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Discussion Starter #1
I am hoping to get a young puppy (my first dog) I live in a house with a smallish garden and completely fenced yard, backing onto greenbelt.

And was thinking about getting a dog door and put an excercise pen around the inside AND outside of the dog door.
And overnight it could go out easily but not be able to run free around the garden - it would know it was for potty only (my thinking :D).

So any problems anyone sees?

How young can I start doing this? If my 8 week puppy knows how to operate dog door in first couple of days is it OK to keep the dog door open at night that young? Can the dog see in the dark? How long do I have to supervise it can do it right before he can use it overnight himself?

I will be at home during the day (mostly) and can run outside and take time to train the dog.

But overnight I thought it would be quicker and easier on the dog (and me!!) if it could go from his open crate in exercise pen to dog door and outside to potty, as it would be far away from our room and in the kitchen (can't hear it?)

I know for the first few weeks it needs to go every 3-4 hrs overnight and thought this would be a good and quick way to housetrain from very young.
I do know about other ways I can do this but just would like to know if this way would work or not.

But in research I haven't seen anything about what I wish to do, and I know I won't have been the first to think of a good idea, so obviously I am missing something?
And I am worried about critters (any had any and what? :eek:) I live in the PNW. I know you can get electronic doors but if my puppy will be so near to it in a pen, don't think it will work?

I know about treats and how to train 'a' dog with dog door but not about young puppies using it unsupervised overnight.
 

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What's the fear with leaving the dog access to the dog door overnight? You're afraid it'll have accidents in the house overnight is that it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's the fear with leaving the dog access to the dog door overnight? You're afraid it'll have accidents in the house overnight is that it?
I realise if I put pads down inside and I want the dog to potty outside all the time eventually, it's harder for them to stop using them when their bladder is stronger. So I would be making it harder for the dog to understand?

And I hope there is no fear re using the door as I want to do it LOL. It's just I didn't want to do to much the first week I have it - make it nervous if it gets stuck outside etc?

I haven't had a dog before so don't want to traumitise him - just wanted to make sure :)

And I was thinking of putting a dogdoor in the side of the house but that means using/building about 4 baby steps for him to reach the grass, and I was scared in the dark the poor thing could fall off? :confused:
 

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Puppies need supervision. Potty training a young puppy sometimes requires that you take them out at night. (I use to take mine out at 11:00-12:00 before I went to bed and then again at 2:00am and then again at 5:00am. As the puppy matured and bladder control became better the time frame became longer. Ex. 3:00am instead of 2:00am then 4:00am instead of 3:00am.) I would be afraid that a puppy that young would get hurt or eat something that was harmful.
 

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Actually, I think a puppy-proofed x-pen (or better yet, a kennel run or two exercise pens - 4x4 isn't much room for a puppy to eliminate in more than once without stepping in it) would be fine for overnight as long as your puppy's not small enough (or you are urban enough) to be at risk from critters like raccoons and coyotes. Supervision would be better, but as long as the puppy had the opportunity to go out when they needed, I think it'd be fine. Where I think it would be tricky is that's an opportunity that you're missing to reinforce the correct behavior, meaning it may take longer overall. You'd have to ewigh and measure hwich is more important.
 

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I would get up with the puppy and take him out at night. That's what I've always done. By leaving a baby unsupervised in a larger area like an ex-pen, you're just asking for potty training troubles. A puppy won't have any idea that he's supposed to go outside to eliminate. As long as he can get a distance from his bed, that's good enough for him! So, you're going to wake up to a mess in your house and you'll have a harder time trying to right this wrong in the future.

A key thing to remember is that if you don't want a certain behavior from your adult dog, don't let the puppy form the habit, because it's about 10 times harder to CHANGE a behavior than it is to teach the right one from the beginning.

As far as how long you'll have to supervise your puppy before he can use the doggy door on his own, that all depends on the dog and how committed you are to doing your part. I have potty trained a puppy in as little as 10 days and others have taken a couple months. But the overnight trips for you shouldn't last longer than 2-3 weeks if you are dedicated to NOT letting him have an accident inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the tips.

I don't know if I get the raccoons (never seen evidence) although I know there are a lot of them about in WA (from research in the internet). So don't know if it will injure my puppy. Don't want a raccoon entering the house and hurting the dog!
I am in the burbs but am backing onto a greenbelt.

I wouldn't let the puppy go around the garden unsupervised just thought a pen in grass would be 'safe' enough.

Good point about not being able to praise it, I suppose I thought if it went during the day that praise could carry over in it's mind to the night.

I guess I will just have to be patient and wait and see and try and relax and use my instincts.
 
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