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Puppy training regression. Why?! What am I doing wrong?

(36 Posts)
largepinot Sun 12-Feb-17 11:06:49


We have 10 1/2 week old puppy. She is gorgeous! Very playful and loving, but a bit bitey ...we're working on it.

Anyway, from the second night, she was sleeping through from 10.30-7.00 shock No whining, no mess. We just thought we were very lucky. Yes, she was having a fair few accidents during the day, but to be expected. We were\are taking her out every 20 - 30 minutes and we're starting to read her signals. There weren't any initially. Again, all "normal" I would think.

However, the last couple of nights, she has been howling, on and off through the night and also is weeing and\or pooing in her pen! I don't think the neighbours will be inviting us over for dinner any time soon confused

We have actually just had new floors put down, so I guess this must have something to do with it. She sleeps in the kitchen \diner and it was half carpet before. That's where she used to sleep, but now it's hardwood. She has a very soft bed, with a blanket, but obviously underneath is now hard...

Could this be why she's whining and messing? Do puppies tend not to like sleeping on hardwood floors? Should I just completely cover her penned area in blankets? Should I move her pen into the living room where there is carpet?

Any ideas much appreciated.


largepinot Sun 12-Feb-17 11:43:11


Mungobungo Sun 12-Feb-17 11:55:43

The only thing I can think that might help is this:

When we had our dog 1, he howled a lot. Vet mentioned that he may not like the echo-y ness of the kitchen. Could it be the change in noise going from carpet to hardwood flooring that's upsetting her because of echo or the rapping of their paws on the floor?

largepinot Sun 12-Feb-17 12:00:33

Mungo, thanks. Yes, I think that probably does have something to do with it. I'm thinking about putting an old duvet down to cover the floor in her pen. Obviously won't help with the acoustics, but may help.

LilCamper Sun 12-Feb-17 15:00:12

She needs to be with you to feel secure. Look here

largepinot Wed 15-Feb-17 08:12:42


So we put down a thin duvet and cover in her pen and she seemed to love that. Was actually going in during the day too.

First two nights, back to sleeping through til about 7, no mess. This morning however, she howls, as she always does, I go downstairs very quickly to let her out and she actually jumped out of her pen! confused And once I've let her out, notice that she's weed and pooed in her bed.

I thought puppies hated going near where they sleep. Also, now she can get out of her pen, it's going to make training so much harder, because if she's out, she'll almost certainly still have accidents everywhere. Most I've been out for so far is an hour and I put her in her pen and so far, one accident in there during the day.

Advice please!


BiteyShark Wed 15-Feb-17 08:19:50

At that age you cannot expect them to hold it in for that long at night. You have been lucky so far but clearly found that she can't do so all the time.

My puppy had an accident in his crate once when I had left him too long and he has never done that since. I still only leave him for 1 hour for each month of age plus 1 hour which means I set an alarm to get him up to pee in the night and as he gets older I extend that time. I never let him get to the howling or peeing stage himself. Even I need to go for a pee sometimes in the night so I don't expect a little puppy to hold it for hours.

BiteyShark Wed 15-Feb-17 08:26:43

Puppies don't like going where they sleep but if they can't hold it any longer they will have to go and will howl because u effectively made them mess their bed.

At your pups age I would set an alarm for 3.5 hours and get up take her out whether she is awake or not to pee. My dog knows the drill now that when I come in in the night and open his crate he wanders over to his spot in the garden does a pee and goes straight back to bed and sleep. Eventually he will be old enough that I won't need to do that anymore.

largepinot Wed 15-Feb-17 08:48:26

Thanks, Shark. I know it's 100% not her fault.

How old is your dog?

BiteyShark Wed 15-Feb-17 08:57:34

Mine is almost 5 months now so I let him sleep for 5.5 hours soon to try 6 hours. It does interfere with my sleep but since sticking to this he has never soiled his crate since and I have an oversized crate which means if he wanted to make a toilet at one end he could easily do so without spoiling his actual bedding.

So I work out when it is his time to get up in the morning and work backwards so if he is up at 7 then I set an alarm for 1:30 in the morning.

Having soiled your pen once I don't think it will necessarily mean she will do it again if you get her up every 3.5 hours. Also I had a pen initially but realised my dog could easily work out how to get out so changed to a crate (I am assuming your pen is like a child's play pen so no top?)

largepinot Wed 15-Feb-17 09:19:18

Ah ok. I sleep really badly, so I was really happy (and shock ) when she was sleeping through and I didn't need to set an alarm. Oh well..

Yes, the pen doesn't have a top. It was once I'd actually got into the room that she jumped out. I think she surprised herself grin The excitement propelled her over I think!

Was your puppy happy to go from a pen to a crate straight away?

BiteyShark Wed 15-Feb-17 09:24:11

Yes transition was instant but I have the largest crate I could find and mine is a medium sized dog as I didn't really want a crate for toilet training (where you are meant to get one just slightly bigger than the dog) but more for a secure area for him to sleep and play. It was almost as big as the pen we had but the difference is that he would not be able to jump out smile

largepinot Fri 17-Feb-17 08:11:02

Hmm one good night, one bad. Think we're getting a crate.

I have some questions- If a dog is used to a crate, are they more likely to have accidents when they're given the run of the house? Also, when you go away and take them with you, do they tend to only settle in a crate?

anxious2017 Fri 17-Feb-17 08:26:51

Crate train. The crate should only be big enough to lie down and turn around in. Any bigger and the dog will mess its own bed. If you want to get a larger crate for future use, cut off a section for pup. Why wouldn't only settling in a crate be OK? It makes a dog feel safe and secure.

