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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We brought Smoky home three weeks ago, three days before Christmas to surprise our four kids. He weathered three large family gatherings at our house and still managed to make progress with sleeping in his crate and going outside to potty.

We are probably 80-90% accident-free with Smoky. He doesn't tell us he needs to go yet, but we take him out every 30-40 minutes and he does pretty well! Every couple of days we have an incident, but it's okay. He's only 11 weeks old so I think he's doing great.

We are experienced dog owners, but this is our first little dog. Getting a Havanese is like owning a stuffed animal that has come to life. He is easy-going and affectionate. We all adore him.

On the first morning the kids had to go back to school, I thought it would be fun to take him into each of their rooms and let him lick them awake. The very next morning and each morning since, he has come in from his early-morning potty time and tears through the house to get to their bedrooms to wake them up. It's the sweetest thing. But I'm trying to figure out how to explain Saturdays... :)
 

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Hi SmokyFan,

What a sweet puppy you have! It seems you’re really enjoying it. I think I took Kiki out every 15 to 20 minutes at that age, so more frequent trips outside might help you get closer to 100%. She’s almost eight months now and can let me know when she needs to go, but that piece took some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi SmokyFan,

What a sweet puppy you have! It seems you’re really enjoying it. I think I took Kiki out every 15 to 20 minutes at that age, so more frequent trips outside might help you get closer to 100%. She’s almost eight months now and can let me know when she needs to go, but that piece took some time.
Thank you for the advice! Another question...what about when he's napping? Do I wake him up to take him out, or just take him out when he wakes up? I'm verrry inconsistent. Sometimes I wake him up, other times I am happy to have uninterrupted work time and just let him sleep.

And yes--we are enjoying him SO much!
 

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Thank you for the advice! Another question...what about when he's napping? Do I wake him up to take him out, or just take him out when he wakes up? I'm verrry inconsistent. Sometimes I wake him up, other times I am happy to have uninterrupted work time and just let him sleep.

And yes--we are enjoying him SO much!
It’s great that he’s off to a good start! I always think that letting a puppy sleep is a good thing— just take him out when he wakes up (or have a litter box if he won’t be supervised when he wakes up). I have no scientific evidence to this, but I feel like not going for periods when they’re asleep maybe helps them develop more bladder capacity? Even if not, puppies need a lot of sleep, and it’s helpful for his growing body to get those big naps! Please share pics! 😊
 

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I agree about letting puppies sleep. I used a puppy cam (technically a security camera, from Wyze) so I could keep an eye on her from another room or even outside and be there to take her out right when she woke up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It’s great that he’s off to a good start! I always think that letting a puppy sleep is a good thing— just take him out when he wakes up (or have a litter box if he won’t be supervised when he wakes up). I have no scientific evidence to this, but I feel like not going for periods when they’re asleep maybe helps them develop more bladder capacity? Even if not, puppies need a lot of sleep, and it’s helpful for his growing body to get those big naps! Please share pics! 😊
Thanks for your thoughts! I won’t mind letting him sleep a bit!
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He doesn't tell us he needs to go yet, but we take him out every 30-40 minutes and he does pretty well! Every couple of days we have an incident, but it's okay. He's only 11 weeks old so I think he's doing great.
He is doing great, such a smart little boy! Every 30 minutes is about right in the beginning. As he becomes more reliable and learns bladder control you will start stretching that time interval to two hours. They catch on quickly IF YOU ARE CONSISTENT AND GIVE CLEAR MESSAGING! He will learn to tell you when he needs to go out later.

We are experienced dog owners, but this is our first little dog. Getting a Havanese is like owning a stuffed animal that has come to life. He is easy-going and affectionate. We all adore him.
You are correct but never forget they are aa DOG, not a stuffed animal - especially around children!

On the first morning the kids had to go back to school, I thought it would be fun to take him into each of their rooms and let him lick them awake. The very next morning and each morning since, he has come in from his early-morning potty time and tears through the house to get to their bedrooms to wake them up. It's the sweetest thing. But I'm trying to figure out how to explain Saturdays... :)
Well it didn't take Smokey long to learn that "trick!" Now teach him when the bedroom doors are shut, that is quiet time and you can play with him or take him for a short walk or give him a puzzle toy to work on or put him in bed with YOU. Make every morning something fun and exciting for him to do. Change up the routine to keep things interesting for him.

Another question...what about when he's napping? Do I wake him up to take him out, or just take him out when he wakes up? I'm verrry inconsistent. Sometimes I wake him up, other times I am happy to have uninterrupted work time and just let him sleep.
You know the old saying, "let sleeping dogs lie"? Do not wake him up to go potty. He is learning bladder control. But take him out immediately when he wakes up. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you are consistent so that he learns consistency. The more consistent you are, the quicker they will learn everything!
 

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It’s great that he’s off to a good start! I always think that letting a puppy sleep is a good thing— just take him out when he wakes up (or have a litter box if he won’t be supervised when he wakes up). I have no scientific evidence to this, but I feel like not going for periods when they’re asleep maybe helps them develop more bladder capacity? Even if not, puppies need a lot of sleep, and it’s helpful for his growing body to get those big naps! Please share pics! 😊
Puppies ABSOLUTELY need their sleep! Puppies that are not adequately rested are likely to be hyper and cranky... just like tired toddlers!!! ;)
 
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It might be a long time before he lets you know when he needs to go, so keep doing what you’re doing :) Mine started signaling he needed to poop pretty early but it wasn’t waiting by the door or anything obvious! He would run around my legs and nip at my pants and it was confusing because it was similar to how he acted at playtime but a different intensity. I almost missed it. Once I caught on I could see he did other things right before he started pulling at my pants, such as weaving around my legs and sitting down to look at me. It’s amazing how the communicate! But it took a much longer time for him to signal to go out to pee, so I maintained our schedule until he was past a year old. He was also indoor trained, which helped.

