My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Cannot Make It through the Night


Exhausted from lack of sleep? Frustrated with your puppy for waking up in the middle of the night? We bet. We’ve been there, we know what it’s like, and we have ideas that can help.

First: What is going on?

Needs to Go
Both young pups (under four-months of age) and old dogs can get caught short over night. And any dog of any age can need to go if they have eaten too much or the wrong thing, or have drunk too much. As exhausting as this is, be glad they are letting you know rather than just going in their crate or on your floor.

Woken Up
If your child or cat or partner gets restless at 3:45AM, that can wake a pup. And once your pup is up, then he or she will probably have to go outside and soon.

A puppy who is new to your home and new to being by himself can wail loud and long the first few nights waking up alone, and that will lead to a need for a midnight potty break.

Wants Some Company
If you’ve been an understanding person, cuddling and talking to your new puppy when you take him or her outside in the middle of the night, your puppy may (understandably) think you actually enjoy it and consider it quality time with you.

This goes double if you’ve been giving treats after your puppy goes. Yes, yes – treats are great but not during the night.

Puppies who have previously been sleeping well but start fussing during the night between 4-6 months of age could very likely be awakening due to the discomfort of teething.

Has a Medical Problem
Pups who are wormy, have a urinary tract infection, were recently spayed or neutered, are on any sort of medication or are just plain sick can all have their systems thrown off and need a middle-of-the-night walk.

If your puppy has diarrhea, is lethargic, or is vomiting this could be an emergency. If your puppy is a tiny toy breed or if your new-to-you and/or not-yet-fully-vaccinated pup looks and acts sick, rush to a veterinarian right now!

Older dogs can suffer from something called “cognitive dysfunction” or, for lack of a better term: Doggy Alzheimer’s. One of the common symptoms of this is nighttime activity, barking and disorientation. There are medications that can help this now so, if your dog is up there in years and if this is a new problem, talk it over with your veterinarian. There may well be things you can do.

Second: Make Easy Changes

You are Transportation Only
At night, you are simply transportation. Nothing more. You are neutral, you are quiet, you do not dawdle. When you go to your pup, you turn on only the lights you need to be safe, you get him without comment, you put on the leash (this prevents your pup from entertaining himself by romping around your yard), you go outside. Once the deed is done, you return inside equally quietly, tuck your pup back into his sleep area, and you go tuck yourself back into yours.

If your pup is being papertrained, same rules though you can skip the leash. Just directly to the potty area and back.

Teething Help
Provide your teething puppy with adequate chewing outlets such as compressed rawhides, sterilized bones, or other good, hard chew toys.

Review his Diet
First thing to try is soaking his dry food in equal amounts of water. So one cup dry food is soaked in one cup of water. Sometimes this simple change lessens the amount of water your dog drinks after his meal and that lessens the amount he has to go during the night.

If the food swells a great deal when soaked, we would change to a higher-quality diet that you can feed less of, that will stimulate less water consumption and that will swell less in his system. If your dog is pooping large amounts many times a day, changing to a nutritionally denser food can work wonders. There are many great brands on the market today; find one you can get easily and that is within your budget.

If you do decide to try a new food, make the switch slowly. Do ¼ new and ¾ old for a few days, and if your dog appears to be doing fine and his stools are fine, switch to ½ new and ½ old. After a few days and if all is well, move to ¾ new and ¼ old and if that goes well, go to 100% new.

Now, if you are happy with the diet but are still being woken up at night one of these ideas might help:

Feed Later
We give an up-late pup dinner at around 9:30 PM. The eating generally stimulates the bowels so he will defecate soon afterward, just before bedtime, and the late meal won’t be ready to exit till the next morning. This can give both of you a much-needed good night’s sleep.

Feed More In the Morning
If that doesn’t help, try feeding 2/3 of their daily intake at breakfast and 1/3 at night. That should leave less in the system, making holding everything overnight easier.

Watch the Water
If your puppy really needs to pee at night, consider limiting his water after 6 PM. After all, what goes in, must come out.

The rest of the time, keep an eye on his intake. If he drinks a lot, he will have to pee a lot. Now, that said, the way to deal with it is NOT to limit his water. People sometimes limit water in an effort to control mistakes – this is risky and can teach the dog to binge on as much water as he can get whenever he can get it. Counterproductive at best.

Being aware of how much water your dog drinks is smart and sometimes some management (as in removing water in the evening) can be helpful – just as limiting a bedwetter’s nighttime drinking can help. Discussing this with your veterinarian is always a good idea since she will know your individual situation.

No matter what age your up-at-night dog is or what the exact cause is, go outside with your dog on walks and make sure you know what is happening when. This way you can better judge sincere (and urgent) requests to go out from simple fussing. Also, this allows you to smile, praise and reward your dog for a job well done. Always a good idea.

If your puppy is dirtying the crate at night before you have a chance to get him out, then the crate needs to be in the bedroom for now or you need to sleep near the crate. You must be able to hear your pup and get him out promptly to keep a temporary issue of crate soiling from becoming a more ingrained habit.

But, if you know for sure that this is not about needing to relieve himself, but just about waking you up and getting some attention, then having the dog sleep at the far end of the house can resolve the matter entirely. That is, if his fussing for the first few nights does not keep anyone awake in your house or your neighbor’s.

Walk your dog at 6-7 pm, then not again (if possible) until just before bed. Young puppies, of course, are the exception to this since they may well need a walk between those times. In a perfect world, your dog will both urinate and defecate on that last walk.

If he wakes up in the middle of the night, take him out then right back to the crate. Keep him on leash to avoid him making this playtime. Absolutely NO food or treats of any kind at these times!

Common Mistakes
Praising the dog for going outside (a great idea in daylight hours; an incentive to a lonely pup to get you up for a 3 AM walk). Feeding or giving the dog water on those late walks because you fear he might be hungry or thirsty is another mistake. These things just reward him for waking you up, and what you reward gets more common.

Further Advice
For adult dogs, we generally advise people to treat the dog as they would a spouse or partner who got in the habit of awakening them in the middle of the night for no particular reason. Most people know exactly how they would respond to that behavior!

Oh, but please, if this suddenly starts in a dog previously quiet overnight, get him to his vet for a check up!

By Sarah Wilson,


  1. Thank you so much for the helpful information! I do feel this is a feeding TIME issue we need to work through.

  2. What quantity should be fed to a 12 weeks old lab pup? We are giving him yellow bag of IAMs, 1 cup three times a day. Is it too much for him

    • Hi Shree – Labs are one of those breeds with a massive adult weight range from in the 40’s to over 110 pounds. So, if your pup is pooping 3-4 times a day well formed stools and doesn’t have a hugely bloated belly after meals, that could be a good amount. If he’s a poop machine and looks like he’s 9 months pregnant after meals, it could be more than his body can handle yet. What I do know is that food bag recommendations never met your particular pup so let your puppy be your guide and ask your vet, when in doubt. Enjoy! Sarah

  3. My husky puppy is 4 months old but is still waking up 2-3 times during the night. I take him for a walk early in the morning, once during the day and another time just before bed, but when he comes back from his end of night walk and has peed, he is very thirsty and wont sleep until he drinks water, and then he wakes us up to pee again because of this! what should we do?

