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We found when taking them outside during initial training that the best way to keep them "on task" was not to give them very much lead length, just enough for them to sniff around and choose a spot. Everything before the pee and poop was all business, and no playing. After they "produced", we praised them like they had hung the moon, and then it would be playtime and walk up the street. (Kind of like paying the toll!)

It does sound like a crate would benefit you. Not as punishment, but in order to sharpen his denning instinct. He won't want to soil his bedding, and will learn to control it. Just BE SURE he goes before he's put in the crate. A puppy with a full bladder will be miserable and will pee in his crate no matter what. Just at night and when you have to run errands. Have you thought about a doggie door to a fenced in area? That could work if he can get over his aversion to the heat.

If all else fails, you may have to move to Michigan!!! :rolleyes: Good luck!

Oh, and when Elmer was little, he would try to grab a big mouthful of mulch every time we were coming back into the house. I must have scooped a mountain of mushy mulch out of his mouth during that time! He grew out of that. Leave some chew toys that are appropriate for him outside in his space. Maybe that would help.
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