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Potty training without a crate

753 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  petrygs
Okay so call me crazy but I have chosen to house train my puppy without using a crate but rather a playpen and was wondering how long can I expect to have to take him out every hour or after every nap, playtime, or meal? He is 12 weeks old and is a Brittany. He’s been pretty good about starting to indicate when he has to go, but I’m scared if I miss the cue, he’ll may have an accident in the house.
I have recently found out that our provincial government has decided to reopen the schools in September so I will have to go back to teaching then and am worried that Jedi won’t be able to hold it until the dog walker comes at 11:30 after I leave at 7am. He is kept in a playpen for the day even when I am home unless we are training or playing. I’m trying to keep him to the same schedule during summer vacation as I would have during the school year with some added training with my trainer and on my own.
Does anyone have any idea how long it may take to get him used to going only outside and not in the house?
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With a pen, it's going to be more important to take him out frequently so that he isn't tempted to use some of the extra space as a bathroom. Every hour AND after playing, sleeping, eating, a big drink, etc. is usually your best bet, though some puppies need more frequent breaks (and some less, but I wouldn't assume that until you get to know your pup specifically).

The other option is to put a toilet area in the pen. I personally would never use pads/paper, because in my experience those will get you a puppy who thinks many other absorbent things on the floor are okay to pee on, too. What I've seen recommended is using substrate that the puppy will being going on outside, like a square of live turf in a litter tray, so they learn that this is the texture of what they should be peeing on, and it's different enough that they won't associate it with anything around the house (like rugs).

My youngest dog - 14 months now - was pen-trained using the first method, and I've never tried the potty patch method, for full disclosure. However, it is something promoted by some reputable people in the dog world (Dr. Ian Dunbar is the one I know off hand), so I'd say it's worth a try if you want/need a long-term confinement solution that doesn't set the dog up to fail by peeing in randoms spots in their pen.

As for how long it takes... that'll depend a lot on the individual dog, how fast they mature physically and mentally, and how consistent you are with potty breaks. Generally speaking, the more strictly you follow a schedule and prevent accidents indoors, the faster the training happens.
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