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My wife recently brought home a female mini chihuahua puppy which she loves. Our vet told us she is 6 months old and very healthy. Because we are away from home for 12 hours a day we have her crated in a fairly large crate which contains a litterbox with a wee pad, food and water and her bed and some toys.

While in the crate she goes to the bathroom in the litterbox, all is well. However, if we let her out she often will go on the livingroom carpet usually where you cannot see her. She has no problem going potty outside if the weather is nice and like I said uses the box when in the crate.

How do we get her to ONLY use the box and never the carpet? As she gets older we would much prefer to let her have the house rather than be locked up all day.

I have to think there is a way to teach her what to do, but I have no idea how? I am sorry if this is a dumb question but I realize I have no idea on how to teach her what to do and need help.
 

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One of the easiest ways to potty train a puppy is to simply pay attention and watch for signals. Make sure your puppy is always where you can see her. You may need to use baby gates or close doors to keep your puppy from wandering off and going potty in the house. When you notice the puppy sniffing around or if you see her start to squat, quickly scoop her up and take her outside.

After the puppy eats or drinks, take her outside to go potty within about 10 minutes. A puppy will always need to go to the potty shortly after eating or drinking. Control when the puppy eats, as well. She does not require a full bowl of food available at all times. Check with your vet or breeder regarding how much and how frequently your puppy should eat.

When you take the puppy outside after eating or drinking, do not use this time to play. Simply stand or sit off to the side and wait until she finally goes. Always follow a successful pee with praise and your puppy will soon realise what is happening.

I hope this helps

Tog
 

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It sounds like the reason she's using the box while in her crate might be that she's choosing between the box or her bed, not necessarily because she knows that's where she's supposed to go. Dogs generally won't go to the bathroom where they sleep.

Twelve hours seems like an awfully long time to be crated, especially for a puppy. Is there anyone that could spend time with her while you and your wife are gone? If it were me in your situation, I would purchase a large dog playpen and a smaller crate. The crate should be big enough for her to stand up and stretch her legs, and be comfortable in, but not big enough that there's space for her to designate part of it a "bathroom". I would setup the playpen and put the following in: crate (opened), food & water, toys, and her litter box as far away from her crate as possible. At night, I would confine her to her crate (can hold it the whole night yet?), and put her in her litter box first thing in the morning.

When you're home and she's out free, you have to watch her like a hawk. Anytime you see her even hinting that she's going to pee and isn't in the right spot, move her to the litter box. If you catch her in the act of peeing, move her to the little box. You just have to be super diligent, and she'll get it. She just needs to be told where to go. To make things easier on yourself, it might not be a bad idea to block off areas of the house that she can sneak off to.
 

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Many of us use pee pads inside the house for when they're locked in but when doors are opened or we're home they alert us to wanting to go outside once they've been "house-trained" - lots of great vids on youtube on this topic, but only choose those that train with rewards and NEVER punishment for this exercise or anything less will create a monster.

If I was you I would also have an identical litter tray in a corner of your home so she doesn't have to go back into the crate to toilet - after being locked in a room for 12 hours I wouldn't want to go back into it either, not for a good long while.

Is your home conducive of having a Doggy-Door inserted in one of the doors? Of course, you can keep them locked when you don't want them being used, I'm thinking more for when you are at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the responses! I appreciate it.

I will talk to the wife about doing what has been said.

I hate having her crated all day long but we had no choice. Originally we would keep her in a room with a gate but she kept finding ways out. It was surprising to see such a tiny dog could jump over the gate without even touching it. I also came up with ways to block the upper part of the door with cardboard but she again found ways. Either grabbing it with her mouth and pulling it down, or pushing it up. Shes very creative when it comes to escaping.

A playpen would not work unless it was 5 or 6 feet high. Then again she may find a way to climb it. As soon as we get the potty situation under control I think we can let her have the whole house. She can hold it all night as she sleeps on my wifes stomach at night.
 

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When you are trying to potty train her, there should never be a time you don't see her. She doesn't know what you expect as it relates to potty, so constant supervision allows you to learn her potty signals and teach her. If you are consistent and keep and eye on her all of the time (placing her in her area, confined when you can't) it will go smoother.
 
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