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First, thank you to those who replied to my post about crate training as a stay at home mom. We picked up a crate yesterday and our 11 week old yorki poo, Charlie, happily slept in it all night!

Now the dilemma - we had been trying to train Charlie to use an indoor potty area: a litter box with washable potty pads. {We had wanted to indoor train him because our house is a split level, which makes the backyard somewhat difficult to use unless we constantly carry him down the upper deck stairs, and the front yard is off limits because of a) more stairs to the front door and b) a rouge lab in our neighborhood. We also thought it might be better for him in the harsh Wisconsin winters.} In the beginning, Charlie was consistently pooping in the box, and was hit or miss on peeing in the box. Then I moved the exercise pen he is in and subsequently the potty box (a dumb mistake) and now he'll only go on the floor! If we try to catch him in the act and put him in, he gets pissed and starts to snap at us! So, after weighing all the pros and cons of indoor and outdoor potty training, we are considering going with outdoor housebreaking. (I know, I know, I'm terribly inconsistent.)

This dog will NOT go outside. Ever. He'll prance around, bite dandelions, and try to eat worms, but he will not potty. To make matters worse, it's been rainy and wet for three days and apparently Charlie is sensitive to that too, because he just stands there and shivers and whines until we bring him in. I can just see how the bitter winters will go. When we picked him up from the breeder, we were told that he'd never been outside before and it shows - he's skittish about birds sounds, crickets and frogs, and cars passing by. Could this be one of the reason he won't go outside?

I'm beside myself. He hasn't gone since last night and I'm at a loss over what to do. I can't sit here watching him all day long and I can't spend endless hours standing outside waiting for him to relieve himself. I know I need to be consistent, but I'm having the hardest time figuring out what would be best for him. I do feel like indoor training would be beneficial for him, given out situation, ut I honestly have no idea how to help him make the distinction between his box and the floor. I'm not opposed to outdoor training if that will work, but this puppy is more stubborn than most toddlers - and I have 4 kids. :(
 

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Sorry to hear things aren't getting better with potty training. What about if you met someplace in the middle and brought out a pee pad that he already peed on so it has the scent? Put it in the grass and see if he goes on it. I know when I lived in NYC, I saw lots of people doing that who I am guessing initially pee pad trained their puppies since they lived in high-rise apartments. They would put a used pee pad down on the sidewalk and get the puppies to pee on that. I am assuming they eventually got them off the pad and onto the sidewalk. Just a thought?

In terms of the outside being a big distraction, what worked for us was we always took Jasper out on a leash and would sort of stand around until he either peed or pooed. Once he did that, we would encourage exploring, sniffing around, playing, etc. Sometimes this meant that he would stand at the end of the leash, look at us like "Why am I standing here"? And this could last for a while, but now he always pees as soon as we put him on the grass. He did have an advantage over your puppy as his breeder had 9 acres in NH and he did have about 4 or 5 days it was warm enough to be outside and be exposed to grass before we brought him home. The first almost 2 1/2 weeks we had him it rained every day and I was determined to be consistent with the outside pottying so I just stood in the rain with a giant golf umbrella that covered both of us and prayed he wouldn't take too long- lol. It does suck dealing with bad weather- I think that had a LOT to do with how despondent I was feeling- those 2-3 am potty trips in the 50 degree, pouring rain really, really pushed me over the edge.

I think for your situation, decide if you are going to do outdoor, give yourself a time frame in which to 100% commit and then stick to it. So maybe decide to give it 14 days of going outside every 20-30 minutes with a pee pad and see how he does. It is a LOT of work and a big commitment but if it works for you, it will be worth it.
 

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I would stick with outdoor potty training, it will make your life easier in the long run. I wouldn't be too worried about the winter, he'll learn pretty quick when it's cold out that he needs to hurry up and do his business.

For getting him to go outside, the first couple times will probably take some doing. I would try and get him on a schedule. He should go outside 10-15 mins after he eats or drinks, after he naps, playing or training sessions, and every 1-2 hours between that. When you take him out, put him on a leash and take him to 1 spot, always the same spot, and wait for 10-15 mins. If he goes give him lots of praise and a cookie or 2, something real high value. (small piece of boiled chicken works well) If he doesn't bring him in and put him in his crate for 15-20mins then try again. Keep this up until he goes.

