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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-20-2005, 12:33 PM
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I had a big metal crate for Apollo (one of the ones that fold down and have the divider), but he never really liked it. Before I gave it to my sister it served the purpose of being a time-out place for him, which actually worked quite well. When he used it, it had a huge pillow in it that my mom made for him. I gave it to my sister when Dozer came because we weren't 100% sure he was potty trained, and that was when I stopped crating Apollo. For about the past two months, when I go to class or work I have been leaving him out and he's usually asleep on my bed when I get back. I just make sure that everything is picked up and there's nothing he can get into. I'm a neat freak so I don't like anything laying around anyway...everything has to be in its place off the floor and put away. I never crated him at night because I would crate him when I was gone at class and work, and I didn't want to over-crate. Now he doesn't get crated at all, although he's still kind of young. At night he sleeps in bed with me, and during the day he naps on the big doggie pillow my mom made him or on the couch. I have yet to come home to any accidents.

As for housebreaking, I skipped the newspaper/puppy pads and started taking him directly outside to the same spot. I would take him outside every couple hours, and at that time I would also use the crate when I was gone. I used treats and lots of praise and I also say the key phrases "Go potty" and "Hurry up". It took about a month before he started telling me he had to go outside, which for him means that he'll run up to me and bark and then head for the door. He'll also nose the doorknob, and I'll ask him if he has to "Go outside". At 6 1/2 months, I don't think he's 100% reliable, but his only accidents in a long time were when I also had Dozer and he would get really excited. Since Dozer has been gone he hasn't had any accidents. He does have a problem with not wanting to go in other places besides his potty spots though, which can be a little annoying because he is so stubborn. I could stand outside with him forever, but he will not go unless he's at the specific spot. When I started taking him to my sister's house I had to use treats to get him to potty in her back yard, and now he has a specific spot that he'll only go in her backyard as well. He also has trouble going if there is no grass, but I imagine that since this is his first snow, he'll get used to it. It just means that our potty breaks are a little longer, and mommy gets to stand outside in the cold waiting patiently...
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