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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2013, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Outdoor potty training for wee wee pad puppy?

Hi all. I'm Laura & I've lurked around this forum tons before getting my puppy, but finally have her. Luna will be three months next week. She came to us wee wee pad trained. She has an ex pen with crate & pad, and whenever she is in expen, she uses pad 100% of the time. When she is left to roam a bit, she only gets back to pad occasionally. She is in the ex pen with the pad at night as well. I also take her out and give lots of praise & a treat when she pottys outdoors. (She has never pooped outside, only pee).

My ultimate goal would be to have a dog that pottys outdoors, but when I am not home will use the pad when necessary. For now, I would like to encourage outdoors if I can. It is cold & snowy here, so it is nice to be lazy & have the pad option.

I just don't know how to begin. Should I begin shutting her in crate & then taking her outdoors every few hours? Should I remove pad altogether? Is there a way dog can be trained to both? Appreciate any advice anyone may have. Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 07:29 AM
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She'll almost certainly get to the point that she will prefer to go outside. I never worry about training one to the outside. They'll always get that when they're ready. People who have the most accidents, are ones who expect outside only at an early age.

She's still a baby, so continue to let her use the pad. Restrict her freedom some when she's out of the expen. You have to go up in available space gradually. Open the expen all the way up, so she can get back to the pad, and play with her nearby the expen. The reason for those kinds of accidents is always too much freedom. Probably the last ten we've kept ourselves have never had a single accident in the house. All ours prefer outside, but will use a litter box if it's the better option. There is no confusion on using different surfaces, but they do need to develop the habit of knowing what the right surface is. A number of our older ones with not only go outside, but will use litter, pad, or newspaper, or go somewhere we tell them to.

It sounds like she has a real good base in her potty training to start with. You have to control the amount of free space she has, and only when you can watch her fully.

We do the best we can at training them to start with, but just can't make some people understand how closely you have to watch them with they have freedom. At this young age, don't expect any reasoning on their part.

My rule of thumb for the young ones, is that they have free space the number of feet away from their spot equal to the number of weeks old they are. At some point you will know when she's reliable, but it'll be a good while yet.

I agree with letting her sleep in a crate. We find they can hold it all night starting at about 8 weeks. They always have to go when they first wake up, so this gives you the ideal oppourtunity for any kind of potty training. This is when I start teaching going on command.

Last edited by Tom King; 01-29-2013 at 07:37 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 07:51 AM
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Welcome and congratulations on your new puppy!

I agree with Tom, I think they prefer to go outside and will do it naturally when they are ready.

I made the mistake of trying to train Piper to go outside by limiting her access to the pads and taking her out every hour. It worked so well that she absolutely will NOT use the pads under any circumstance. Guess who now has to go outside during snow, hurricanes, etc? Not fun.

I am not making the same mistake with the second. Riley was also trained on pads and now he prefers outside but will still use the pads when he needs too. Yay! I did not do anything to encourage him one way or the other.

I will still have to go outside in storms but will only have to worry about one of them. I'm actually hoping Riley will teach Piper that it's ok to use the pads

Julie, Piper and Riley

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the reply. I was so worried I am creating a dog that will only go inside. It sounds like we are on the right track though - thanks! I will begin by closing her crate at night & just continue to take her out during the day as well but will leave the pads in place. Also, I should have mentioned that her "roaming" is limited to kitchen at the moment.

Should I be concerned that she has yet to poop outdoors? Will this come eventually, or is there something I should do to encourage, other than trying to get the timing right or watching her & taking her out when she shows signs????

Last edited by LAURA STILES; 01-29-2013 at 08:19 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 02:37 PM
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Like Forest said, it happens. It'll happen outside when the situation is right. I wouldn't worry about it, or spend any time trying to train for it. She's still a baby, and possibilities will widen as she ages.

We absolutely spend no time trying to train to potty outside, other than carrying one outside first thing in the morning if conditons are suitable. When the weather is nice enough to spend a good amount of time outside, things will come naturally.

The important thing at this stage is zero accidents in the house. Accomplish that to start with, and anything else will come easily.
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