Puppy Pad Training Tips

Housetraining a puppy is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you bring home that cute little bundle of fur and energy. One way to do this is by using . Puppy pads are specially-scented absorbent pads (available from pet supply stores or online) that help draw puppies to them to eliminate.

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Puppy pad training isn't for everyone, and some people feel that going this route makes the entire housebreaking process longer (since you'll be encouraging your dog to eliminate indoors for a while). It is often easier to housetrain your dog to go outdoors right from the beginning.

However, sometimes you can't be home - and your poor little puppy's bladder is full. Training your pup to use the pads is one way to help make sure your puppy isn't in agony if you don't get home in time; it saves your floors from inappropriate messes; and it gives you a little more freedom and peace of mind if you're late coming home.

Note: It's common for puppies to pee when they're excited. It's uncontrollable for them so don't make a big deal out of it (it's not one of the situations where you need to try to enforce the puppy-pad training). Just clean it up. Most puppies will naturally outgrow this in a few months.

Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way:

  • Try to keep the puppy pads in the same location all the time.

  • When your little guy starts to show signs that he needs to go (such as sniffing and circling), quickly and calmly pick him up and put him on the pad. Praise him when he uses it.

  • If you find that your puppy won't use the pads, try using a combination of a puppy pen and a crate to encourage him: get a crate that's just large enough for him to comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around in. Put down lots of comfy blankets. Then place the crate inside the pen (leave the crate door open), and the pads in the pen area (not inside the crate).

    Most dogs do not like to eliminate in the same place they sleep. When puppy wakes up, hopefully he'll leave his kennel to relieve himself on the pads.

  • Be consistent - be alert for signs that your puppy needs a potty break. Then take him to the puppy pads and praise him when he goes.

    Remember, accidents will happen. If you don't catch him in the act, don't punish him (and never physically hit your dog for any reason). He won't understand since he's relieved himself countless times even before he met you! Just clean up the mess and move on.

    If you do catch him in the act, firmly say no and take him back to the pads. Praise him when he finishes there.

  • Be positive! Any type of training takes time, and in this case, you're basically training a baby! Praise your puppy when he uses the pads to reinforce what you want him to do. Soon you'll be ready to get rid of those pads and teach your puppy to go potty outdoors.

Puppy pad training can be a useful tool, especially for people who aren't always able to let a young puppy outside for bathroom breaks as often as the pup may need. The pads are ultra-absorbent and protect your floors... so if it's something you have been considering, don't hesitate to give it a try.