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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After reading dozens of articles and watching tons of videos I cannot seem to narrow down to a solution that I think would be ideal for my scenario. So I’d love to get your thoughts on all f my options.

PS: puppy (miniature poodle) will be coming home in December

Situation :
  • live in the middle of a city in an apartment
  • harsh winters so going out is not always possible in the winter
  • no balcony
Options:
1: get a porch potty with real grass and take the dog to it at frequent intervals to give it the opportunity to go on it.

2: get a bark potty and do the same. Thinking maybe this is better since I’m living in the middle of the city and there’s not as much grass outside. This might be more similar to the surfaces we have outside compared to real grass. So maybe transitioning to outdoors later is easier I’m hoping?

3: use puppy pads. Do I take the puppy to a single puppy pad placed somewhere indoors frequently for it to go... or do I set up a playpen with the floor fully covered with puppy pads and have the crate inside the pen as well. This way we don’t have to take him to it. He can come outside the crate and do his business by himself and over time we reduce the area covered by pads until you get to a single one.

Has anyone tried any of these methods. How did it go for you?
 

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What size poodle? Do you know if the breeder is doing any potty training? Some set up a potty area in the weaning pen with newspaper, puppy pads, or wood shavings/pellets so if your puppy is used to one of those I’d start out using the same thing even if you do transition away to something different.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What size poodle? Do you know if the breeder is doing any potty training?


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Edited to add that it’s a miniature poodle. I know the breeder is using puppy pads around where they’re kept. So that’s probably a good idea to start with those then.
 

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I used a litter box when my standard was small and I was in an apartment. I used a plastic underbed storage box with newspaper cat litter pellets. Took a while to train it, but I found it much less smelly than pee pads (which my mom's dog used for years). I just threw out half the pellets every week and replaced them. If I replaced all and cleaned the bin, which I did every 3 weeks, she tended to get confused, so I learned to reserve a plastic baggie of used litter to sprinkle on too . I faded them out after about 6 months as she preferentially waited to go outside.

That being said .... My mom's dog is an 11 lb Yorkie. Even at -25C, especially when young, she needed a daily walk for sanity. My childhood mini poodle mix got walked 3x per day even at -35 when she was young. Yes, walks are shorter, but you and the dog will likely lose your minds if you don't go out every day or at least every second day. Invest in good winter gear for you and the dog- with a sweater and boots, even small dogs can have a good walk in the cold.
 

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I agree that you should take the dog outside, even if it is cold. For this reason, I would start with newspaper. Since he will be trained to puppy pads, when you go outside, put a puppy pad on the newspaper to acclimate him to the idea. Next time, bring the dirty puppy pad and put it on the newspaper so he will want to go off the puppy pad and on the newspaper.

You will have him trained to newspaper and your neighbors won't be stepping in leftover poop or pee. Much easier for you to clean up. I would also find a patch of grass to put a piece of newspaper on so he knows grass is the toilet.
 

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How harsh are your winters? I'm from Toronto and took my mini out multiple times a day, every day, regardless of the season. But Toronto is pretty far south in the grand scheme of things.

If I were to use an indoor potty area, I'd use something entirely unlike any other indoor surfaces (like turf in a litter box), but I think dogs should really go outside for their mental and physical well-being.
 

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You could try to train your pup to pee in a walk-in shower if you have one as a back up strategy. I know people won't admit it, but everyone pee's in the shower, so it probably smells like pee. Monkey see monkey do.

Around week 13 Basil just started to pee there if I couldn't get us out the door fast enough.

I regret nothing.
 

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You could try to train your pup to pee in a walk-in shower if you have one as a back up strategy. I know people won't admit it, but everyone pee's in the shower, so it probably smells like pee. Monkey see monkey do.

Around week 13 Basil just started to pee there if I couldn't get us out the door fast enough.

I regret nothing.
Lol. That's actually very impressive that she chose that spot. Good girl. She was probably trying to get as far away from the main living space as possible. I find that behaviour marks the transition period right before a dog is fully housetrained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How harsh are your winters? I'm from Toronto and took my mini out multiple times a day, every day, regardless of the season.
I haven’t been here that long but from what I know it goes to -35/-40 C at some points. I’m definitely planning on taking the dog out for walks. No doubt about that. Just thinking about the days when the weather is terrible outside..puppy is probably reaching home end of December/beginning of January. So it’s going to be peak winter right after. So I figured I should educate myself to see what would be the best solution for that time.

You could try to train your pup to pee in a walk-in shower
Thats smart. But I have no walk in shower though so that’s decided 😄
 

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I haven’t been here that long but from what I know it goes to -35/-40 C at some points. I’m definitely planning on taking the dog out for walks. No doubt about that. Just thinking about the days when the weather is terrible outside..puppy is probably reaching home end of December/beginning of January. So it’s going to be peak winter right after. So I figured I should educate myself to see what would be the best solution for that time.
Whoa! You must be far north then. The coldest day I can recall in Toronto was -26 with the windchill. Mild by Canadian standards, I suppose. :D

The good thing about potty training is you only need to go outside for minutes at a time. Like, 2-3 max. A good guide:


And if it's really cold or blustery, running back inside will be a wonderful reward for puppy. :)

But if you're in a pinch, since your breeder is using puppy pads, it should be pretty easy to continue that at home. Ian Dunbar explains in-depth how to set up a long-term confinement area, with clearly defined spaces for sleep/play and potty. Have you read his puppy book? Invaluable.
 

