I have a 7 month Sheltie pup who is on the last hurdle for toilet training. After some great advice here he's dry all day, and can if he chooses to hold himself for a very long time (even with the opportunity to go.)

However overnight is becoming a bit of an issue, he can hold overnight because for the past few weeks about 50% of the time he'll have a dry night, leaving no mess on the kitchen floor. The rest of the time he'll both poo/pee and if he does he gets no fuss in the morning, gets put outside if it's not raining whilst I clean up, and only after about 15minutes do we fuss him. If he's dry, he gets loads of morning fuss.

We have noticed the past few nights in a row he's been messy my neighbour has left her house (waking all of us sometimes) at about 4:30am, we usually get up at 6.

So we think that if he's woken up early he'll go to the toilet, but we've no real way to know if hes awake because what wakes him doesn't always wake us. He's not crate trained and his 'bedroom' is the kitchen.

He goes out in the morning, the afternoon, for his 8pm walk, then has a chance right before bed at 9:30pm. He will always pee on his evening walk, most of the time poo as well.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to keep him dry overnight?

  • For others reading this question, crate training avoids this issue entirely. It is not cruel or mean.
    – jalynn2
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 17:19
  • Also, dogs that sleep in the bedroom with people (on the floor or in a crate) are much less likely to get into mischief when they see that their people are still with them and asleep.
    – jalynn2
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


I think this is a case of habit/routine

With our new dog she pee'd in the kitchen one night. She now get's put into the Garden every eve before we go to bed and isn't allowed into the house until she's at least pee'd. She get's got the idea pretty quick and now it's just a 5 min run/pee before bed. She hasn't messed in the night since.

The rest of the time he'll both poo/pee and if he does he gets no fuss in the morning

Telling your dog off (or withholding as your doing) after the fact isn't very productive. Dog's don't think like Humans. They have no way to relate the withholding to the fact. As far as they are concerned the fact happened ages ago and they won't understand why your doing what your doing. Unless it happens in front of you and you get the opportunity to reprimand the dog immediately your wasting your time.

  • Ahh see our puppy trainers say withholding for barking etc is the way to go, so for toileting this also seemed appropriate as he had the same no fuss rule if he went on the carpet when we were training him in the day. He has responded to the lack of fuss, prior to our neighbour starting to leave at stupid o'clock in the morning, mostly because I take him to his mess, say Oh Dear, and that's it until it's clean and 15mins later he gets the fuss.
    – Aravona
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 8:00
  • 1
    It might work eventually but it could take him a long while to realise, "oh your upset about the poo! Why didn't you say so!" The cause and effect in dogs is more difficult for them to understand. So the easier you can make this the better.
    – user2801
    Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 8:07

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