By Dr.Sophia Yin, DVM, CAAB, M.S. Animal Science (1966-2014)
I am crate training my 4-month old Yorkshire Terrier to hasten his potty training. I take him out on schedule and he was responding during the first couple of weeks. I subsequently added an exercise pen into the mix so he can play safely without supervision. Lately, however, I noticed he no longer wants to do his business on his designated area and would now prefer to go in his exercise pen instead. Is introducing the exercise pen a bad idea? Many thanks.
-Wally Samonte, NV
While some pups are good about “holding it” when in an X-pen, many dogs will do exactly what your Yorkie did. They figure the X-pen is big enough for a bed, playground, and potty! This type of problem is more common in the tiny breed dogs. To them an Xpen looks as big as a palace and an entire room looks like a football field. For these guys it’s especially important to have a rigid schedule potty protocol for at least several months where you always supervise them when they are out of their crate. In fact, due to the need many of the littler dogs remain incompletely house-trained for a long time! Ugh!