Congratulations on your new addition to your family. Or on the upcoming decision to add a furry friend to your household. Buying or adopting a dog is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family.
But owning a dog comes with a myriad of obstacles and responsibilities that can be difficult to deal with on your own. That’s where we come in!
We at Bulbhead understand what it takes to own and raise a pet, and we have the tools you need to succeed. So, read on to learn how to train your puppy to use potty pads!
Potty Pads and You
Potty pads might not be something you’ve considered for your pup since most people train their dogs to do their eliminations outside. Still, there is some use in having your dog pad trained as a step along the way to training your dog to go in the yard or on a walk.
If you are not sure what is the best routine for you and your pup, consider the following:
Owning small breeds can be great for any number of reasons. Many don’t consider that a larger-sized dog will make larger messes. Petite dogs make petite messes and so having them go inside might make life easier for you.
Another size you will want to bear in mind is the size of your home. If you live in a small apartment in a big city and are all the way up on the topmost floors, getting Rex to the dog park in time might not be as easy as you’d like.
Having a designated area in your apartment in case of emergencies might be a good way to go for you and your pup.
Weather or Not
The climate where you live might influence your decision to pad train as well. If you live in an area prone to freezing winters with high snowfall, house training your puppy to relieve themselves might prove more challenging than it would be for others in more temperate climates. Opting for a puppy pad can save you some winter excursions into the tundra.
If you suffer from a disability that affects your mobility or are not quite as spry as your new puppy demands you be, pad training might be an effective solution to your troubles. You will still need to bend over and clean up after your dog, but pad training will save you the frequent walks that puppies demand.
You will want to consider a dog walker to make sure your pup gets enough exercise, though!
Time Is of the Essence
If you work a particularly demanding job and don’t have the time to give your new pup access to the outside world as often as they need, consider pad training until they are older and more able to control their bladders.
Sit Ubu, Sit
Some dogs are just plain difficult to walk. Or, they are elderly and have trouble walking. Some dogs just don’t do well in open spaces and will need to be trained by a professional trainer with plenty of positive reinforcement.
Whatever the case may be, pad training can help dogs who are difficult on the leash or have anxiety about being outdoors.
Choosing what potty pad to use is the first step of the training process for all pet parents. The potty pad provides your puppy with a consistent and visible spot to go to the bathroom. It’s important to choose a pad that is absorbent and easy to clean. It should also be large enough for your specific breed of dog.
Newspapers are the classic mat for protecting your floor from a pup, but they are not very absorbent, which might cause more of a mess than you had to begin with. They will be especially difficult for larger dogs.
Cloth towels and paper towels are also used, but the best option for those trying to pad train is manufactured pee pads. No matter what type of floor you have, these pads will make trash clean up fast and easy. Some pee pads even have scented pheromones that are meant to attract your pup to do their business in the middle.
Placing Your Pads
Location, location, location! It applies to where you put your puppy pads, too. Place them in an area with low foot traffic and on top of tile, hardwood, or stone. The bathroom is a great spot since it won’t be near any food and is out of the way.
You will need to formally introduce your pupper to their new home office as soon as you have a location picked out. Allow them to sniff the area and get acquainted with the pad you have settled on. Doing so lets them get familiar with the setup once it is time for them to go.
Let them walk on the pad while you repeatedly command them to go potty using a consistent word or phrase of your choice. This will be the command you repeat when it is time for them to use the pad. Make sure to reward good habits with a high-value treat or toy and plenty of praise.
Keep Space Limited
When starting out, you will want to keep the area that your dog explores small. Keeping them on a leash inside the house or sectioning off a room for them is a good idea. Dogs, like humans, aren’t too keen on going to the bathroom where they sleep, so if you confine them to a small space, like a crate, they will start to learn how to hold their business.
Take them to their potty pad the moment that you let them out of their crate. As soon as they do their business, SHOWER THEM WITH LOVE. Really. Sell it hard and go crazy. Praise them and give them a treat for being the best potty puppy of all time.
Now that Fido understands that they live in the crate and go potty on the pad, move on up to a bigger area. Section off enough room in a small area in your kitchen or living room where they can move around a bit more.
This indoor area should include only their toys, food and water, a bed, and puppy pads. Since we know that pups won’t go to the bathroom where they sleep and are unlikely to pee on their toys or food, that leaves the puppy pad as the only other spot for them to go!
Don’t let your dog rip up or play with the puppy pad. A puppy should never pull or chew on the potty pad, eat food on it, or play on it. These behaviors may cause confusion about the purpose of the potty pad and designated potty spots. If this happens, firmly but gently tell them “no.” Harsh punishment is never appropriate.
Over time, you can gradually expand the space until your dog has full roaming range but still understands their bathroom is on the potty pad.
It’s important to remember that pups don’t have control of their bladders and bowels when they are very young. You have to keep a close eye on your dog’s natural schedule. You should be taking them to their pad post-nap, ten minutes after eating or drinking, and every two or three hours just to be safe.
Alone Again, Naturally
When you have to leave the house and can’t bring your pup, set them up in a separate room with easy-to-clean floors. Baby gates can help with this. Line the room with the puppy pads along with her food, bed, and toys. Each subsequent day that you do this, remove a pad until there is only one left for them to use.
If they do not catch on and pee or poo outside of the pad, start the potty training process over until they are successfully weaned off.
Consistency Is Key
Dogs respond well to schedules, so keep your pup on a tight one. Doing so will make it easier for both of you to avoid accidents. Remember to always say the same command phrase when you bring them to the pad.
Don’t move the pad until they start to use it on their own without you leading them to it. Begin to move it toward the door if you are going to train them to go outside or to the place you have decided you will make their bathroom.
If you have an anger issue, owning a puppy is not for you! Puppies are going to make messes; it’s what they do. Do not scold or yell when this happens. You will confuse your pup into thinking that it is not okay to go to the bathroom.
If they pee on the floor, take them to their pad and give them the command. They will get the message eventually, but it will take some time and patience. Just give your floors a quick clean and go back to the magic of raising man’s best friend.