    • He needs a LOT more walks at 4 months. At his age I normally do: first thing, after breakfast, midday, late afternoon, after dinner, before bed – a a MINIMUM. Might be two more in there, too, depending on the pup. And that assumes a solid crating routine.

      He needs access to water throughout the day though I do end that around 7 PM, unless it is very hot. A lot depends on what he is eating and how much, if he has an parasites and we have to take teething into consideration, too. 2-3 times a night is a lot – have you spoken to his vet?

  4. My puppy is 6 weeks old and wakes up at 3 am every morning I give him his last meal and water at 6pm and he does go out before bed time but still wakes me up in middle of night sometimes just for nothing what can I do to keep in sleeping all night and not come wake me every night in middle of night

    • Six weeks old is an infant. I’m impressed he only wakes you up once. THAT is surprising and excellent. You can feed him a bit later, such as 8 PM and you might make it to dawn. But really, I expect such wake ups with a baby. Growth happens quickly but for now, it’s your turn to have sleep disruption. Sorry.

    • Hi, I know this was a year ago but I’m having the same trouble now and wondered what happened thanks

  5. I hv a 6 month large lively cavachon intelligent dog! He wakes be up 2-3 times a night barking sporadically, on the second he’s already peed & pooped, not on the tiled kitchen floor where his bed is but on the dining carpet nearly every night ? He’s walked twice a day & fed 3 times a day but he is a grazer ! I don’t know how to stop him ? Any suggestion?

    • Hi Jeanette –

      Not sure what you mean by “walked twice a day”. At his point he needs at least 6 chances to potty outside a day. At least. I’d have him on two meals a day with 20 minutes to eat each meal then the food is removed and I would not give him unsupervised access to the carpet at his age. I’d be crating him overnight in my bedroom so we could get on track. With meals organized, he is old enough to make it all the way through the night so that is a worthy goal. You can’t reach it by decision but by adjustment and observation. When he gets up, take him out then back into his crate until rise and shine time. Good luck! Sarah

  6. Hi there i have a 6 month old staffy and we trained her to sleep in her crate and one night she was sick 3 times in her bed so we decided to let her sleep in our bed and since then she seems to wake up earler and earler and wants to come upstairs and sleep in our bed , we put her to bed at 10 and she wakes up at 2 to come upstairs and if we dont let her sleep in our bed she will cry all night , i dont knkw what to do ?

    • Hi Ryan – Being with you is the BEST THING she can imagine. A huge reward. And since she gets a HUGE REWARD overtime she wakes up, she wakes up faster and earlier. Easiest answer: Start off with her with you and then she won’t wake everyone up. Next option: Move her crate upstairs or get a second crate for the upstairs. OR – tough it out and that means NEVER EVER bringing her upstairs in the middle of the night again. Ever. All can work. Two are likely to allow you to sleep better. 😉

  7. Hi, my lab pup is 10 weeks, is in process of changing food to get him on a better food than he was when we got him. He is pooping quite often I assume due to new food being introduced. His last time to eat is around 5 pm, he poops a couple times before 11pm and going to sleep, but always wakes to go out at least once in middle of night and always has to poop. Should I be feeding him dinner earlier or later to keep from pooping in middle of night? thank you!

  8. My 9 wk old Aussie is waking up multiple times throughout the night barking and the need to urinate. I feed him the latest 7 then cut off liquids for the night. I also bring him out multiple times before bed. I wake up once throughout the night to let him relieve himself when he’s barking but not sure it’s enough bc he still has accidents in his kennel. What should I do? Take him out more often until he learns? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Kristy – It’s really not a matter of “learning”. He is an infant and literally cannot control himself so you have to help him out and get him out. Follow the steps in the blog and see how things go. Good luck – this phase passes quickly. – Sarah

  9. So maybe try feeding him later in the evening or right before bed and this will hopefully keep hold him until the morning? Does it hurt for me to set an alarm to wake up maybe 2x throughout the night to prevent accidents until he’s a little older or the goal is to try to prevent bathroom breaks? I understand he’s a puppy and can’t hold his bladder right now so I just don’t want to confuse him.

  10. Hi Sarah, I have a 10 week old whippet puppy who has some interesting bathroom habits. I’ve been training him to potty in a specific spot in the yard with command words, and he will only pee or poop in that spot. He won’t potty when I take him on walks. This is only a problem because I’m trying to get him to sleep through the night. He seems to only wake up because he needs to poop at around 3:30 or 4 am. At first, he was messing his crate, but I moved the crate to my bedroom and now he wakes me up and I take him out. I’ve been feeding him at 4:30 or 5 pm in hopes that he will go before bed, but he just won’t. He wakes me up to go in the night and then has to go again in the morning when we get up at around 7:15. Do you have any thoughts on how to make his night poop and evening poop or a morning poop?

  11. I have a 9 week old pitbull and i feed her around 8 she goes to bed at 10 so i take her out always before sleep, my husband goes out to work at 3 am and she cries again so should i take her out? Or make her use pads? Also because its so early sometimes she thinks is playtime and cries as soon as i put her back in the crate, what should i do?

  12. We have a seven-month-old Aussie doodle. She has been very good about sleeping through the night for several months. She sleeps in our bedroom but not in our bed lately every night around one or 130 she wakes us up jumping on the side of the bed and whining to go out. I’ll take her out I do not talk to her or praise her I just let her go to the bathroom. She comes back In and goes back to sleep but this disrupts our sleep during the night do you have any suggestions? she is in the house most of the day by herself while we work but we do walk her twice a day.

    • Hi Tammy – Look at feeding times and amounts. Consider crating her elsewhere, if you need sleep and think she can make it through the night. Make sure she isn’t getting into food or water in the evening. Good luck – Sarah

  13. Hi Sarah,

    I have a three month old goldendoodle who constantly barks around 12:30 and 3:00 in the morning to go out (I think). Her bedtime is around 9:30pm and always goes potty before I put her down in her crate. Since I am a teacher and home for the summer I provide many opportunities for her to go outside during the day. However I am always unsure as to whether she is barking to go out or just for attention at night. When I do take her out both times during the night she goes to the bathroom and usually poops around the 3am mark. I am going to try to feed her later since she does have dinner at 5:30pm. I also take away her water bowl around 7:00pm. Recently she woke me up during those times and peed in her crate. Any other suggestions? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Amanda – Glad you’re trying later feeding. I’d also look at how much she’s being fed. Dog food bags are notoriously “generous” on the amount of food they suggest. How much does she weigh and what is she eating? Take her out for now but do so with no attention, praise or treats. Just in, out and back to bed. Are you crating during the day, too?

  14. My 3 month old shih tzu is constantly pooping at night he poops about 5 times at night (2-4am) his poop is diarrhea or solid I’m so tired of getting up in the night to a unpleasant smell what should I do ? I feed him at 6:00pm I don’t know if that’s the problem but help me thank you

    • Hi Michelle – first – stool sample to your vet. Make sure your pup doesn’t have parasites. A real STINK generally means coccidia or guardian, in my experience. So, take a FRESH stool sample to the vet when you take your pup. If pup is clear, then, how much as you feeding? Five poops is either a sick puppy or a WAY overfed puppy (or wrong food for that puppy). Good luck – Sarah

  15. Hi Sarah!

    We have a 3 month old Pekingese-Poodle mix. He is just over 4 pounds. During the day he is great at going to the bathroom outside but throughout the night, he will go poop around 2-3 times. We take his water away before bed and his poop has been tested and is “clear” for issues. We’ve been giving him 1 cup of food (as per the bag) so I’m now wondering if this is too much.

