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I have an 18 week old dachshund/chihuahua mix. He's caught onto the housebreaking pretty well--I still take him outside about every hour or so, but he's begun to wait at the door to ask to go out, and he hasn't had an accident in about a week. However, I've still been keeping him on a tether or closely supervised when he's not in his crate, and I'm wondering when I can start to allow him more freedom (i.e., access to 1-2 rooms without me hovering over him all the time). Should I wait until he's at least 6 months, so I can be sure he has full bladder control, or can I start earlier?
 

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I disagree, I'd wait til he was a bit older. This is a 4 month old puppy, basically, 4 1/2. And, he's only up to a week with no accidents. I would wait to add rooms without supervision. OR, a compromise would be to let him have a bit more freedom right after he's peed/pooped, so you know he's empty. Then, after a bit, get him back in your sight until the next time you take him out to pee/poop. So, you're only giving him added freedom when he's "empty"!
 

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I disagree, I'd wait til he was a bit older. This is a 4 month old puppy, basically, 4 1/2. And, he's only up to a week with no accidents. I would wait to add rooms without supervision. OR, a compromise would be to let him have a bit more freedom right after he's peed/pooped, so you know he's empty. Then, after a bit, get him back in your sight until the next time you take him out to pee/poop. So, you're only giving him added freedom when he's "empty"!
Okay, but how much older? 5 months? 6 months? Older than that? I love my puppy, but truthfully, it's getting a bit tiring have to keep an eye on him 24/7, and I'm looking forward to when I can just let him roam like I do my older dog.
 

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How many accidents are you willing to risk? If you don't mind cleaning something up, be a little riskier. I've heard two schools of thought on this: 1) don't give your dog any opportunities for accidents--keep him crated, tethered, on you, or outside at all times, and 2) supervise constantly, correcting bad tinkles (indoor) and praising good tinkles (outdoor). Personally I have had luck with the second option. So I would say give more freedom. But I also know dog experts who swear by the first choice. Up to you. Whatever you choose, be consistent.
 

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Just remember that every time they have an accident it sets the potty training back, I would rather do it all now and get it over with then have to deal with training the dog for the next year.
 

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Our pup is now 9 weeks old and very well potty trained. I walk her twice a day for socialization, and do playful training exercises with her. I usually let her out every 1-2 hours when the weather is bad, but with a sunny day like today she'll walk out and do the deed herself. Puppies also need to learn how to be alone and glueing it to your leg may cause behavioral issues later in life. Have her do her potty thing, go inside and let her roam on her own for - say - half an hour! Perhaps you'll even find her asleep as I often find Luna once I go something else. It's pretty important to steadily start doing things you want to be able to do in the future as well which is only good for her development and preperation for the future. Take it easy, your behavior will reflect on your dog so don't get too wired!;)
 

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For us it wasn't age as much as getting to know the dog before we gave him more space. We've had Hamilton for 9 weeks now, and we've gotten to know his habits and mannerisms pretty well. We're still learning, and sometimes accidents do happen (who would have thought he'd randomly start pooping mid-play?), but we're a lot more familiar with him now, and his recall is much better so if he starts poking into something he shouldn't he'll come running back to me when I call him. Right now he is primarily in his same one room when we're home, but we got a second gate so he can be in that room and the kitchen, which is the next room over. It's an open layout so you can pretty much see the entire kitchen from the family room, and it makes it way easier when I cook that he can be in the room with me. Just after he's come in from a potty break, we let him run around on the entire first floor for a while, but always closely supervised.
 

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Just remember that every time they have an accident it sets the potty training back, I would rather do it all now and get it over with then have to deal with training the dog for the next year.
I feel that each time you catch an accident in progress, that is an opportunity to communicate that indoor pottying is NOT what you want.
 

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The traditional answer is to wait until 6 mos. Before then, you don't have to hover, but you do have to have an eye on the pup to notice signals. Before 6 mos, a pup may not have full control, and may sniff for only a second or two before squatting.

Also, I gently suggest that you consider stopping the regular hourly outside time and start depending on him to let you know when he wants to go out. This may result in a few more accidents, but I believe it'll improve communications.
 

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I agree that CATCHING the accident is a good way to communicate your expectations, "no, not here, outside!" BUT, puppies are SO fast, and sometimes catching them isn't easy, if they aren't right there in your line of sight, even if they're across the room, it's hard to get to them in time.
Also, correcting inside accidents can lead to problems. Puppies/dogs don't think the way humans think. So, if they are "correcting" for peeing inside, they can sometimes think peeing in general is bad, so they will work harder to hide it from you or develop a thing about not wanting to pee in front of you at all, even in the right place.

I agree puppies need to learn independence; that's super important. However, you can't catch accidents if you can't see them, and the more accidents a puppy has, the more of a habit peeing inside becomes, and that is a habit that can be hard to break.

My opinion is you have to compromise between having your pup right with you, and also giving them some alone time. For instance, we just kept our dogs in our sight when we were potty training, we didn't use a tether (didn't know about it yet!). BUT, when I needed to do laundry or cook or shower or if I needed to check my email, we'd put them in the ex-pen with a kong, or some toys. So, they did develop some alone time skills.

I'd suggest only giving them added freedom when you are pretty sure they are empty. Otherwise, keep them in your sight, or contained when you can't watch them. Six months is when they really have complete control of their bladders, so accidents are possible before that, BUT, if you are on top of it, taking them out often, it doesn't mean you HAVE to have accidents. You just manage it, so that you get them out when needed.
 

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I feel that each time you catch an accident in progress, that is an opportunity to communicate that indoor pottying is NOT what you want.
This might work if the accident is caught in progress...this is not the case most of the time and that one time that its not caught can be the time that causes the setback.
 
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