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You could try to train your pup to pee in a walk-in shower if you have one as a back up strategy. I know people won't admit it, but everyone pee's in the shower, so it probably smells like pee.
I doubt there are many women who pee in the shower... Never heard of anyone doing that, and I think having a dog (or anyone) pee in the shower is really unsanitary.

I think the idea of kitty litter is probably the best in terms of smell and easy. If I had to train a dog in winter, that would be my first choice.
 

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Our female toy is pad-trained indoors. She did not want to be taken outside to do her business although she will on walks if she needs to. We live in a very hot and humid climate, and she would pant and look up at us pathetically every time we took her out 1/2-1 hour after meals. This would go on 15-20 minutes each time until we finally figured out she wanted to be inside. We leave an extra-large pad for her to use anytime she needs. We may be the only poodle people here who do it this way, but it works for us.
 

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We are currently training a 4 lbs shih tzu. Due to him being sick early on and lack of vaccinations we potty trained him to the pee pads. Something I am not really in favor of, but it worked. I did not use pellets as he wanted to put whatever in his mouth. He was very fast at learning to go on the pads. He is in a large playpen and we now keep one pad at the end of it. He will use it overtime. However the down side is they get to a point where they want to tear the pad up, which is where he is now, so now that he is inoculated and healthy we started taking him outside. He has only had a few pee accidents and they were on the pad a few times when I don't take him out or overnight but several times this week he held his bladder all night. He never poos in the house anymore but we also pretty much know his schedule now as they do get distracted outdoors so we wait till he goes. Last night he was out at 8 and slept dry & clean till 5:30 am when I took him outside. Yesterday he had no inside accidents at all. Now today could be different he is only 4 lbs now so still has a small bladder. They learn fairly quickly as they don't like to be where they go potty.
 

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I had tried using the pads when my mini poodle was little but he would rip them up. So, I just trained him to go outside. We lived in an apartment building in the city and with the delay of going out of the apartment, waiting for the elevator, and getting outside, it definitely took a bit longer to train than when you walk right outside to a yard, but he got trained.

I'm not sure if this is advised for young dogs, but my dog got bladder cancer later in life and lost control of his bladder so he wore male wraps (essentially a diaper). However, it was super easy. He loved wearing them and you just have to change them throughout the day. We still went on several walks each day, though.
 

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After reading dozens of articles and watching tons of videos I cannot seem to narrow down to a solution that I think would be ideal for my scenario. So I’d love to get your thoughts on all f my options.

PS: puppy (miniature poodle) will be coming home in December

Situation :
  • live in the middle of a city in an apartment
  • harsh winters so going out is not always possible in the winter
  • no balcony
Options:
1: get a porch potty with real grass and take the dog to it at frequent intervals to give it the opportunity to go on it.

2: get a bark potty and do the same. Thinking maybe this is better since I’m living in the middle of the city and there’s not as much grass outside. This might be more similar to the surfaces we have outside compared to real grass. So maybe transitioning to outdoors later is easier I’m hoping?

3: use puppy pads. Do I take the puppy to a single puppy pad placed somewhere indoors frequently for it to go... or do I set up a playpen with the floor fully covered with puppy pads and have the crate inside the pen as well. This way we don’t have to take him to it. He can come outside the crate and do his business by himself and over time we reduce the area covered by pads until you get to a single one.

Has anyone tried any of these methods. How did it go for you?
I had the fake grass briefly on a balcony. Stinky, never really got clean, pee pads are better because disposable. I have a well trained poodle who cannot go outside at all except at certain times because of predators, even I am afraid of some of them. I now use a cloth pee pad (only for an underpad) in the bathroom with paper ones on top. I have a sort of electric opening garbage can behind the door where I dispose them until I go to the garbage. Not ideal, but works. It is a largish bathroom; she is a mini. I walk her as often as I can, and she clearly prefers that. The cloth, washable,
peepad works well to protect the floor and might be used elsewhere successfully.
 

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I know some people that trained their medium sized dog to potty in the bottom half of an old plastic dog crate. It worked really well at containing the litter pellets, and was easy to clean. Bonus because they got the crate used and didn't pay much for it.
 

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My mom's dog is an 11 lb Yorkie. Even at -25C, especially when young, she needed a daily walk for sanity. My childhood mini poodle mix got walked 3x per day even at -35 when she was young. Yes, walks are shorter, but you and the dog will likely lose your minds if you don't go out every day or at least every second day. Invest in good winter gear for you and the dog- with a sweater and boots, even small dogs can have a good walk in the cold.
I live in the UP of Michigan, in Marquette, near Lake Superior. I even took my spoo out when he was a puppy. Poodles actually really like the cold. The only poodle I ever see wearing a coat up here is a toy. Mine doesn't even at 5 F (-15 C). However his paws do get really freezing cold so we either go out really briefly or wear booties when it gets under about 23 F (-5 C).

The only reason I would train for indoors is if I planned on flying on long flights. But that is me:)
 
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