6 Critical Tips for Puppy House Training at Night

Pug with young woman sleeping

When it comes to being a first time Pup Parent it’s difficult to know exactly how to train them to go outside to potty. We were very lucky with our first pup. My big dog Bear came to us at 6 weeks of age already asking to go out.  Our second dog, Chewy, however was a bit different. The outdoors scared him at first, he had no idea what grass was….he had been kept in a kennel for most of the beginning of his life. 

Both were rescue dogs.  Each had a different ‘signal’ for when they needed to potty.  It is key to be watchful of these signals, as just like us, they have different tells and personalities which could take time to adjust to.  We will discuss what to look for and what to expect. Always when a pup does a good job, tell them so verbally, physically (petting etc.) with a treat or clicker so they know you are happy with their performance. Reinforcing good behavior plays a major role in successfully training your puppy, especially to go potty. 

Puppy House Training at Night

Dog looking over man's shoulder who is asleep in bed under a blanket

Some people like to crate their dogs, especially at night. This can be fine as it can help some feel more secure in their new surroundings and give them a space that is all theirs in the great big new world they’ve just been introduced to. It can also aide in avoiding accidents on the living room carpet. Just be sure if you decide to go this route to have a large enough cage/crate so they can stretch, play and drink and eat, etc…

The other option is to have a large enough space available to section off with baby gates that can stand up to accidents.  We used our kitchen at times when we were not home to watch for the signals or it was night time.  

And our 2nd rescue pup came from a caged situation so we just decided not to crate him due to the trauma it caused him.  Having our big boy Bear around helped Chewy to feel confident to explore outside and start asking to go out…I think this helped tremendously in his potty training as well…he only had a couple accidents in the kitchen when we had to go to work and after that no more problems.

Each situation is different however.  Keeping newspapers and puppy pee pads is very helpful as well when first starting out as accidents will happen, especially in younger puppies 4 weeks to 6 weeks of age.

Let’s explore some other training techniques here: 

In the first few weeks of training it is important to look for cues, body language and certain whines or whimpers can all be indicators your pup needs to go out. You will start to recognize the cues the more you pay attention. We routinely took our pups out ever 3-4 hours whether they had shown any signs or not and encouraged them to ‘potty’ and during the night I would set my alarm to get up and take my pups out every 6 hours at least.

Should I Wake My Puppy up to Pee at Night?

My answer is a resounding yes! Don’t feel too bad, they will get you up more than you will wake them but it will all be worth it, promise! 🙂 Younger puppies drink a lot of milk due to not being weaned yet and their bladders are still growing and becoming strong so they will need to go out more often. Night time potty break for puppy is very important.  The older the puppy gets the better at holding it it will become. 

What to do When a Puppy Can’t Hold it’s Pee at Night?

sad Puppy urinating on hard wood flood

This is a big concern, especially for new puppy parents.

But it’s easier than you may think to help them out. Just like human babies, Puppies are work but so worth it and you’ll be making a great bond in the process.

Setting an alarm is always a good plan, getting your puppy on a schedule is very important.  This includes eating and drinking times. Your dog’s bladder and body is still growing and adapting so sometimes accidents cannot be avoided. 

Here are some very helpful tips to use:

  1. Set your alarm Pick a time in the evening that is about two hours before bedtime.
  2. Take the bowl away When the alarm goes off, take away your pup’s water dish.
  3. Go outside. Make sure you give your dog one or two more potty breaks before heading to bed. 
  4. Keep tabs on your dog. Bring your pooch’s bed in your room so you’ll hear if he gets up.
  5. Don’t sleep in! If your pup makes it through the night, be sure to get him outside first thing in the morning to relieve himself. 
  6. Reward a job well done after they “go” in the right spot, praise them with a treat.

Thank you to WagWalking.com for these fantastic tips.

The Bottom Line on Puppy House Training at Night

Corgi puppy sleeping upside down in dog bed

When you are house training a puppy at night, it’s important to remember that they have tiny bladders and that you’ll probably have to get up at night at least once in order to accommodate their pee cycle – at least until they are 10 or 12 weeks old.

You can train them with a crate or you can house train them. The choice is really up to you.

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Hi! My name is Heather Hallman. I’m the mother of two beautiful girls and a MAJOR passionate pet parent. I can hardly wait to bring you the BEST resources and information that I've found for our fur-babies.