    Please help! When we had first brought him home he used to sleep very well through the night.

    Thank you!!

    • Well… my dog, Pip, is 34 pounds and gets a pound a day! At 4 pounds, your pup would be getting <1/8 of a cup 3 x a day and THAT would be a lot, in my experience. I'd probably be measuring his food in tablespoons. And I'd try feeding dinner late - like 8. Meals might go something like 7 AM, 2 PM, 8 PM. But run everything past his vet because of his small size.

  16. I think I have a created a night monster! My pup is now 15 weeks and automatically wakes up around midnight, 2am, and 4am, and is wide awake, tail wagging and wants to come out of her kennel. At first I was getting up and letting her outside to potty but started realizing it was really for company and attention she was wanting. So now I get up at midnight let her out, put her back in kennel give her a Kong and go back to sleep until 2am. Then I will get up again and end up letting her out and sleeping on the couch while she chews on her toys and goes back to sleep either in the couch with me or on the floor. Ultimately after the 2am wake up me her and my other dog stay in the living room so I can go back to sleep while she chews and amuses herself. I know she is teething but She has the same toys in her kennel but I think she just doesnt want to be alone. Our older dog is 9 and he sleeps in our room while she is kenneled at night she loves her kennel but I think I have created reward for waking up throughout the night and now don’t know what to do because once she starts crying I wake up, let her out and move my pillow to the couch so my husband doesn’t wake up and so I can sleep as well even if it’s on the couch. Please help!!

  17. My sadie has to go late at night sometimes luckily not usually but insists on going into the woods vs the yard.
    This wouldn’t be an issue if I didn’t live in fox/bear/coyote/mountain lion etc country.
    Any ideas or tips?

  18. I have 2 chiawaha puppies for the last month they have been waking up at 330. wanting to eat and pee and poop. Help

    • Hi Lorrie – without knowing their age, feeding schedule, crating routine etc, my thought is take them out. I do know that if you feed them, they will thinking waking up at that time is grand fun. But, if they are truly tiny, they may need the food so please check with your vet on such details.

  19. My puppy is a boxer/bully and it’s about 9 weeks old. she got her first vaccine the 26th of this month. She has been going to our bathroom to sleep, I see she is skinny but she eats her food. The going to the bathroom to sleep thing is worrying me, does that mean she’s sick?

    • Hi, Karla – Many dogs like the cool tile to sleep. She may be one. I’d have her sleeping in a crate at that age. Has she been wormed? Skinny while eating enough means a stool check at the vet first. Boxers can have trouble digesting their food but MOST of the time it is worms.

  20. Hi there,

    Our 8 week old cockapoo sleeps in his crate fine. He wakes up multiple times a night 3-5 on average. He pee’s maybe 3-4 of those times.

    Our issue is that he seems to want to play once he is up and potties. We guide him back in his crate and shut the door but if we walk away he whines like crazy. We have to sit in front of the crate and say “good boy, night night” in a soft voice until he goes to sleep.

    Sometimes we are up for 20 minutes just trying to get him to go to bed. The crying breaks my heart and he does it when we try to walk away.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  21. Dear Sara,
    I have to wake up because of my husky. My mom tells me to feed her at 5ish, and she feeds her about 5 cups. (I don’t know how much you are supposed to feed a husky pup.) She is 36 weeks old… I need help

    • I bet you have to wake up. 5 cups is an ENORMOUS mean, even for a Great Dane puppy, never mind a husky. For an average American husky at her age, I’d be expecting a meal of 1/2-1 cup of food. That is probably why she is waking up and she deserves a MEDAL for not pooping in the crate.

  22. Hi Sarah, we have a 8 week old schnauzer who we are trying to create train during the day. He eats and goes at around 530am, 1230pm and last meal is around 630-7. At night we take him out before bed around 9. We gate him into an small area and put puppy pads down and leave his crate in the area unlocked. He does good peeing on the pads but won’t poop on the pads. He also poops 3-4 times during the night. Is this normal? Should we be crating him at night as well?

    • Hi Jasmine – how much as you feeding? That’s a lot of pooping.

      • We have changed feeding to 1/2 cup twice a day. Still crating during the day and letting him out in gated area at night. He poops less now. Sometimes once during the night sometimes not at all. But he won’t poop on pad.

  23. Hi, Sarah! We have a 12 week old golden retriever. She gets about a cup of food 3 times a day (6:30, 12:30 and 6:30). We are also trying to train her, so she gets treats throughout the day (beef liver, cheese, carrots). She’s in the crate for periods during the day and is fine. But the last few night, she has been crying every hour or two. We take her out and she poops and pees. She’s not pooping a lot during the day, so I don’t think she’s sick. Any suggestions?

  24. Hey Sarah. I’m a little confused for the feeding at night and walking schedule. If we feed our puppy at 9:30 what time should we walk her? Before or after she eats? What time is bedtime? Thanks!!

    • Hi LK – depends on your pup’s pooping schedule. You may need a walk before and after and then another before bedtime. Pups can’t adjust so we have to. Luckily, they grow quickly.

  25. I have a 10 week old Brittany, approx 20 lbs. Fed at 6 am and 5 pm with last water at 6pm. About 2- 2 1/2 Cups of premium puppy food total (as per package recommends).
    My puppy poops anywhere from 5 to 10 times a day! Last night, he pooped 4 times between 10 pm and 6 am! He is super active during the day. We use very small pieces of chicken or dog treat for training. Stool sample was clear at 8 weeks, poops are solid.
    He sleeps in his crate at night, but is up every 2 to 4 hours to poop and pee. I\\\\\\\’ve about had it with all this pooping!

    • Hi, Janine – that’s a massive amount of food, esp. if it’s a good quality food. Regardless, 10 times a day means it is way too much for that body (and 20 pounds at 10 weeks? That is a HUGE Brittany – that would be about right for a Saint Bernard.) Forget the package, trust your puppy. I would cut back and soak his meals, see if that helps things. I’d be feeding for a lean, healthy body and 3-5 poops a day.

  26. We have a 14 week old pit mix. He is super sweet. I am feeding him 1 cup of dry/puppy food at 6:30 in the morning and 6:30 at night. He is pooping first thing in the morning, shortly after breakfast, mid afternoon and after his supper. The problem is how often he pees. Almost every 20-30 minutes! I have to set the timer to take him out. I also take him on a walk 2 times a day. He pees all the time! I pull up his water 2 hours before bed (10-10:30). He pees in his crate at night as well. I did get up last night at 2 am to take him out and he peed on our deck-couldn’t make it to the grass. Same thing when he woke up that morning at 7:00. He was just neutered 9 days ago. Does not have a UTI or any kidney issues per our vet.

    • How frustrating! First, neutering can increase such things briefly but not usually to THIS degree. I’d try soaking his food in equal parts water (takes 1/2 an hour or so to fully soak in) and see if that helps. Also, what chews is he eating? Rawhides and some dental bones can cause a lot of drinking.

