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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, here I am again with yet another question. This forum is so great for us inexperienced puppy people. So, Sage (11.5 weeks old) is pretty good when it comes to the housetraining thing. The problem is that we keep her on a tight reign, so she can't really signal to us when she has to go potty. She is either in her crate, or in her pen, or stationed in the living room on one of her pup beds, or one of us has her on a 6' leash with us as we go about our household business. She isn't much of a barker (which, I have to say, I'm quite happy about). Sometimes, and only sometimes, if she is in her pen, she will perhaps whine a little bit and sit and stare at us. That's okay if we happen to hear/see her. Then, there are other times when I'm right there in the kitchen and she doesn't whine or anything, and suddenly I notice a nice big puddle on the floor of her pen. We did hang a bell on the door that we always go out to take her potty, but--it's kinda silly since she can't really get there of her own accord to ring it :oops: At this point, I don't have any idea at what age she will actually be free-roaming in our house. Any thoughts on this??? Thanks
 

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Hi! Good questions...and you will get many answers and they will all be right! Since your ID is momothree I assume you have children.... I think you can't exactly predict when your dood is going to be totally "getting it" any more than you can exactly predict when your kiddo will. There is a very complex bunch of the things going on inside your pup....physical maturity and learning to communicate... Sometimes I think the best learning experience for everybody is when you actually observe an "accident." Pup gets immediate feedback and you can kind of "replay" the last couple of minutes and see if you missed some signs you will recognize better next time. All these things will work themselves out with time and all the great attention and cues you are teaching. You'll know when Sage can have the run of the house.

I have two doods who are 8 mos. old. They are very smart, but also very distracted by the pure joy of each other. They do not yet have the run of the house. But they are definitely earning a little more territory as each week goes by. Right now they have freedom in the kitchen (hard surface floor), but they have to be tethered to us in the rest of the house. One of them left a mystery puddle last week, but we had had no other accidents for a couple of weeks before that. So sometimes it seems like two steps forward and one step back. Still, the trend is good! (We haven't gotten the bell thing together, though it sounds really effective for a lot of pups - so someone else will have to help you out with that.)

Lots of other other doodle folks will tell you their pup is really reliable a lot sooner than mine, and this will probably be the case with Sage, since I think they learn much more quickly when only one is involved.

But every dood is different. The main thing is it sounds like you are doing a fabulous job with Sage's training! Limiting access and opportunity for accidents prevents them establishing bad habits. And you are doing just that. Pretty soon you'll be picking up the signals and Sage will be letting you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lisa-

Thanks for your input on my situation. It was nice to hear support for the way I'm doing it--some people I have spoken to think that my approach is a little to restrictive, but I can't afford not to be. You were right about the 3 kids, and one is a baby (the other 2 are 12 and 10--so they are less of an issue) so I really need to keep a close eye on Sage (and baby Kate). Also, there are baby toys everywhere and I really want Sage to (eventually) know the difference. Maybe that's a real fantasy, I don't know :lol: I suppose that, in addition to the housetraining issues, Sage will probably be having restricted access for quite a while---poor pooch. Maybe I won't really see her consistently signalling to go out to potty until she does have more freedom. Your right, I will just have to see if I can pick up on the more subtle signs until then. I've actually been hoping to catch her "in the act", but I always seem to catch it after :roll: Oh well, as you said, things will come together sooner or later. Thanks again :)
 

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Hi...let me add my kudos...you are doing just fine!
It is not harmful to keep the dog in a safe place while you are not able to watch her. Tethering her is a great thing too.
The only thing I might add is to allow her some free play time as a reward for pottying in the right place.
She will learn quickly enough...but you may have to become aware of her signals. Sometimes all they do is sit near the door...or come to you and sit...and you have to figure it out! LOL
Some dogs will whine or bark, others have been great with bells, but for me...a doggie door was our answer.
You will find what works for you and it will be fine.
Your commitment to Sage is very impressive.
Do you take her to puppy kindergarten for a little socialization?
She will need that and also as she grows, she will need more and more exercise time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jac

Thanks for your advice about the play time after pottying. We give her free play time, but not right after she does her "business"--I bet she would catch on even more quickly. I'm hoping her "subtle" signals become less "subtle". :lol:
Well, it's good to hear all the support for tethering---I just read the other recent post about it too, and I will definitely turn a deaf ear to all the nay-sayers out there. I honestly couldn't imagine trying to have a well-behaved puppy and a sane houshold any other way :lol: I actually have Sage signed up for obedience class on April 6th---she'll be 16 weeks old. I don't really know what the ideal age is, but I can't wait.
As for exercise, I have to say I am a bit confused as to how much she needs now, and how much she will need over time. At present, I take her out for a 15-25 min. walk in the morning, then one or both of my kids take her out at about 3pm for another 10-15 min. walk. Other than that, we throw her ball around in the living room for her a couple of times a day and sometimes, while she is tethered to me in the kitchen, I give her an upside down plastic bowl or empty plastic bottle (both of which she goes nutso over) and she boots around on the lino chasing it (sometimes I'll put some kibble in the bottle or under the bowl--that really keeps her busy). After her last set of shots (in 2 weeks), I'll be able to take her to the park etc. She'll love that.
 

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You are doing a fabulous job!
Everything is right on, in my opinion...Sage is a lucky puppy!
There is no real guideline for exercise time, but it sounds like Sage is very well exercised and certainly cared for! Good for you!
It is so nice to read when a new owner takes so much personal time with their puppy...it will pay off, big time, later on!
Keep us posted!
(Oh, and after her final shots, she should be able to do lots of fun things with you and your children!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jac-

Thanks again for all the positive feedback--some days you need it more than others. It makes it easier getting through the rough spots, and I'm sure I'll be referring back to it for those times :lol:

Lisa--I got the idea from one of the gazillion dog/puppy training books I got out of the library before we got Sage. Your guys will hopefully love it too---the dynamic with the two of them might be a Kodak moment!!!
 
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