Join Date: Jul 2015
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Welcome to the Forum! Love the name. Can't wait to see photos!
We were told not to let Shama sleep in the bedroom at all if we don't want her to always sleep in there. For that reason, we camped out in the living room while she slept in a crate within her ex pen in the dining room for the first three nights we had her. She slept well and didn't seem to mind when we eventually slept in our bedroom overnight, leaving her in her ex pen. It's the only place she's ever slept in our house, and it's convenient when we travel because we can take the ex pen and recreate her little "apartment" wherever we go. At both of our parents' houses, we sleep on different floors than Shama, and she's always been fine.
When Shama was young, we left the pink training tray in her pen overnight and during the day when we were at work. Eventually, we had our dog walker remove the tray at lunchtime, and then we removed it overnight. Now we only put it in the ex pen if we are going to be away for at least four hours during the day. (I've read that dogs can "hold it" better at night when they're not active than they can during the day when they're awake and active.) Some members of the Forum believe small dogs should always have access to an indoor potty, but we like Shama to go outside to potty with only rare exceptions. She seems to be able to handle it.
I would recommend you always use the same door when taking Ava outside. My biggest regret is that we didn't keep Shama on a leash long enough when taking her out to potty. We always took her to where we wanted her to go to start our routine, but then, because we have a fenced-in yard, we let her go off leash pretty quickly, and we lost control of exactly where she goes. Maybe had we kept her on the leash longer, she would have learned that there's only one place to potty in our yard while the rest of the yard is for play. Currently, we take her to the starting point, then she wanders to wherever she feels like pottying, so we have to watch her in order to know where to pick up her BMs. Yes, we could put her back on the leash, but . . . (She was just spayed, so we take her on a short leash now, but she likes to run, so she tugs on the leash. It's stressful because she's not supposed to run in order to heal from her surgery, and it seems like she's hurting her neck/trachea by tugging/running like that . . .)
Remember to click and treat as she potties and never when she comes back in from pottying as she'll never get it that you're happy about the pottying if you do it that way. (She'll think you're just happy she came back in the house.)
Good luck with Ava. You will get lots of advice from people here. Don't hesitate to ask.