  27. Hi Sarah, We have a year old 32lb mini Aussie. He used to be very good at sleeping through the night until we get up at 6:30am. He is fed about a cup twice a day of grain free dog food between 6:30-8am and again by 7:30-8pm. He was crated during the night and day until about 4 months ago and would generally sleep through the night and have no potty issues during the day. At one point he had a bout of diarrhea which caused him to ring his bell to go outside never having an accident. But now it a common nightly occurrence for him to ask to go outside around 2 or 3 am and it has disrupted our sleep pattern. He gets three walks/runs per day and gets let out multiple times Per day. I have resulted to crating him in seperate area close by our bedroom to try and break this habit. And before that limiting his water consumption before his last potty break. He is an other wise great and happy dog.

    • Hi, Jenn – 2 cups a day of high-quality food for a mini Aussie sounds like a lot. My Pip is 35 pounds can gets a bit over 1/2 cup 2x a day. Also, I’d switch off puppy food next bag if you have not already. So I’d cut back the food, switch to adult, and walk him on leash, briefly and without comment if he must go. Does he go instantly when you take him out or noodle around in the yard?

  28. Hi. I have a 7 month old Jacktsu. He has been a brilliant puppy and his house training was good. He used to sleep in a krate at night and never peed or pooped in there. He recently outgrew his first cage so we upgraded to a bigger one and he cried all night the first time I put him in there so I started leaving him out. He has since started pooping over night in the same spot. It is not every night but has become most nights. He is usually fed a mixture of dry biscuits with some wet puppy food mixed in. about 6 pm.

  29. Hi Sarah

    We have a 10 week old cockapoo and it’s early days for his bed time routine. He’s fed 3 times a day – around 7am, 1pm and 6pm – but doesn’t go for a poop until late afternoon/evening and then goes 2-3 times during the night. He cries a lot at night at the moment but we’re trying leave him in the kitchen all night as we’re concerned most of the crying is for attention. Any advice on how to get him to poop more throughout the day?

    • Hi, Jenny – How much are you feeding him? I’d guess 1/4-1/3 cup per meal. As per the blog, try feeding him later in the PM. Also, if he’s a 12-hour dog than lunch will get him up, too. I’d feed a light lunch and plan to move him to two meals at 12 weeks. Lastly, if he poops when you take him out he isn’t fussing for attention. He needs OUT! Good luck – Sarah

  30. So my 5 month old, 5 pound yorkie, is giving me issues. It all started when I gave him a new brand of treats for training which gave him diarrhea. He couldn’t even make it to the door in time ! (He is fully housebroken and rings bells by the door to let us know when he has to go potty.) anyway, because the diarrhea was so bad, we slept downstairs with him until he was normal so he wouldn’t have accidents. He had been sleeping from 10:30 thru 7:30 for about 2months, and has always slept in his crate downstairs while we all slept upstairs. Then the holidays came and people were giving him lots of table scraps, which we only learned about later. That became a second tummy issue for him. He started waking up every couple of hours to go outside, would poop (diarrhea again) and then bark until we stayed with him downstairs. Now all is well, but he refuses to sleep in his crate at night anymore. If he goes in of his own free will during the day, he will go in and nap. But if we put him there during the day or at night, he won’t stay in, if we close it, he barks until we let him out. We tried to ignore it, but even after 2 hours, he was still awake and barking. It got to the point where he would up popping in his crate, down the side of his pillow and thru the bars. We tried to put his crate inside a pen and leave the crate door open, and he “stress-pooped” again all over the floor outside of the crate, and still barked for over 2 hours. At that point, both times, we gave in, took him out and slept on the couch with him. What can we do? Also, I have not changed the amount of food I have been giving him, and he seems to not have to poop during the day, then starts pooping at late afternoon, into the evening. He used to poop every day first thing in the morning, then again mid-day, then once again at night around between 8 and 9. I feed him at the same times: 7:30/8am, 12ish, then 5:30pm.

    • That’s a tough go of things. Sounds like he has a sensitive tummy and tummy’s can take a while to heal up properly. I would probably feed him later, feed him twice a day and talk to his vet if the “stress” poop continues. – Sarah

  31. Hi, I have a 6 month old Newfoundland puppy that is over 70 lb now. He can’t make it three hours in his crate without having to go to the bathroom. Sometimes he messes in his crate before he starts barking to go out. Also, he absolutely hates his crate and I don’t know what to do about it. It started after I had him boarded and all of his good habits just went out the window when he came home from being boarded. Also during the day, I have to take him out an extraordinary number of times. I was hoping that I could take him out two or three times during the day and then if necessary, one time at night. Ideally, I would like him to make it for 7 hours straight in the middle of the night without having to go out. I don’t know what to do and I am dead tired and haven’t slept well in a while. Thank you for your help!

    • Sorry to hear this and sorry to hear boarding set him back so. Wouldn’t send him back there. I’d aim for 6 walks a day right now – first thing, after breakfast, midday, late afternoon, after dinner, before bed. More if needed. How much are you feeding him? How often and what brand?

  32. We have a 4 month old Lab puppy. We feed her 1 cup of food 3 times a day. She is crated during the night but she has started waking up like 3 times a night all of the sudden. We take away her water about 7 p.m. each night and feed her her last meal of the day around 5:30-6. Any ideas as to why she has just not started to add those extra wake ups at night?

    • Hi, Kristine – My guess would be she just started teething. That impacts dogs in different ways; waking up because of the pain is common. Other top reason is a UTI so chat with her vet.- Sarah

  33. Hi! We have a 10 month old Beagle/Australian Shepard Cross. He used to love this kennel, slept in it all night long without a peep.

    For the last month, he had been waking up at go pee at around 2am – instead of putting him back in his crate we got into the habit of letting him sleep the rest of the night at the end of our bed. So now, when he wakes up I think he actually does NOT have to pee, he just wants in the bed with us.

    Not sure if we let him cry it out in his kennel or just let him in our bed for the whole night — getting up in the night is getting super disruptive to our sleep. HELP!!

  34. Hi Sarah, we have been struggling with our golden retriever puppy’s waking up at night and barking issue since we got him last Saturday. I know it’s just one week but would like to know how things can be done better. The first night we got him, he was put in a crate with blankets covered next to our bed in the bedroom. We put a bed and toys, pads in there. He didn’t bark at all until we woke up. He peed and pooped, not fully on the pad. Second day, still he was in the same place but he barked once early morning like 4am after that I smelled poop in the room, then he was quiet just a bit whining until we got up but I wasn’t able to sleep well for fear of any noise he made would wake others in the building. Third day, we moved out to the living room to sleep which is just a hallway away from our bedroom. Dog was left in the bedroom and he started barking around 2. Boyfriend took him out and he pooped and peed outside. After he got back into the crate, his barking went on and off every ten mins. The barking lasted for an hour. We have to use the vibration on his bark collar to remind him to stop. The next day, we got our play pen set up in the living room next to the sofa where we sleep. It’s 36 inches, we put empty food bowl, bed, toys, pee pad in. He woke up after two hours of sleep at 12 am!!!! Boyfriend took him out thinking he needs to poop but instead he did a tiny pee and actually was walking himself back into the building. So he didn’t actually wanted to go poop. Then we put him in the pen, gave some treats then closed the door. The minute my boyfriend sat on the sofa the dog started barking loudly. So we both laid down in bed try to ignore but the barking didn’t stop so we used the vibration again. He would stop and then start again. So we used the vibration until he fully stopped. Then he was able to stay quiet until when I woke up around 5am. He is walked 6 times like you said everyday. Two meals around 7, one cup and 5-6pm. He drinks water throughout the day. And if he’s let out in the apt, he would pee on the carpet, which is understandable considering his age. But in the play pen, he mostly peed on the pad. We have two cats home too but he seemed to be calm even at night when cats go close to the play pen to drink or dig in the liter box. He didn’t bark when cats did that. He was a bit anxious and barked a few times when I put on my make up near his pen this morning, scratching the wires. Then calmed down after I touched him and gave him treats. So our struggle is, what to do with him about his waking up in the middle of the night, earlier and earlier? And the barking issue every time he’s put in the crate for sleep (lasts for about 15mins barkin. Nonstop if not using the collar) or barking still when he can see you but from the pen? I know we just stared using the pen for one day but he should be used to a crate already or things with those wires. (In general, he’s betting more comfortable with the crate, can walk in comfortably). *we also haven’t been able to sleep good since we got him* please help :)))

