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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

A little over a week ago, my fiance and I brought home our now 9 1/2-week old Shiba Inu pup (Nanako; see picture below :)). So far, everything has been going great training-wise and we are becoming increasingly impressed by how smart this breed is and how easy it has been to train her (with multiple daily training sessions with treats, of course).

That being said, she of course is not housebroken yet but we believe we know her potty "signals" and believe she already knows where it is acceptable to pee (outside). We live in a two-story townhouse and have gated off two areas: one "play" area where her crate stays during the day, where she eats and where we train her, and another gate blocking access to descending our stairs.

She ascends she stairs just fine despite her small body and the initial difficulties that came with it, but given that she seemed to always hesitate at the top of the stairs (before we gated it) we are wondering whether or not her depth perception is developed enough for us to allow her to descend the stairs in order to tell us she needs to pee/poop. Apart from all the literature out there which tells us that puppy senses are not fully developed, she also ran into my legs while running full force a few mornings ago. Before that, we had our first vet appointment and out vet said everything seemed fine (minus the coccidia we are now treating).

So my question is this: Is there a certain point in time where a dog's depth perception becomes fully developed? As a student of evolutionary theory, I have always been taught that humans require experience for depth perception development but animals seem to possess "innate" depth perception--but I am now wondering how true this really is, given our experience.

Any insight as to when it may be acceptable for us to allow her to descend the stairs would be greatly appreciated. We love this pup and know it isn't going to take much longer for us to fully housebreak her (she always goes to the stairs right before either one of us grabs her and takes her out or she has an accident right then and there), but we just don't want our pup to get hurt in the process because she fell down the stairs.

Thanks!

JJ & Nanako

more nanako 003.jpg
 
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