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At what age would you say a litter is ready for having a separate potty and play area?

My litter started being able to get out of the whelping box yesterday so we moved them into the 5x10 kennel area. I had planned on putting a large low box/tray at one end and filling it with animal bedding in hopes they would start using it for potty but am not sure at 18 days if they were ready for that yet? Also is there a trick for getting them to use it? Should I shred some of the newspaper they have already pottyed on and mix it in so they get that scent?

thank you!
 

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As a follow up to this question (not to the poster)....what kind of "animal bedding" is safe? Do you mean wood chips? Is there anything that one would recommend NOT using or using and why? Or are most breeders using paper?
 

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AT 3 weeks puppies are moving around and away from their sleeping area to potty. I still had them in their pool (whelping box) until they were walking better and almost able to climb out of it. I have a dog litter box (from second nature I think) that I put pine shavings in (the kind for stall bedding). I first put soiled news paper on the bottom and shavings on top of the paper. Puts the scent for the potty area there. Keeping the area they are in small. They have a potty area (litter box), play area, sleep area. I will feed them in the play area when ready. The puppies potty train themselves, since they will not potty in their sleeping quarters. I also have an area in the outside kennel with shavings, and they only potty there, and play in the other area. VERY easy to clean up after them.

This is a GREAT link. She does a great job of explaining. This is where I learned potty training puppies:

Puppies at 3 to 3½ weeks - Time to start potty training
 
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