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Discussion Starter #1
I need to provide a bit of backstory to make sense of my problem. I'm sorry for the length.

On days one-two home with 7 week old pup, I would take him out to a dirt area by my apartment. The only grass around my apartment is frequented constantly by sketchy dogs and owners who don't even pick up their dog's poo so I wasn't going to take him there. He would occasionally pee/poo outside but it would take forever of sniffing around and exploring (30-40 minutes).

I was getting really nervous about parvo (there are also a lot of stray cats around my apartment), and it didn't seem like outdoors was having much luck, so I switched to puppy pads. There was hit-miss success for about a week. Then he started chewing on the pads and when I would take them away he would pee on the floor, so I decided "I know changing so many times is bad, but I ultimately want to do outdoor house-training after the vaccines are done, so let's just use the pavement in front of my apartment."

So for the past few days, I've been taking him out and it's still very hit or miss. He does pee and poo outside (so it's not like he's afraid), but he won't go when I know he needs to go.

It now seems to have gotten very bad. Examples:

Yesterday: he needed to poo, he was circling inside, so I took him out, we sat and waited for five minutes for nothing. We came back inside and within a minute he was circling again, so we went back outside, waited 10 minutes for nothing. We came back inside and within a minute, he started. I picked him up and tried to get him outside but he was done by the time I got him out.

Tonight: after dinner, I took him on a 20 minute walk in our driveway and no pee/poo. We came back inside and I put him in his crate. He played for a little bit, then peed. He didn't whine or bark, just peed. So I took him out, waited five minutes and nothing. Came back in and stayed by the door because I knew he'd need to go. I took him outside for about five minutes, nothing. Came inside for a minute, he started to pee, I grabbed him and ran outside, nothing outside. We waited five minutes, came back inside. I stayed by the door again just in case. He started peeing and I grabbed him to go outside, but he had already finished.

I don't know what to do and I feel like I've screwed up potty training for life. :(
 

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There is no way you've stuffed it for life. He may not be terrified of going outside but given the choice prefers having privacy for a vulnerable act? Given the choice I prefer inside too (camping has it's drawbacks). Go back to basics, try not to get too frustrated and don't expect it to go quickly.

Echo started inside by necessity, up to 20 times a day and eventually got the idea.
 

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You didn't mess up, puppies eventually learn where their den is and not to mess in it. Just choose a method and stick to it and you'll eventually get there.

Side note: my lab mix has access to a very large back yard and I was diligent on getting her outside, yet she still wasn't potty trained until about 6 months of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Chas, do you have any recommendations for how to go from inside to outside? Especially when I catch him in the act indoors, but he won't finish outside and waits until we come back inside to finish?
 

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Ignore anything inside, do not interrupt it. It is too late by the time they have started and if you interrupt it he learns that either; a) you don't want him to fully go at any one time or b) he shouldn't go where you can see him. I found that looking away and refusing to acknowledge the incident for 30 sec best.

As for encouraging outside the sticky on housetraining is awesome, make a huge fun deal when he goes outside. The cue helps and I found that echo responded really really well to play as a reward for pottying, one stick toss and she was so proud of herself.

One thing I can't say enough is that it will take time, there will be accidents, but it will click in the end.
 

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I think you'll be fine. Everyone messes up a little bit. :p

Just stick to a consistent plan. Ignore accidents inside, and praise and throw a party for potty trips outside.

I also don't interrupt if my dog starts going inside, which may or may not be the right thing, but it works for me. Truthfully, I think it scares the puppy more than anything else, and I find more often than not, they don't finish when you're outside anyway.
 
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