How long should puppy be able to 'hold it'?

craftycNovember 14, 2006

Have a 7 month old chihuahua/terrier mix (maybe JR)(...the little stray that was dodging dumptrucks at 6:00 in the morning) We have him in a crate at night ..walk him and let him do his STD ("squirt the dirt"!!!) right before we go to bed at 9:00...he wakes up at 2:30 or 3:00 and wants out...I take him out, he does his STD, and back in the crate content to go back to sleep. Should a 7 month old, 9 pound dog be able to hold it longer than that, or will that come with maturity? Our neighbor has an Australian terrier (about same age)...and she is able to make it through the whole night without getting them up. We get up at 4:00 in the morning and we are really hoping he will be able to hold it for the full 7 hours...this 2:30 thing is getting old!!! any suggestions? We are witholding water after 8:00...I hate to do that, but need to do something. Help!!!

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We have a 7 month old Irish terrier and he goes from about 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Is your puppy neutered yet? Until ours was neutered 3 weeks ago, he did very well at night but was going 12-14 times a day. We're now down to 6-8.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 5:15PM
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Yes..ours was neutered about three weeks ago too. Wow! From 10 until 7 !!! that would be a heavenly night's sleep!!!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 5:26PM
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I think your dog has gotten into a pattern of being left out during the middle of the night. My guess is that should you ignore him he will hold it.

A good rule of thumb to follow is a puppy can hold his urine 1 hour at one month, 2 hours at two months, 3 hours at 3 months, etc. One extra hour per month. I guess this could vary a bit but that is the guideline we were given when asked what to expect. By the age of six months all 3 of my guys could hold it while we were away at work. Is your dog crated during the day, or only at night?

My old gal can go more than 12 and she is going to be 12 on Saturday. Youngest has my husband trained and gets him to let him out during the nite. When DH is out of town, nobody bothers me unless they are sick:-)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 5:36PM
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Well..let's see..we get up at 4:00 and he is out of the crate until 6:00. Back in the crate until 10:00, then out until 1:00. Back in the crate until 3:00 and out until we go to bed at 9:00. At about 2:30AM he really cries and scratches at the crate until I take him out, he "goes" and then is very content to go back in the crate and back to sleep until we're up at 4:00 and the cycle continues!!!!!
I am taking the water away tonight at that cruel?? thank you all for your input.......

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 7:35PM
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So its a matter of another 1 1/2 hours till you get up?

I took up the water from my puppies after dinner. Like at 6 p.m. If you are putting him in the crate for the night at 9, I definitely would consider taking the water away before 7. He probably is drinking too close to going to bed for the night. How long do you keep him outside on last call?

He's making the 3-9 without going out to pee?

I think if it were me I would gently tell him to lie down and see what happens. If he really gets riled up, you can either see if he will hold it and take the chance he will, or chance having a wet crate in the morning and a pup who's feeling badly for soiling his crate. I have large dogs (labs) so I can't speak to the chihuahua breed, maybe somebody with one will post. Also, would it be better to take him out a little later and perhaps he could make it until 4 giving you a full night's rest? If he went out at 10 maybe you could get 6 full hours.... Just a thought.

We have last call at 7-8 for old gal and she's upstairs until I get up at 5:30. Other 2 are neutered males and they go from say 10 p.m. or earlier till 5:30 with the exception on occasion of the youngest, who by the way, was not fully house trained until he was a year old, yes 1 year old. We thought he was never going to get it. He didn't have a problem holding it during the night, he had a problem when he was in the house while everyone was awake and paying attention. He would look at the door and someone would hurry to get him out and he would stand there and start peeing. UGH so glad those days are over.

Keep posting.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Our pups go from 10:30 till we get up at 5:15 but on weekends they go till 6:30 or so. They just turned 5 months old. We don't take the water away at all and so far they have not soiled their crates. We may just be lucky. I wish they could hold it that long during the day, which is another story. They don't wet inside during the day, early evening if they are free to roam the house they will. I guess since I am home during the day, I let them out too often, gotten into the habit and I realize I need to lengthen the time between and hope they let me know when they need to go.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:29PM
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Yes he should hold it. Stop taking him out. The barking and whining will stop after 10-15 mins and after a few nights the pup will learn that barking isn't going to get him out to potty in the mid of nite.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:11PM
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This is just a general rule of thumb, and by no means a hard and fast rule.. but....

