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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! SO, I think it's safe to say my 4-month old Doxie is 95% housebroken. He's almost there (he's been consistent for a few weeks now, no accidents in the house or crate). I have him on a rigid schedule of feeding and potty trip times, and it's been doing GREAT.

Now, when he is fully housetrained, what's the gradual change to giving him more and more freedom? Also, how does he learn to bark when he has to go? In crate training, he's just taken out at certain time periods to go, but never has the freedom to bark and let an owner know (or not in my case at least).

Do I just start out by giving him a small area to stay in while I'm gone (when he would USED to be crated) and then expand weeks by weeks?
 

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When Titus was house-trained and we felt like he wouldn't chew through everything (since he's 1/2 lab, has a GREAT chewing puppy tendancy) we started by blockading him in the kitchen for an hour while we were out. Once we were confident that worked, we increased the time in there. Then we moved into a larger area for longer periods of time. As long as he had a chew toy, he was a good boy. If he didn't, there was still about a year of time where we'd come home and find a pillow gone, or the arm of a futon we used to have gnawed on. No messes and other than the few chewing instances in the beginning he was and is a doll.

I'd say the whole transition took about a month and a half as we just wanted to be very sure that he'd not get himself into trouble that we weren't willing to deal with. To this day we just shut doors to rooms we don't want him in, even though he'd be excellent in them, it's habit now.
 

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Around seven months old I started leaving my dogs for very short periods of time. Example, right after them going potty outside, I'd run to Wal-mart and be home in less than 1/2 hour.
I gradually increased the amount of time and there's never been a problem. Now at 8 & 16 months, they're only crated at night to sleep. I am home most of the time but I've left them for up to three hours without a problem.

When I just had Sadie and she was about 10 months old...we could leave her out for five hours and she'd be fine.


Oh, and he may never bark to tell you he has to go out. One of mine stares at me and the other goes and stands by the door silently (even though there are bells on it). So, I just have to be in tune and alert.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys...I'm going to wait until my dog exhibits his current tendencies (pottying outside each time taken out, no accidents in crate or during free time in the house) for 14 more days, then I will do what suggested.

Now my question: he doesn't bark, ever. only when he is crated. How do I train him to let me know when he has to go pottY?
 

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Thanks for the replies guys...I'm going to wait until my dog exhibits his current tendencies (pottying outside each time taken out, no accidents in crate or during free time in the house) for 14 more days, then I will do what suggested.

Now my question: he doesn't bark, ever. only when he is crated. How do I train him to let me know when he has to go pottY?
14 days? You are jumping the gun again. Try a few months.
 

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My second step is to put the crate inside an ex-pen with the crate door open. This gives a bit more freedom but still protects the dog and my things from damage. Giving the dog freedom of an entire room is my 3rd step.
 

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Well it takes 21 for something to become habit (or for a habit to be dropped), and he's gone 1 week already, so 14 days is about right.
The trite cliche is it takes 21 days to drop a habit and 34 days to build one.

Frankly, I've never found that to be the case for a dog.

Take your time. What's the hurry?

It took Snyder six months of living here to really be comfortable enough to be himself. Six months!

I thought he had shown his personality after a month, but the reality is he was just being more of a rebel. Now he's settled in between his shy, proper disposition when he was first brought home and his rambunctious side to a dog I'm very happy with.

Take your time, bub. There are no formulas that apply.
 
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