A puppy of his age should never be unsupervised, so you're either watching him like a hawk, he's tethered to you, in his crate, or someother puppy safe space like a play pen.
 

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Do you do anything else outside like play? They will usually(?) Need to go after a heavy play session, so that might help. I was in the same boat with my pup and ended up just sitting on the porch watching the world go by for a while. She eventually got that not everything is awful/super interesting. I posted a thread that someone included a great article for this in when I find it. It's incredibly frustrating and brought me to tears more than once but she seems to have a solid grounding on housetraining now. I'll never take a dog from a breeder that kept the puppies indoor only again.
 

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How long are you outside with him? Sometimes walking around, with him on leash to keep him from getting too distracted, will get things going and he'll potty.

A huge red flag was that he was never exposed to the outdoors. I understand you don't want to go places where a pup can pick up a bug or disease, but to have a puppy never exposed not even to the yard? Just because of this, I would encourage outdoor training as opposed to indoors. If he's kept inside too often and for longer stretches of time, he will never get used to the usual sounds of the outdoors (cars, buses, people, kids, birds, the wind, rain, different surfaces, squirrels, cats, etc, you catch my drift). Then you'll be in a bigger dilemma if he becomes overly fearful or even reactive in the future.

When Tynan was a puppy and it was raining/snowing, super windy, etc, I would purposely go outside with him. We'd play or go for a hike, something he likes. I was determined not to have a dog that won't go out in different weathers. It worked great. He will go out in anything as he was desensitized to it from the get-go.

If you feel that bad about it, get him a coat to keep warm and stick to your guns. There are plenty of small dogs where I live and we can also get some nasty winters and they are just fine.
 

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What about if you met someplace in the middle and brought out a pee pad that he already peed on so it has the scent? Put it in the grass and see if he goes on it.
Good idea!

I think for your situation, decide if you are going to do outdoor, give yourself a time frame in which to 100% commit and then stick to it. So maybe decide to give it 14 days of going outside every 20-30 minutes with a pee pad and see how he does. It is a LOT of work and a big commitment but if it works for you, it will be worth it.
I think you're absolutely right. I've got to commit 1000% and stop second guessing myself or getting discouraged when it doesn't take right away. Thank you!

I wouldn't be too worried about the winter, he'll learn pretty quick when it's cold out that he needs to hurry up and do his business.

For getting him to go outside, the first couple times will probably take some doing. I would try and get him on a schedule. He should go outside 10-15 mins after he eats or drinks, after he naps, playing or training sessions, and every 1-2 hours between that. When you take him out, put him on a leash and take him to 1 spot, always the same spot, and wait for 10-15 mins. If he goes give him lots of praise and a cookie or 2, something real high value. (small piece of boiled chicken works well) If he doesn't bring him in and put him in his crate for 15-20mins then try again. Keep this up until he goes.
I'm attempting a schedule now, and I'm keeping track of everything he does so that I can look back on it. Just from watching him the last couple of days, I think he may be a stealth peer. He was crouching to pee, but now it seems he's given that up and is just standing there. Trouble is, if that's what he's doing - I can't tell is he's gone or not and then I can't praise him for going! Damn tiny legs. When I lift him up, he's wet like he may have gone, but then again so is his belly, legs, and chin from the wet grass. Any ideas here?

Do you do anything else outside like play? They will usually(?) Need to go after a heavy play session, so that might help. I was in the same boat with my pup and ended up just sitting on the porch watching the world go by for a while. She eventually got that not everything is awful/super interesting. I posted a thread that someone included a great article for this in when I find it. It's incredibly frustrating and brought me to tears more than once but she seems to have a solid grounding on housetraining now. I'll never take a dog from a breeder that kept the puppies indoor only again.
We do play outside with him, but now that I'm trying to schedule him, I'm not sure how to go about it. I read that play should be delayed until after you're sure they've relieved themselves? And now I think he may be just peeing without crouching, squatting, or lifting his leg, making this more frustrating. :/

How long are you outside with him? Sometimes walking around, with him on leash to keep him from getting too distracted, will get things going and he'll potty.