a pup can generally hold it for 1 hour for each month of age until the pup reaches 6 months or so. After that, the pup should be able to make it all day or all night allowing you a little bit more sleep. Remember though, it's just a rule of thumb. The best thing ever invented I think was a doggy door.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 12:29AM
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The 3:00PM-9:00 PM...he is outside in the back yard a couple of times, and usually for a walk in the early evening. Our walk right before bedtime is just long enough for him to "go" once and then we come back and turn in for a few hours!!! Water is going to be put up tonight at 6:00 (tried 7:00 last night, still up at 2:30 in the morning) Doggy door..we have one but I hate to put him out in the back yard ...will be out there trying to find him (fenced yard but lots of bushes and places to hide)
I tried ignoring the barking and scratching last night but after 15 minutes I figured he really had to go...which he DID as soon as we got outside. Do we need to see if there is an underlying medical problem or is he TRAINING me???!!!! thanks for your comments, suggestions and input!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 6:22PM
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I really don't think there is a medical problem, but I am not a vet. Sounds like he's holding it the rest of the time. I would guess he's trained you. Does he eat 2 meals per day or just the one meal at dinner?

Take the water up at 6 tonight, take it up at 5 tomorrow if it doesn't work out tonight. If you are putting him to bed early, he doesn't need to have a full bladder that just adds to his wanting to go out at 2-3 a.m. Yes, he did go when you took him out last night because that's what he has been doing all along until now. What you need to find out is would he have been able to hold it another 1 1/2 hours.

What time does he eat dinner? Maybe consider moving it up an hour and taking water up after dinner. If he's not doing a whole lot of activity between dinner and bed, he really doesn't need to have a drink. Make sure he has a full bowl of water all day with plenty of opportunities to drink and go outside to potty.

Do you feel he is house trained during the day? Is he trusted to be on his own in the house, in other words, does he have accidents during the day in the house or does he go to the door, or whatever your set up is. If he's good during the day, maybe it's time for a dog bed next to your bed on the floor, or if you are like us, the dogs slept on the bed until they were about 9 months old. We started them on the bed early before they where potty trained (I know crazy), but they didn't pee on the bed or get us up during the night and sleep was very important at the time.

I think if you cut the water out earlier and put up with a couple of nights of crying. It reminds me of when my daughter was an infant. I trained her to get up twice a night for feedings. She was a poor eater (long story) and I was trying to get as many feedings into her as I could, despite the fact that the sleep deprivation was killing me. One night my husband "put his foot down". I guess he was tired of me being a b*tch and said, she'll eat what she needs during the day, you have to stop this night feeding (she was about 5 mos. old). Yes she cried, and I felt badly, but after a couple of nights she got over it. Well now that I have gone totally off subject.

If you take the water up early, let him out right before he goes in his crate for bed, let him cry and see what happens. Worst case scenario is he will go in the crate. I doubt he will at his age. He may not settle down in 15 minutes. Put a pillow over your head. Just try it one night and see how it goes.

Someone once gave me good advice - make the dog fit into your life, don't make your life fit into the dog's. It was good advice and has worked out so far. He's going to have to get on your schedule.

Hopefully you will get a full night's sleep by the weekend. Give us an update!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:20PM
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Comparing your dogs bladder to another and having expectations is going to be disappointing for you, A Chi's bladder is very small and the Aussies is probably twice as big, Aussies are also working dogs, they seem to be able to hold their bladders for days at a time, where Chi's - even mixes are toy breeds, and that is going to have a determining factor as well.
I think in time if you stretch out the time period by 10 to 15 minutes every couple of nights, soon your dog will be able to go through the night without having to go, unless it drinks alot before going to bed. Do you walk your puppy for a good 30 minutes before retiring? Chi's need just as much walkies time as other dogs. Good luck, Good on you for rescuing the little squirt

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:56PM
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I totally agree you can't compare dogs. I have large dogs, ergo large bladders. It seems to me that despite the type of dog, the bladder does mature so the dog can go at least 8 hours if needed between pees. It would make sense to me the smaller the dog, the less water it would be able to drink if you get what I mean. A chihuahua certainly can't put the water away that a large dog can.

I keep seeing refernce to walkies? What is a walkie? I am assuming you are meaning taking the dog for a walk?

