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I'm on week #2 of house training a 13 week old newfie puppy. She's been doing really well - rings a bell to go outside - but has a consistent weakness: she'll pee on anything near the inside of the door. Once it was a towel I had put there in anticipation of wiping her feet, and twice now on a brand new doggy doormat. All times I was right there and caught her in the act and rushed her outside to the proper place.

Obviously this is a weak link for her and I've removed the doormat and only bring out the towel as needed. My question is when should I re-introduce those (properly cleaned) items? I had just brought out the doormat again today after 4 days since the last time, but it's like a magnet for her. Should I wait until she's fully housetrained (has access to the entire house)? Or just keep periodically trying? It's a shame as I really could use them to get her to wipe her feet on during rainy season!

Matthew
 

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It sounds like this issue is actually a weakness in your potty training routine.

Bells are a great way for a dog to indicate that they need to go outside. However, puppies don't have the neurological development to have a reliable warning system for when they need to go until they're about six months of age. Therefore, you're asking your puppy to ring the bells and wait for you to take her outside when she has a 0 to 30 second warning of when she needs to eliminate. Sometimes you'll make it and get her outside, and sometimes you won't.

Instead of reactively taking her outside when she rings the bells, I suggest that you proactively take her outside on a set schedule. That will lessen the likelihood that she'll eliminate indoors and make potty training far easier in the long run.
 

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I would probably get rid of it until she's 6 months old or so, just to be sure. No sense in trying to introduce it too early and having her pee on it because every time she does it solidifies that habit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I should add that the only times she's done this were when I was taking her out on a schedule (2 times during the night), and once when we were coming in from a walk through the front door which does't have the bell, but I had just put down the mat, so it doesn't seem to be related to asking her to use the bell. I find a schedule-and-bell combination routine useful as she can go through phases in the day when she pees 3 times in an hour (she rings the bell and I think to myself, you can't really need to go since we just went out, but sure enough she finds more), and then go for several hours peeing only on our hourly schedule.
 
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