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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I asked this question earlier in the year when my toy poodle was a bit poorly but was advised to wait until he was settled and eating twice a day (which was totally good advice!)

So..our 8 month old toy poodle is crate trained, goes in happily at night (until about 4am) and throughout the day, I can even go out and leave him for a couple of hours in the day.

He eats twice a day 8:30 and 5:30 and he poops twice a day but very irregularly. My biggest problem being the morning poop!

He'll do a poop in evening anytime between 5 and 8 generally about 90 mins after eating, however when he's been at daycare he goes on the way home about 5:15pm before he eats as he's been so active.

I take him out again in the evening for a twenty min walk to ensure he's been the toilet before bed (about 10pm).

Since January he now gets me up any time around 4am crying to go the toilet or attention. Sometimes he's faking, sometimes he's desperate and sometimes he's already been!

Every time i think I'm getting somewhere and goes at a similar time I'll ignore his 4am whines and he'll suddenly decide to go an hour earlier in his crate. We've just had two weeks of taking him out at 5am and sometimes he goes outside or just goes back to bed till 6am and goes after we get up. We were planning to edge that over by 10 mins a week until he realised that 6am is wake up and poop time. However it doesn't seem to be working! Does anyone have any advice on how I can get a good nights sleep without waking up to a poop in the crate! Is it just a toy poodle thing?
 

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It’s very possible he’s pooping because he’s fully woken his system up with his “Let’s get the day started!” carrying on and now cannot hold it. I assure you, he’s never “faking.” :) So let go of that notion, as it will only frustrate you.

I would be taking him out 15 minutes before his earliest wake-up time and then putting him back to bed. Then slowly push that wake-up time later, even just by a minute per week if necessary. And write these times down, as well as his other potty and mealtimes. Our memories are very unreliable, especially when we’re tired. It’s nearly impossible to see a pattern unless we have notes to refer back to.

It might also be worth revisiting his diet. Are his poops consistently firm? If not, they’ll be much harder for him to hold. And is he getting a small bedtime snack with 24/7 access to water? I consider this essential for ensuring deep restorative sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well with faking it I feel he’s got used to barking and the reward is me getting him up to take him outside...but yes I see your point with the rest.
I’ll keep an ear out and note the time on my phone and then set an alarm to take him out and start pushing it back..

with the bedtime snack, can I ask how much you feel is appropriate? Are we talking a couple of biscuits or a chew?
 

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with the bedtime snack, can I ask how much you feel is appropriate? Are we talking a couple of biscuits or a chew?
Peggy gets a quarter cup of kibble in her crate at bedtime, but she weights 45 lbs. :) I think it’s important that it’s something nourishing and satisfying for the belly, not empty calories or a chew that might get the digestive juices flowing excessively.
 

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You said his last meal is at 8:30? I'm wondering if you want to change to 3 meals a day. Feed supper at 6:30 or 7; take him for a decent walk after that to get his gut moving. Then put him to bed with a smaller meal, half his dinner size, after a final potty outing at 10:30.

Every dog is different. Galen would sleep soundly through the night after a full meal at 10:00. Ritter will need to go out twice if I give him anything substantial after 9 PM. Be guided by your observations and don't get too caught up in what "should" work.
 

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I would also adjust feeding times and see if that affects anything. I have a completely different feeding schedule than you do, but my sleep schedule is also different. Pooping schedules are likely dependent on diet, and his inability to hold it may indicate that his diet isn't ideal.

I wake at 9ish, feed dog around 11 and walk between 11 and 1 and he poops. He also poops on our late afternoon walk which is 5-6 PM. He then is walked again between 9-11 PM and is fed evening meal within the same window. Sometimes he will poop a little on evening walk and other times not. I sleep between 12 and 2 AM.
 

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I have had 6 toys one mini, all my puppies have had to have one middle of the night potty until they were one year old.
 

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Killa and Tekno
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You said his last meal is at 8:30? I'm wondering if you want to change to 3 meals a day. Feed supper at 6:30 or 7; take him for a decent walk after that to get his gut moving. Then put him to bed with a smaller meal, half his dinner size, after a final potty outing at 10:30.

