My 15 week boxer puppy barks in the night
I have a 15 week old boxer puppy who is not quite house trained. He used to bark around 4.30am almost every night, I'd go down to him, clear up his mess and while I was doing this he'd get back into bed, then I'd go back up to bed.
I would get up at 7am and then he'd get up, but the past week he's started barking around 6am every morning and I've had to get up with him so as he doesn't wake my children up.
How do I stop him barking at 4.30am and waking at 6am?
Hi JemmaIf you're not already using a crate, I would strongly suggest that you get one and start crate training your puppy. At 15 weeks old he should have good enough bladder and bowel control to be able to 'hold it' for short periods and will try hard not to mess in his crate.
This doesn't mean that you can ignore his barking though I'm afraid. Instead, he's likely to bark to let you know that he needs to 'go', and you can get him outside to do his business rather than cleaning up a mess indoors.
For the 4am waking, I'd recommend taking him outside to potty as even at 15 weeks he may really NEED to go at this time, he may need to pee or poop more than once at this time. Make this a 'business only' trip - no talking, no eye contact, no petting etc. You don't want to be rewarding him for waking up, but you also don't want to get mad at him or punish him.
But for the 6am waking I would tend to try to ignore it, as he shouldn't have a desperate urge to pee or poop if he's emptied his bladder and bowels at 4am.
You could try putting his crate somewhere as far from the kids rooms as possible so that they're not woken up by his noise. Other than that you'll just need to 'grit your teeth' and put up with it for a few days. Once he realizes you're NOT coming at 6am, he will stop making such a fuss, but do go to him first thing when you wake up.
Depending on his personality, he could learn this lesson in a day or two, or it could take a week or two, but if you're consistent he will learn.
One caveat though - if he makes a mess in his crate at 6am when he wakes and starts barking, you will need to take him outside again as with the 4am waking. You can try to extend the time he wakes by 5 or 10 minutes at a time by waiting a little longer each morning before going to him, eventually he will be waking later as his body adjusts.
Potty training a puppy takes time, effort and consistency, but it is definitely worth it as an untrained adult dog is very difficult to live with. Raising puppies is like raising children, and this stage will pass, just make a plan, stick to it and be patient, he will grow out of this phase soon.
Hope this helps. Best of luck with your pup.