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Dog Training/Potty Training


We have a 10 week old puppy.  Mini Schnauzer mix. Before we got her she was kept in a playpen with her siblings and used a pee pad.  She has been with us 2 weeks now and we can't seem to get the potty training down. One day she will do great and use only the pads we have laid out around the house downstairs and other days she will pee and poop on the floor.  At night time she sleeps in my daughters room in a closed playpen.  She has her bed, favorite toy, bowl of water and pee pads.  She barks for a while but settles down. She uses the pee pads in her playpen every time.  In the morning we bring her outside and she normally does nothing but comes back in the house and she might either use the floor (most often) or one of the various peepads we have put down. During the day we move the same playpen downstairs with the same contents but we do not close the gate.  She goes into her bed during the day to lay down or play but rarely uses the peepad in her playpen. We want her to be able to use the pee pads if she can't be outside but also be able go outside if we take her.   Can you help

Hi Nancy,

potty pads send a mixed message to our puppies. Because they don't do a good job of discriminating between one flat, absorbent surface and another, blankets, rugs, and pillows can look like a potty area to them just like their pads are. If you need her to have an indoor potty area consider getting her a large litter box or tote lined with pee pads so that her area has a clearly defined border. Take her to this spot when you know she is likely to need to go (after meals, after sleeping, after play) and encourage her to go. If she does, praise her!

When you can't watch her she should be confined to an appropriately sized crate or in her pen. Supervision is a  large part of potty training, if she is allowed access to the whole house with no one keeping an active eye on her she is likely to relieve herself whenever and wherever the urge strikes.  

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Sarah Maki


I'm happy to help with all obedience and training related questions. Although I work as a trainer solving behavioral issues, I do not feel comfortable providing advice or suggestions for aggression, resource guarding, phobias or other behavioral problems without evaluating a dog in person, those are areas where I believe a personal consultation is necessary.


I have been training dogs professionally since 2008. In 2009 I graduated with honors from Animal Behavior College and have also completed their Shelter Dog Program. I teach group classes and conduct in-home training sessions.

I am an ABCD-T (Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer) and am working towards my CPDT.

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