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I am at something of a housebreaking crossroads and would appreciate any guidance you might offer. Rory is an eight month old female that had been doggie-door trained by the breeder.

I brought her home and am sure I thoroughly confused her, first trying the Potty Training Puppy Apartment and abandoning that route after finding that she would not go in it.

I have had quite good luck when she is in her Richell expandable pen, she will generally yap to let me know she needs to go out. Of course once out she is easily distracted by birds, cars, or an interesting leaf - but if I am lucky she will eventually go about 70% of the time. I'm pretty sure the other 30% can be chalked up to her just wanting a little change of scene.

If we are just putting around the house and she is not in her ex pen she will go wherever and whenever, without much if any circling or sniffing.

After the Puppy Apartment experiment I put her in her small plastic crate at night which did work until morning. And then we are back in the yard subject to all the distractions again, which are not the end of the world by themselves, but can make minutes seem like hours especially when it's cold out.

Last night I set up an Iris four-panel plastic pen on the patio with a Piddle Place in it. At bedtime I put her Midwest ex pen into a 24 x 24 inch square and put her favorite bed in it and she was quite happy.

This morning I took her out and put her into the new Iris pen and she used to the Piddle Place almost immediately. Yay! The timing was perfect because last night we had our first snow and the yard would be entirely 'new' and cold.

Then I fed her breakfast and perhaps 10 minutes later she pooped inside right by the patio door. That is my fault; she needs to go almost right away after eating and I need to be more attentive after I feed her. Now lest you think she was actually wanting out the patio door, in reality it's just an area that out of my sight line that she's used to before as a toilet.

So here's my quandary: I purchased a second Piddle Place and am considering putting it inside the Richell ex pen thinking the consistent surfaces (with the one outside) might make training go that much smoother. Conversely I might just confuse her more than I have already. I haven't even mentioned the pee pads I've distributed throughout the home, that she either rests on, chews, or ignores entirely. (I bought two cases of 150 each LOL).

So to summarize; I think my best strategy is to put her regularly into her "low distraction" Iris patio pen with Piddle Place more regularly - and definitely soon after she eats.

My big question is: should I put the second Piddle Place in the Richell pen with divider? Any other insights you can share? Thanks so much.

Gary and Rory
 

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Jen, Timmy and Mae
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Hmmmm it does seem like you're using a lot of different things in the potty department. I can only speak for myself, I'm using a small plastic crate at night and an expen with an astro turf covered piddle pad and also the great outdoors, no additional pads throughout the room she has access to when supervised outside her expen. We take two walks a day where she does her business. I definitely have her on a tight schedule and sometimes I think she has me trained instead of me training her. She has bells at the door that she rings when she needs to go out. If she rings those darn bells she's outside whether she needed to pee or not and trust me it's exhausting. If I have her out and I think/know she has to go and she doesn't it's back in her expen and we try again, sometimes without Timmy, in about ten minutes and she'll normally go, if not it's back in the pen. For me the most important thing right now is a schedule and making the schedule a priority even if it's inconvenient because I know it won't be long if I make this commitment based on Timmy's (and Mae's) success. I'm at the point now that I know she has three #2's/day, first thing in the morning, second after lunch and a run outside and her third on our afternoon walk. She's fed on a consistent schedule too 9:30, 12:00 and 6:00 which helps in the potty timing. If she running around inside for a bit it's outside or in her pen till she pees. If she's sleeping and wakes up it's outside right away or on her pad to pee. I'm not a huge treat giver when she pees but I do let her know she's a good girl. I know it's hard but this is such a short, exhausting, training period and next thing you know this puppy stage will be over and you'll forget all this hard work.
 

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As far as distraction outside with Buddha I keep telling him to "go potty" he seems to understand what that means however it can take some sniffing around and him picking up sticks and leaves to chew on before he does his business. I just keep reminding him. Most dogs like to be outside. Sometimes if we are always in a hurry to take them back in after they potty they won't potty outside because it means if they do they are taken back inside immediately after they go. It is cold here and it took me getting really organized at the door we take Buddha out. I found that at first I sometimes would think "this will only take a minute" and I would slip on my house shoes no coat and stand out there freezing and trying to hurry things up.

Also from about the third day we had Buddha I put something like this where he is to go potty the one I use was just a leftover garden ornament that I moved to be used for potty training puppy. I think it helps him associate. He always goes to it and goes in that general area.

Of course these are all outdoor suggestions that is the only place we are training Buddha to go.

View attachment 72554
 

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So She was dogie door trained. Was she allowed to just rome the house too? If you own your home can you put a dogie door in? If not I would just keep the new outside area and offer another potty area in the house.
 

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I would just pick two spots one inside and one outside. It sounds like you are trying to guess where the dog might want to go potty. I would make that decision for the dog and stick with it.
 
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