Woken by my 8 month basset 2/3 times a night
(London, United kingdon)
My 8 month old basset puppy, who has always slept from 11ish until 6ish, is waking me and my partner 2/3 times a night. She started this during the christmas holiday which was bearable, but now we are back to work it is really annoying.
When she first started this, we would let her out into the garden to 'go' but she wasn't always going to the loo. She was then refusing to go back in her pen. A couple of times i had to lift her and put her back in. This is difficult because she is nearly 17 kilos. After this she would carry on crying for a bit but would eventually stop.
The next time she woke me, she refused to come out of the pen. When i nudged her out towards the back door to 'go' she weed on the floor before she got to the door.
This pattern has been going on for about 5 nights and it started 5 nights before that.
I feel like I've not handled the situation well. Perhaps i frightened her? What can i do to rectify the weeing on the floor and also how can i stop my puppy from waking, me even though she is virtually housetrained?
Also, someone told me not to feed her after 7.30 or leave water and food down in her pen at night. So far we've had no real problems but could this be the cause she wakes?
Puppies definitely go through 'phases and stages' as they grow, and your pup is an adolescent right now. Typically pups may decide to 'test their limits' or rebel to some degree during this stage - just like our human teens!
Dogs are also creatures of habit, in the extreme sometimes, and sometimes it seems as though they only have to do something two or three times for it to become habitual - often it's the things you DON'T want them to do that become habits the fastest. Go figure!
Right now it sounds as though your pup has simply got into the habit of waking up at night. She may need to eliminate once she's awake, but it seems as though it's not urgent enough for her to be desperate to 'go'. The weeing on the floor may have been because she was half-awake, actually was desperate to go that particular night, she sensed that you were mad at her and got anxious (a sort of submissive reaction) or any of several other options.
I would definitely recommend not feeding her after about 6 or 6:30pm and picking up her water bowl around 7:30 or so. This helps to make sure that she's pretty much emptied out her bladder/bowels before bedtime. Actually NEEDING to go to the bathroom during the night is then less likely.
I would also recommend using a crate for her to help with this. crate training will hopefully prevent her from eliminating when she wakes up at night, and given time this should help her to sleep through the night.
Make sure you keep any night-time potty breaks 'business only'. Minimize talking/activity and avoid eye contact. Any attention she gets reinforces her waking habits. Ignore her if she cries when you put her back in her crate/bed. It's basically like teaching a toddler to sleep through the night in their own bed.
If none of the measures above seem to help, I'd recommend taking her to see your vet to rule out a urinary tract infection or underlying health issue.
Be patient and calm with her and I think you'll find this stage will soon be a thing of the past.
Best of luck.