Potty training… every fresh dog parent goes through it and nearly everybody comes out the other side, but not all of them unscathed.
Countless nights with little to no sleep can really take a toll on you and it’s a suffering that could’ve been easily reduced.
At first, waking your puppy up at night might seem to contradict your training plan which includes avoiding any whining or playing at nighttime.
Besides, if your puppy is sleeping, it’d disrupt their sleep cycle if you wake them up, right?
Well, it’s not that easy.
I made that mistake by letting my Rottweiler pup sleep soundly at night and it probably prolonged the potty training process.
Let’s check out what exactly works best almost all the time.
Should I Wake My Puppy Up To Pee At Night
Yes, you should wake your puppy up to pee at night, even if he’s sleeping since this will heavily influence your potty training.
Waking your sleeping puppy up might seem like a hassle but it’s definitely worth it to avoid potty accidents.
Teaching your puppy not to soil his sleeping space is paramount since this will also affect your ability to use the crate as a safe space during the day.
Even if you ditch the crate during the day, you definitely don’t want your dog making a habit out of soiling his sleeping space.
Most puppies will naturally do everything in their power to avoid peeing on their sleeping spot but some have a stronger mind than others when it comes to this.
In any case, waking your pup up to go pee at night might make it harder to get him back to sleep but it’ll be worth it.
Just keep in mind to never make a fuss of potty breaks and calmly bring your pup outside, wait until he does his business, and bring him back while keeping everything dark and silent.
My Rottweiler Amalia actually went berserk if you didn’t keep the lights out, don’t speak to her except for praise, and carry her back inside immediately.
Other than waking up your pup for a couple of minutes, there’s nothing serious that can happen if you wake your pup up to pee.
Just make sure not to disrupt their sleep cycle unnecessarily often if they’re otherwise making good progress with potty training.
How Often Should I Wake My Puppy To Pee At Night?
Generally, you should plan for 2-3 potty breaks during the first few weeks with a puppy, no matter if he’s sleeping or not. You can adjust based on whether or not your puppy actually goes during the night.
Even if your puppy doesn’t need to pee or only goes potty reluctantly, stick to your schedule for a couple of days.
Not only can you make sure that your pup’s potty needs don’t change, but you also eliminate the possibility of being thrown back when it comes to your puppy’s housebreaking.
Of course, every individual is different and you should try to steer into your pup’s natural cycle and adjust the potty breaks based on that.
Maybe your puppy needs 4 potty breaks at night or maybe 1-2 per night are just fine.
How many potty breaks you need may also depend on how tired your pup is, how much and when they drank, as well as what the breeder did with them before in regards to potty training.
How Long Can Puppies Sleep At Night Without Peeing?
Puppies can usually sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, once they hit 3-4 months they can easily sleep 4-6 hours at night. Make sure to plan for potty breaks before going to bed and right away in the morning too.
How long puppies can sleep at night without peeing also depends on the breed, water intake, last potty break, and quality of sleep, among many factors.
Generally speaking, large breeds can go longer without potty breaks, while small breeds can’t hold it in as long.
To avoid potty accidents at night, it’s best to bring your puppy out to pee right before bed and restrict water intake before bedtime.
However, if your pup hasn’t been drinking well, scratch the last tip and just plan for one more potty trip as your pup should never go to bed dehydrated.
Can An 8 Week Old Puppy Sleep Through The Night?
No, an 8-week-old puppy usually doesn’t sleep through the night but it can happen, especially on the very first day when your puppy is extremely exhausted.
Some lucky dog parents bring home a pup that somewhat consistently sleeps through the night without a potty break but that’s really rare.
The first few nights with an 8-week-old pup are also easier if the breeder did some kind of potty training.
That being said, consider yourself lucky if your pup only needs 1-2 potty breaks after a couple of days.
Trust me, puppy blues is real when you have to get up multiple times a night.
How Often Do 8 Week Old Puppies Pee At Night?
If your puppy is just 8 weeks old, it’s likely you’ll need to include 2-3 or sometimes even 4 potty breaks for the first night.
As mentioned above, it’s best to find a good balance between letting your pup sleep and bringing them out to avoid potty accidents at night.
Through their physical development and training, the pup will be able to hold it longer and longer until he can sleep through the whole night.
Should I Carry My Puppy Out To Pee?
Yes, it’s always good to carry your puppy out to pee, especially during the night so you can bring them back to sleep as quickly as possible and avoid accidents on the way.
Some people prefer to walk their pup outside for a potty break but at night, I’ve found it best to carry them.
Carrying your puppy out to pee doesn’t wake them up and creates no excitement.
A big plus: Puppies don’t pee when they’re on your arm (well, at least most don’t do that).
Walking your pup outside on a leash might wake them up fully as well as entice them to play chase with you, bite the leash, sniff stuff on the way, and so on.
If you’re unsure how one goes about carrying his pup, just check out this dog-carrying guide.
Trust me, I know carrying your dog can get exhausting pretty quickly for large breeds (speaking as a Rottweiler owner) but it’s definitely worth it.
If your pup has to climb a lot of stairs, you should avoid that in the first weeks or even months anyway.
How Long Should You Wait For Puppy To Pee at Night?
While you want to wait as long as it takes for your pup to go potty during the day, your puppy truly may not need to go at night, but you should wait at least 10-15 minutes nonetheless.
Do you know this situation?
You’ve waited a certain time, your pup didn’t go.
The second you went back inside, he had a potty accident.
That’s when you know you need to wait longer the next time.
You can easily try out how much time is reasonable by trial and error.
When your pup truly doesn’t go and has no accidents, you’re golden.
If you wait even 15 minutes, your pup didn’t go, just to have an accident inside, you need to stay longer next time.
That’s why waiting 10-15 minutes is only a rule of thumb.
You may want to give your pup 5 minutes to let them know that’s their peeing window, or you may want to wait 30 minutes if your pup is notorious for “I don’t have to go, I’ll pee right away once I’m inside”.
Whether you’re waking your pup up to pee at night, let him sleep, carry him, or plan for 2 potty breaks or 4 is all up to you.
While some choices may seem comfortable now, they can actually increase the length of your potty training but in the end, consistency and calmness are the keys to housebreaking your pup.Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.