Sundance loves to wake up our kids! But I usually let him loose to do it on the weekends when he’s been waiting for them to wake up for a while. During the week I wake up my kids and give them 15 minutes or so to get moving while I check my email. Sundance knows it’s almost time to wake up and waits at the edge of the bed. They always come to say good morning (to him of course, not me ;) soon after and he’s so happy! He would love to wake them up more often but then I’d have to take him potty earlier. I guess it’s the silver lining of the early morning puppy potty trips!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, everyone for all of the good advice!
He is doing great, such a smart little boy! Every 30 minutes is about right in the beginning. As he becomes more reliable and learns bladder control you will start stretching that time interval to two hours. They catch on quickly IF YOU ARE CONSISTENT AND GIVE CLEAR MESSAGING! He will learn to tell you when he needs to go out later.


You are correct but never forget they are aa DOG, not a stuffed animal - especially around children!


Well it didn't take Smokey long to learn that "trick!" Now teach him when the bedroom doors are shut, that is quiet time and you can play with him or take him for a short walk or give him a puzzle toy to work on or put him in bed with YOU. Make every morning something fun and exciting for him to do. Change up the routine to keep things interesting for him.


You know the old saying, "let sleeping dogs lie"? Do not wake him up to go potty. He is learning bladder control. But take him out immediately when he wakes up. It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you are consistent so that he learns consistency. The more consistent you are, the quicker they will learn everything!
Thanks for the detailed advice--I appreciate it! And don't worry, I just meant he resembles a stuffed animal. We don't treat him like a stuffed animal and my kids are not little (the youngest is 9, oldest is almost 17). I'll take your advice about letting him sleep. I'm a marketing writer and need some time to do my work. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It might be a long time before he lets you know when he needs to go, so keep doing what you’re doing :) Mine started signaling he needed to poop pretty early but it wasn’t waiting by the door or anything obvious! He would run around my legs and nip at my pants and it was confusing because it was similar to how he acted at playtime but a different intensity. I almost missed it. Once I caught on I could see he did other things right before he started pulling at my pants, such as weaving around my legs and sitting down to look at me. It’s amazing how the communicate! But it took a much longer time for him to signal to go out to pee, so I maintained our schedule until he was past a year old. He was also indoor trained, which helped.

Sundance loves to wake up our kids! But I usually let him loose to do it on the weekends when he’s been waiting for them to wake up for a while. During the week I wake up my kids and give them 15 minutes or so to get moving while I check my email. Sundance knows it’s almost time to wake up and waits at the edge of the bed. They always come to say good morning (to him of course, not me ;) soon after and he’s so happy! He would love to wake them up more often but then I’d have to take him potty earlier. I guess it’s the silver lining of the early morning puppy potty trips!
These are helpful tips! I will try to shape his waking-up fun to make it fun for all of us--thank you so much! And I will watch for those little clues to emerge that he needs to go out. I'm sure he will start finding ways to tell me eventually. I appreciate your detailed info!
 

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These are helpful tips! I will try to shape his waking-up fun to make it fun for all of us--thank you so much! And I will watch for those little clues to emerge that he needs to go out. I'm sure he will start finding ways to tell me eventually. I appreciate your detailed info!

I think it does really depend on the puppy, and single or "first" puppies can take longe than those who have older dogs modeling the behavior. Kodi, my oldest, took FOREVER to start signaling that he needed to go out. I started to wonder which of us was "potty trained". He never had accidents, but it FELT like it was because I knew his schedule, and took him out at the right times. (he also has always had a litter box available, but has always preferred to poop outdoors!) Finally, when he was almost two, he made and unusual, deep bark by the door, and that was it! He had his "signal"! From then on, it was clear!

Pixel scratches on the glass of the back door, Panda has a funny little "whisper" noise she makes deep in her throat, and Ducky, the puppy, already is offering a little bark if he needs to go out and no one else is going. But he rarely has to ask, because they mostly just go out as a herd! LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think it does really depend on the puppy, and single or "first" puppies can take longe than those who have older dogs modeling the behavior. Kodi, my oldest, took FOREVER to start signaling that he needed to go out. I started to wonder which of us was "potty trained". He never had accidents, but it FELT like it was because I knew his schedule, and took him out at the right times. (he also has always had a litter box available, but has always preferred to poop outdoors!) Finally, when he was almost two, he made and unusual, deep bark by the door, and that was it! He had his "signal"! From then on, it was clear!

Pixel scratches on the glass of the back door, Panda has a funny little "whisper" noise she makes deep in her throat, and Ducky, the puppy, already is offering a little bark if he needs to go out and no one else is going. But he rarely has to ask, because they mostly just go out as a herd! LOL!
Good to know--thank you! We are all excited here because we hung bells on the door and we have noticed that just today he started touching his nose to the bells before we go outside. We're far from finished with training but he's making little steps towards good habits!
 

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What a smart little puppy! Smokey sure is awfully cute too! He does look like a stuffed animal! 😁
 
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