A huge red flag was that he was never exposed to the outdoors. I understand you don't want to go places where a pup can pick up a bug or disease, but to have a puppy never exposed not even to the yard? Just because of this, I would encourage outdoor training as opposed to indoors. If he's kept inside too often and for longer stretches of time, he will never get used to the usual sounds of the outdoors (cars, buses, people, kids, birds, the wind, rain, different surfaces, squirrels, cats, etc, you catch my drift). Then you'll be in a bigger dilemma if he becomes overly fearful or even reactive in the future.

When Tynan was a puppy and it was raining/snowing, super windy, etc, I would purposely go outside with him. We'd play or go for a hike, something he likes. I was determined not to have a dog that won't go out in different weathers. It worked great. He will go out in anything as he was desensitized to it from the get-go.

If you feel that bad about it, get him a coat to keep warm and stick to your guns. There are plenty of small dogs where I live and we can also get some nasty winters and they are just fine.
Excellent, excellent point. I think you're right and I definitely don't want to him to be fearful of being outside long term. And I think you hit it on the head - I need to desensitize him to bad weather and not coddle him. The sooner he gets over it, the better. I hadn't thought about it that way!

I usually spend between 10 and 20 minutes either just standing or walking a short distance. He'll sniff around and explore and try to eat leaves and worms, until a truck or loud bird spooks him. And then he either lays down next to me or tries to head toward the door, whining. I mentioned about that he may be peeing without crouching or squatting now, making it even harder to tell if he's gone or not.

I definitely don't think a UTI is to blame. He has no problem relieving himself on the floor if given even a second to do so. ;)
 

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Good idea!

I'm attempting a schedule now, and I'm keeping track of everything he does so that I can look back on it. Just from watching him the last couple of days, I think he may be a stealth peer. He was crouching to pee, but now it seems he's given that up and is just standing there. Trouble is, if that's what he's doing - I can't tell is he's gone or not and then I can't praise him for going! Damn tiny legs. When I lift him up, he's wet like he may have gone, but then again so is his belly, legs, and chin from the wet grass. Any ideas here?

;)
I had the same problem, my guy was also a very short puppy. What I found worked was going to a spot where there was either low cut grass or dirt (or anything that will leave a visible mark when he goes) After watching him for a few days you start to figure out when he's peeing or just standing. My pup is always on the move so when he stayed in the same position for a while and had a slight arch to his back I knew he was peeing.
 

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Didn't you know? Skateboards are the devil incarnate and dogs are the only ones who sense it! Echo freaks out about them too and tries to chase cars if she's within 2 meters when they go past. It's all improving though.
 

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Good idea!



I think you're absolutely right. I've got to commit 1000% and stop second guessing myself or getting discouraged when it doesn't take right away. Thank you!



I'm attempting a schedule now, and I'm keeping track of everything he does so that I can look back on it. Just from watching him the last couple of days, I think he may be a stealth peer. He was crouching to pee, but now it seems he's given that up and is just standing there. Trouble is, if that's what he's doing - I can't tell is he's gone or not and then I can't praise him for going! Damn tiny legs. When I lift him up, he's wet like he may have gone, but then again so is his belly, legs, and chin from the wet grass. Any ideas here?

Ha! I've picked Jasper up on several occasions to see if the little bit of fur at the tip of his penis is wet to be sure. And totally agree in the wet grass it is impossible to tell. Luckily for me, he does have an "I'm peeing" stance that I now recognize.



We do play outside with him, but now that I'm trying to schedule him, I'm not sure how to go about it. I read that play should be delayed until after you're sure they've relieved themselves? And now I think he may be just peeing without crouching, squatting, or lifting his leg, making this more frustrating. :/



Excellent, excellent point. I think you're right and I definitely don't want to him to be fearful of being outside long term. And I think you hit it on the head - I need to desensitize him to bad weather and not coddle him. The sooner he gets over it, the better. I hadn't thought about it that way!

