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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess theres no better way than to start with an about us! (Also I know theres a ton of posts about potty training, I read the sticky! And I still feel I need help, as I've failed so far...)

https://m.imgur.com/d0UO9jF This... Is Milo.
He's a 14 week old cavalier King Charles, and he's our first puppy. He's super smart sometimes. And we're super nice owners lol.
Anyway we want to potty train him without crating him, if thats possible? We have two cats we'd love for him to hang out with when we're not home. When I was a kid I had two dogs that were never kenneled, but never went inside. Parents just said they hit the dogs, which we won't do!
Our schedules are relatively set. I tend to leave for work at 730am and get back at about 430pm. The wife either leaves/arrives at 9:30am-6pm or 1pm-9:30pm. On a typical day, he gets to go out at 6:30am-7am, at 9 am, at 4:30pm, 8pm, 11pm before we go to bed. (as of lately!)
So I'll now draw a picture of the timeline, as we're noobs and bad, and I wonder if we've broken the doggo :(

We got him at seven weeks, so i'll start there

Week 1: Taking him outside every hour, having him pee, saying "outside" and "potty" each time. We put out Pea Rocks in our front area (town house) for him to pee on, and he uses it and sometimes goes over to the neighbors Mulch. We also put down Pee Pads, but, like a few in the living room upstairs cuz he seems to make mistakes there. We reward him with lots of love, good jobs, treats each time he goes out.

Week 2: This continues. We dont work this and the previous week. A few mistakes/accidents.

Week 3: Continues, again, a few accidents. We start going back to work slowly, one of us at a time.

Week 4: We're back at work full time with the above schedule. He pees outside the moment he wakes up. He then (sometimes) goes inside and pees a tiny bit or poops. Only reward outside. Started waiting for him to pee twice outside, the he tried to pee 3 times outside for more treats lol. The moment I get home from work (4:30) i see a poop at home, and maybe he peed but its hard to tell downstairs as its carpet and hes a tniy dog, but, hes always super excited to pee when I get home and pees right away. Still having issues with an occassional mistake.

Week 5: He's peeing more in the neighbors mulch, and seems to love it more than the rocks. I pull up the rocks, put down mulch, and he continues to do his business like the above, except, we blocked off the basement so he can only go on the rug/hardwood upstairs as its easier to clean and spot. continues to have a few mistakes. Pees when he wakes up and when i get home. We start doing sit/stay/down and hes doing so well!!!! Such a smart puppers!!!

Week 6: Mostly stops peeing outside. And pooping. It takes a while, sometimes, as he gets distracted by the people nearby (he loves EVERYONE) or any noise, or specifically the leaves that are dying. Those are so fun. But if we wait long enough, or go outside for ten, inside for 5, outside for 10 min he does eventually do his duty. But usually in the neighbors and not our pit. Which is mostly ok :p However, now when he gets up in the morning hes slower to pee, and slower to pee when I get home, if he does at all. He seems mroe interested in saying hi and getting pets. I got a bell set, but, he doesnt seem to use it, and we figured maybe we're overloading him with stuff. So we stop bell for now.

Week 7: We've started t crack down more, watch him non stop, and he still if he gets a single moment will just pee inside or poop. I cleaned the entire carpet/rug/floor with anti-pet stuff and carpet extractor with pet stuff. Still blockin basement. Started a strict schedule of food at 9am, 4:30pm, 10:30pm, as per online advice, and im sure we've made a lot of mistakes as new owners. When he pees outside he knows hes getting a treat, he stares at you, and gets excited. He is like 50/50 now and he was like 80/20 before. (inside/outside) and its frustrating as a new puppy owner.

Week 8: The future:
I'm taking a week off of work to help teach him again, but I dnt know what I should be doing, or if We've given him too many different things, or confused him, or broke him from house training. At this point, its really hard to teach him without being home 24/7 or crating. Or maybe hes too young to hold it for 6 hours? Then again, he pees right infront of us nooo

Is it possible to potty train him without crating him?

Can he still learn to potty train?

Is it too early for him to be able to hold it for 4-5 hours while we're gone?

What do we do going forward, or specifically, if i have a week off for it?

If we do crate train, can he later be trained to just not use the crate and not go inside?

**As of yesterday, He will pee outside in the neighbors little area, but seemingly hates ours as of lately? Maybe i can move the woodchips he pees on to our section lol...**
 

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In short, yes, it is possible to potty train without crating. In my opinion, crating makes potty training a lot easier, because the dog does not have the opportunity to pee in the house. Each mistake in the house builds a habit of going in the house. Is there a specific reason you don't want to crate? Honestly, it sounds to me like he's just been having a lot of accidents in the house, so he's now built a habit of going in the house. Sure, he gets treats for going outside, but going in the house is fine if I need to! He needs a bit less freedom while he learns.