Every dog is different. Galen would sleep soundly through the night after a full meal at 10:00. Ritter will need to go out twice if I give him anything substantial after 9 PM. Be guided by your observations and don't get too caught up in what "should" work.
This has been my experience with Tekno too. I used to adamantly keep his dinner before 7pm but around 9 or 10pm seemed to be like his "natural" voracious eating time. So after a month or 2 I gave in and now I feed him late. When I changed him to late, he started sleeping through the night more often. One probably because he's doesn't have the midnight hungries; and two, in my completely unscientific opinion 😏 maybe because he was digesting the food it slowed everything else down with his digestion and then he doesn't need to go until morning.
 
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I have had 6 toys one mini, all my puppies have had to have one middle of the night potty until they were one year old.
Twyla, I’m surprised that all your puppies had to have one middle of the night potty until they were a year old. I don’t have experience that you do, I haven’t had as many poodles as you have. I’ve had one tpoo and my current 2 minipoos. It’s been a long time since I raised my tpoo, but she was not pooping in the middle of the night after 6 months. Babykins was about 8 months when I got her. The only time she got up to poo was when she had an ulcerative colitis attack due to the food she ate during the day and that was always around 4 am otherwise she held it through the night. Theo is 4 months and he’s sleeping through the night, 11pm to 6 am for two weeks now, holds it in all night and potties in the morning.

My current minipoos do not have a pattern of when they poop. Not all people and not all dogs have a reliable poop pattern. The fact that your puppy doesn’t have a pattern can be completely normal.

We like to say 6 months is the magic time when puppies neuromuscular control over bladder and bowel. Some puppies mature a little earlier and some take a few more months. It’s possible that your puppy falls into this latter category of needing a little more time to mature.

If your puppy is toilet trained through the day, then I too suggest you look at the food and when you feed meals. If the stools are well formed, normal, then focus timing of food. I wonder if you shifted dinner to 7:30 would that shift poop time forward to 6 am?

My puppy is fed at 6:30 am, noon, 5:30 pm. and a large snack around 8 pm. I’m slowly switching him to my older dogs schedule of 6:30 am, 4 pm meals with a stuffed Kong snack at 8 pm.

I would always trust your puppy and respond to take him potty.... it’s wonderful that he is alerting you to his needs. You don’t want to extinguish this and have a dog sneaking around to potty in the house.
 

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Beatrice was my most trying she would poo anywhere from 30 minute to 8 hours post meal, Bea was the extreme but the rest always a late night pee and the odd poo at night
 

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My GSD was nearly two before she quit needing a potty run in the wee hours. If I ignored, or didn't hear her fussing, odd were that I was going to be bathing a dog and cleaning a crate.
 

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My GSD was nearly two before she quit needing a potty run in the wee hours. If I ignored, or didn't hear her fussing, odd were that I was going to be bathing a dog and cleaning a crate.
Wow, goes to show how variable potty training can be.
 

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Hi all,
I asked this question earlier in the year when my toy poodle was a bit poorly but was advised to wait until he was settled and eating twice a day (which was totally good advice!)

So..our 8 month old toy poodle is crate trained, goes in happily at night (until about 4am) and throughout the day, I can even go out and leave him for a couple of hours in the day.

He eats twice a day 8:30 and 5:30 and he poops twice a day but very irregularly. My biggest problem being the morning poop!

He'll do a poop in evening anytime between 5 and 8 generally about 90 mins after eating, however when he's been at daycare he goes on the way home about 5:15pm before he eats as he's been so active.

I take him out again in the evening for a twenty min walk to ensure he's been the toilet before bed (about 10pm).

Since January he now gets me up any time around 4am crying to go the toilet or attention. Sometimes he's faking, sometimes he's desperate and sometimes he's already been!

Every time i think I'm getting somewhere and goes at a similar time I'll ignore his 4am whines and he'll suddenly decide to go an hour earlier in his crate. We've just had two weeks of taking him out at 5am and sometimes he goes outside or just goes back to bed till 6am and goes after we get up. We were planning to edge that over by 10 mins a week until he realised that 6am is wake up and poop time. However it doesn't seem to be working! Does anyone have any advice on how I can get a good nights sleep without waking up to a poop in the crate! Is it just a toy poodle thing?
People know how to fake. Dogs don't fake. Dogs "learn" that if they do a certain behavior, there will be a certain reaction. That's 'learning', not faking. I didn't read everyone's replies so maybe others have already said this: he's still young. And even when he's older, it isn't something that is always going to be predictable. All of us living creatures are affected by so many things during the day. Dogs are no different.

