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We are taking two weeks to get our new puppy settled into our house, but after that we'll be at work again. We are going to set up a crate for him in our large washroom and leave the crate door open so he'll have the room to play in. I'm wondering what our best option is for a place for him to do his business while we're away.....newspapers, puppy pads.......or I've heard a roll of sod in a litter pan may make the transition to outside easier than the other two. Any truth to that?
 

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I would vote for a dog walker.
 

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We put down a puppy pad in the corner of his ex-pen at night and on the occassion when we are gone for more than the time he can stay in his crate. It has worked well for us but I must admit, after 6 weeks of doing this, I think it does confuse the dog a bit since he can eliminate in the house on some occassions and not on others.... So, I think it will take a bit longer to fully housetrain our pup.

I think the best method is to strictly crate train a pup day and night. I have heard that if you do this diligently, it takes only 2 to 4 weeks! But since it's not practical for our family, we are using both the crate and ex-pen method. Hopefully, he will get it. I think we are at 80% now after 6 weeks. I am tempted though to go strictly crate eventually when our schedule allows us to do this.

But since you need to do both for now, I think pads are good and sod is even better. In Ian Dunbar's puppy book, he uses sod. After researching the ex-pen method, experts mention how you come home and clean up the mess but don't praise the dog for using his indoor potty. When the pup goes outside to potty, you ALWAYS treat and praise for going outside and eventually, the pup gets it...
Also, there is a post here a while back that showed a great homemade sod potty. The owner took a turtle sandbox and laid sod on it and it worked like a charm in winter months when temp outside was too much for her dog. Try to search for that tread and picture. Good luck to you!
 
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