Crate Training Troubles

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Hi guys,

Been lurking for a while taking all your sage wisdom. We’re having a little trouble with our 9 (nearly 10 she’d want me to say) week old Wheaten Terrier. We have had her two weeks and love her to bits, and we all seem to have bonded well, so that’s great. She loved her crate to begin with, and had very few accidents overnight (we honestly thought we had a puppy prodigy who had a herculean sized bladder).

We’ve both raised pups before but they’ve always been 12 weeks or older, and we both lived more rurally so the doggos were outside most of the time so house training wasn’t quite so challenging.

In the last week she’s had several accidents overnight in her crate (both pee and poop), so we have been getting up in the middle of the night trying to preempt them and we have been fairly successful (we get up about every 3 hours to take her out to pee but sometimes we’re too late, or too early). On top of that, she cries every time she goes into the crate after we coax her in, though she will generally settle herself in a few minutes. We’re conscious that she a. needs to nap even if she doesn’t want to and b. she needs to get used to us being gone both for the long run and for when we go back to work.

We do our best to reward her being quiet in the crate (clicker and treat), but this will often just cause her to stir and cry again. So is this normal? Is this what we’re supposed to be doing?

We think it was fairly bad timing on our part, but last night she fell asleep earlier than usual, and we have been waking her to have a pee and play session before we go to bed so she sleeps most of the way through the night. But last night we were both exhausted and went to bed early enough. So she would have fallen asleep around half 9, she was taken out at 11 to go to the loo, went back to sleep, was taken out at 3 to use the loo, there was some whining but she mostly settled herself and then she woke at 5 (our morning has been starting at about 6.30am) and she went to the loo (I’ll be honest, on a puppy pad cos my eyes were barely opening, I know, bad puppy mom) but then she was just crying solidly til we got up with her at about 6.30am. Is this hating the crate or just like really stupid timing on our part?

Also she doesn’t let us know when she needs to pee – I swear half the time she doesn’t realise. Like when she wakes from a nap she cries to get out of the crate and she always has to pee, but I really don’t think it’s alerting us that she needs to pee, but rather that she’s awake and wants our attention. We’re contemplating bell training (I was initially against this as she’s a sassy little thing and she will have ulterior bell ringing motives, ha). We’re very disciplined with post nap, post play, post food outings to the loo, and while it’s working, like she could be mid meal and pause and pee (on a puppy pad in her play pen) and then go back to eating. So again, is this to be expected with a 9 week old puppy?

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