Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
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I would stick with whatever surface he is used to pottying on now. It will not be confusing to have the same type thing in multiple places. We raise ours to use litter boxes. Our rule of thumb for distance, is no box farther away in feet, than the number of weeks old the pup is. Ours get the run of our living room -16x24 with two alcoves 12x12 making it 36 feet across on the front-when they are 8 weeks old during play time, but there are multiple boxes so that no one is more than 8 feet away wherever they are. Past whenever you think one is completely reliable, then it can be cut way back to one.
I have no doubt that one of ours wouldn't know what a piddle pad was for if someone abruptly changed from the litter boxes they are used to. That's why I said stick with what he was raised using. There can be a transition to something different, but an abrupt change is the same as giving them license to start going on the floor.
Just always remember, at early ages, it's all about habit. Don't expect one to use any reasoning about it until they are much older.
If you teach the command, "go potty", it makes it much easier to get one to go in a new place. If you find some of my really old posts here, probably back at the very beginning of the Forums, I posted how to quickly teach one to go on command. I can do it the fiirst night we have one here by itself.
Also, it is not confusing to one to both go outside, and in a correct place inside. All ours do it starting at 4 or 5 weeks going outside, and they have already learned to use a litter box inside. Some will always prefer to go either outside or inside, but all will use a litter box if they need to-for instance if it's blowing rain outside, even though they have free access to a dog door.
For initial play, open one side of the expen, and play with him near it so he can go back to the right place to potty. He will probably need to be picked up, placed on it, and reminded a few times to start with. You can gradually allow more free space, as long as he goes back to the right spot.
Doing it right to start with is most important. It's an accident if it happens once. More than once doing anything, with these dogs, has become a habit.
Last edited by Tom King; 02-22-2012 at 04:53 PM.