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8 month old pup suddenly won't sleep through the night?

67044 Views 15 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  mulder
Hi everyone. Our pup Rider is doing fantastic, she learns everything so quickly and is such a love bug. I have a question and I think the answer is something my husband and I have to do/change. But I was curious and wanted to ask before changing her routines. :confused:

For about a month, maybe a bit more, she's decided to REFUSE to sleep through the night! Every morning at 3am on the DOT she is quietly whining with intermittent yips, straight through until usually 5am when we just can't take it anymore and get out of bed. :crylaugh:

She is crated, in the living room, and won't be in our bedroom overnight until she has perfected potty training because any fun odors from poo, the ammonia in pee, even cleaning products, sets off my asthma. Ironically...I'm not allergic to dogs. :D

Now, I'm stuck on two theories. At first when she would get up at 3, I'd take her outside and she would in fact pee and poo within 30 seconds of being outside. However, if I don't take her outside and try to ignore her, she holds the poo (NOT the pee, makes for daily laundry) until 5am but makes enough noise to wake the neighbors. We take her out between 9pm-10pm every night to make sure she's empty, but she always pees and refuses to poo. Every evening after we have dinner, we take her on a long walk. On our way home she is always poking along beside us because she's tired. I also put her water up on the counter at 8pm so she doesn't drink a bunch before going to bed.

Her breakfast is always between 7am-8am, and her dinner is always between 4pm-5pm. So my two theories are either she still hasn't burned enough energy, or I need to change her dinner time to make that darn pee and poo happen later in the morning! Or a possible third theory....this is a phase just like 2 year old children??

Even two months ago she could sleep through the night no problem and would always wake up at 7am on the dot! I wake up when my husband gets up for work at 5:30am, and she used to be SO tired when we woke up! lol. But nothing has changed since then other than her deciding 3am is a great time to start the day!

If anyone has any questions in case I left out some important information, or has any ideas.... :crylaugh:
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Look for something in the house on a timer that gives her a clue it is 3 AM. If you recently had a power outage, something like a light on a timer may have been reset. Or it could be an early rising neighbor. Failing to find something like that, see the vet.

None of our 22 puppies had problems like that when crated.
We have nothing that would tell her its 3am, no timers, nadda. We have noisy neighbors and live in an apartment but its all extremely variable timing. Maybe 2 or 3 times she has managed to wait until 4-4:30am. She has worked her way backwards from 7am....then it became 5am and slowly approached 3am. She has been to the vet in May and there were no issues found. She is scheduled to be spayed in July. Because of her inability to wait until even 5am to pee, and how easily she poos at 3am if I do get up and take her out (poos are normal), what if I make her dinner time later, say 6 or 7pm? Would that not then make her poos later in the morning?

Other than her bathroom schedule being odd, this reminds me of when my sister was 2 and magically decided she couldn't sleep through the night without crawling into be with our Mom or myself. She is our only dog and I've noticed dogs in groups (or even pairs) are a bit different than single dogs. Then there's dog personalities. lol. Breed wise, she's Dachshund/Boxer, but I don't think her breed has anything to do with it.

I'm torn between a behavioral phase and adjusting her dinner time. Health wise the vet is happy and impressed.
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i would just get up with her at 3 and take her out and put her back in after she's done. It will slowly change back once she is able to hold it. If she can't hold it and has accidents after she told you she had to go then it isn't teaching her anything and she may stop letting you know she has to go out.
Thanks Kendalle. At a younger age she could hold it just fine overnight, I guess that's why I'm confused. When she started this trend, I had been getting up with her to let her out, for 2 weeks straight. But she didn't seem to be catching on to going back to sleep after. However, I will just keep doing that, because you make a very good point about what she'll learn if I don't take her out. Thanks!
I'd probably try changing her feeding times up a bit too. It can't hurt to try feeding her later to see if that helps. I feed my dog around the same times each day and his bathroom schedule is very predictable. The only time he ever really has to go out before I take him in the morning is when he's not feeling well.

But like Kendalle said, I'd take her out if she's asking to go out, especially if she's actually using the bathroom at that time. You don't want her to ask to go out and then not be able to hold it if she's not taken out.

