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Discussion Starter #1
Our puppy is almost 9 weeks. He is a mastiff/golden retriever mix. When we first got him (he was just over 6 weeks old), I would take him outside approx every 30 mins and he would go. He then started asking to go out by sitting at the door. This has been going great for the past week. No accidents, he has been initating going out.

Now, he is getting braver and more energetic and instead of going out to go potty, he goes out and plays first. The yard is not fenced at this time (as soon as everything dries out, the fencing is going up) so as he gets out of his "ok" area (my standards since we have over .5 acre and I want him in the grass area - plus there are possibly poisonous plants outside the grass area) I call him back in. (I am mentioning this since once it is fenced I have no problem with him being out as long as he wants). Until the past couple days, he would then run off (once I call him in) and poop and then come in. Twice now he has come in and pooped within minutes.

How should I handle this? He is just getting used to the leash so should I try to leash and once he has pooped/peed then let him off to play?

Is there a way to teach them to distinguish having to go out to pee/poop vs wanting to go out to play?
 

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Not sure if this is much help but with my pup , from day 1 EVERYTIME he goes and does his business outside its associated with the word potty , several times and it seems to be working ok here . Have you got a word like that you use ? Before he runs off I say GO POTTY and he for sure knows what that means now and does listen , he goes pretty much right aways . Then goes about his sniffing and whatnot :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have always used the words "go potty." And usually as soon as he goes out he goes.

I also wonder if the change in weather has a lot to do with it. Until a couple days ago everything was covered in snow and now it has all melted. More to explore and get distracted by.

My concern about the leash is he is still not comfortable with it. We have come a long ways as long as I let him lead but if I direct for the most part he puts the breaks on. If it matter, we are using a harness and leash vs collar and leash.

One thing I probably should start doing, and was going to but he did so well training, is track and see when he poops so I can keep track of that outside and know when he is due to poop.
 

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I think the leash idea is best. Bring him outside on the leash and he cannot play until he does his business first. Keep saying go potty and once he does say, "Good boy!" and the reward is the leash comes off and it's playtime.
 
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