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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everybody!

Right now my puppy is too young and she's being crate trained so this is irrelevant at this point. However, in about a year when her crate training ends and I give her free roam of the house, I'd like to explore the idea of allowing the pups to access my deck and putting down one of those grass mats for emergencies. I do not have a fenced yard and I live near Coyotes, Mountain Lions, and rattlesnakes so I wouldn't allow the pup unrestricted yard access even if I did. I do have an exterior balcony I can allow the pup access to.

I would only allow this access one the rare occasions I have to pull a 12 hour shift (it's about once a month to month and a half). Right now my girlfriend who lives nearby and only works part time is coming over during the day to be with her. But she will be moving back to full time work by the end of the year. No family nearby. Not so fond of neighbors to trust them into the home to walk the dog.

The main question is, after crate training, would this be something I can train her to do as an adult? Or should I start training her now that the grass patch on the deck is safe for potty training?

Appreciate the cons of doing this that I might not realize. I actually got the idea from a friend when I asked how they managed to go away for a day trip with no dog walker. Sounds smart if its only for occasional use and I was considering using the Rover app to find a dog walker for emergencies but had concerns with strangers in the house.

Thanks!
 

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Con - once the dog is accustom to using it, she won’t know the difference between occasional / emergencies and will likely use it any time she has access. Otherwise, you shouldn’t have any trouble training it.
 

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I got stranded on my way back from somewhere on the highway once. The dogs ended up being alone for almost 18 hours by the time I walked to the nearest farm, called a tow truck and waited for it to arrive. Three GSD's and a Labx, all over a year old and they really, really wanted out when I got home but not a single mess anywhere.
I worked frequent 12-14 hour days until a year ago. Most days I arranged for someone to let Shadow out, but the few times I couldn't she was fine. If it is just an occasional thing I wouldn't worry.
I would not mess with teaching a dog something that may be problematic down the road, and unless your balcony is completely enclosed you run the risk of a jumper.
 
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