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The only way to get to the yard at our house is down flights of stairs. One is out the front door and down, the other down to the basement And out through the garage. Can a puppy manage that and wait that long? Do I carry him/her? How does this work for potty training?
 

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We carried our mini, then taught him how to use stairs.

Poodles are quick learners. One afternoon we put a treat on the lowest two risers. Up he went. So we put a few higher up and so on. There are lots of online videos.
 

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Yeah they can. Keep in mind accidents will happen.

Basil (SPOO) and I are on a second story apt; she has to go down 3 flights of stairs or a short elevator ride + a 20 yard walk to her pee spot.

From 8 weeks -> 22 weeks old she had 3 pees and 2 poops in the hallway alone where she couldn't hold it long enough (or Dad didn't take her out quick enough).

These were usually irregular bm's from overfeeding at Grandma/Grandpas...
 

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I was also in a second floor apartment. I carried mine for the first few weeks to a month because of stairs (got her at about 12 weeks so until 4 months or so). Otherwise I would get a puddle at the top of the stairs in the morning or when I came home from work for a potty break.
 

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A nine week old puppy is too small and clumsy to manage stairs. They are also too immature to think about their bladders more than about 5 seconds before the waterworks open. I would suggest scooping the pup up with a towel under the hind end to contain any leaks and carrying it outside for the first few weeks.

It also sounds like introducing your puppy to stairs is going to be extra important. Since stairs will be a big part of your dog's life, you want to make sure the first few experiences build confidence. What are your stairs like? Do you have a full set of stairs (10-12 risers) or a half length? Are they carpeted or bare wood? Do you have open risers or closed? In my experience, the scariest stairs for dogs are hardwood (slippery underfoot), long (nothing to stop a tumble), grated (like a pool or fire escape; uncomfortable for little dog toes) and/or open treads (scary to see just how high you really are.)

I'm lucky, in that my yard has several elevation changes ranging from 2 to 5 steps. Galen got used to racing up and down these steps in pursuit of a toy or Pogo before he ever had to manage stairs inside.
 

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I would carry the puppy down the stairs and out the door. Put him down where you want him to relieve himself. Get treat in hand. Deliver treat the instant he is done. I would do it this way because he is apt to pee or poop before he gets to the finish line.

After the pee/poop, walk away and pat your leg. This teaches him to come to the leg pat. Praise. Play with him in the yard for a bit before going back inside. This ensures that he is really truly empty, and teaches him that play comes after toilet.
 

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Not sure but I don't think you have your pup yet. What size are you going for? Standard, I think?

If you don't want to train to potty pads/patch inside - pros and cons to that - that leaves the trip to the outside. Your pup will not likely make it dry very often in the early weeks.

I'd agree to the strategy of picking up the pup and using a towel or pee pad as a safety measure. As for stairs, it's going to be some weeks before they're coordinated enough to do that, especially if they have to goooo :).

I'd also train to the location you'll want them to go to. If the back is fenced, even if a longer trip, I'd train to that potty place. If neither location is secured and you'll always be taking them on leash, then I don't think it matters as much unless you're fronting to a busyish street.

As for training to stairs, I have miniatures. I started their training with our three outside steps from the back door to the patio. We trained going up first since up was less scary. By about twelve weeks old they were going up those steps easily. We also did that in the house on the carpeted stairs, just up and just 2-3 at a time.
By 14 weeks they were going down the outside steps too, so we did the same 2-3 inside, up then down and just added a few steps every day or two til they could do the whole run confidently. Naturally, the steps were gated til they could do them safely.

I trained up first because as I stood at the top of the stairs and looked down, I realized that was about a Grand Canyon equivalent drop for them. Going up seemed less scary.

Your pup's likely to be six months old before their system matures enough that they can "hold" their eliminations til they're in the right place to relieve themselves. They will get the concept sooner than they'll be able to comply. Somewhere in between those two stages, you'll start recognizing their "I'm gonna go" face or motions, in addition to regularly getting them out around every two hours, and/or after any activity. In this, sleeping, eating, drinking, napping, playing, basically anything can be considered an activity :).
 
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Lots of excellent advice - I would just add to think ahead to cold, wet, snowy 3am emergency trips outside when you choose a default toilet spot. I taught Sophy to use the scruffy patch behind the garages, several hundred yards from the house, where no children play. It made sense at the time, but there have been many occasions since when I have wished I had chosen the patch of gravel just outside the door instead!

As a courtesy to neighbours you may need to include kitchen roll and a bottle of water in your emergency grab bag by the door, in addition to poo bags etc. Pups are prone to tummy upsets, and a clean up kit for floors and pavement can help keep everyone happy.
 
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Carry your pup for as long as you can. Don't combine learning how to master going down the stairs with trying to get outside to potty. For many pups learning to go down steps is a big deal and you wouldn't want a fall to put your dog off using the stairs. Besides which you would have pee anywhere (or worse) anyway if that happened.
 

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I got my toy poodle puppy at 8 weeks, she is now 9 weeks and knows how to go up and down the stairs to go pee in my backyard. Maybe she's a quick learner (it's my first dog, so I don't have any references), but here is what I've done. Everytime I took her out for potty training, I did carry her low near the ground and made sure her paws touches each of the stairs when going up and down the stairs. Eventually, she understood that she can climb the stairs by herself. I hope it's clear :)

Btw, I always attach her to her harness when going outside, so I can catch her if she misses a stair or fall. Just in case, she is still a young puppy.
 
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