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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 17 week old chihuahua puppy who we are trying to housetrain.

He has three confinement pens of about 5 x 5 ft in different parts of the house (we have a very large house) so that he can be in the same areas as my husband and I (we work from home).

He is successfully relieving himself correctly in the confinement pens. We are using a combination of real grass (doggie lawn) and pee pads. We also have been taking him outside several times a day to the backyard where he relieves himself no problem.

However, the outside is not always an option for him as a) we plan to travel we him and need him to be able to go on a peepad in hotel rooms and b) we have hawks, bobcats and coyotes in the area and its simply not practical to go out with him anytime he needs to pee. Not to mention the weather can be very stormy and way too incremental for our 4lb puppy to go outside.

We would also eventually like him to have free reign in the house and be confident that he will use a peepad and not just go on the carpet. At the moment, there are still accidents even when he has just peed outside.

He currently gets free reign a few times a day after we are confident that he relieved himself prior (either in confinement pen or outside).

We are not sure how to transition from using the confinement pens to letting him have free reign. We thought about leaving the confinement areas open so that he can go in and out but we are worried that there may be accidents. We have thought about using a belly band for the few times that he is out, but then do we just take it off when he goes on his peed pad/grass potty by himself?

We have a separate area with pee pads/grass in the livingroom that we have tried taking him to first thing in the morning to relieve himself, but he wont use it. We have sprinkled this area as well as all potty pads and grass potties with pee to attract him.I stayed for an hour one morning at this pee spot, then gave up and took him outside. Within 30 seconds he had peed and pood. Should I continue with taking to the pee spot in the livingroom to get him used to the area? We are hoping that this might be a spot he could use when having free reign.

Thank you so much all for your assistance!


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Just as an observation. You are trying to teach a 4 month old Chi pup multiple things. I suggest to ease up and focus on training for 1 option. As the pup begins to show consistency on the 1, then you could consider adding a second.

Remember, the dog is very young and housebreaking can take a long time depending on the dog. Expect to have accidents when you think the pup is "trained".

A thought. If you want to focus on the indoor piddle area, then you may just need to wait him out. The wait could be more than an hour......just sit tight, read a book, watch a show while keeping a watchful eye on the pup. Reward when the deed is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess our main question is, how do we transition from the confinement area to free reign? I have read some place that we should extend the confinement area each month but besides buying more pens to add to it, I dont see how this is practical.
 

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We originally had a pen for our pup that had the crate in it as well. Ours took almost 9 months to potty train even though we are retired and took her out constantly. Eventually we got rid of the pen and put gates up. Ours is a year old and we allow her in the kitchen, laundry room and family room. The rest of the downstairs is gated off. She only goes upstairs to sleep as we have a crate in our bedroom.
 
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