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Discussions > Training > Pottytraining/Housetraining > Don't be afraid to have an indoor potty pup!

Don't be afraid to have an indoor potty pup!

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Hello there,
After much deliberation, I've decided to write this, in hopes that other owners of small breed dogs or puppies will (perhaps) listen to my advice.  I'm not a dog trainer, nor am I a dog expert.  However, I am a mama to dogs, and have been for a very long time.
Our Brussapoo will be turning 12 next June.  He is 6 lbs, 9 ounces. For those of you who may not know, a Brussapoo AKA Broodle Griffon, is a cross between a purebred Brussels Griffon and a purebred Miniature Poodle.  He is an absolute DREAM pet.  He has no health issues, and has never had any.  The vet expects him to have a lifespan far longer than expected of a dog his size and breed crossing. That being said, there is 1 issue that I wish I would have taken care of when he was a puppy.  It would save ME a lot of heartache, and my dog a lot of pain.
I live in a state that gets extremely cold in the winter months. It is cold here from the tail end of December until the Beginning of March.  Our Brussapoo is 100% housebroken. He is trained to go outside for potty.  However (and that is a huge however), as the years have passed by, he has shown signs of extreme pain when going potty in the winter.   We never leave him outside by himself, ever....and he's only outside for 3 minutes at a time, maximum.  Long enough to go poopy and wee wee and then he's back in.  BUT....every time he's outside, within the first minute he's stuck.  His tiny little legs freeze up and he cannot he stands there.  We physically have to pick him up, and take him along the shoveled path (we remove the snow for him in areas so he can potty).  We then have to place him against two extra-small sized hot water bottles which we have tucked in our coats...long enough for his legs to dethaw...then he's back down, does his business, and we pick him back up and go inside.
Physically, this is NOT demanding on us, and we love taking care of our pets.  BUT...this whole situation could have been avoided had we NOT listened to our first vet, friends, and family members.  These people in your lives may be very well meaning, but they are NOT you and it is NOT their pet, it is your pet. Your pet to take care of, protect, and cherish.  
Do you think taking a dog outside for potty, only to 'freeze in place' because his or her legs refuse to move due to the protecting your dog? Think again.
We've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in total getting him tested.  He does not have Arthritis, nor does he have any muscular diseases or poor joints.  He is 100% healthy and in top notch, excellent condition.  The problem is that it is VERY cold in the winter. We've tried socks, boots, shoes, coats, fleece leg warmers for dogs etc. They help the pads of his feet but not his legs. Even when his legs are covered he still freezes up.
He's fine within seconds of warming up inside.
However...if I had to do it all over again, I would piddle-pad train him, followed by a canine litter box and canine litter....for permanent potty training, and I would have told my vet, family, and friends where they could shove their 'advice'.  I would ONLY allow him outside during the summer and only to play (and potty out there if he wanted to).
We now have a 12 week old Yorktese AKA Morkie.  She is 100% piddle-pad trained with Nature's Miracle potty pads.  They smell like grass.  She was trained in 2 days (it helped the breeders also use piddle pads for their pups).  We bought a dog litter box and litter that we will slowly transition her to.  She will NEVER EVER be a dog that has to go outside for potty and quite frankly, that's how it should be with any dog weighing under 8 pounds in a cold environment.  It's cruel to force them to potty outside when it clearly is uncomfortable for them.  My friend has a small dog as well, and while she doesn't freeze up...I can tell she's in pain because she walks like she's on stilts in the winter outside.
It's too late for our Brussapoo, as he acquired an infection from holding his potty for so long when we were trying to litterbox and piddle pad train him.  So, hot water bottles and gentle massages it will be for him until he crosses the Rainbow Bridge (which won't be for a very, very long time, thankfully).
PLEASE...I implore (beg) anyone who has a tiny puppy that will be tiny when grown,  to please allow them to potty in the house on piddle pads or in a litterbox, or on the fake grass potty pads.  It will cost you more financially....but that is part of being a pet parent.  The cost reduction to your heart will be great.  I fall apart when I see our Brussapoo struggling in the cold weather...and it did NOT have to be this way.
Not all dogs were meant or bred to be outside potty dogs; fact.  This is not because he is a designer dog (if there are any purebred enthusiasts reading this).  The vet (our new, most awesome vet) said that it is because of his size.  He has seen this with purebred Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Shih Tzus, and many other small dogs. He said that there is NOTHING wrong with training your pet to permanently go INside the home (in a designated area of course). He also said that in the long run, during the later stages of the pet's life, it will have a great impact on their overall health as well.
Thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope that someone out there is in this situation with a tiny breed...and will listen, and do what is right for their pet.

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I have read how others with very small dogs have gone this route and are very happy they did. I am a strong believer that as a owner it is your job to figure out what is in the best interest for your dog and what works for you.

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