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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long do members of PF think is reasonable to ask a 12-week old pup to hold his bladder? I just transitioned from taking Hudson out twice an overnight to once, so about every 4 hours. A friend told my husband that any longer than 2 hours is cruel. Is that correct?
 

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I guess it would depend on the puppy. I have a spoo that's 16 weeks now, at 12 weeks he'd wake me up about once a night to take him out. I let him dictate the terms and when he needed to go and he learned quickly that he just had to woof at me for me to be up and taking him out. But shortly after, I think around 13 weeks, he started holding it all night and now he holds it almost every single night 11 pm to 7 am (from time to time he may wake me up around 5 or 6). Though he is a quite a large spoo so it may be different if you have a mini or toy which may have a smaller bladder.
 

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Smaller the dog the smaller bladder, it depends on your dog worse thing that happens is that you up the times out again
 

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The accepted guideline is as many hours as his age in months plus one. So he is nearly 3 months old, so four hours.
Obviously that is a guideline only and individuals vary. Smaller breeds tend to be shorter than large dogs.
Raffi (standard) came home at 10 weeks, and I just took him out when he asked, but by 12 weeks he was sleeping through the night (from 11 til 6).
My other dogs were sleeping through the night by 10 and 9 weeks respectively.
 

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The accepted guideline is as many hours as his age in months plus one. So he is nearly 3 months old, so four hours.
Obviously that is a guideline only and individuals vary. Smaller breeds tend to be shorter than large dogs.
Raffi (standard) came home at 10 weeks, and I just took him out when he asked, but by 12 weeks he was sleeping through the night (from 11 til 6).
My other dogs were sleeping through the night by 10 and 9 weeks respectively.
 

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Our experience generally lines up with Starvt and I think once a night is fine. If his crate is in your room then you can even consider letting him wake you up for the potty break. Just remember to keep it all potty business with no talking (other than good for going promptly) and no playing.
 

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I think you're almost there. Everyone's journey is a little different, and you'll continue to see a progression. You, your husband, and Hudson will eventually get a full nights sleep. Just be persistent a bit longer.

16 weeks Basil was able to hold her bladder over night
18 weeks went from every 2 hours to every 2-3 + overnight
22 weeks went from 3-4 hours between pees + overnight
 

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It all depends on the dog. Starla goes out around midnight and we get up at 7 (or 8 on the rare weekend day the kids sleep in) and hasn’t asked to go out since the first week. Even then it was around 5 before she asked to go out. So I guess she has been holding it overnight since around 9 weeks old?
 
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We let Peggy out once a night as a pup, and she was generally very sleepy when we woke her up for her middle-of-the-night pee. A little confused, actually.

Is the same true for your puppy? If so, I don't see how that's cruel. I trust you're also providing 24/7 access to water?

We pushed Peggy's middle-of-the-night toilet time closer and closer to morning, until by 12 weeks she was sleeping easily through the night—averaging about 8 hours at first, then 10 hours within a few weeks, and eventually 10-12 hours. If she'd been restless or having accidents or having to go urgently when we opened the crate, we would have adjusted her schedule accordingly.

Later on, in adolescence, she did start tossing and turning at night. So we got her a larger crate and she was able to again sleep comfortably through the night.
 

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The months + 1 thing others mentioned is a great guideline, but it's worth noting that peeing at night is different than during the day. Many puppies can hold all night long when they're sleeping but need to go quite frequently during the day. If puppy sleeps through the night it's common to not need a potty break but all pups are different in this regard :) mine was a heavy nighttime sleeper at that age.
 

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Many puppies can hold all night long when they're sleeping but need to go quite frequently during the day.
Kind of like us humans! I can generally sleep through the night without a toilet break, but I don't remember the last time I got through a 2-hour movie uninterrupted. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hudson eats kibble - Fromm Gold for puppies - if that makes a difference.

Peggy - we do withhold water after 7pm or so as we were advised to do so.

Hudson is a terrible sleeper at night; he likes to sleep more during the day. When he was crated overnight he would clang around in there quite a bit. Because he was so restless in the crate, we now leave him in a large ex pen in the kitchen. Generally, he seems content there, but we wouldn't hear if he awoke. We'd hear any barking, of course, but he is a very conservative barker.

We traveled to my mother's over Christmas and he had to be crated most of the time, so we're especially trying to avoid crating now. We opened a new, larger crate last night and are feeding him tasty morsels in it but we are not closing the door. We are hoping we can get him to the point where he'll go in there voluntarily to hang out, but we're just not there yet. He jumps in, eats whatever is to be eaten, and immediately leaves the crate.

I don't want to force Hudson to suffer as my husband's friend, who has significant experience with dogs, is convinced he is doing, and as I can't discern Hudson's opinion of his reduced pottying opportunities, I'll go back to taking Hudson out every 3 hours at night. (The friend thinks even that is cruel...but unless Hudson gives indications that this schedule isn't working, that's my limit.)

Thanks, all, for the feedback.
 

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IMO, your husband’s friend is being a bit ridiculous. Forcing him to hold his bladder during the day would be cruel. At night, even with access to water, your body produces less urine, controlled by hormones. To me, it is more “unfair” to wake a sleeping baby to take them out to potty when it’s not needed. I would really work on righting his day/night schedule so he sleeps at night and isn’t so restless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Starla, we'll be bringing in a trainer soon who will, we hope, be able to help us sort out the night/day situation.
 

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I would consider giving him access to water at night. You may find he is less restless and able to get into a deeper sleep.

Peggy takes her biggest drink of the day a few minutes after she goes in the crate at night. It would be cruel to deny her this. Moments later, she curls up and is silent.
 

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I would consider giving him access to water at night. You may find he is less restless and able to get into a deeper sleep.

Peggy takes her biggest drink of the day a few minutes after she goes in the crate at night. It would be cruel to deny her this. Moments later, she curls up and is silent.
Because of you saying this before, I put food and water in Starla’s crate at night and it might coincide with her sleeping through. She does usually eat and drink right before going to sleep.
 

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I got Annie home at 12 weeks. The first 2 nights, we went out twice. The third night, we went out at 11:30 ish, 2 ish, and then 6 am ish, and continued that for the next few weeks. She woke me for the potty breaks. Annie had a very slow to mature bladder for a spoo (still excitement peeing until 6 mo or so) but had no need for the 2 x/ night at 12 weeks. I did not restrict water and Annie often drank after our middle of the night trip. She could hold it about 3, sometimes 4 hours at that point in the day, though we went out every 2 hours if I was home.

I certainly wouldn't want to be getting up every 2 hours. That sounds horrific for the human, and potentially the dog- what about REM sleep??)
 
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