If you accept that part of being a puppy parent includes interrupted sleep and midnight potty trips, housebreaking Boomer will be a piece of cake. Up until the age of 16 weeks, Boomer most likely won't be able to sleep through the night without going potty. Rather than waking up in the morning to find a wet or smelly surprise, catch your puppy before the act. With consistency and a set routine, both you and Boomer will be sleeping through the night in no time.
When you bring Boomer home, the stress of adjusting can wreak havoc on his digestive system. Instantly establishing a routine is essential. Your goal is to get Boomer used to playing, eating, sleeping and going potty at set times. Understand that your puppy's age greatly determines how often he'll have to go potty. Gauge it by converting his age in months to hours. For instance, if he's 2 months old, he can hold his waste for two hours at a time.
Allowing Boomer to sleep in your bedroom can promote the housebreaking process, because you can hear him fussing when he has to go potty in the middle of the night. The comfort of having you nearby might also help Boomer sleep better in the new environment. Exercise him during the day so he's tired when bedtime comes around. Avoid giving him food and water about three hours before going to bed, and before turning in for the night, take him to his potty area to do his business.
Nighttime Potty Trips
Rather than having Boomer wake you up in the middle of the night, set your alarm so you can wake him up to go potty. Gauge your puppy during the first night to determine how often you have to wake up. Each puppy is different, and between the age of 7 and 14 weeks, you might have to wake up every two to three hours. Take Boomer to the designated area and tell him "go potty." Afterward, bring him back to bed. Keep the trip strictly business -- no playing, loud talking or running.
After establishing a set nighttime schedule, slowly extend the times that you wake up to bring him to go potty by 15 minutes. After three successful nights, extend the time again by 15 minutes. Continue moving the potty trips ahead until you're left with one trip that's scheduled at the time you wake up in the morning. Always observe your puppy to make sure he's adjusting to the schedule. If he has accidents or starts waking up before you do, take a step back, because you might be progressing too fast.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.