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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I would appreciate some advice please. I am bringing home my chihuahua pup, Twinkle, in 2 1/2 weeks time and intend to potty train her as I live in a small 1st floor flat with no access to a yard or garden. I have purchased a potty pad holder tray which I intend to keep in bathroom just off my living room. My question is: if my Twinkle's crate is to be kept in the living room (where I work from on my laptop), would it be better to place the potty pad holder tray in the living room for the first few weeks where she can see it and gradually move it closer to and then into the bathroom, or should I place it in the bathroom from day 1? I intend to take her to the potty every half hour anyway and would keep the door to the bathroom ajar so she could come as go as she pleases. Thanks in advance for any advice given ;)
 

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The way I did it with my pup was to use a pen. At least half the pen should be the potty area at the beginning, with the other half bed, water, food, safe toys. Once Gobo was going on the potty area all the time, I increased the size of the pen so the potty area was about 1/4 of the pen. I put a heavy tarp under the whole pen in case of accidents since it was on my carpet. When he was always going in the right place, I took away the pen most of the time (had it all the way open so he didn't have to go inside something). It was still his safe place for a while. Then I moved the potty area to where I wanted it from then on, making sure the space was safe for him to be alone. He uses it religiously, though of course sometimes his aim is a little off! Throughout the training period, I would let him out to play/snuggle for short periods of time, starting at about 15 minutes. Then I would put him back in the pen so he could remember to potty. If he did, I had a party and let him back out for more fun time!

You can do it with a crate and the pad elsewhere, like people do with larger breed puppies and teaching them to go outside. This would be more traditional crate training, with the puppy in the crate when she can't be very closely supervised. You would let her out on a schedule like you mentioned. If she potties, she can have a little free time if she can be closely supervised. If not, she can be in the crate until the next try.

Of course, either way, have a party and rain down treats and happy dances when she goes in the right place. If she makes a mistake, you can pick her up and take her to the right place if you catch her in action. If you don't catch her, calmly put her in the crate or pen while you clean up. There is also a sticky about potty training that is probably more detailed. Good luck!
 

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This all depends on how old Twinkle is when you get her. If she is a real baby, then you should have her in a pen with paper/pee pads/washable human grade pee pads down. That way she couldn't make a mistake. When you see that she has some bladder/bowel control, you can place a 'specimen' where you want her to go. If she smells the 'evidence' she hopefully will make the connection. Good luck!
 

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Thanks both for your advce! I think I will place the potty tray close to her crate and gradually use it closer and closer to the bathroom, where I intend to keep it permanently once she is fully potty trained. I only intend to keep her in her crate if I cannot supervise her or when she is sleepy after playing/training.

The breeder has the pups in a play pen with a bed at one end and pee pads at the other and she says that the pups are copying mam and using the potty to relieve themselves - which is a good start! Cannot wait to bring her home - I am off to visit Twinkle this weekend!
 

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I like to use a pen so the puppy has a little bit of space. A crate/carrier is really confining, and since a tiny baby puppy has little or no bladder/bowel control, I think it is not fair to the puppy. When they feel the 'urge' they gotta go now! She is already making it to the pee pads in her pen, why change what is working.

I also highly recommend ferret carriers. I have 3 and they are used most every day for the chi's. They like to go into them to rest/sleep during the day. One of my chi's actually has her ferret carrier as her bed. A friend gave it to her when we brought it home, and she loves it. Has a cozy pad in it too. These come in sizes, and I have the small. They are also collapsable too.
 

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We love our Iris pen. (Walmart online for under $30). Bed, food & water bowls, and toys on one side, pee pad on the other. And never, ever yell at a chi. You will end up with a "stealth pottier". I learned this the hard way before I discovered this site. Glad to hear your breeder has the job started. This should make it easy.
 

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I second the Iris Pen. Great for house training puppies! I have two. My two just love their pens. I keep the doors open during the day, and one of my chi's chooses to go into her pen during the day and sleep in her carrier. There is water, and of course pee pads. I use the human grade which are washed. I wash every two days. Not too bad. I am careful to wash them with NO additives like bleach. I dry them on low heat. They have lasted 3-4 years!!
 
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