when she is about to start pooing - so getting herself into position - say it once (repeating any cue that the dog won't or can't comply with just teaches them that compliance is optional). Do that for a couple of weeks.

Then you can start to use it as a prompt. That will make things easier last thing.

She instantly started to cry and whine then promptly pooped all over the floor

That does sound like she isn’t happy being shut out, either because she hasn't learned yet that she is safe alone, or possibly fear of missing out.

A good way to teach her to become more independent is Emma Judson's Flitting Game, described about ⅔ of the way down this page.
Please take this with as many grains of salt as you see fit for I am no expert. Would there be any merit in gently massaging Skye’s tummy prior to her last visit to the garden before bedding down? In a previous life when we had to hand rear cubs (rejected by the mothers - it happened infrequently) we’d massage their stomachs gently with a damp cloth which precipitated their defecating. I appreciate that our rationale was to assist their digestive process but could it help to give Skye’s system a digestive nudge to perform last thing and perhaps obviate a nocturnal surprise for her Dad? As I said, I’m no expert and am quite prepared to be shot down in flames for the suggestion.

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