Ziggy Bourbon

Cavapoo Pup
13 weeks old

Outside button learning

Ziggy is 13 weeks currently and we started with the outside button next to the front door about 3 weeks ago when we started outdoor potty training (previously on pee pads). I follow the general protocol outlined here of pushing it every time we go out right before opening the door and saying "outside" tons of times surrounding this trip. (I'm sure my neighbors think I'm bonkers) I usually make sure hes looking at me pushing the button as well.

He seems to have figured out that the button does something and is interested in it. He will go over and sniff it, and when he sees I'm looking he sits down next to it. He is consistently going to it when he needs to go potty... but also going to it like 400 other times a day. I've been humoring him and taking him out... but I can't do that all day long so I have ended up crating him more. I don't want to ignore him and not reinforce the button, but it's out of hand. We live in an apartment, so it's a lot more complicated than just opening the door to the backyard.

Also, hes not actually pushing the button and making the "outside" cue play, just sniffing it, booping it, or sitting down next to or almost on it. So sometimes I don't see that he's doing it if I happen to take my eyes off him for a few min.

He also seems keen to take his toys over to it and play around it. I try to keep the button clear of toys.

Tips? How have others handled this?