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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone start the potty training of a litter before the pups go home? And if so, how do you do that? I've tried leaving pellets in one area of the pen and sectioned off, then an area for water and food dish, then another area for play/sleep with softer bedding, but they just go everywhere, including the food dish a few times when I left it in awhile after they had eaten. I take them outside every few hours, and they all go outside, but as soon as they come back in to fresh bedding, they go all over the place again.

Or is this just something you leave up to the new owners? All the pups will be leaving over the weekend, so it's not super important, but I'm sitting here trying to figure out how you give them a head start I guess.
 

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My breeder put wood shavings in a large box starting at a young age. That seemed to transfer well for my dog.

but to be honest, it's Wednesday. Don't stress yourself.
 

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That's probably where I went wrong. When I first got them I lined the entire area with the shavings, and they went wherever they were. After I realized that was probably part of the problem, I sectioned it into different areas and got the absorbent pellets for "potty area." They haven't caught on and it's been over a week :(.

But you're right, probably too late now, and since I will probably never have another litter, it's silly to worry about now!
 

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The puppies are young yet.

I usually put them in an area with papers inside and then, weather permitting move them to an outside area that is all wood chips. After a week, I move them back inside where they can go in and out on their own, making sure the outside area has wood chips, and the inside area is pretty small -- 4x4. After a few days, I can increase the inside area and they generally take themselves out to potty.

This last litter, after moving them back in, no accidents in the house. But that does not mean they are house trained. It means they have a good start on it. They will still need to learn to let their new owner know when they got to go. Most of the people tell me they have had no accidents or only a couple, and house trained really easily. Sometimes hanging a bell on the door you are going to take them out at works really good. One day you are sitting there and hearing the bell, and wondering "what's that -- uh-oh, where's the puppy???" And you go to the door and he happily goes outside and potties.

The thing is, I do no corrections when it comes to any form of potty training with a litter. In fact, I never tell them, Go Potty, when I have them in the right spot. I set it up for them to want to go in a certain location, but I am not giving any negative experience about pottying, which provides a dog that has been kept clean, and has got the idea that pottying is best kept away from sleeping/eating areas, but has not been trained for this -- a blank sheet so to speak. So the new owners won't have to manage potty-issues before they can begin the whole schedule/potty training stuff.

Right now I have two yearling bitches and an old lady who share two kennels. They keep the front one free of waste, and poop in the back of the second one. How did they figure that out? No idea. But I like that they did. Some dogs are just cleaner than others. I have another bitch that just doesn't feel happy unless she walks in her poop, and she enjoys splashing her water, paddling it out of her bucket. Nice bitch, but she makes me crazy.

If you are trying to teach the puppies to go in only one section of an indoor area, you're probably better off teaching them nothing regarding pottying. Just let the new owners do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Selzer! I've made so many mistakes with this litter I'm amazed they are still thriving! And the poor owners will have to do the potty training from scratch :(. It's far too hot for them outside, and while my fence does fine keeping Lyka in, there are too many gaps little puppies can wiggle through, so they can't go out alone. Heck, with how paranoid I am, I don't even let Lyka out back alone. The sides and back of the fence are very high, but the entrance gates from the back to front are only about 4ft high, and I know she can jump them, she just hasn't figured it out for herself yet ;)
 

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Dogs are resilient. Also, your people expect to house train a little tyke. If they were 5 or 6 months old, they may expect more.
 

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When starting to potty train, it is important to clean the area so no scents are left ( I use lysol, let set then rinse with a water/vinegar wipe down to remove every trace of scent you can and to remove the lysol chemical from puppy licking)

Clean fresh bedding goes on one corner, newspaper or shavings go as far away from the bedding as possible. Then, you need to gather puppy pee/poop and place it in the newspaper or shavings area. Puppies "scent" where to go, so you need to initially give them a little help by "seeding" the potty area with pee/poop.

Getting a little poop when you take them outside to "go" is easy. The pee is harder, you just have to wait until one of them pees on the floor, get a paper towel absorb it and place it in the "designated pee area".

Wipe the area where the puppy peed with vinegar/water to remove scent. So now you have "seeded" the potty area with poop and pee and the rest of the area is clean. The puppies should gravitate to the designated area to do their business. It's all scent based.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Stone, I'll try that out when I switch out bedding again today. I do spot checks in the am, and change it altogether in the afternoon.
 

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Yep, didn't work. I even built a completely separate area for potty time that they can access through a gate, and sprinkled some pee and poo on the fresh pellets. A few went potty in there, then promptly laid on it :(. The others are still going potty in the "play" area. Oh well, lesson learned.
 

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Yep, didn't work. I even built a completely separate area for potty time that they can access through a gate, and sprinkled some pee and poo on the fresh pellets. A few went potty in there, then promptly laid on it
. The others are still going potty in the "play" area. Oh well, lesson learned.
Haha I just had flashbacks of Wick tracking his poop all over the place because for some reason he felt the need to walk in it every single time!! I can't imagine the mess a whole litter is making at your house :) :) I know Wicks foster mom trained them to go on a blanket by 10 weeks so it is doable :) I wish you all the luck and cleaning fairies in the world!
 