BiteyShark Fri 17-Feb-17 08:39:59

So my dog is on the smaller size of medium and the crate is XL. He has only messed his crate once when I missed the alarm overnight which was my fault. I do however have bedding in there which covers the whole floor of the crate so maybe that is why he does not mess in it.

I don't think it made any difference to the number of accidents in the day when he was out of his crate as I still picked him up to go out at frequent intervals.

He doesn't just settle in his crate as he has another bed outside his crate which he sleeps in but at night or when he doesn't want to be disturbed he will actively go in the crate himself to sleep.

BiteyShark Fri 17-Feb-17 08:46:27

Ah just seen you mention settling in a crate when you go away. I plan to buy a smaller holiday crate when we go away so yes DDog can have his own space at night where ever he is. I actually see that as a positive with crates.

largepinot Fri 17-Feb-17 08:57:53

Thank for the replies.

I think I just never got why everyone was talking about crates, in particular, as safe spaces, because I assumed a dog's bed would be a sufficient safe space. I got the pen with the idea of transitioning to just a bed\basket.

Once they're adults though, I'm assuming it's not normal for them to need to go out in the night?

My dog(lab x whippet) I had growing up, just had a basket and never had accidents after the first couple of weeks. I know nobody was getting up in the night.

BiteyShark Fri 17-Feb-17 09:20:17

Whenever I have watched puppies they tend to want to crawl into small spaces so lots of people have crates and cover them which makes the puppy feel safe.

I like being able to put DDog in mine when I can see he is overtired as he is still a puppy. If I just had a bed he would continue to run round and round when actually he needs an enforced sleep so being in the crate tells him to calm down and within minutes he is snoring his head off. It also helps when I can't watch him 100% when I need to know he is safe and not destroying the house or eating things that are bad for him.

Nope we never had crates when I was growing up at home but then I can't remember how bad the puppy stage was either so suspect we had many accidents and issues but just cannot remember them smile I do have some memory of news paper at the back door at night but I prefer to get up and let him out than teach him to toilet in house on paper.

BertieBotts Fri 17-Feb-17 13:41:05

She's very new. When she first came to your house she was probably on guard, watching to see what the rules might be. But she's more settled now and she's probably relaxed a little. Which is a good thing, but it means you'll have to concentrate harder on training.

You can stop using the crate as they get older but they are comforting for puppies. And yes, their bladders get bigger!

This is a good video on crate + potty training. smile

largepinot Sun 19-Feb-17 19:03:14

Thanks, bitey.

Bertie, great link! Really good video. Thanks.

largepinot Mon 20-Feb-17 16:06:32

So we seemed to have cracked it during the day, but now it's the other way around.

She had been going to the door and giving me 'a look' when needing to go out. The last couple of days though, not the case. Has been squatting all over the place! Have just discovered she's been peeing on the door mat, which is straight outside her bed, so when she gets up from a nap, she's obviously been going straight on that before coming into me. I dropped the ball grrrr.

So, we're back to taking her out constantly and actually staying with her. She was happy to go out herself and I would watch her from the window, but not now.

Trying to work out where I've gone wrong. I was still praising her for going, but maybe when I've looked away, I've missed the odd one and so not praised...I don't know.

Also, I hear you're not supposed to use disinfectant where they've been indoors. Something to do with ammonia and it encouraging them to go again. Well, what can you use? I'm a bit manic about keeping everywhere smelling fresh. Fighting a loosing battle?

BiteyShark Mon 20-Feb-17 16:12:35

It is one step forward several back in my experience with toilet training. I used ordinary floor cleaner on my floors but interestingly if I used the steam mop it was like an invitation to pee.

My dog doesn't really make much of a signal that he wants to go out so I trained him to bash a bell by the door which worked as I kept missing his signal so he would pee, but to be honest I think with your puppy still being so young it is a case of place outside what seems like a million times during the day and to stay with them until they have done their business.

emancipationofmimi Mon 20-Feb-17 16:29:50

OP have you tried puppy training pads? They are just disposable square sheets of absorbent material (like giant pads grin) with a special scent that makes the puppy wee on them. We put loads around our dog's bed at night and down the hallway too if he was uncomfortable weeing near his bed. You can buy them from Pets At Home.

Also... your puppy is so young - you don't think she'd prefer to be closer to you in her first weeks in a new home? She has been taken from her mum and now left in a dark kitchen overnight without her brothers and sisters or mum. Our dog slept on the landing outside our bedroom so was far away enough from us but close enough for him to feel secure.

Ddog is now 2.5 and we haven't had any accidents for about 1.5yrs. Crates look bloody ugly and I don't like them... plus I wouldn't want to be shut off in a metal box while my mummy and daddy went out or upstairs to bed. Ddog has a run of the house when we are out and is often found sleeping in his day bed or staring at squirrels from the sitting room window when we return. He had enough chew toys to keep him satisfied that he wouldn't end up chewing furniture or shoes when he was a puppy.

Good luck!

BiteyShark Mon 20-Feb-17 16:33:48

emancipationofmimi you are very lucky with your dog because my dog has all the chew toys in the world but would much prefer to chew the curtains, the shoes, the table leg, attempt to jump on the kitchen units and so on if we have him the run of the house with no supervision sad

BertieBotts Mon 20-Feb-17 16:58:49

Sometimes they generalise the textures incorrectly. So it might be that she thinks the doormat is okay because it feels like grass? I would move it away from there for now.

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