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I have a 12 week old Maltipoo male, he was trained on pads when we got him at 8 weeks and does good with them but I'd prefer outside so for now we've been doing a combo but he mostly goes outside and has been starting to bark when he needs to go out so I consider that a good sign (working on bell training).

My issue is we live in a open floorplan house with a lot of carpets, mostly he is either in his playpen on the hardwood in the foyer (bed, pad, toys), in his crate or playing outside with us on the lead. We have let him run around the basement when playing with us but he almost always pees at some point even with us watching him. I'm trying to figure out when a good time to start giving him so freedom and testing him to see if he'd let us know he has to go (of course with us still watching him), is 12 weeks still to young or am I doing more harm then good with confining him so much still?
With the open floor plan it's hard to confine him to just one room of the house to explore, I know he'll have accidents but up till now with the confinement it's been about 4-5 in a month I think I'm scared with more freedom it will be 4-5 daily! Thanks
 

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Every time he goes in the house off the pad its a set back. I would set a schedule and take him out frequently. Try to avoid the accidents. Make a very big deal with praise and treats when he goes out side.
 

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Giving him some freedom while you play with him or are doing training in the house is a good start. My little guy rarely lets me know when he wants out so at 6 months I still watch him pretty carefully for any signs he's about to go, when playing or training if he starts to wonder off, even for 1-2 seconds he usually has to go.

I do think at 12 weeks he's definitely too young to rely on him letting you know, you want to pay attention to his pre-potty signals, with a pup this young they're probably subtle and quick, you really can't take your eyes off them for a second.
 
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