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Yep, didn't work. I even built a completely separate area for potty time that they can access through a gate, and sprinkled some pee and poo on the fresh pellets. A few went potty in there, then promptly laid on it :(. The others are still going potty in the "play" area. Oh well, lesson learned.
I would not give up so soon. Here's a great link Misty Method-Raising puppies at 3 to 3.5 weeks old - Time to start potty training, Housebreaking Puppies

Tons of pics of the layout etc.Lots of detail (maybe too much)lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They all seem to do it Wick. Roll in it, sit in it, walk in it. Even if there is only 1 pile in the entire area, they all seem to take a turn rolling/walking/sitting on the single pile. I haven't given them access to out living area though, it's all carpeted. The one time I tried, I was scrubbing puppy poo up and steam cleaning for hours. So they stay in the tiled room in the pen and for daytime playtime we all go in and take them out of the pen and play with them on the tiled floor. Way easier to clean up ;)

Stone, I will look into the link, but they are only here 2 more days, I'm not sure it's going to give them that much of a head start. I should have started when I first got them, but was concentrating so much on their health, I didn't even think about it.

I would say that it at least gives me great lessons for the next litter, but that's not even true, there will NEVER be another litter. Lol. That's the lesson I learned. I excell at adult rescues, I seriously bomb at litter rescues ;)
 

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Stone, I will look into the link, but they are only here 2 more days, I'm not sure it's going to give them that much of a head start. I should have started when I first got them, but was concentrating so much on their health, I didn't even think about it.

Oh, I didn't know they were that old. Well now, that's great. You are about to be free of the brown stinky stuff:D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm really hoping litters aren't like babies. I swore after my first born I would never have another. I have 4. Someone please tell me you don't get litter fever the same way you get baby fever!!!!!!
 

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Puppies are great. Yes, they can be addictive. But they are also messy and a lot of work, like you have found out.

My bitches tend to clean up after their puppies for longer than that Misty method. But pups at 7 and 8 weeks have a need to run and play that goes way beyond an 8x10 foot room. Sorry. That is why, if you give them 4x4' inside and a 10x20 kennel outside, they will do their business outside. Evenso, they are still going to run and play outside. And if you have just concrete out there, they are going to roll in it. Wood chips do help a lot. You cannot always be there 24/7 and wood chips seem to keep the mess down. You still need to clean it 1-2 times a day. I prefer to have two areas for the puppies. I clean the one outside area after I bring them in for the night, or before putting them out for the day. Then I carry or lead them out. And then I clean their second area, the one that has part of the house. When I am done with that, it is time to go back out there with the pooper scooper and pick up any offerings.

I like to have cots and crate halves and even tunnels in my outside play area and toys. They climb up on the cots and sleep in a clean area. They crawl under the cots or in the caves to sleep in clean, dry areas.

Keeping up with the poop will make them a lot easier to house train.

With each week that goes by, the dam does less and the puppies produce more and require larger area, so getting them to their new homes earlier rather than later will help in house training too. It is a lot easier for a new owner to take their single puppy out, first thing, and after every meal, and after they play hard, and after each nap, and if two hours has gone by without a potty break, then the breeder doing it for 4 or more puppies.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it too much. Like Selzer said, the new owners expect to do potty training. My breeder said she had done some potty training with Nox but he peed and pooped anywhere and everywhere for the first few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They are outside for an hour in the morning (sometimes more) another hour in the afternoon while I'm on lunch break, an hour in the evening, and an hour or more after my little monsters go down at night. That's where I'm at now, while they run around playing. They are probably out of the pen more often than they are in it, just not allowed in the carpeted areas of my house.

I wish I could build them a large area outside, but temps here are 110 lately, and I'm afraid to let them out in that weather. As it is now, I have to hose off the patio and grass/dirt area when I bring them out during the day and evenings because it's so hot.

I was stupid enough once to think I could handle a litter (how hard could it be?!?!?), I don't think I'll be stupid again :). Hopefully. I will most definitely never breed, that's for sure! But it's hard for me to turn away any in animal in need, so I won't say never on a rescue litter, I'll just say not for a very long time!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
And I change their bedding out every morning, and spot clean the rest of the day. The pellets are easier to clean up, but they still poop all over the wood shavings too. They have free range of the backyard, which is about 4-5 times a day, and I have one of my boys sit out and watch them while I spot clean during the day, and in the morning when I switch all the bedding out.
 

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Haha yes I hear litters are like babies! Wicks foster mom, and I quote, said "I am taking a break from taking in litters, 11 litter mates was just too much" I saw on the rescue site only days later that she took in the next litter they found haha.

I have a feeling from reading how much you love dogs and what a great caretaker you are that your heart is too big to say no lol!
 

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Well good morning to all! Murphy's law has struck again. Woke up to frantic whining. Gambit somehow managed to get his huge head crammed into the small square of the pen, and is wedged tight. I've tried coconut oil, olive oil, butter, bolt cutters, all to no avail. Now I'm waiting on the fire department. Sigh
 

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