As long as she's healthy, I'd just try adjusting her feeding schedule to start to see if that helps. Good luck!
Changing feeding times and taking up the water may help, but I still think something has changed. Although I have always had larger breeds, I never had problems with a 8 month old including the Lab I have now. We went through many puppies as an only dog in the house. The new normal is having a puppy plus an older dog. I would really have a check up explaining the problem. It could be a low grade UTI.
She's been to the vet, like I said, late last month, and this started early last month. She is fine health wise. Her issue isn't just peeing (uti), it's pooing too, leading me to believe it's her eating schedule.

Dragonrain, I was thinking of changing her dinner time to 6 or 7pm, instead of around 4:30. She always eats at the same time each day, just the last month and half maybe it's changed. I'm wondering if it's to do with a growth spurt she had in early May, this all started right after that.

And yes I will definitely keep taking her out when she asks to, I don't want her sitting in her pee, I'm sure dogs don't comprehend that reasoning. I had tried ignoring her for a week because I was starting to wonder if she just trained me to keep her company. I've noticed she doesn't sleep as solid when it's cooler out, even when it's warm in here (and I'm always cold!) :) Thanks everyone.
Update: She had her dinner at her usual time last night, 4. Afterwards she did her usual post dinner bathroom. BUT, before bed, Hubby took her out (I was conked out, prego tired) and ran a bit with her to burn her steam, and she peed AND pood!!! *dances*. She didn't bother us until 5! So I guess she needs the pre bed run :) I swear it's like her whole metabolism sped up since her growth spurt last month, even her head grew lol.
I am ashamed of myself for not suggesting that. I am sure I have advised countless others to do just that.
Labman, don't worry, I appreciate all input. Sometimes we don't think of the simplest things, right?

Also, tonight, I traded her crate (cage, really) with someone who had one a touch smaller. I've been concerned lately that maybe (although she's SO good at bugging us to go out) her cage is too big. So tonight we picked up one that takes 4 inches off the length and 1.5 inches off the width. When we got home she curled up in it and it looks picture perfect. And on a really positive note, while we were gone we closed all the extra room doors and left her in the kitchen/livingroom, and all she did was sleep while we were gone, no accidents ;)
very good. It could just be a phase too, i know every once and a while messi will wake me up in the middle of the night and he's 3. Heck, normally i sleep through the night but sometimes i wake up and gotta go! Same for them. And different ages they have different urges and all that. Mess used to sleep all night then he'd wake me in the night and have to go every night for a week, then it would go back to all night again and now he will sleep with me 24 hours i think, He NEVER wakes me up to go out side.
Thanks Kendalle. It being just a phase was also something I was wondering. :)
BINGO! I don't want to jinx it, but I think we discovered the issue. We underestimated how grown up she is!

Note: Every night, we've always told her "sleep" and she's gone into her crate and lied down. Lately though, when we say "sleep", she's been crawling into a bed we have for her under our desk (her fave bed during the day).

Two nights ago, she was up every hour on the hour, whining (after emptying herself outside). Aaaaah! So last night, in an attempt to save our sanity, we took the her fave bed from under the desk and put it on the floor in our bedroom. We then crossed our fingers she didn't mess anywhere overnight (but, she never used to until lately). Well....didn't she just SLEEP LIKE A ROCK all night, never tried to get on the bed once or bother us to go out.

In hindsight, she was basically starting to do overnight, what she does during the day when we crate her because we have to go somewhere. So I guess she got tired of the separation and just wanted to be near us. We also only just found out i'm pregnant, I'm only 6 weeks along, so maybe that has to do with her wanting to be closer?

Either way, aside from some tossing and turning sleep because of the heat overnight, we got SLEEP!


For her being 8 months old, we sure underestimate her. Because of the distance from our apartment to outside, we potty trained her in a 2 step process: First to newspaper by the door, then (once she could hold it much better) to outside. Well, the off-newspaper to going outside she learned in a week, and had bugging us to go outside mastered after another 2 weeks!
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Behavior changes when the owner becomes pregnant are quite common. Often becoming protective or clingy.
The only thing holding me back from believing that's the ONLY that she started this before we became pregnant. However, it just kept getting worse and Either way, she's SUCh a sweet and good girl, and last night she seemed to just know what to do, lying there beside our bed and sleeping all night. I think we ALL enjoyed the night more! :)
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