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I use the crates only at night. Jolie slept in a crate for the first seven years, but now sleeps with us. Sadie was 14 weeks and Sassy was nearly 6 months when we got them. Neither had a problem "holding it" all night. I put Sadie's crate up on a piano bench right by the bed. If she whimpered I just put my finger in there and she was fine. Sassy never made a sound, but she was older. They really like their crates. I was in Jackson last week at my daughter's condo and I left their crate doors open all night (on the floor) and they slept in them and never once tried to get in the bed with me. I really believe that it is all about how you start them out. The thing about the crate is that even if you don't lock them in it, it gives them a special place to go. At our house crates are sacred. Jolie still sleeps in hers during the day and the puppies love having their little den.

PS. Jolie was 8 weeks when we got her (accepted timing for Bichons in those days) and I did have to get up with her in the night for the first 2-3 weeks. I would try not to talk to her when I took her out. I quietly praised her for "going" and then I put her right back in the crate and she soon learned that at night the crate was her place.
 
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