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Most of the posts I've seen have to do with training young puppies. I need some advice for my 16 month old bichon/shih tzu mix.

We've had him since he was 8 weeks old. We first used an indoor potty for him. It worked really well and he was pretty consistent early on. The trouble came when I transitioned him to outdoors. I admit that it was my fault; we have a fenced in yard, so I became lazy. I would just let him out without going out with him to ensure that he was going potty. He was still mostly consistent, with rare accidents.

He's now 16 months old, and I don't feel like he truly knows he's supposed to go potty outside. Most of the time he'll go to our back door to be let out, but he will go into our dining room or the kids' room to go. I'm not sure where to start now.

He goes to daycare on the days that I work. On the other days, should I put him on a leash when I take him out, even though our backyard is fenced in? Should I go out with him every time he wants to go out so I can see if he goes? Or only if he hasn't gone recently? I know that I need to be consistent with him, I'm just not sure where to start, since he's older and already has the run of the house. Thank you in advance!
 

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I would back up and keep him more confined so he can't sneak off and go in the house. Baby gates work good to keep him from going into the other rooms where you cannot see him. At that age, my dogs are very consistent on when they go so I would keep track of when he usually goes and make sure he goes outside at those times. Praise him if he goes to the door on his own.
 

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You need to go back and start over at 'Potty Training 101'. NO unsupervised freedom in the house. Period. He needs to be crated or in your immediate vicinity with your attention on him at all times. Utilize baby gates or use a tether to keep him under full supervision. Take him out on a regular basis (leashed or not is up to you) but in either case you must go with him, watch to make sure he actually relieves himself & then praise & treat immediately. Rinse & repeat.

I'd also suggest that you go through your house with a black light & identify *every* single spot where an 'accident' has occurred & soak the areas in a good enzyme cleaner. You must remove all lingering traces of odor that will attract him back to those areas.

Since he already has a vague idea of the whole 'potty outdoors' process, it should move along rather quickly, and you'll be able to start allowing more house freedom (particularly during the times immediately after he's gone outdoors) Don't feel bad about taking away his 'run of the house' privilege for right now - he needs to show that he has *earned* it.
 

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I'm no professional so please make sure you read all replies and not just mine lol, but with our pup yes she is only 5 months old but she is a big dog looks like a 1 year old already, with her i went online and found a site that told me how long a pup her age and size could actually hold before she needed to go potty, if im correct it was about 1-2 hows at first, so i made sure i took her out side ever 1.5 hours after about 2 days i started resistance potty training(i call it) by limiting the number of outside trips so instead of every 1.5 hours we went out every 2 then after a few more days every 3 and so on now she can be around 4-5 and show no sign of wanting to go unless i forget and its getting on to 5.5 hours lol then its wheres the lead lets go go go, but the important factor is that she holds for the grass. one very important factor i found was to ignore the mistakes on the floor(clean them up ofcause but dont tell her off about it) and when she does it on the grass when you take her out praise her like its the most magical thing you have ever seen lots of praise and a cuddle this got our pup pottied in about a week to 2 weeks and while we was potty training she was only on the lead when we took her out side, but she was not and still is not allowed in the kids bedrooms or my bedroom with out me or the wife in there and even then the kids bedrooms are out of bounds. hope this helps a little
 
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