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As with most new puppy owners, potty training is my biggest issue. I know there is a sticky for this topic, but I have not seen any new posts in there and would like to see some traffic to my post. I greatly apologize for any redundant information. I need help coming up with a game plan for what to do with my pup while I work my full-time job.

I have an 11 week mini Australian Shepherd. When I first got her, I used puppy pads and enclosed her off in a small area of my home when I left for work. She did great with the pads, hit it every time! Soon after though, I switched to crate training her and did away with the puppy pads all together. She did great with her introduction to the crate and is very acclimated to it now.

I do not leave water in her crate. I always take her out before I crate her for long periods of time. I am able to come home at lunchtime to take her out. It is hit or miss whether or not she can hold her pee before I come home. There have been sporadic accidents. So, of course, I am very conflicted now! I do not have someone who can check on her a second time in the day. But I also do not want to revert her back to puppy pads and halt her mostly successful crate training! But I feel terrible knowing she can’t hold it and might have to sit in her pee.

I think I am the type of dog owner who is anti-puppy pads. While they are a designated place for the dog to pee, it is still peeing inside the house which I am trying to teach her not to do. If I DO leave her at home with puppy pads, Will I be able to pick up where I left off with the create when she is a little older and can hold her bladder longer?

How can I utilize the crate training at her age? Some sites say to start this young, others say its too early! I don’t want to traumatize her by having her sitting in her own waste or teach her its okay to pee in the crate either.

What do you guys think with my schedule and her age range? If someone could give me a timeline of what they think I should do, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much in advance. I appreciate all of your knowledge and passion. We dog-lovers gotta stick together!
 

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You can attach an ex-pen to her crate. The ex-pen has puppy pads, the crate is for sleeping. It will slow progress a bit (sometimes), but you probably only have a few more weeks of her being unable to hold it until your lunch, and then you can do away with the puppy pads completely. Many people use the puppy pads in ex-pen attached to the crate when they can't get home to let puppy out, and they end up being potty trained just fine.
 

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I agree with Lillith. I don't care for puppy pads, but I'd prefer a puppy use them over being forced to go in the crate. In your situation I'd have the crate open, an x-pen set up, and puppy pads available in the pen. In a week or two, try just the crate again. The standard rule is puppies can hold it for 1 hr per month of age, but not all puppies "read the manual", so it's not unusual if a pup needs a little more time to get there.
 

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She can't hold it much over 2 hours at that age, got with the pads and x pen for now if you can't get her outside every two hours.

There are exceptions of course, but in general, dogs can hold it one hour per month of age until 1 year old. If you can't let them out that often, then pads are better for you and, the puppy both.

That also means she can have water during the day, when you aren't home and, that's better for her. If spilling the water is a concern, get a dog water bottle, like a big rabbit bottle, for her.
 
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