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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Going backwards!?

Hi everyone,

Looking for a little advice please.

We've had Louis for four weeks today, since he was just under 8 weeks old. He was as good as gold at first, and we actually thought we had brought home an angel puppy! He slept on his own downstairs (albeit not for very long and with frequent checks and middle-of-the-night cuddles) from the first night and we had no crying or barking.

This was until he learned to climb up the stairs a few days ago and three nights ago he made his way to my parent's room at 3am. They took him out to the toilet before letting him stay upstairs for the night with them (as he wouldn't stay downstairs) but he didn't sleep very much - there was clearly far too much to explore! The next night he came upstairs at 1.30am. Again he stayed upstairs, but was wandering around on and off all night and didn't settle- meaning my parents got no sleep!

Then yesterday we fixed a child gate to the bottom of the stairs to try and stop him running upstairs every time our backs are turned. From 3.30am until someone eventually went downstairs to settle him at 4am he was crying and barking at the bottom of the stairs - for the first time ever! It was heartbreaking but we had been advised to ignore him and as first time puppy owners we followed this advice as long as we could but eventually my brother went downstairs and settled him, sleeping downstairs with him for a while.

Now I'm dreading tonight as I think it will be a repeat of the same - we really want him to sleep downstairs as he has been for the past four weeks, as when he comes up he just wanders around and fidgets if you let him on the beds, and doesn't seem to rest at all. Any advice as to how we can stop him barking and crying in the night to come upstairs?! Are we wrong to just ignore him?

He has also starting urinating indoors, not on the newspaper we have put down. At first he was really good at going on the paper or asking to go outside, and we take him out a lot anyway so minus a few expected accidents it wasn't a problem. But now he has just started eliminating wherever he likes (it seems!). There doesn't seem to be any kind of pattern, he doesn't return to the same spots as he would before. Have we distressed him in some way!? I know he is still only a baby but he seems to be going backwards in his toilet training! And as we haven't had a dog before we are not sure if we have done something wrong along the way?

Getting a little worried because in the four weeks we have had him he hasn't yet been left home alone at all - but soon my brother will be returning to university and I work full time and my parents both work shifts - so it is likely that in the next few weeks there will be an occasion when he'll be home alone for part of the day, and we really don't want him to unhappy all day!

Thank you for your advice - all comments appreciated!

Sorry for the essay!! :)
 

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just out of curiosity...why have you decided not to crate train? the crate can aid in the toileting outside, and it will keep him downstairs.
likely he is having an issue with now being separated from the family. he figured out that he can come upstairs and stay there, so he is likely missing you now that the gate is up.
Do a little reading on the benifits of crate training. it can be really beneficial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for your reply!

It wasn't a conscious decision not to crate train, more the fact that we have never had a dog before and while we have seeked advice from friends and neighbours with dogs, the vet, and puppy books, we haven't really heard much about crate training. Also when we first brought Louis home, naively we thought toilet training wasn't an issue - we thought he was doing really well! I've just looked it up online and will read more about it now - thanks for the suggestion, hopefully this will work.
 

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you may have some nights of him crying, since he isn;'t used to the crate...just the same as you now have with the baby gate, but with the crate, you can create a den environment, and give him a space that is his own.
 

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I didn't crate train, as Rascal was so small he actually escaped from his the 2nd night LOL
The crate was in the conservatory, tile floor, so easy to clean, I had puppy pads near the door, the crate was left open after we realised he could get out anyway.
I used to put him to bed about 11pm after a long play and out in the garden to do his business. He was shut in the room for the night.
He cried for a few hrs the first night, less the 2nd and was then quiet after that. We used to get up about 6.30am, sometimes there was an accident, sometimes not.
We decided from day 1 that this is where he would sleep and it worked.
A yr later we got poo no 2, we did the same thing with him, but at first Rascal didn't spend the night with him, partly to give him a break, he slept with my son !!
Now they both sleep in there , they have a sofa, a bed and cushions ( ha ha, not that they're spoilt or anything ), and whatever time I go to bed is their bed time, they go out for a wee, come in, jump on the sofa, have a treat and its bed time. This works when we take them away as well !
 
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