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Hi All! My husband and I just got our first puppy (we both grew up with dogs, so are generally knowledgeable but have never had to train our OWN!)

We live in an apartment and have been getting up 4-5 times a night with puppy to take him out when he whines. He pees almost everytime, which is great, as he's not just wanting out for play or more than he needs. Our problem is that it's a lot of work going up and down and up and down with him all night and it's beginning to be wearing. Puppy will be 8 weeks in a few days so I think we're doing pretty good and on track.

My question is, would it be an ok idea to create a small area with real grass on our balcony for him to his business at night? It would only be used at night and in emergecny situations (ie we weren't fast enough and he's gotta go NOW!) I'm curious about this b/c I don't believe in potty pads. I think that if you "allow" your dog to go inside at all it becomes confusing for him and creates more work to get rid of it down the road. I also would like to clarify that if I do this I will be purchasing real sod and not using the fake grass/litter box stuff. My thought process is that if he goes through a door to the outside balcony, where he can smell outside smells and outside air and pee on real grass will that be confusing for him?

I would love to hear your opinions! The sooner the better since we're not getting any younger! Ha!

Thanks all!!
 

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We use puppy pads with our Chi-mix and she hasn't had any problem going anywhere else in the house. She quickly learned where to go and will run there when she needs to take care of business. It may help that we also have cats and her pads are in the same area as their litter boxes. She will also go reliably outdoors when I walk her. She seems to know where it's OK to potty an where it's not.

The grass patch may work but you'll need to change it often since the concentrated urine will kill the grass and it will become stinky. You'll also have to water it and so forth.

So far as training the dog to use it, whether it's a bit of grass or a pad, it may be tricky. From what I've observed, the "OK to potty" thinking of most dogs tends to be tied more to a location than to a surface type. I don't think having a natural surface will make a difference. The dog will associate being OK to potty with the balcony more.
 

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Inside out side it does not matter. Any pup will use a rug just as easily as grass. At this stage you just want them going where you want them to go and not using the whole house as a potty because they can get to a designated area at all times.
It is teaching where to go that is important. This will help with that.
 
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