Potty-pad training your puppy can be a frustrating time. Patience and consistency are crucial.
The ideal bathroom for dogs is outside but there are instances when you’ll need to train them to relieve themselves at home. Here are some of them:
- Winters are brutal in your area. Not all dogs will be able to handle extreme weather conditions. If the climate in your area is too cold for your puppy, then they will need your help getting used to doing their business at home.
- You’re living in a high-rise apartment. You might find potty-pad training your dog more convenient if you’re living at the top floors of your apartment building.
- You’re dealing with mobility issues. Training your dog to relieve themselves indoors will make things easier for you if you have limited mobility. Consider hiring a dog-walker or asking for help from family and friends so your furry friend can also go out and exercise.
- Your puppy is having difficulties walking. If your puppy is reactive or has a medical condition that limits their mobility, then training them to bowel and pee on pads may help. While this situation will require the intervention of specialists, potty-pad training may serve as a temporary solution to help both you and doggie.
- You’re out almost the entire day. If you have to work and leave your pet at home, using potty pads may help. Your puppy won’t be able to hold their bladder longer than older dogs can. Potty training will help until they develop their bladder or you can find someone to help you take them out on walks.
Not everyone agrees that puppies should be potty-pad trained, but our situations differ and so are our puppies. So it’s up to you and your pup to decide which option is right for both of you.
Here on our post, we’ll be sharing some tips to help you as you potty-pad train your puppy. Let’s begin.
Which Potty Pad Product Should You Choose?
You’ll want to give your pup a distinct spot where they can relieve themselves.
Switching from magazines to newspapers to potty pads may only end up confusing them. If you’ll start with a specific potty pad product, use it consistently throughout the training. This will prevent confusion.
You’ll also want to pick a potty pad in larger sizes for more coverage.
You may also use a dog litter box or a grass mat. While these two options may require more maintenance, the advantage is that they look different than your flooring. Pups will be able to identify these areas more easily as their potty spot.
If you’re preparing your pup for outdoor training, then using materials such as grass may also be more beneficial.
Where Should You Place Potty Pads?
Look for a small room or a somewhat confined space that you can use long-term. Avoid areas with high foot-traffic or those near food. Obviously, you’ll want a spot away from the carpet. Some owners use the bathroom for convenience.
Potty Pad Training Tips
- Choose a small space. Starting off with a good quality crate can help train your pup to hold their pee. Be sure to establish the crate as a safe resting place and not a punishment. Dogs, like humans, don’t like messing their bed. Give them a space that’s enough for them to stand, lie down, and roam around comfortably. And not too big they’ll think it’s okay for them to relieve themselves in the same area. (Related Article: How to Crate Train Your Puppy)
- Keep your eyes on your puppy. When you’re taking your pup out of their crate, always keep your eyes on them. If you’re having difficulties doing so, consider using a leash so they won’t be able to go too far. Accidents can happen anytime once your pup gets to sneak away.
- Use specific words to train them. Use words, such as “go potty”, to serve as a signal that it’s time for them to do their business.
- Set a schedule. Take puppy out of their crate and to their potty pads often. They won’t be able to hold their bladder for long. Use a timer and a leash if necessary. The aim is to show them where their potty pads are, to train them to go to their designated spots when they need to relieve themselves. Take them after waking up, after eating, after playing, or every after two hours.
- Gradually extend their roaming space. Once your pup gets better with their crate and potty pad, it may be time to graduate them and use a larger space. You can dedicate a space at home, use dog gates for confinement, and set up a rest, play, and potty area for them.
- Leave instructions to your dog walker. If you’re having a friend or relative help you to potty-pad train your pup, be sure they maintain the routine you’ve set. Leave notes so they’ll know when to guide your pup to their potty pads.
How to Handle Accidents
- Be firm, but never scold them. You can use a firm ‘no’ but raising or yelling at your pup when they cause accidents will not help.
- Clean up immediately. Dogs are scent-driven. When they smell potty in an area, they will think it’s okay to do their business there and will go back over again to that place. When you catch your pup during an accident, take them immediately and move them to their potty pads. If the damage has been done, don’t punish your pup. Instead, focus on the cleaning. Be sure no scent or trace is left in the area.
- Praise them. When you see them relieve themselves in their designated spot, praise them.
- Give them rewards. If your pup is doing a great job, go give them a treat or two. Tell them they’ve been good.
- Don’t put potty pads in accident areas. When cleaning up accidents, don’t place a potty pad in the area. This might only confuse your pup. Remember that the goal is for them to get used to a designated spot for relieving themselves.
How Long Will the Potty Pad Training Take
It varies. It may take weeks or several months. You will get the best results by watching your pet at all times. The more time they spend unattended, the higher the potential for accidents.
Several factors may impact the process such as their age, your consistency, and the former environment of your pup if they’re adopted.
Remember that every puppy is unique, accidents are part of the process, and no pup learns in an instant.