    • Um, he’s a baby. Barking 15 minutes is pretty normal and short. No pee pads in the crate, it’ll only teach him to use the crate as a bathroom, instead get up and take him out. He’ll mature quickly but until then – when he wakes up, take him out. I don’t know how old he is but if you have to leave a baby for long, a pen is a good option. Yes, pads in there. Good luck – Sarah

  35. Hi, I have a 5 month old boston terrier. She was doing really well at night up until a couple of weeks ago by crying to let me know she needs to go out in the morning. She has started pooping in her crate most mornings before I can get to her (at 6:45 am) and has also started eating it. She has meals 3 times a day 7 am, 12 pm and 5 pm 1/2 cup each feeding. I take her for a walk in the evening unless it’s after 8 (she refuses) but is great during the day – I take her for atleast 1 long walk in the morning or two shorter walks during the day. Wondering if I should cut her back to twice a day feedings (or less food for evening meal) and if you have any suggestions to help break the pooping in her crate habit? Thank you!

    • Hi, Julia – Take her to 2 meals a day – feed the last one later, try 7 PM – keep it at 1/2 cup a meal. And take her out later, insist. A five-month-old puppy doesn’t get to “refuse” a walk. She needs one around 10 PM. That “should” straighten things out. All this may just be because she is teething but I’d make these changes anyway. – Sarah

  36. Hi Sarah
    We have a 10 week old beagle cross Jack Russel.
    We feed him about 6pm and he is fine going to bed, he takes himself about 8pm.
    However he wakes up at 3am every night for a poo so we take him out of his pen for a poo but then he cried when we put him back in. We have tried ignoring him for 5 minutes and shouting no every time from our bedroom when he tries to cry but we cave as we are worried about waking the neighbours so bring him into our room in his crate and he eventually settles after 20 minutes. Can you advise what we are doing wrong and will this last forever as we are exhausted or is there anything else we can do.

  37. Hi sarah , i have a 10 weeks old GSD pup. I feeds her 4 times a day at 7:30,11:30,3:30 And 8 :00 in the night she would poop at around 3:30 to 4 am in can i adjust this in morning or evening schedule.

    • Hi, Karan – Why 4 x a day? At 10 weeks, a GSD pup can easily do 3 x a day. By next month, 2 x a day. That should make matters easier for everyone. That she gets up only once a night is excellent. Hopefully, by cutting back 4 to 3 meals, she’ll have an easier time.

  38. Hi – I have a 5 month old Jack Russel/Pug mix. He rarely sleeps through the night and until about a few weeks about would normally wake up around 4am just to pee then right back to sleep about 6am or so when I would feed him as I’m getting ready for work. I usually take him for a walk in the morning, midday, and evening after dinner. Recently he’s been waking up 3-4 times a night to use the bathroom. He goes in his crate with no fuss around 10PM and will wake up around 1AM, 3AM, and 4AM. His feeding schedule is pretty constant and only has access to water at eating times – usually 6am & 5pm. Any suggestions?

    • My guess is that teething is throwing him off. Oh, and he needs a lot more walks than that during the day: First thing in AM, after breakfast, midday, late afternoon, after dinner, before bed. That’s the least amount needed.And he needs water all day from getting up until dinner. Good luck!

  39. Hi, we have a 4 month Newfoundland who has slept through(In his crate), however for the past 3 nights he has woken up to be let out but then lies outside and won’t come back in. He like the cold so we have put cooling mats in his crate and kept the kitchen cool. When he does come back In, usually brided with food, he then barkes. Im not happy to leave him sleep outside at night. Please help!

    • Bringing out food rewards his delay and what we reward we get more of. Take him out on leash then right back to the crate. At his age, assume teething pain is waking him up. It will pass.

  40. We have a 9 mo old Golden who for the last few months has started barking at 3:00 am to go outside. He doesn’ do it every night but enough to be annoying. He mainly goes #2 at that hour. He’s been on a walk at 10:00 pm and does both #1 and a small #2. During the day he has usually only one #2. He’s on a no grain diet, eats twice a day (last meal at 5:00) and is fed 1-1/2 cups each meal. Do I just try to ignore him barking at 3:00 am?

    • Nope. If he poops when you take him out then he needs to poop. Forcing him to poop in the crate won’t help things. But, 3 cups of food a day sounds like a lot. I might try 1 cup 2 x a day and feed him dinner at 8 PM. And personally, I feed adult food at that age. Good luck – Sarah

  41. Hi
    We have a 3year old staff and a six year old boxer. We are at the end of our tether and again exhausted! The staffy wakes at 2am every morning for a poo and then sets the boxer off barking! She never used to do this but now does this guaranteed. They have an hour walk in the morning and the evening. They are fed after their walks around 9am and 5pm.

    Can anyone tell me how to break this habit? It’s so tiring not to mention the noise for the neighbours 🙁

    I literally don’t know what to do!

    • What’s changed? Food? Treats? Chewies? Amount of food? Someone feeding a lot of treats? Something shifted. Sit down and review everything this dog swallows and do not feed what the bag recommends – that is almost always more than a dog needs, in my experience. Of feed 3/4 of her food in the AM and the last 1/4 in the PM. Feed later. You have tons of options but job #1 is to figure out where her volume changed. Good luck – Sarah

