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Discussion Starter #1
So I am reading up on puppy training in preparation for my spring miniature poodle puppy.

I have decided not to use pads or indoor set ups even though I live on the fourth floor with no elevator (I am going to be in such good shape after this haha). This is mainly because we are likely to travel and stay with family who have dogs who only potty outside. Its going to be a rough few months on the humans but I think overall its best to just have a clear 'only potty outside' policy.

The methds are rather straight forward and I have sort of done this with past family dogs (just wasnt the only one responsible for it). But I have one quick question.

Do we need to get up in the night to take the puppy out to potty?

and if so -

How often/how many hours between potty trips?

and finally -

At what age can I expect the puppy to hold it for 7 to 8 hours or overnight?

Keep in mind that my puppy will be 16 week old when it comes home.
 

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Smaller dogs physically mature faster than larger ones, so size in on your side. When you pick up the puppy ask the breeder what the sleeping and potty schedule is. At 16 weeks he or she may already be able to hold it over night.

The puppy will let you know when it needs to go outside. It will wake up and do it's best to wake you up. In a straight forward manner, open the crate, take puppy and keep it in your hand until you are outside and in the proper potty area. While walking to the toilet area, slip a leash/collar on so he doesn't run off without you. Put him down, give the potty cue, and wait. He goes, you praise. Turn away from him, pat your leg, and walk back into the building. This teaches him that the leg pat means, "come this way with me".

Remember to take him out before bed and let him run around until you are sure he is empty. Take a little time to let him settle down before bed.

How often he needs to potty will depend on what he eats. With cheap dog food he will need to potty more often. I found when I started feeding predator raw that twice a day poops were normal.
 

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I think much of this will rely on how your puppy's toilet needs have been handled thus far. Can you ask the breeder? At 16 weeks, he or she is going to have some well-established habits.

Peggy was sleeping through the night fine at that point, but we'd taught her our schedule through incremental training. If your puppy has 24/7 access to pee pads right up until going home with you, you may need to do a slow transition.
 

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By four months I would expect the puppy to be able to make it through a short night. By short night, I mean something like a last pee at 20:30 and then another outing at 6:00. Of course, lots of things can upset routines and tummies.
 

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If you have a deck, you could use a small patch of faux grass (with a pee pad underneath) if you find you do need to potty at night. the faux grass has a similar texture to grass.

It is important to know what the breeder is doing so you can incorporate that into your plan.
 

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Here’s the schedule I use for young puppies, until they can hold it longer.

11 pm or when you go to sleep : last pee before bedtime (wake puppy up if need be)
Around 2-3 am or when puppy starts to turn around/whine : go outside
Around 5-6 am or when puppy starts to turn around/whine : go outside
7-8 am : wake up time, go outside !

The most important success factor : do not speak to the puppy, do not engage, do not play. Just hold the puppy in your arms until you get outside (so he doesn’t pee while walking), put him down, say the command « go pee » or what you like until he pees. Then « good boy » (not too excited), grab the puppy, and bring him back to his crate without talking or engaging. Make it as boring as possible, so the puppy doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night just to have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all,

I will when the time comes speak to the breeder about how she has been doing things. However, I am conscious of the fact that this is going to be a big transition for my puppy. I live in a city, with pavement outside and cars, while the breeder lives a little more rurally. I will have to be prepared for the eventuality that if the puppy was 'clean' at the breeder already it might take a little while to get used to doing its business on the pavement rather than in the garden.

With that in mind, if the breeder has used the puppypad method, should I compromise and use that too until the puppy is used to the new environment?

I'm also a little concerned that we are both heavy sleepers. If I don't use puppypads (and the dog therefore has no where 'correct' to pee if it can't wake me) should I then put an alarm for 2 or 3 am so I wake up for a potty break or do you think that will be instilling a bad routine/habit in the puppy?
 

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Oh that is going to be the hardest part... I talk so much to my animals that even my gerbils are starting to respond to specific words.
At night, I meant. It’s important to do so, because it will teach the puppy that nights are not for play or getting attention, they are quiet time for sleeping. When you become a parent, you need to provide guidance. :)
 

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Usually I'd say to set an alarm and preemptively take puppy out (quietly) in the middle of the night, slowly pushing it later and later. But since your puppy is going to be relatively mature, this will depend on what the breeder has been doing. You might have a nicely housebroken puppy who sleeps through the night with no issue (in which case I'd probably do one late night potty right before bed).
 

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I think it also depends on your desired wake time. You can only expect them to go 6-8 hours without needing a pee. Personally I sleep late and don't generally get up before 9. So I did do a 2-3 AM potty trip. Misha was terrible about waking up in his crate and immediately wetting the bed. So I did have to catch him before he woke up to take him out for a while. But he still slept late because he would always stay up late with me at night.
 

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Since you are urban and have pavement, I suggest that you use newspaper instead of puppy pads. When puppy is squatting, slip newspaper under the bum. Easy clean up. While it is true he will think newspaper is the potty, but you can keep the newspaper in a place where he can't get to it.
 

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If I remember correctly, Ian Dunbar's book recommended setting up a pan with something like a patio block or a piece of sod in it. Something similar into the surface where the pup would eventually go potty.
 

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If I remember correctly, Ian Dunbar's book recommended setting up a pan with something like a patio block or a piece of sod in it. Something similar into the surface where the pup would eventually go potty.
I like this because it dramatically reduces the chance of mistakes. The less puppy's toilet can be confused with something off-limits, the happier everyone will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry everyone for the late reply. I had a busy week at work.

After thinking about it a bit more I think will put some cheap puppypads on the puppy shopping list before we pick her/him up (we haven't decided whether we have a gender preference). To have on hand if needed. I am not going to start out with some expensive indoor system or an elaborate DIY set up from the start. Along with discussing the strategies with the breeder I think that the best course of action will be to just follow the puppies lead on this.

Meaning that if the puppy doesn't seem bothered by the new environment at all, especially the new surface (the pavement) and the noise of the city then I will proceed with the 'potty only outside' strategy. However, if the puppy is uncomfortable with the situation I will resort to plan B and put something together for an indoor solution while we try to build the puppies confidence with the outside.

I haven't decided on whether to get up in the night, I think we will split it so that my SO does the evening potty at roughly 22:00 and then I will get up for the morning potty at 07:00, but that is 9hrs. Sounds like a long time for a little bladder.
 
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