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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Potty training questions...

We will bring our puppy home at 8 weeks in mid-August. I've been doing a ton of research, and based on what I've read, I have a potty training "plan" in mind. I'd like to run it by you experts to get your comments.

To start with, I'm not crazy about the idea of any elimination in the house (obviously, there will be accidents; I mean to say I don't want to use piddle pads), so I plan to train him to go outside from the beginning. I know this will require taking him out A LOT during the day, but I am a stay-home mom and will just be home with him. While we're in the house, he'll be in his crate unless we are actively playing with him and/or watching him (which will be most of the time, unless he's sleeping).

Our house has three stories, with a daylight basement, so when we go out the back door (off the family room and kitchen, where the puppy will be), we go out onto a deck that is one story above the yard.

I'm concerned about trying to carry him down the stairs and to the yard quickly enough (I would want him to make it to the yard so we could praise him, etc.), so I thought I'd get a "Potty Park" and put it on the deck. That way, we can get there quickly. I thought I could take him out there, let him do his business, give him a treat and a party, and go back inside. We can always take him down to play in the yard, and he's welcome to potty there anytime, but I thought the Potty Park would be his primary spot. Since it is grass-like, he will get used to the feel of grass, and can choose to go down to the yard to do his business once he's old enough to manage the stairs, if he wants to.

Now, for my question: Do you all think this plan can work in real life? I have been reading lots of posts on here, and the recent one about Lise's little Ted going crazy on his leash at potty time got me thinking this might not work as well as I'd hoped. Is he going to need more room than the Potty Park will provide?

This is my first time with a little puppy, and I want to do the best I can for him and for our family. I was expecting potty time to be relatively short and focused and separate from play time (although I do expect him to sniff around and potty when he's in the yard to play). Am I off in my expectations?

One last thing... I know that much of these things will depend on the dog and his preferences and that we'll have to be flexible. I am open to that, but I am a planner and will function better if I have a plan in mind before he comes home. The Potty Park is pricey, so I'd love to know if you think I'm off-base.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 05:20 PM
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How big is the Potty Park? I think it sounds like a great idea. We have 2 levels, with most of our time spent in our walkout lower level family room. So that is the door we chose to always take Kallie out to potty. But it is quite a trek if we're upstairs in the kitchen. I think she also gets confused with potty time & playtime outside. I try to play with her in a different area of the back yard from her potty spot. I think sometimes she acts like she has to potty just to get outside & RLH. So having the deck for Potty Park sounds good to me. As long as the puppy can't get in between the rails of the deck & fall. And the stairs are gated.

Pat - AKA Kallie's & Abby's mom
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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How big is the Potty Park? I think it sounds like a great idea. We have 2 levels, with most of our time spent in our walkout lower level family room. So that is the door we chose to always take Kallie out to potty. But it is quite a trek if we're upstairs in the kitchen. I think she also gets confused with potty time & playtime outside. I try to play with her in a different area of the back yard from her potty spot. I think sometimes she acts like she has to potty just to get outside & RLH. So having the deck for Potty Park sounds good to me. As long as the puppy can't get in between the rails of the deck & fall. And the stairs are gated.
Hi Sparkle, thanks for your response. I forgot to mention the dimensions on the Potty Park. It is available in two sizes: 26x20 and 26x40. The web site says the smaller size would be for our size of dog, but if the larger one would work better, I'd go with that one. And thanks for the tips on deck safety; I was just telling my hubby we need to puppy-proof the deck in the next few weeks.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 05:50 PM
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I just googled the Potty Park. I know this says it has an inside/outside tray, but I would wonder about the synthetic grass mat & how well it would stand up to rain/snow,sun, etc. Not sure where you live, so may not be as much of an issue as other parts of the country. But I definitely like the concept & the deck location.

Pat - AKA Kallie's & Abby's mom
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 06:25 PM
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My back yard is not fenced and I live on a river so Ted has to be on a leash. Ted loves it outside but you learn quite quickly what they like and dont like. We are going through a heat wave right now and Ted hates being out in the sun. If I bring him around the perimetres of the property, there is shade, but otherwise he wont budge! The long leash is really helping as one of the others told me their pup was the same and wanted privacy to poop. Ted seems to be the same. I also went out today and purchased bitterapple spray and that helped emmensely too. I had all kinds of plans too but really within the first 2 weeks you will get to know the pups likes and dislikes and that will guide you along. Luckily I taught Ted to come and sit within a day or so, for treats, so this helps to take his attention away from his craziness (which is improving daily) He pees for treats and a party and poops for treats and a party but the latter is harder for him to accomplish. Your pup may love the potty park. Worth a try I'm sure, but in the end it will probably be the grass that she will end up on sooner or later. Just my 2 cents though, I'm certainly no expert

Lise and Ted
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 07:49 PM
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The biggest issue I've had with my "plan" for potty training is that Kallie doesn't poo on schedule. They're supposed to have to go about 10 - 15 minutes after eating. She'll pee at that time, but most times it's 4 - 5 hrs after she eats before she poos. Don't know why, but it sure causes me to take her out WAY more than I should. I'm constantly taking her out to prevent accidents, and nothing. Then 1/2 hr later, out we go again & nothing. She holds it forever!

Pat - AKA Kallie's & Abby's mom
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 08:36 PM
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Hold on

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Originally Posted by Sparkle View Post
The biggest issue I've had with my "plan" for potty training is that Kallie doesn't poo on schedule. They're supposed to have to go about 10 - 15 minutes after eating. She'll pee at that time, but most times it's 4 - 5 hrs after she eats before she poos. Don't know why, but it sure causes me to take her out WAY more than I should. I'm constantly taking her out to prevent accidents, and nothing. Then 1/2 hr later, out we go again & nothing. She holds it forever!
Exactly what Ted does. He doesn't go til hour later too! The poop is usually the accident when it happens in the house. Hopefully as they get older they will find a rhythm!

Lise and Ted
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ecf1216 View Post
To start with, I'm not crazy about the idea of any elimination in the house (obviously, there will be accidents; I mean to say I don't want to use piddle pads), so I plan to train him to go outside from the beginning. I know this will require taking him out A LOT during the day, but I am a stay-home mom and will just be home with him. While we're in the house, he'll be in his crate unless we are actively playing with him and/or watching him (which will be most of the time, unless he's sleeping).!
This was me... I am not in favor of paper training, so I trained Benny to go outside from day 1. I am home FT also, so I just spent a few weeks going out A LOT!

Forget the potty park, just resign yourself to going outside all the time for a few weeks. You will be so happy you did. By 4 months, Benny was going to the back door and barking or scratching to go out.

BENNY
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:46 PM
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An important thing to do, feed them and give them water on a schedule. This way you can better predict when they have to go out. From about 8 - 12 weeks, they just pee all the time - their bladders just have no control yet - but the poop thing gets on schedule pretty quickly

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