I know this is long to read, but we really need help!!! First a couple of pieces of the puzzle for background: Macie and Cali are trained to use a doggy door, but they used potty pads for the first few months, so they know both.
Ok here is our problem. Our Macie is 10 months old. For about the first 6 months that we had her, we kept her in a crate in our bedroom at night (Cali had her own crate). She did fine holding her potty all night. Then a couple of months ago, she started freaking out when we put her in her crate, she would growl, bark, and pant like she was going to hyperventalite. I mean she really stressed out. We never took her out when she did this, but she would wake up in the middle of the night and do this too. Her crate is plenty big enough for her, so I don't think it is that.
So, we let both of them out of their crates and let them sleep on our bed (which was always our intention once they were housebroken). She did fine for a while, but now she is peeing or pooping on the carpet in our bedroom or hallway every night. She has access to go downstairs to the doggy door, but she won't go down the stairs by herself at night. She does just fine doing this during the day and has often run out of the bedroom and out the doggy door. The other night my DH took her downstairs to the doggy door and when she got there, she put her head through the flap very carefully and looked all around the backyard and then very cautiously went out. She also won't use the puppy pads when they are on the carpet (thinks carpet is grass???? except for the upstairs bedrooms and hall, the rest of the house is tile).
I think our only option is to leave them downstairs in the family room where they are during the day while we are at work (breaks my heart
), but my daughter tried that one night when I was gone and she said that Macie completely freaked out until my daughter picked her up.
Can a dog be afraid of the dark? Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Also, how do you teach a puppy that carpet is not grass, so that at least she would use the potty pads if she is afraid to go outside? Any suggestion anyone can give me would be helpful. They already spend most of their day in the familyroom while we work, I just can't stand the idea of them down there alone at night too!