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Potty - Playpen Transition

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Hello, all,

I have posted here before with my late Trinity and Max. I didn't experience much housebreaking issues with either because we crate-trained early on. However, I have made a mistake with my new puppy, Trina Joy. I fear my not wanting to keep her locked up and use of playpen has hindered her progress. She is 6 months old. When I got her from the breeder at 4 months, she was paper-trained and semi housebroken. She sleeps in her crate at night and when we are not home. NO mess whatsoever, when she is in her sleep crate.

Since I mainly work from home, I purchased a large playpen to keep in the house for her. It contained her toys, blanket and a spot for newspaper. She eliminated on the newspaper. Recently, I took the newspaper away and keep her going outside for frequent potty breaks. Even, when she is outside, she will come in and poo. While outside, she romps and plays. The only time she is on a mission to do both is early AM after she was locked in the crate all night. She can hold it up to 7 hours with no mess (I don't expect her to hold it longer). When we take her our in the AM after her sleep, she does both. I bring her in to feed her (within a half hour in her playpen is a little turd). It seems she drops a turd without any regard to being inside. Even, with frequent potty breaks outside during the day, if left to her own (and, me not watching her), she will poo in her pen or on the floor. I thought maybe, it was the playpen. However, yesterday, I kept the baby gates up in the kitchen and found that she had left a turd on the floor after I had just brought her inside a half hour prior. I don't know what to do. I think I will have to keep her in her sleep crate throughout the day, unless she poos. :(

I have read about pups being in a playpen with paper --- so, how did the transition work without them being confused with potty outside?



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I left a message in your earlier post.....as well.

Have a look at Ian Dunbar’s info I sent earlier.

You may need to start back with the paper/ toilet area for awhile. One thing I learned is you have to be well aware of their bathroom routine. If they haven’t pooped....but should have I wouldn’t leave her free in the house. I would put her back in her playroom with a toilet area...., I would take her out often 1/2 hour to 1 hour- make sure she peed and pooped ( if she should have) if she does both outside I would let her free, but not to all parts of the house ( until she’s fully trained) . Making sure that she goes as much as possible outside, if she hasn’t but is due to I would keep her in her playroom, give her freedom when there isn’t much of a chance of an accident....When she goes outside you make a big deal of it - not treats but just good girl stuff. Limit her freedom, extending it when she is more consistant. You need to start back with the toilet area in her playroom area. Keeping her in her crate at night is best.  

I’ve always had good luck with potty training my dogs.....consistency is the key, and the only way to control it when they’re little is to control their freedom - just my opinion.

Edited by Min D
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Just to add to my above post...in the beginning I covered the entire area with paper and slowly made it smaller and smaller...eventually there was pretty well nothing on the paper....he was going outside all the time, but it may take awhile.

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Yes, I keep her in the crate at night with no mistakes; also, when we leave the house. She definitely holds it for hours in the crate. I am thinking of using the crate, even when I am home for a while. Maybe, the playpen and paper is too confusing for her. If I withhold the playpen and keep her in the crate (as much as I'd rather not), maybe, when she comes out, she will go potty. If not, she goes back in.

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Thanks, Min. Yes, I read his information about the playpen. I had great success with both male and female Cairns with housebreaking. Honestly, for me, I wish I had never used a playpen. Or, at least not with paper inside. I think it is most important as you stated, to observe the potty habits outside. If they do not go, they will need to go if it is after eating or near the time for potty. However, I cannot do the playpen route any longer because it is not working. It will have to be the crated. The breeder stated that unfortunately, this is how she would now do it, too. I can't keep her in the playpen pooing on paper for a year, lol. She has to be housebroken. I agree. Observe the potty habits and if she did not go outside, no freedom. She gets plenty of opportunities to potty outside. And, lots of praise. However, she drops a turd (not pee) whenever she wants inside. I think it is something beyond the potty issue.

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