  42. Hi Sarah! We have a 9 month old Beagle. Through The first six months of his life he would wake us up anywhere from 2 to 3 times in the middle of the night. He eats around 7 AM and 5 PM, here and there 6:00pm or 7pm depending on our schedules. I’m not sure what happened around month 7, but he was finally sleeping through the night. We never really were three givers for going to the bathroom so that definitely wasn’t it. There was no cuddling when he would wake up it was all business. I’ve asked the vet about it multiple times. During one. He did have a UTI possibly. They said his white blood cell count was high but they could not confirm 100% it was a UTI but they gave him anabiotic’s anyway. That seemed to help the problem we were having for the most part of the day and night.during that point in his life. However I am at a point where I am refusing to take him out at night. The vet said he should have no problem sleeping through the night yet he is peeing in his crate at night and always has. Even when we were taking him out a few times in the night every couple of days the towels or blankets in his crate would smell like P. At one point I was washing them every day. Tonight there will be nothing in the crate. Not sure why he can’t get through the night without having to use the bathroom. He is 30 pounds and he gets 3/4 of a cup at breakfast and 3/4 of a cup at dinner. A lot of times he has had to poop at night but not sure if that has been his issue over the past few days because I just tell him that it is night-night time and I don’t take him out. He’s never pooped in his crate. But the peeing I just cannot understand. Isn’t that the last place they want to soil? We are at our wits end. We have had him ever since nine weeks and we love him dearly. But we are at nine months now and we have not had more than 3 1/2 weeks at best sleeping from midnight to 6am. The vet said his diagnosis was laziness!! Aaaahhhhhhh! He is on a good quality food and does not drink a ton of water. Why can he not hold his urine at night? We have checked for kidney failure and UTI 2X (once before and once after the one time where his white blood count was elevated) but he is in the clear on both! Also we both work from home and he has access to be outside a lot of the day in our fenced in yard….he probably goes outside to pee and/or poop and/or play at least 7-10X a day! Not to mention the walks we take him on and the Doggie Day Care trips he gets 2X a week! We need some reciprocity!

    • My first thought: those are big meals. Pip is 35 pounds and gets 1/2 cup 2 x. So try cutting back, soaking each meal in equal amounts water, removing the water after dinner and seeing what happens. How big is the crate?

  43. Hi Sarah,

    I have a 13 week old lab mix that has me up at least twice a night to go poop and pee, if not more. She’s 15lbs and gets a combined 1 and 3/4 cups of Hills Science Diet a day and never eats or drinks past 7pm. She sleeps in the bed with me. She gets let out twice in the morning before I go to work, once around noon, and upwards of 8 times a night after I get home at 5:30. She has me up to let her outside 2-3 times a night and poops every time. If I don’t let her out she poops in the bedroom.

    She makes it through the day being crated without going potty at all, but when I have tried crating her at night she cries and yells for over an hour. She also tends to poop all over the crate when she is stressed out even though I have the crate blocked off to fit her smaller size. I live in an apartment complex so this is not something I can just have her doing throughout the night until she figures it out. She has had a stool sample twice and both have come back clean. I am running thin here and don’t know what to do.

    • Sounds exhausting. Are you crating her in your room? I’d do that, right next to the bed, so she knows you’re there. And, I might try a different food as some foods work for some pups better than others. She’s going a LOT so something needs to be shifted. Always change foods slowly, if you try that. Is she getting out and about for socialization and play? That would probably be helpful, too It is tough in apartments, for sure, you have my sympathy. – Sarah

  44. Hi Sarah
    We have a 7 month old Goldendoodle mix with a bernedoodle and she is having a lot of trouble sleeping at night. In the first 2 months we had her (got her at around 2 months of age) she slept through the entire night easily. Nothing has changed in her routine but for the last 3 months she has been waking up 2-4 times at night and many of them aren’t to eliminate also but just walk around. Her last meal is around 6 and we walk two to three times a day and the last walk is usually from 8-9 pm. We play with her a little before bed as well and give her some cool off time before we put her to sleepin the crate and sometimes play pen. She rarely lasts the full night anymore and her constant barking is unbearable, any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

    • Hi Arjun – Three months ago is exactly when teething started and, if that is the issue, it should be resolving itself soon. The pain wakes her. Also, is she crated for some periods during the day? If not, do that so you can deal with the barking during daylight hours. And, try a crate in your room, if she is downstairs. That might do the trick, too. Adding some playtime with other pups might be helpful, too. Good luck – Sarah

  45. Hi my lab pup is 4 months now. She gets fed at 11:00, 5:00 and 11:30 she’s not too bad with pooing and peeing. But when I wake up about 8 the next day there’s always at least one or two poos. At what time do you think she needs out during the night to avoid this??
    Thanks !!

    • Hi, Constance – Stop lunch (she does not need it at 4 months) and get up earlier (I’d have her out by 6:30 AM), see if that helps. – Sarah

  46. Hi Sarah, we have a 4 month old German shepherd husky mix and he wakes up every night at 3am. I let him out then put him back in his crate. He then proceeds to whine and bark. We have two kids 6 and 4 and don’t want to wake them. So I have to let him in the bedroom. He also has a hard time going to sleep at times when it’s bed time. He sleeps just fine under our bed. I tried to get him used to his crate by putting treats in it, his food and water and toys. We have given him two beds for his crate which he has chewed up. I love the puppy but he is making things rough. Please help.

  47. Hi… we have a year old dog and we feed him at around 4 and he goes to the yard immediately after. At around 8 we leave him for few minutes in the yard so he can go to sleep afterwards. For these last few months he is waking us 3 times during the time to poo. Should we start to feed him latet ot earlier? Do confused

    • Hi Ann – Sounds like he’s getting something else during the day. Maybe new chews or treats? A change of food? Getting into the cat food (or box)? Dogs don’t normally change their potty patterns at a year old unless something else has shifted.

  48. Hi Sarah

    My puppy is eating normally, she is 6 weeks old Shepard/husky mix. But she will play for about 5-10 minutes after eating and then sleep before she wants to go out to the bathroom. Is this normal or should I keep her awake and take her out before letting her fall asleep? She will sleep in her crate, which I lock when she does, so that she can wake me up to use the bathroom outside rather then in the house. Is sleeping before defecating normal?

    • Hi Kurt – Every pup is different. This is her way, so no worries. Sounds like you two have it worked out. But, be aware that her routine may change as she grows. Just pay attention and I bet you’ll do just fine. – Sarah

  49. Hi Sarah! I have a year old husky/Shepard mix. She sleeps in my room with me at night and will wake me up if she has to go to the bathroom. More recently though she has been waking me up around 3am and when I take her outside she just walks around and then lays by my feet and never goes potty! I’m afraid if I ignore her waking me up she’ll go in my house but I’m really tired of taking her on a midnight stroll every night, just for her to not go to the bathroom. Any advice?

    • Well, one option is, if she wakes you up, put her in her crate and go back to bed. If she’s potty trained and clean in her crate, that should do the trick.

  50. Our 11 week lab slept through the night when she came home but has stopped. She mostly wakes up to go to the bathroom, but sometimes won\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’t go when she gets up. She goes back in her kennel easily, but keeps waking again. The first time she gets up she seems like she really needs to go. Based on you other responses, I think we may be overfeeding her. She is 21lbs and is getting 1 cup three times a day around 5-5:30, 11:30 or noon and 5:30ish pm. I know you also recommend feeding later. How would we move to less food and feeding later? She seems super hungry at meal times–barking, nipping at people. She sprints for the food as soon as it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s available. We bought her a mat with grooves to try to slow her down. What would be a more reasonable amount to feed her? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Rebecca – 3 cups a day is a lot of food for a 21-pound pup. If she’s really hungry, check the quality of the food. Sometimes what looks more expensive is not so much when you take feeding less into account and, possibly, having a lot less poop created. Also, do soak the food first. That can help. – Sarah

  51. Our pup is five months old and is still peeing at night. She asks during the day and I make sure she does a wee and poo before she goes to bed. She is in an area in the hall shared with an older dog. They get along well. We have been restricting her water after 8.30pm. She has always drank a lot all through the day but is still wetting, not on her bed, but in the sleeping area. I am beginning to get concerned now and wonder if there could be an underlying medical problem causing the fact that she can’t seem to hold it at night. She does not cry to get us up. She just gets out of her bed and pees. Any advice please!

