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Discussion Starter #1
Potter, who's 21 weeks old, has never had any problems with his crate...never has accidents in it, always goes in it when told, and has been sleeping through the night for months. For the past week, however, he's started pawing at the door of his crate (which he previously only did when he needed to go outside) at least once, often twice, a night, the first time usually only an hour or two after we first go to bed. And when I take him outside, it becomes obvious that he didn't really have to go potty. Also, he's nowhere near too big for his crate...he still has plenty of room in it. Oh, and he tends to go straight for his water bowl (which is on the way outside) when I let him out, which he never did before.

Is it possible that he's uncomfortable and needs a softer mat? Or could he be dehydrated? I don't want to start letting him sleep out of his crate because we also have a 12 year-old cat and if Potter didn't sleep in his crate, we'd either have to shut our cat in or out of our bedroom, which I don't want to do. Any ideas? Advice? We'd really like to start sleeping through the night...
 

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At 5 months old, I'd tell him to lay down and go to sleep....he doesn't need to go out in the middle of the night. Does he chase the cat? I don't see why you can't wean him out of the crate at night and let him sleep on a dog bed or the floor. Of course you want to break his desire for a midnight trip outside first. What kind of exercise does he get a day and how long is he usually in a crate during the day? His restlessness at night might be that he's simply not tired...upping the amount of activity he gets during the day usually takes care of that problem...I know it does for me ;)
 

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Just a suggestion... I would make sure that if you do let him out of his crate when he paws at it, you leash him, go immediately outside and do not say/do anything else. Do not let him think that you're letting him out for anything other than pottying... this isn't play time! :)

You may be doing all this already, but lots of exercise is important and also make sure you pick up his water a few hours before bedtime. I'd pick the water dish up and leave it up all night so that he doesn't think he can go get a drink if he paws at his crate door.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions. JacksAndLabs, we did start just ignoring Potter's late night attempts to go out and, turns out, he would just go back to sleep. Sometimes I feel bad; I don't want him to think I've abandoned him or something, but I think you're right. I was afraid he would start using the fact that we always get up when he paws at the door to his advantage, and not out of necessity. I wish we could let him sleep out of the crate, but he definitely does chase the cat...not always, usually only when he's in hyper puppy mode, but I wouldn't want to take the chance, at least not yet. So, anyway, thanks for the advice!
 

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Totally different crate issue at 5 months. Added here to brighten your day. Hershey Kisses has decided the bedding mat and bed we have in her crate does not belong there. Every time the crate is opened for the past 5 days, she has proceeded to drag both out on the crate into the family room. She believes that the bedding mat belongs on the couch. When I toss it to the floor, she just drags it back up. Last night, I asked my wife to take her out, while I put everything back in the crate. Upon return, Hershey went directly to the crate, pass food, pass water, directly to crate to pull the mat and bed out.

I am not upset over this. We are having some fun with it. What is she telling us? What am I looking forward to?

Endofile
 

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I am wondering if she is too warm. I have two crates at home now and one has a bed in it and another one just a mat (sort of like a yoga mat). Since it has been getting warmer Chocolata does not want to be in the crate with the bed and goes by herself in the crate that only has a mat.
 

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That thought, 'too warm' occurred to me also. But she lies on the mat or bed when she has it out of the crate. I think she just doesn't like the way we laid out her furniture and believes it belongs out where we have our stuff. My wife bought her a stuffed toy cell phone that rings three times when she bites it. She loves that toy and I think she has been talking to some interior designer.
 

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Off topic, but did you name your pup after the Harry Potter series? I'm curious, it seems an unusual name, although from your profile pic, it fits him to a tee.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Actually, he is named after Harry Potter. It's the only book series that both my wife and I love and it does, actually, fit him to a tee. We get asked about it a lot, too, and people either think it's really cute or the dumbest idea ever! But it's definitely perfect for him, so we're happy.
 
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