This may be my first OP. I can’t remember because I’m exhausted. I usually lurk, but sleepless nights have driven me out of lurkdome to ask for help!
I am fostering a 7 week old puppy. (He was found wandering by himself at 5 weeks, no mom or owner around. Poor baby!) House training is going pretty well. Very few accidents, because I watch him like a hawk and have a good daytime feeding/potty routine. But nightime isn’t going so well. I’ve been researching this on the internet but have read conflicting advice, so maybe someone here can help.
I have him in a small enough crate that he won’t elminate in there. I don’t expect him to make it through the night at his age, but he has been waking up several times a night, whining, and I’m not sure how to deal with it. Last night he woke up 5 times!!! The literature from the rescue place we’re fostering for says to respond to his cries, take him out, do the potty routine with no fanfare, put him back in the crate, let him cry it out briefly if necessary, then go back to sleep. He goes potty like a trooper every time, so he knows the drill. But this is happening way too many times, IMO, even for such a young pup.
I have tried restricting water towards bedtime, but he still begs to go out and only pees a microscopic amount! I know he can hold it longer than he does at night. So now I’m wondering if he might be wanting attention. Logically, if he has to pee, he needs to go out. If he’s just bugging for attention, what do I do? And how do I determine which is which???
I also am wondering why he is waking up. We have been strategically giving him a good play session to tire him out, then letting him settle down on his own before putting him in the crate. He goes to sleep without objections, no problem, but wakes up after only a couple of hours. We have tried feeding him later in the evening (8 pm) in case he is getting hungry and waking up. Didn’t help.
Of course, with all the experimentation, he’s probably confused, we’re confused, and I’m getting pretty desperate. One thing we haven’t tried is putting the crate by our bed so he doesn’t get lonely, and comforting him when he whines. We may try that tonight.