    • Hi Trish – She needs to be crated. Most pups will make a good effort to keep a crate clean. Crating is a life skill all dogs should know. She’s also teething, which isn’t going to help things. – Sarah

      • Hi Sarah
        I was rather hoping for some advice, other than, crate her. We have always crated our pups and being ex-puppy walkers we have had considerable experience, until this one, who had a bed inside an enclosed pen as opposed to a crate. I have since discovered that a couple of her siblings are also having the same problem. She is now too big for our crate and I feel to crate her now at five months will be difficult as she sleeps, in her own bed, next to an older dog.
        Everyone I have asked all say crate her but surely that is not the only option? I know our pup is not alone and I see that others have the same problem. I am going to give her until she is six months old then ask the vet for advice as there may be an underlying health reason for this, or, she could just be taking a bit longer to mature than others. She is dry during the day, drinks quite considerably, I have never made an issue of her wet patches and always ignore them so as not to draw attention to them and we are now restricting water at night.
        Some of our pups have been clean and dry from 8 weeks old. I cannot explain it. I am trying not to worry.

        • Each pup is different. This one needs crating and since it’s a life skill every dog needs to know, now is easier than later. Since you have experience, it shouldn’t be a big deal. I’ve crate trained dogs at all ages.

          The longer you allow this to go on, the harder it will likely be to fix. Up to you.

  52. Hi! I have a 6month old mini golden doodle. She gets feed at 6am and 5pm. I take her out around 8:30-9:00pm and she pees. She sleeps in my bed and everynight she wakes up around 1:30,2,3 and goes to the door rings the bell. I wake and take her out she poops and pees and then we go right back to bed. How do I stop this? She makes it 8hrs. all day without going so I know she can hold it. Please help!!

  53. My 6 month old Blue Frenchie is recovering from a knee surgery and has been crated for several weeks. Not being able to play with her other 2 dog siblings. She has 2 weeks approx left on her limited exercise/playtime but now is dedicating in her crate every night. She isn’t in her crate all day and is able to walk around freely until 8 am-11:30 am then crated again from 12:30-3:30 pm then crated for an hour or so around 6 pm. Then crated for the night at about 9:00 pm. I also take her out at 11:30 pm. she used to go poop at that time no problem and then good until the morning. But now this week she isn’t really going poop at the 11 pm time and we are waking up to poop in the crate at 6 am.

    • Hi Louie – My guess is she’s learned that pooping means she goes right back inside and she’d rather stay outside so she holds it. Move the crate by the bed so you can get up if she needs you. When outside, walk her in one area, back and forth, until she goes THEN praise and walk her around a bit and let her explore. Just a minute or two of that is enough of a reward that she “should” start going quickly in a week or so. Good luck – Sarah

  54. Hey Sarah.

    I’ve got a 13 week old Lab and wanted some advice about him pooping at night. He is fed 65g (half a cup) at 7am, 12pm and 6pm with 25g kibble for treats.
    His poops are abit irregular. Doesn’t typically go straight after a feed. They are starting to form better. When we first got him at 10 weeks the breeder said to feed him twice a day and he had very loose stools. Vet recommended increases his feeds but decreasing the amount which has helped.
    Just wondering if you have any advice at night time. His last feed is around 6pm and we let him out in the garden before he goes in his crate around 10pm. Alot of this time he won’t poo at this time so I get up around 5 hours after his last poo. I’m worried I’m getting him into the habit of going at night. He usually goes for a poo when let out but not sure if that’s because he needs to or simply because he can? Sometimes he is also pooing in his crate after we go to bed at 10pm and before I come down to let hin out.
    I put some of his pre-weight kibble in a kong every time he is put back in his crate.
    Not sure what to do for the best. Keep up this routine until he can hold it longer than 5 hours?

    • Hi there – First, no food at night because that can start the body working toward a poop. Just back in the crate with nothing or an empty Kong. Try feeding later – 7:30 or so. See if that helps. Write down his poop times and figure out how long they come after he eats. That should help you determine the right dinner time for your particular friend. Enjoy!

  55. Hi . I have a 37 days old golden retriever puppy. She sleeps at night only for about 2 to 3 hours . and plays the rest of the time . if I put in a crate she starts whining. Doctor says she doesn’t have Amy medical issue . I don’t know what to do . please help me .

    • Hi Suzen – You have a very, very young puppy. I’d set her up in a pen or a small bathroom with a gate and papers. Make sure it has a warm, cozy bed up front for her to curl up in. She can stay in there all night. When she is older, try the crating again. Good luck! Sarah

  56. Hi we have a 15 week old lab puppy who is generally good about letting us know when he wants out during the day to pee. The issue is his pooing….he will maybe go once during the day outside and it is solid but will poo in the house 2 or 3 times over night which are soft He gets fed 1 cup 3 times a day 6, 1 and 6. Goes to bed around 11 and by 3 there will be poo in the room he sleeps and again by 6 in the morning. What can we change?

    • Hi Alisa –

      Crate him in the room with you so you’ll wake up and take him out. Feed him dinner later and remove lunch. He’s old enough for 2 meals a day and that should help with the pooping problem. Sounds like his system is on a 12-hour clock so no lunch and a later dinner “should” help him make it to 7 or later. Good luck – Sarah

  57. Hi Sarah! We have a 4 month old yorkie/Maltese mix, very sweet puppy. He’s fed 7am, 12pm and 5pm, about 1/2 cup Purina each meal. Up until recently I didn’t realize he had been on adult instead of puppy and we just made the switch. But even prior to this he rarely sleeps though the night without one early am (2-3) potty break. He usually pees each time, often poops too. We had a few nights where he made it to 5 or 6am without waking after going to bed at 10pm but lately he is back to the midnight potty break. Any suggestions to help him sleep through? Could the adult food be the cause or should we adjust feeding time?

    • Hi Tara – A couple of thoughts. I don’t know the size of your pup but that could be a tremendous amount of food. My Pip, at 35 pounds, eats 1/2 a cup 2 x a day. Also, lunch isn’t needed at this age, usually, and that’s what is probably the issue. Check with your vet but two meals a day, maybe a 1/3 of a cup soaked, might make things easier on both of you. Good luck. – Sarah

  58. My four and a half month old Doberman is now pooping in his crate at night or first thing in the morning without waking us. He is teething and is lost his bottom canines Etc. We are at a loss on this behavior. He has had accidents before in the crate but now he seems to just go! Please advise!

    • Hi SS – Any chance he’s getting more chews he can swallow while he’s teething? That can throw his whole system off. Go to benebones and antlers for a few days. That may get things back on track. Also, if you changed the amount of food or type of food or are using from treats – all that can cause this, too.

  59. Hi Sarah
    We have a one year old female Golden Doodle. She has slept in our bedroom since a puppy. She learnt house training very quickly and very soon was sleeping through the night. Only occasionally would she wake us to go out during the night.
    Over the past few weeks, she has been waking us at 3am, 4am or 5am to go out.
    We had always fed her twice a day, morning and around 7.30pm. We have tried changing her evening meal to 6pm but this has not made much difference.
    I have read the posts and some suggest a bigger morning meal and smaller evening meal and / or feeding earlier.
    Any suggestions?