I fed my little tpoo three times a day taking his daily amount and dividing. I found that helped him get on a schedule. AND still, sometimes he was off his schedule. I don't know why. :) If he was still hungry after dinner, I'd give him some 'treats' usually dehydrated chicken liver or fish. That was it. Most days he pooped 2 or 3 times. You're doing great. Stick with it. He's still young.
 

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And is he getting a small bedtime snack with 24/7 access to water? I consider this essential for ensuring deep restorative sleep.
I know it works for Peggy but she‘s a « big » dog and I would never do this with a toy, because they already have a lot more problems holding it than medium/big dogs. If I let Beckie (toy) eat more than 5-6 kibbles before going to bed, like she wants to, she poops in the house. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with any small dog unless medically needed.

I believe small dogs should be able to go through the whole night without having to go outside. It’s just a matter of time. Maybe your dog will take a little longer, but if it doesn’t get better when he’s around 12 months old, I would try the tougher approach.

With Merlin (toy) I had to be very strict, because I got him at 15 months from the breeder and he wasn‘t house trained at all and had never step foot outside. He would lift his leg in the house and pee/poop in his crate. I gave him a nice comfy cushion and soft bedding, but he would pee in one corner or poop and rool it in the blanket. That’s what he was used to. Sometimes it’s just a behavior that comes from habit. So I had to remove the cushion and blanket entirely, even though it broke my heart to make him sleep on the empty tray. It took a while but he got it and it never happened again. This dog is now 100% reliable.

So every case is different. Step back, analyze what’s going on and try a different approach. Make one change at a time, so you know what works. And don’t worry, a year from now you probably won’t even remember you asked this question.
 

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I know it works for Peggy but she‘s a « big » dog and I would never do this with a toy, because they already have a lot more problems holding it than medium/big dogs. If I let Beckie (toy) eat more than 5-6 kibbles before going to bed, like she wants to, she poops in the house. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with any small dog unless medically needed.
I began this routine with Gracie, who was a very small dog, initially to prevent bilious vomiting. Of course you must adjust the size of the snack way down for small dogs. A few kibbles would be perfect for a toy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You said his last meal is at 8:30? I'm wondering if you want to change to 3 meals a day. Feed supper at 6:30 or 7; take him for a decent walk after that to get his gut moving. Then put him to bed with a smaller meal, half his dinner size, after a final potty outing at 10:30.

Every dog is different. Galen would sleep soundly through the night after a full meal at 10:00. Ritter will need to go out twice if I give him anything substantial after 9 PM. Be guided by your observations and don't get too caught up in what "should" work.
You said his last meal is at 8:30? I'm wondering if you want to change to 3 meals a day. Feed supper at 6:30 or 7; take him for a decent walk after that to get his gut moving. Then put him to bed with a smaller meal, half his dinner size, after a final potty outing at 10:30.

Every dog is different. Galen would sleep soundly through the night after a full meal at 10:00. Ritter will need to go out twice if I give him anything substantial after 9 PM. Be guided by your observations and don't get too caught up in what "should" work.
Hi, first meal of the day 8:30 am and last meal 5:30pm..I can certainly change this if you think it would help
 

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Hi, first meal of the day 8:30 am and last meal 5:30pm..I can certainly change this if you think it would help
Oh, I misunderstood. I thought his last meal was at 20:30.
Another question. When he goes in his crate does it seem loose, like he might be feeling sick or anxious? Or is it a normal solid poop, like he'd make after waking from a nap during the day?
 

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I would try feeding later at night. I think 5:30 would be a fine time to feed a dog if I was only feeding once a day, but if you're spacing out meals I think the early meal is causing him to need to go very early in the morning. If you push it to evening he may do better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Oh, I misunderstood. I thought his last meal was at 20:30.
Another question. When he goes in his crate does it seem loose, like he might be feeling sick or anxious? Or is it a normal solid poop, like he'd make after waking from a nap during the day?
Hi,
Stools solid at this point but normally small and he goes again when I take him out (almost like he’s finishing the job)
My theory is that it may be a bit of separation anxiety mixed in with needing to relearn how to hold it as he was 4 months old when he was poorly and we had to start getting up every few hours as opposed to leaving him alone all night..and it’s taken us till April to have regular solid poops.
So I guess there’s a mixture changing meal times to later and edging him closer to wake up time by 10 mins every day?
 
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