Hi all. Our little guy came home yesterday at 9 weeks old, and he is wonderful (of course!). We have a Richell expandable pen with a ugodog on one end and a small carrier/crate on the other. The pen is only open wide enough to have a water bowl between the carrier and the ugodog.
The breeder had him knowing paper = potty. So if we put him on the ugodog with a piece of paper on top, he knows what to do. He's not yet seeking it out when outside of the pen, though. I imagine this is because she would watch for his signs and then put paper on the floor nearby, and he would hop on it to do his thing. I'm hoping this is a great sign that he will figure this out quickly, though.
He has only had a couple of pee accidents that were our fault, and he has used the ugodog every time he needed to poop (those signals are more obvious).
We are closing his carrier for short periods of time, then putting him on the ugodog and saying "go potty" first thing when he's out. If he's playing in the slightly larger area we have fenced off, and we see him sniffing, we put him on the ugodog and say "go potty". We do lots of cheering and celebrating when he does. It's most of the time, hooray.
The problem is if he is hanging out in the pen but not confined to the carrier, he will often lounge/sleep on the fresh, clean paper on top of the ugodog. I don't want to encourage this because he will be in the pen when we're at work, and I don't want him laying on his waste. I hope he wouldn't if it was dirty, but I don't want to find out, either way.
And we also want him to have an understanding of toilet vs lounge area in his little mini apartment.
We are planning to slowly decrease the paper coverage on the ugodog until there is no paper on it at all.
Right now, we are just picking him up when we see him on the ugodog and putting him in his carrier and shutting the door. Is that the best approach? Or should we just give up on the carrier idea and get him a more loungy bed? He seems to be the type who likes to sprawl vs curl up, if that makes a difference.