I usually spend between 10 and 20 minutes either just standing or walking a short distance. He'll sniff around and explore and try to eat leaves and worms, until a truck or loud bird spooks him. And then he either lays down next to me or tries to head toward the door, whining. I mentioned about that he may be peeing without crouching or squatting now, making it even harder to tell if he's gone or not.



I definitely don't think a UTI is to blame. He has no problem relieving himself on the floor if given even a second to do so. ;)

I write everything down (all the pees and poops) so I can keep track of how many and when - was helpful for my husband the day he had the puppy all day when I was gone to be able to refer back. I still will look over the previous few days if I feel like I am not sure. He is pretty consistent now with timing. He will pee after being in crate or just waking up from a snooze in his pen. I always take him out right away. If we are inside and he is in the pen playing, then I make sure to take him out if it has been an hour. I am going to start to stretch that time out a bit and see what happens.
 

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We do play outside with him, but now that I'm trying to schedule him, I'm not sure how to go about it. I read that play should be delayed until after you're sure they've relieved themselves? And now I think he may be just peeing without crouching, squatting, or lifting his leg, making this more frustrating. :/
I bolded what I think you may be overanalyzing. I find this happens often with new puppies and their owners. I agree that puppies are a lot of work, but sometimes we read something and then overanalyze simple things. What does it matter if a pup is played with before or after they do their business? As long as the pup does it and gets rewarded is all that should really matter.

I can also understand your frustration with not being able to tell since he is still young and so small. Maybe you can get a low chair (like those outdoor lounging chairs, not sure what they're called) or get a blanket or big garbage bag and sit on the ground (if it's wet outside). If you're lower down you will probably be able to tell when he pees easier, then can reward accordingly.


Excellent, excellent point. I think you're right and I definitely don't want to him to be fearful of being outside long term. And I think you hit it on the head - I need to desensitize him to bad weather and not coddle him. The sooner he gets over it, the better. I hadn't thought about it that way!

I usually spend between 10 and 20 minutes either just standing or walking a short distance. He'll sniff around and explore and try to eat leaves and worms, until a truck or loud bird spooks him. And then he either lays down next to me or tries to head toward the door, whining.
10-20 minutes is obviously not enough time. I have had to walk with past fosters for an hour to get them to go. Once they did, huge praise and "party" of me jumping around and giving lots of pats. Once they got the hang of it, the time for them to poo or pee got shorter and shorter as they were beginning to understand the concept. Got to the point where they would pee as soon as they hit the grass.

With desensitizing him, also be sure not to go too far the other way in the sense of making him face his fears when he's is too scared and too close (that can be counterproductive). If he pulls towards to house, take some steps towards the house but don't go in. Let him tell you the distance he feels comfortable with outside and let him settle. Once he's forgotten what scared him go back out to the yard and continue with whatever you were doing and give a treat when he's calm. With this sort of thing, I don't say a word. I use my body language to speak with the dog by being cool, calm, collected, and nonchalant as if whatever is scaring the dog is no big deal. I'm not saying ignore your dog, I just believe that if you want your dog to not make a big deal out of something, we shouldn't either and they will usually follow our lead. Working as a team will get you both places quickly and effectively. I hope what I wrote makes sense. Its so hard to get what I want to say across with words on a screen.
 

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I bolded what I think you may be overanalyzing. I find this happens often with new puppies and their owners. I agree that puppies are a lot of work, but sometimes we read something and then overanalyze simple things. What does it matter if a pup is played with before or after they do their business? As long as the pup does it and gets rewarded is all that should really matter.

I can also understand your frustration with not being able to tell since he is still young and so small. Maybe you can get a low chair (like those outdoor lounging chairs, not sure what they're called) or get a blanket or big garbage bag and sit on the ground (if it's wet outside). If you're lower down you will probably be able to tell when he pees easier, then can reward accordingly.

10-20 minutes is obviously not enough time. I have had to walk with past fosters for an hour to get them to go. Once they did, huge praise and "party" of me jumping around and giving lots of pats. Once they got the hang of it, the time for them to poo or pee got shorter and shorter as they were beginning to understand the concept. Got to the point where they would pee as soon as they hit the grass.

