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I brought home 2 5-month old mini schnauzers last week. Within the first two days Lena did great pottying outside. I praised her like crazy and she really seemed to get it. The only time she'd potty inside was during the night in her 4x4 pen. The other girl, Lucy, doesn't seem to comprehend going outside at all. If I could see her go potty outside just once I think she would catch on because she's really, really smart. Today I think Lucy's bad habit wore off on Lena, because they both pottied in the house 8 times!!!

I know this isn't the best idea, but for the first 6 days I allowed them to run in and out of the house all day long by keeping the door to the backyard open. Once inside, they're limited to the kitchen area. The problem is, they come inside to pee and poop! I have a doggie door in the kitchen and I taught them both to use it today. They ran in and out the doggie door all day long, but still came inside to do their business.

This evening I bought them a crate in order to keep them more confined while inside. My plan is to place the open crate up against the doggie door so that they're either in their crate or they can go through their doggie door to go outside. What I'd like to know is whether this will teach them to potty outside.

What do you think? Will they just go in the house once they're allowed more freedom? Thanks in advance for your opinions.
 

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So far, so good! No potties in the crate yet. Come to think of it, they've only been in the crate long enough to get more toys to take outside. :)

No comments on whether this approach will housebreak them? I can't wait to let them run around inside the house someday so they really feel like part of their new family.
 

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The key to housetraining is constant supervision. Keep them close to you so you'll know when they start to sniff for a good spot and can usher them outside. Then stay outside until they are done, and praise them like crazy.

Also, are you using an enzyme cleaner inside so they aren't tempted to return to the same place for toileting?

I don't know about putting the crate right by the door. Seems like that could teach them to pee just outside their crate. And the crate won't always be by the door, right?

It's more work, but the supervision method is the one I recommend.
 

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So far, so good! No potties in the crate yet. Come to think of it, they've only been in the crate long enough to get more toys to take outside. :)

No comments on whether this approach will housebreak them? I can't wait to let them run around inside the house someday so they really feel like part of their new family.
I don;t like doggie doors for housebreaking; past experience. When we got our sheltie 9yrs ago, he followed the two resident dogs out to potty. The problem is, we couldn't always see if he went to the bathroom. Fast forward til he was 6yrs old and got his first UTI and bladder crystals. Long story short but I learned one of the proper ways to housebreak (I'll talk bout that in a minute) and thats when I realized that just because Tucker went outside didn't necessarily mean he actually peed or pooped.
So, how I housebroke my PIA pbgv, who was the hardest dog I've ever had: I took him out, on a leash. As we left the kitchen, walking into the breezeway, I said, time to go potty. As we walked into the kennel from the breezeway, I said "go potty". He finally learned that he was there to potty, not to play. When he pottied, he got a tiny treat, then he could go play.
I can't say whether it will or will not work to housebreak your dogs but it's not going to help you to know that they actually went, unless you follow them out, and I'm sure you aren't, or you wouldn't use the dog door! Can I ask why you got two young puppies, the same age? Are they littermates?
 

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Also, are you using an enzyme cleaner inside so they aren't tempted to return to the same place for toileting?
I'm using a spot cleaner (I assume for carpet and upolstry) on a marble floor. It says "with natural enzymes". The problem is that the marble etches very easy, so I not only have to be quick to clean up the potty, but careful with what I use to clean it. I wonder if soap and water would be better?

Can I ask why you got two young puppies, the same age? Are they littermates?
Yes, they're littermates. That's an issue I was going to cover in my next thread. :)

The doggie door is a carpet saver, as I found with my two previous dogs, but I see how it could cause a problem in this situation. Like I said, Lena will go potty outside when I take her. When I set Lucy in the grass she just looks at me and then runs back to the door or finds the nearest pinecone and starts playing. It sounds like leash training must come before housetraining so I can keep Lucy under control long enough for her to potty.

Thanks for the great info - keep it coming!
 
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