First, is the dog allowed to roam most of the house? If he is, I would restrict his space. Keep him in the kitchen, or bathroom, or space with a hard floor and put down pee pads when you can't 100% supervise. If you allow him to pee on the rug, it not only soaks into the rug, but the sub flooring beneath it (which is typically wood), which I imagine is happening because you said that you clean up the spots after you get home from work, right? That scent lingers, so the pup thinks its an okay place to pee. If he has an accident, no matter where, clean it up with a enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle to eliminate the scent. A regular household cleaner won't eliminate the scent of urine.

As a baby puppy, they can hold it about 3-4 hours CRATED (so, sleeping). So yeah, asking for 6 hours is a bit much right now, although most adult dogs can hold it a full 8 hour work day. They should be taken out every 30 min. ACTIVE. Less time if the pup is still having accidents. The reason crating is so effective in potty training is because dogs do not like to soil their sleeping/eating space. They do not like laying in their own mess, so they hold it. That's why many people use crates as a tool when they can't supervise their pups. If the dog is roaming the house, they can just go whenever and wherever they want when the owner is not supervising, therefore they build the habit of potty in the house.

Can you take him to the grass to potty? Sometimes dogs don't like going on hard surfaces like rocks, or even mulch, because the pee splashes on them. They eat poop and gross stuff, but they don't like pee splashing on their legs. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As to why no crate training, I guess we want him to eventualyl not have to be in the crate, so he can relax with the cats. Is it too late to start crate training? Is setting him in a crate for 6 hours, which we think is too long for how old he is, will that be setting him up for failure/pottying on himself?

if we do crate train, can we later teach him to not use the crate?
 

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As to why no crate training, I guess we want him to eventualyl not have to be in the crate, so he can relax with the cats. Is it too late to start crate training? Is setting him in a crate for 6 hours, which we think is too long for how old he is, will that be setting him up for failure/pottying on himself?

if we do crate train, can we later teach him to not use the crate?
Crate training doesn't mean that the dog can never be free range, it just means that while they're young and learning they don't have the opportunity to make a mistake. It's kind of like using training wheels on a kid's first two-wheeled bike - they're a learning and safety tool to use until they've mastered the skill. While you're home and can supervise, he can learn about relaxing with the cats (I agree with Lilith that he shouldn't have access to the entire house yet.)

Definitely not too late to use a crate, but keep in mind that "crate training" generally refers to getting the pup accustomed to being in the crate; whereas, "potty training" is about teaching him where to go. Kikopup's youtube videos are good resources for all things training. I believe she has a crate training video and a new puppy playlist.

A general rule of thumb is that pups can last one hour for each month plus one hour between potty breaks if they're sleeping / resting in a crate. Six hours is a little too long for his age (if my math is correct). Is it possible for someone to stop at home and let him out? If not, you might try an expen set up that includes a crate and pee pad or other acceptable potty surface.

Since you have a week off, you can focus on keeping a strict schedule and building the habit of going outside - that's really what potty training is, building a habit of going in a certain location or on a certain surface.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the wife puts dog in crate, and I end up letting him out most days, will he learn to like me more? o_O will he see it as a punishment from her going into kennel?
 

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It's unlikely to make a difference. Our schedule is such that my husband crates the dogs and I let them out on most days, it hasn't affected their relationship at all. As long as you're both kind to him and engage with him in force-free ways, the crate is only one small component of your relationship. Furthermore, the crate shouldn't be seen as punishing by the dog. If you crate train properly, he shouldn't be bothered by spending time in it (there are exceptions, of course).
 

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As to why no crate training, I guess we want him to eventualyl not have to be in the crate, so he can relax with the cats. Is it too late to start crate training? Is setting him in a crate for 6 hours, which we think is too long for how old he is, will that be setting him up for failure/pottying on himself?

if we do crate train, can we later teach him to not use the crate?
He can absolutely become a free-range dog at some point in time, when he is fully potty trained and doesn't chew things up because, you know, he's a puppy and hasn't learned that yet. The crate is a tool, and it can be temporary. Many dogs learn to love their crate and often use it as their own "den" and safe place, but if the time comes when the dog no longer needs it, you can remove it.

Most people will come home over their lunch hour to give the pup a potty break, or have a family friend let them out, or hire a dog walker just for potty breaks when their pups are little. Again, it's typically a temporary thing as most adult dogs can hold it a full work day, barring medical issues or the incontinence of old age.

If that isn't an option, some people will attach an x-pen to the crate and put potty pads down. That way, the pup has his crate to sleep in, and then an entirely separate area for potty. Again, it can sometimes make potty training take a bit longer, but at least the pup isn't going potty all over the house and starts to instill the concept that only certain areas are for potty.

And no, if one person puts the dog in the crate and the other lets him out, it won't change the relationship. I'm the one who crates my dog in the morning, and my husband lets him out when he gets home from work. My dog still thinks I'm awesome, haha.
 

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The thing is, crate training is extremely useful if your dog has to go to the vet for any reason and has to be crated there. And it makes housebreaking much easier because they just don't get any opportunity to pee inside when you're not around.

That being said, my puppies were housebroken at 4/5 months, 14 weeks is too early to expect them to be, IMO. And yeah, keep doing what you're doing outside, but if you catch him peeing inside, stop him and take him outside right away.
 
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