With desensitizing him, also be sure not to go too far the other way in the sense of making him face his fears when he's is too scared and too close (that can be counterproductive). If he pulls towards to house, take some steps towards the house but don't go in. Let him tell you the distance he feels comfortable with outside and let him settle. Once he's forgotten what scared him go back out to the yard and continue with whatever you were doing and give a treat when he's calm. With this sort of thing, I don't say a word. I use my body language to speak with the dog by being cool, calm, collected, and nonchalant as if whatever is scaring the dog is no big deal. I'm not saying ignore your dog, I just believe that if you want your dog to not make a big deal out of something, we shouldn't either and they will usually follow our lead. Working as a team will get you both places quickly and effectively. I hope what I wrote makes sense. Its so hard to get what I want to say across with words on a screen.
You're probably right about overanalyzing. As a new dog owner, I'm constantly overthinking everything, really wanting to do the right thing. It's a lot like being a parent for the first time. When I had my first child (pre constant internet days), I checked out every parenting book our library had. And of course now we have Google to help us overanalyze everything.

As far as the playing bit, I read that if you play outside before potty and then take them inside, you just teach them to delay the bathroom even longer so that they can keep playing. Maybe the key here is to play/walk before and after.

I think I will try longer staying outside with him longer. When I was reading about schedules, I read that it's better to give your dog a limited amount of time to go, similar to giving a limited amount of time to eat. But I also think that if I don't give him enough time, a) he won't acclimate to the outdoors and b) he'll be forced to hold it even longer and possible have an accident in the crate.
 

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As far as the playing bit, I read that if you play outside before potty and then take them inside, you just teach them to delay the bathroom even longer so that they can keep playing. Maybe the key here is to play/walk before and after.

I think I will try longer staying outside with him longer. When I was reading about schedules, I read that it's better to give your dog a limited amount of time to go, similar to giving a limited amount of time to eat. But I also think that if I don't give him enough time, a) he won't acclimate to the outdoors and b) he'll be forced to hold it even longer and possible have an accident in the crate.
Such a young pup as yours will go to the bathroom in mid-play if they really need to go. They don't have as much control of bodily functions as an adult dog does. I wouldn't worry too much about the order of things, as long as he goes and is rewarded for it. If you play with your dog before letting them do their business then bring them inside promptly, it's not the dogs fault it's the owners for not giving the dog time to go (not saying this is you, just sounds like such an odd tip from wherever you found it, lol). Speaking of pottying; I saw this hilarious video of a dog doing agility. Man this dog was on fire, he was going so fast that the owner couldn't even keep up. You could tell this dog was in all his glory having a blast, when he dead stopped to take a crap! :rofl:

I also don't think you need to monitor minutes for a living breathing being. What is the rationale in what you read for giving limited amount of time for everything? I assume it's for our own convenience?? I would hate if someone only gave me X amount of time to eat. I'd say "screw you buddy, let me enjoy my food". Life is too short, and unfortunately our pets lives are even shorter, to be limiting everything. Just have fun with your pup, praise like hell when he does something right, love him, nurture him, be a team, socialize, have fun together, and all will be well in the end. :) I can tell you're a very loving person to your dog; just step back, take a breath, and have fun with him. :)
 

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Such a young pup as yours will go to the bathroom in mid-play if they really need to go. They don't have as much control of bodily functions as an adult dog does. I wouldn't worry too much about the order of things, as long as he goes and is rewarded for it. If you play with your dog before letting them do their business then bring them inside promptly, it's not the dogs fault it's the owners for not giving the dog time to go (not saying this is you, just sounds like such an odd tip from wherever you found it, lol). Speaking of pottying; I saw this hilarious video of a dog doing agility. Man this dog was on fire, he was going so fast that the owner couldn't even keep up. You could tell this dog was in all his glory having a blast, when he dead stopped to take a crap! :rofl:

