Lately, Niko's been crying wolf. Perhaps it is his affinity for snow that makes him want to go outside all the time. He shows signs that he wants to go outside by standing up and touching the door with his front paws and points his nose to the door knob. There are times when he sits on the welcome mat, guarding the door so that he would not miss an opportunity when the door opens. At first, whenever this happens, we would leash him up and take him outside, thinking he needs to go potty. Well, not quite. A lot of the times, his goal is to run around and play with the snow once he's outside.
Having said that, we don't let him out every time he goes by the door unless it's been a couple of hours since his last potty break.
Sidenote: Niko sleeps in his crate in a spare bedroom. In the morning, he lets the world knows he's awake and ready to get out by digging/scratching at the gate. His digging action causes a noisy rumbling noise. I prefer this noise over barking or yelping.
During the middle of the day, I heard that rumbling of the crate noise. I thought to myself that it was strange because we didn't put Niko in the crate and he almost never goes into the crate when it's not bedtime. I go look at what's going on and Niko is in the crate scratching. Next, he runs down the hallway and goes to the door. Ah hah! He found a way to tell us, "I'm not kidding this time, I really do have to go potty!" Sure enough, he did his deed as soon as he was outside. Niko learned that scratching the crate causes us to give him attention and letting him out of the crate. I don't think this was a coincidence because he's done the scratch-the-crate-alert twice this weekend and both times, he kept his word/scratch.