    • Hi David – That sort of extreme change in a 1-year-old dog who was doing fine for months usually means a medical issue of some time (or she is getting new chews like greenies or dentabones or…something or new training class so lots of new treats). If nothing has changed at home/training, time to talk to her vet.

  60. Hello Sarah, my puppy is 20 weeks and currently for the last 2 weeks goes in a pen overnight with an open crate and a pad down. She was originally in a crate but was very poorly for the first 5 weeks I had her and had lots of accidents in her crate. My issue is she is sometimes barking really early 5am sometimes 4am. She has started doing poops not on the mat too in front of the pen door so sometimes she ends up in a mess. If I have mess to clean up when I come down I take the crate out the pen and put her with a chew and shut the door while I clean up. She is fed at 7am 12am and 6pm although last night I fed at 7 and this morning I heard her tummy rumbling so I fed her at 6.30 although she wouldn’t eat it straight away and even left some for the first time ever. Yesterday because she woke so early and had the mess i put her in her crate and waited for her to settle back down before letting her out at 6am. So is she waking up for loneliness or hunger? Can I expect her to wait till 6am for me to get her out? Here’s hoping you can help.

    • Hi Claire – She’s old enough for two meals a day and that may take care of the issue. Give that a try and feed 7 AM and 8 PM. See how that goes.

      I would crate her next to me so I could take her outside when she wakes up but that may not be possible. – Sarah

  61. Hi Sarah- I have a three month old German Shepherd puppy. He gets plenty of exercise, and we feed him dinner around 6pm every night and stop water at 7:30-8:00, one last stop to the bathroom and head to bed around 9. He still is getting up every 45mins to and hour and he goes pee outside every time. He is always panting like he is thirsty, and now with the snow he will lick the snow before coming back inside. My husband and I just want to get a full nights sleep, any suggestions?

    • Hi Taylor – Sounds like he may be stressed in the crate. How is he during the day when crated? Where is he crated? You can try moving him into your bedroom, if he’s not already, and see if company helps him sleep better. You all must be exhausted!

  62. Hello, we have a 7 week old husky and he eats 1/2 cup three times a day between these times depending on our schedule 5:30-6:30am, 12-1pm and 5-6pm. He has access to water all day until about 7-8 pm. He sleeps in a crate next to my daughter’s bed so he’s really good about sleeping at night in the crate. He wakes up my daughter by crying or whinnying and she takes him to poop or pee outside. A few nights he woke up with a clean crate! He is left alone in a puppy proof room with the crate open with training pads in the crate and he usually poops and pews on the training pads inside the crate. I am wondering if he is eating too much since he has been pooping at 2 am 4 am and not right after dinner. Today we fed him at 6pm and he didn’t poop until 7:30pm. I take him outside almost ever hour during the day so he can pee after naps, lunch and after he plays and He has several short walks throughout the day as well and after he eats his dinner. I’m also wondering if we should crate him when we are gone during the day with training pads inside or outside the crate?

    • Ack! No pads IN the crate – ever. We don’t want him learning to pee and poop inside the crate.
      I’d try feeding him later – like 7:30 PM and see how he does but he’s a baby and they can poop a lot.
      And yes, you take them out constantly at first. That is normal. But, again, never – ever – pads IN the crate. Okay?

  63. Thank you for your response… got it.. No more pads in the crate! Today he went outside all day to do his business and had 0 accidents in the house! We left him in the puppy proofed room twice and he held his pee for 2 hours and then another 1.5 hours. We hate to leave him but sometimes it’s a must. We are very proud of our baby!

  64. Hello Sarah,
    I have a 12 week puppy. He is fed at around 7.30am, 1pm and 7.30 pm. I have him sharing with my brother. He was doing ok (in terms of pooping and peeing after meals) till last week when he was with me. He went to my brother’s place on Friday night and came back last night. Since Friday he has had semi-solid poop in middle of night. Now He does not go during day at all… even though we take him out for a walk for multiple times. He is 12 pounds and is given 1/4c at each meal. Help w stopping the night time poop

    • Hi Ji – Two things might be happening: tummy problem or teething. Anytime I see a consistent change in stool consistency, I talk to the pup’s vet. Your pup could have picked something up and needs medication. Alternatively, he may be approaching or in teething and that can change things, too. All this assumes he’s on a consistent, appropriate diet. Hope this is helpful – Sarah

  65. I have a 6 month GSD she is going to the bathroom (1 and 2s) over night every night near enough now. She never used to, I don’t tell her off when I find it first thing, I take her out late evening then again around 11:30/12 but she will still go to the toilet between then and 7 in the morning. I’ve tried enzyme cleaners, and she only has access to the kitchen. She doesn’t bark or whine to go out during the night either.

    • Hi Ben – I’d crate her overnight rather than leave her free in the kitchen. Also, try feeding her later in the day – two meals a day – no water after 7 PM.

  66. Hi there. so I have an 11 week old shihtzu. he started off crate training but doesn’t tell me at night when he needed to go potty…I got him at 8weeks. ny husband && I are on crazy schedules right now but my husband insisted just keeling him out with us all the time because then we don’t have a poop filled or pee filled crate. also we live on land so he isn’t leash walked. It seems I have been having more issues getting him to go potty at night. during the day I’ll let him out with our kther dog && he will sit on our steps for a few minutes, but eventually wander his way into the yard. I just feel like we have been working on this for 3 weeks. I’m worried that we aren’t making progress. He is fed two times a day just like our other dog and 2 cats. about one cup at 6-630am && another time at 5pmish. I just don’t get it. he doesn’t really tell us when he has to go at night but is pooping and peeing by his crate (not in it) now that he doesn’t sleep in it. I really just don’t know if he needs more time to learn or should be go back to crating? usually he was put to bed in the crate about 830pm. he didn’t really scream in it. but like it’s 2am && I just woke up && he had already pooped/peed. I’m guessing he just couldn’t hold it but idk how to get him to tell me. maybe Bell training? I really want to teach him to hold it overnight. I don’t want him thinking I’m goingnto get up three times a night just to take him potty. but I know he is a puppy, so maybe he just hasn’t learned yet? Thanks.

    • Hi – First clean, then crate. I have free info on setting up paper-training pen at Now, how much as your feeding and how often? Up three times a night is either too much food or too many treats/chews or a gut issues of some sort. I’d talk to his vet. Good luck – Sarah

  67. I have an 8 month old goldendoodle. Weighs about 34lbs. We feed him 1/2 cup 3x a day currently but still feed him puppy food (Diamond puppy). He sleeps in the floor now next to us and never had accident in the house unless it was our fault. Last couple of nights he’s needed to go out to poop multiple times. He has also been chewing on our child’s toys outside as well as chewed on Wooden play set and torn up padding on trampoline. Should we change food, amount, take to vet?? Thanks

    • Hi Pete – If you’re concerned, then absolutely call the vet. Pup’s his age do just fine on two meals a day. That can help with late-night wake-ups. And yes, I’d would change to adult food but people differ on that. Lastly, he’s getting more than usual volume from somewhere. Find where and you should be able to help him get back to normal. Good luck.

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