I also don't think you need to monitor minutes for a living breathing being. What is the rationale in what you read for giving limited amount of time for everything? I assume it's for our own convenience?? I would hate if someone only gave me X amount of time to eat. I'd say "screw you buddy, let me enjoy my food". Life is too short, and unfortunately our pets lives are even shorter, to be limiting everything. Just have fun with your pup, praise like hell when he does something right, love him, nurture him, be a team, socialize, have fun together, and all will be well in the end. :) I can tell you're a very loving person to your dog; just step back, take a breath, and have fun with him. :)
Yes, as another "first-timer" with a puppy, I will tell you that I read all sorts of stuff to "do the right thing" and it's hard b/c you have no reason not to do it or question it because you are a novice. As a pediatric nurse who specializes in newborns, I can happily tell new parents to "put the books away and stay off google" but for some reason, where being a puppy parent is concerned, I can';t follow my own advice-HA!!
 

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Such a young pup as yours will go to the bathroom in mid-play if they really need to go. They don't have as much control of bodily functions as an adult dog does. I wouldn't worry too much about the order of things, as long as he goes and is rewarded for it. If you play with your dog before letting them do their business then bring them inside promptly, it's not the dogs fault it's the owners for not giving the dog time to go (not saying this is you, just sounds like such an odd tip from wherever you found it, lol). Speaking of pottying; I saw this hilarious video of a dog doing agility. Man this dog was on fire, he was going so fast that the owner couldn't even keep up. You could tell this dog was in all his glory having a blast, when he dead stopped to take a crap! :rofl:

I also don't think you need to monitor minutes for a living breathing being. What is the rationale in what you read for giving limited amount of time for everything? I assume it's for our own convenience?? I would hate if someone only gave me X amount of time to eat. I'd say "screw you buddy, let me enjoy my food". Life is too short, and unfortunately our pets lives are even shorter, to be limiting everything. Just have fun with your pup, praise like hell when he does something right, love him, nurture him, be a team, socialize, have fun together, and all will be well in the end. :) I can tell you're a very loving person to your dog; just step back, take a breath, and have fun with him. :)
Thank you so much for walking me through so much Timber!

I've read in a couple places that you should give your dog a limited amount of time to eat so you can keep them on a predictable schedule. That way you teach them, "it's meal time now, better eat up", rather than letting them graze as they please and then not knowing when they'll need to poop and pee. Same goes for pottying. You teach them to hurry up and go already so that they can get down to the business of playing, and presumably, you're not standing there at their mercy. I think it appealed to me because as much as I want to give him all the time he needs, I have other kids who need me too. ;)

I do really want to do right by him, but I know I'm probably over complicating things and stressing us both out. I'm going to try to take your advice and just focus on enjoying him more and building that bond. I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually right?

* Here's one of the pieces I read, just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The Tenth Commandment - The Housebreaking Bible
 

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Oh yeah, beware the: do X or your dog will be ruined forever! It's all relative to your dog and how they cope with things. Try to remember to be gentle with yourself too, it's totally okay to feel overwhelmed, taking time out for you can be really helpful.
 

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Thank you so much for walking me through so much Timber!

I've read in a couple places that you should give your dog a limited amount of time to eat so you can keep them on a predictable schedule. That way you teach them, "it's meal time now, better eat up", rather than letting them graze as they please and then not knowing when they'll need to poop and pee. Same goes for pottying. You teach them to hurry up and go already so that they can get down to the business of playing, and presumably, you're not standing there at their mercy. I think it appealed to me because as much as I want to give him all the time he needs, I have other kids who need me too. ;)

I do really want to do right by him, but I know I'm probably over complicating things and stressing us both out. I'm going to try to take your advice and just focus on enjoying him more and building that bond. I'm sure we'll figure it out eventually right?

* Here's one of the pieces I read, just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The Tenth Commandment - The Housebreaking Bible
With feeding, if a dog/pup walks away from their bowl, then yes I put it away. But usually they eat it all in one sitting. With such a young pup, he should be taken outside every 30-45 mins anyways, so not sure why such a strict schedule is needed. To each their own, and if it works for you and your pup, keep at it. :)

I hope things settle for you and that you can find what works for everyone. :)
 
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