I adopted a male "shelter" dog last week... a young (less than a year but probably older than six months according to the vetinarian) black lab mix. He's a great dog... affectionate, obedient, and seems to be housetrained. He gets walks and bathroom breaks up to 5 times a day so maybe he doesn't have the opportunity to pee/poop in the house! Plus, I'm crate-training him. He's doing great with that too... goes in his crate after I toss a few small treats in, eats them, sits right down and promptly goes to sleep. The crate is in my bedroom, and I've been practicing crating him both while I'm there getting dressed or watching TV, and for short periods of me being gone (to the grocery store etc). The only time he is in the crate for a long period is at night. He goes in there willingly and settles right down to sleep...

BUT... he continually wakes up around 12-2 am and then 3-6 am to go poop/pee! He whines and scratches to be let out, and then we go straight outside, he goes, and we go straight back to bed... him in the crate of course. SO, I know he's only waking up to go potty and not because he wants attention. He has not yet whined or scratched and then not gone to the bathroom, so I know he is only doing it because he has to go. However, I'm being driven nuts by these nocturnal outings!

What is causing this? He has ample oppportunity during the day to "go" since he gets walked two long walks and then 3 potty breaks a day----morning, mid morning, noon, midafternoon, dinner and then just before bed. Also, I'm feeding him at 8 am, first thing in the mornign and then around 3 pm... so I don't think it is his feeding schedule!

We visited the vet on Monday to get a thorough checkup and he's perfectly healthy except for mild kennel cough. He's on an antibiotic for that... could this be what is causing it? He has 3 more days on the antibiotic.. will this stop when the medicine is all done?

I don't want to reinforce a bad habit of getting up in the middle of the night to let him out, but I also, of course, don't want him to soil his crate.

Please help!