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Old 02-24-2009, 02:25 PM
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antipunt1 antipunt1 is offline
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Default What age for Puppy Free-roaming?

Hi Chazhound; yesterday, a certain question that I had been putting off sprang up in my mind.

My friend was a little surprised to hear that we had not yet paved the road into making Wanta a free-roamer, meaning, that we let her walk around the house unattended. I explained to him that the reason was because we felt she was still a puppy and needed a pen and/or constant supervision (in other words, it was not easy to do). Also, she enjoyed sunbathing in the yard during the day hours, so it was relatively easy to maintain this 'lifestyle' up to now.

The thing is, she is now approaching 6 months, so I think his point may be valid at this time? Essentially, I assume that at some point, my dog is supposed to be trained into a free roamer. That is, they become potty trained, etc, and can walk around like family members (I'm not exactly sure how realistic this is, but I assumed it to be somewhat true). Also, I was unaware of the 'perfect time' to do so, but I assumed anytime before 4-5 months was too early?? (was I wrong here?)

I guess the quick question is: what age should I/should I've been getting at it, and with what tactics? As far as I've scrounged on these forums, I am, at that particular time, to start leashing Wanta to a belt or something. And essentially be with her at 'all' times while she was in the house. And then, whenever she was about to poop or pee, I would hurriedly interrupt her (which would show her over time this wasn't OK), and then put her outside to go. Over time, if there were no accidents, I would let her loose and see if she would still continue the same trend, but with supervision. And the last step is supervision.

^my only little nitpick with those steps (if they are in fact correct), is how tedious they seem I guess, it just seemed a little crazy to be watching your dog out of the corner of your eye every moment for a long period of time (weeks). I mean, you couldn't even read a magazine cause then your attention would be subverted, I dunno. Of course though, if this is the most efficient method I'm willing to do it, but I need confirmation.

Thanks again Chaz, need the experts to clarify these matters for me. Also, I assume my friend was wrong about the 'you were supposed to do this as soon as possible' bit? It just didn't seem logical to me, since little puppies, at least as how I saw it, were too young before 4 months to be effectively potty trained anyway (he owns a cat so......I'm not sure where he came up with this anyhow)
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:14 PM
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AgilityKrazii AgilityKrazii is offline
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Its great to keep your eye on her like your doing, not letting her practice bad behaviors and aiding in the potty training.
While in the house and you want to read a magizine put her in her crate, if its the right size for her pups will generally not mess in their sleeping area therefor she will still let you know when she needs to go out. Give her something to keep her occupied in there like a food stuffed kong. Now this allows you to keep her in the house out of trouble while you can do other things and you dont need to worry about her so much.

I think at her age now you can start giving her more off leash time in the house, because it helps her learn how to act in the home, if she starts chewing on your shoe or something you can calmly interupt her and give her a more approite object to chew on.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:18 PM
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Think of it this way, she doesn't get the freedom until she's proven she can handle it. (Ie, fully house trained and not going to cause puppy mischief chewing things up while you're not looking).

The methods you're mentioned are absolutely they MOST reliable way to house train. Yes, they're a bit tedious, but they really do work.

She's essentially still an infant. We don't let infants roam around the house unsupervised (heck, most toddlers don't get that much freedom!)
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:48 PM
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You have good points. Essentially though, I wish there was a better way to train aversion towards house-pooping than interruption.

Cause essentially (kind of gross), the poo gets like, 1/4 of the way out =/

so it's a guaranteed poop on the floor situation regardless

but still, I do see what you're saying =P
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:51 PM
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If you're properly supervising her, having her on umbilical, etc. you should actually be able to see the signs and catch her before she actually starts to poop It takes time to learn what her signals are, but you should pick it up before to long!
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:03 PM
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It sounds like you're doing a great job in preparing her for civilization. LOL. On average, (of course it varies) most of my dogs have been around a year old before I could trust them with not peeing or chewing something. (My Doberman was 15 to 17 months!) But just play it by ear. When you think she's doing super duper, try leaving the house for 10 minutes and return, then try 20 minutes the next time....just ease into it and experiment. But I would very careful not to jump the gun and give her an opportunity to engage in unwanted behavior because that will reinforce that rotten behavior and make it harder to extinguish.

Good luck.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:19 AM
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LOL thx guys. And yes, mebbe I'll try to catch her on her signs.

Also, yes, DARN civilization lol, where you can't poop in the house. Thx for the statistic. I was a little irked when my friend was like "WHY isn't your dog potty trained and moving around the house yet?! You know that the earlier you do it the better!"

The reason why it bothered me was b/c I felt as if he was just saying it for the sake of saying it. In my opinion, it seemed kind of like the opposite, in that small puppies were unable to even have the concept of being house-trained, and thus it'd be more appropriate to use the pen/etc. In general, I just don't like it when someone is 'full of hot air' so to speak =P

And yes thx for the statistic of about a year. Also, yes, I do have to be more careful about having her develop bad habits. DANG IT, I think she's starting to chew on rubber slippers, b/c sometimes outside we forget to put them away, and since she can be sun-bathing for 1-3 hours sometimes, I'm sure she chews behind our BACK!

Need to work on that by the way... =/
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
In my opinion, it seemed kind of like the opposite, in that small puppies were unable to even have the concept of being house-trained,
Actually, dogs don't really get "concepts" persay. (probably, according to what science tells us) They don't understand or think it through logically, like we do....as in...."Ah-ha. Now I get it. It is "wrong" to go potty on the carpet." No actual ah-ha moment. What happens is that after a sufficient amount of reinforcement for a behavior, they tend to repeat that behavior more. And without ample reinforcement, the liklihood of repeating a behavior decreases. And that's about as far as it goes in their mind.
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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Old 02-25-2009, 01:18 PM
PoodleMommy PoodleMommy is offline
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Mine were probably between 8 and 10 months old when I no longer got nervous if I didnt see them and let them roam alone... but they were probably like 6 months or so when I would let them out of my sight for short periods of time.
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Old 02-25-2009, 02:37 PM
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I think my toy dogs were younger than my big dogs, now that I think back. Little dogs mature sooner in lots of ways. Those Dobermans, GSDs, Labs...OMG! They're just so immature...eh.... for so long and act like juvenile delinquents it seems like for-e-vvv-errrrr. *does best valley girl immitation.*
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

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