If that is what you mean, my dogs don't get walkies for 30 minutes before bed and they don't go in the house. Actually they don't get walkies at all. They get play frisbee in the yard, play ball, swim in the creek or pool, or just plain run around for fun exercise but no walkies. I am curious what the walkies have to do with it? My guys go out to go to the bathroom at last call and then to bed. They also go all night without going out, unless of course, one of them get sick.

I don't know what walkies have to do with getting through the night having to go out during the night. Are there certain dogs that require this to sleep through the night. I would think taking the dog out for a last out before bed would be sufficient. I just send mine out in the yard with instruction to go do your business. They do it and come back in. There's no 30 minutes of anything unless it's still light out and they want to enjoy being outside longer. Please give more info about walkies.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Our six month old gets let out at 10pm and she's good to go till 6 or 7 with no problem. Take water away from her around 7pm unless she plays real hard then give her a quick drink.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:33AM
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My almost 4 ear old bassett goes out at least once a week occasionally more during the night around 3:00 or so.If you try ignoring her you will find a present waiting for you the next morning.I like my sleep as well as the next person but I personally prefer to just let her out,she's in and out and does her business the time her feet touch the ground all under I would say 3 minutes.Good luck!Debbie

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 3:02PM
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Well...the continuing saga of the "Sleepless in Ft. Myers" ! --- took the water away at 6:00 with just a little sip after he was done playing for the evening and looking for a drink. I hate doing that because most of his play time is in the evening (now that's a trip...watching him play with our female greyhound!!! )...but he did sleep until 3:50 which is ok because we get up at 4:00 during the week anyway. He was crying and scratching to get out then, and it continued until we had to get up at 4:00. Yes...I realize I can't compare his bladder to the bladder of other dogs (especially our greyhounds who are VERY good about letting us sleep in!!) but I have absolutely no experience with either chihuahuas or terriers ...and that's what I love about this forum...I can always get a word of expertise! thank you all for you comments and hints and advice....hopefully we can get this regulated before I become a total raving maniac from lack of sleep!!! Yes..he eats two meals a day, and loves milkbones! Please feel free to continue with your words of wisdom on this!!!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:16PM
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Craft  What exactly is the longest time during the day that you make the dog really hold it? I saw that you had a 4 hr holding period in his crate. During the morning to 3 pm crate rotations do you allow the dog outside after his times in the crate? Or does he stay in the house from 6:00 to 3:00 with no availability to do his business  and therefore holding it for 8 hours?

We have to condition dogs to hold it (assuming no medical problem) for longer times. You day actions may be conditioning a 4 hour bladder when what you need is a 7 hour bladder to sleep. If your day actions arenÂt restricting him to longer durations of no pee breaks that approach 7 hours, itÂs not a surprise he canÂt hold it for 7 hours at night. You might be conditioning a sprinter, not a long distance runner  ya know what I mean?

If the pup has many opportunities to go outside during the day, IÂd start extending his time in the home before he could go outside for a chance to relieve and work up in small gradual increments until you approach the magical 7 hours of sleep.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:39PM
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I have a 2 lb chihuahua, she holds it from 10pm until 7am. she goes out at 7am, 12pm, 5pm and 10pm. we have kept her on this exact same schedule since she has been about 4 months old (she went out WAY more then that at first, she was a battle to train) we did have some accidents early on during the night, but not anymore. now she comes to me at the exact times she has been let out, she knows it is time to go outside. I think you should ignore it for a night or so too, maybe keep moving when you take him out up 30 minutes a night?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 11:07PM
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The formula I am aware of is:

One hour for each month of the dog up to 9 months. However, puppies drink lots of water. It's best to take them out within 10-15 minutes after they drink.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2006 at 1:12PM
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We take our 8 week puppy out a lot during the day. Probably every 2 hours. But during the night we go all night without letting him out.
Most dogs won't go to the bathroom in the same place as the sleep.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 6:36PM
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We have a 5pound yorkiepoo who is 3 months old.. She can go from 10:00Pm to 5:30am in the crate with no accidents. During the day, we trained her to ring a bell to go out(its on the door), She rings most of the time but she pees so often .HOw do we make her hold it longer while we're home..It feels like we let her out every 10 minutes( no kidding)I know she is drinking more during the day when I'm home. On days I work , she will pee in her crate..Are we letting her out to often?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:20PM
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