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Hello! My partner and I are very new pet parents, our first dog and our first spoo. She’s a beautiful girl, 10 weeks old yesterday! She sleeps very well in her crate at night, but we do wake her up at 3am in the morning to go pee, then 7am for the day. However, we live in a townhome so the location of our room is a good distance and many stairs away from the outside (third floor), so her crate is next to the couch and very close to the outside. We’ve been alternating on the couch beside her for the past four nights she’s been home.

My question is, how will we know when it’s okay to leave her in the living room all by herself at night? Obviously sleeping on the couch beside her crate is a temporary measure to help her adjust to the new home. I’ve had it suggested slowly moving away from the crate each night until we just return upstairs? I’m afraid to move her upstairs to our bedroom and then be unable to take her out in the middle of the night/morning fast enough but ideally she’ll be up here in the future.

Also, is it okay to set a puppy in their crate for nap times or should they be crate trained first? I’ve been very worried to set her inside and create negative associations haha I read everything I could prior to getting a spoo and a puppy and it still feels entirely like I’m going in blind.
 

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Yes. Start her naps in the crate also. Plus put her in her crate and leave her as you run to the store. She will be fine and learn quickly that her crate means she needs to rest.
 

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I have tended to move puppies to a crate next to the bed at around 4 months. At that age they still need a midnight outing, and they can't manage stairs, so I carry them with a towel under them.

I would have the puppy nap in the crate if you plan to use a crate going forward. Napping in the crate is simply part of crate training. I was rereading Ian Dunbar over the weekend. His method is to tease the puppy with a stuffed Kong toy and then shut the Kong in the crate where the puppy can't get to it. This makes the interior of the crate a very appealing space, as it has something the puppy wants and can't get. Wait a few moments and then open the crate door. My own experience on top of that is to make sure the crate doesn't turn into an sauna over the summer. Soft bedding and plastic sides hold heat, and dogs have a harder time managing heat than humans do. Your dog will learn to hate the crate if she overheats while in it.
 

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I think I would crate train her first. Popping her in the crate and leaving her risks teaching her it is a lonely, unsafe place. Much better to take it slowly during these first important weeks. By all means encourage her to nap in there during the day, but I would avoid leaving her alone. What time does she go to sleep at night? Can you just settle her into bed while you sit near by reading, and then go up to bed yourself?
 

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I think I would crate train her first. Popping her in the crate and leaving her risks teaching her it is a lonely, unsafe place. Much better to take it slowly during these first important weeks. By all means encourage her to nap in there during the day, but I would avoid leaving her alone. What time does she go to sleep at night? Can you just settle her into bed while you sit near by reading, and then go up to bed yourself?
I’m trying to crate train before getting her in for naps, and I’m definitely not leaving her alone during the day until I know she’s ready for that. She won’t sleep in the crate on her own or stay inside so she’s taking naps outside the crate at present but I’d really like to get her in there for sleep time. At night though I do shut her in and she hasn’t had issues with continuously whining and crying. She goes to bed 11-11:30, I could definitely try sitting quietly by her crate and reading while she settles in before going up. I’m also considering just slowly moving away each night until we go back upstairs?
 

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If it is a small crate you can carry it up and down. Or, just get a second crate. I would have her next to my bed for night time. Later, you can just put a mat down where the crate used to be. Be careful where you park the crate so you don't trip over it in the dark.
 

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Oh, you just got her. I slept with Basil on the floor for the first 3 days home before moving up to my bed.

Bring the crate upstairs in your room when you feel like your puppys acclimated. This way you can sleep in your bed again. Your furbaby needs Mom & Dad to be well rested too. I would just carry her up and down the stairs. You might feel weight off your shoulders by accepting that "I'm not going to have a perfect record when it comes to potty training because that's impossible." You have no control over a baby's bladder, you can just try your best. Keep a log of when she poops/pees so you can get a feel for when the next pee/poop is due.

Strap in because yellow bile barf, poop, and pee accidents happen. Just clean it up and move on. Buy a 6 pack of paper towels and get an enzyme spray dog oder/pee remover.... Around 24 weeks is when their bladder control gets WAY better.

Remember that your furbaby wants to please Mom/Dad, so when they pee/poop where you want, then PRAISE her like your own human child just scored their first soccer goal. Be that furparent everytime because it can help shorten that 24 week period. Who cares if it looks funny.

This is what you signed up for :)
 

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I did the kind of inverse of what you are doing. We kept the puppy in a little crate in our room for the first 2-3 weeks. That way I could hear if she was stirring and take her out, which I only needed to to a couple of times before 6 am (I didn't wake her, just took her if I heard her awake). Our bedroom is upstairs so I would carry her down and out to the yard, she never had any crate accidents or carrying down the stairs accidents. When she outgrew the little crate that fit in our small bedroom we moved her to the larger crate in the living room. I slept down there on the couch with her the first two nights, then for a week or two after that I would wait with her while she settled before heading up to bed.
 

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I slept on the couch beside the crate for the first week I think, then for a other week I sat beside it quietly until he fell asleep and then went to bed. Granted, we are in a bungalow so our room is not that far. After the first two weeks, at 13-14 weeks, he wasn't waking up during the night any more anyways- he usually settled at 9, but I got him up and put one last time at 11-12.
I think that after the first week you could still sleep beside her but only take her out if she wakes up on her own, and after a week of that move her crate upstairs with you. Especially if you are able to carry her outside if/when she does wake, she will be unlikely to go while in your arms.
It would be good for her to nap in her crate, but best for her to choose that herself. You could use a pen around the crate.
I just took away any beds except for a nice one in the crate, and that really helped my Spoo choose to rest there. Plus other crate training tricks like having special chews only available in the crate, feeding in it sometimes, as well as playing games to get him going in and out on command (not closing the door).
My first dog was crate trained the old-school way, just put him in, only let out when quiet, etc. He was good in his crate and didn't put up a fuss, but did not love it.
My last three dogs, all crate trained with a slow and positive approach, absolutely love their crates and while I don't need to use crates anymore, we still have them out since the dogs often do choose to be in them.
 

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I would just put her crate in your room. When you wake her at night for potty, she should still be very sleepy. Stay calm and quiet while you carry her down the stairs, to help prevent accidents. It’s absolutely possible. Just ask anyone who’s raised a puppy in an apartment with an elevator. ;) I like cowpony’s towel idea, too.

Dogs are prone to occasional digestive upset, and it took two episodes of early AM poops...in her crate...in the dining room....for us to decide Peggy was better off sleeping where we could hear if she got restless. Of course, it’s not happened again since (thankfully) but it’s good to know she can alert us if she urgently needs to go out.
 

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P.S. Just a small warning: When carrying a dog down the stairs, use extreme caution. My husband had a horrible fall while carrying my last girl. I can still remember the sound of them hitting the ground. He was fine, but the force was enough to dislocate her hip.
 
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