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Hi there,

I am beginning to realize that our 12 week old toy poodle does not need to go outside as often as when he was younger, but I am still taking him out a lot, about 8 times a day. Half the time, he and I are just standing there. I wait 10 minutes and we head back inside. I still don't have his schedule down so I am out there as if he is 8 weeks old.

When do you start reducing the amount of trips outside?
Is there a general rule I have somehow missed, like at 4 month - this many times, 6 months - this many times???

And is using the ex-pen method effective?
We have opted to have our puppy in a gated area when we can't watch him 100%. We have his bed there, water and a wee-wee pad at the opposite corner. It's great at night or when I am not home for a few hours but I am wondering if this method is somehow preventing him from learning to "hold it". Do we need to train a dog to hold it or do they do so naturally????
Sorry all the questions. He's our first puppy!
THANKS!
 

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At 12 weeks he still probably can't hold it very long... I'd say about 2 1/2 hours.. There is no real set age to start reducing the number of trips outside, because it's different for every dog. Just slowly start making the time between trips out a little bit longer.. So if your taking him out every hour now, start moving it to an hour and fifteen minutes, or an hour and a half. Just don't take it too fast.. or you might have some accidents :eek:
 

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I've seen it suggested to make a spreadsheet up of when you feed the dog, when you take them out and what production if any you get from them. That way you get an idea of exactly how long they're going between eating and eliminating.
 

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There is no such thing as taking a puppy out too often. This is "errorless housetraining".

I hope you are feeding your puppy strictly on schedule as well. This is very important.

Note which outdoor excursions are consistently unproductive. Extend the time a little each day - say at 30 minutes increments every day until you can merge it with the next one.

Toy breeds will always have to be taken out more often.
 
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