How to teach your puppy to use pee pads
Why use pee pads?
Of all the methods to train a puppy to go to the toilet in a particular area, using pee pads is quickly becoming the method of choice. This is a very similar method to training a puppy to go toilet on newspapers but you use the pee pads instead. The benefits of using pee pads over newspapers are that the smell of the pee pads is consistent as pee pad manufacturers use a pheromone to not only keep the smell consistent but actually encourage the dog to use the pads. The pee pads also have a waterproof lining on the bottom of the pad so that urine does not leak through and onto the floor. The plastic lining also helps to keep the pad from breaking apart when it does get wet unlike newspaper which will fall to pieces once wet. The downside to the pee pads when compared to newspaper is that they do cost money unlike the newspaper which was bought anyway, but most people who use them find that they are well worth it.
Where should I place the pee pads for my dog to use?
The pads need to be placed in an area that your puppy has access to. This needs to be in the same room as the puppy will be spending a large amount of time in at the beginning so access to the pads is easy for the puppy in training. The pee pads should be placed in the opposite part of the room from where the puppy sleeps, eats and drinks as most pups have a natural inclination to urinate and defecate away from where they eat and sleep. Try to pick a place that does have tiles or linoleum so that any accidents are easier to clean up. Also, in the beginning place a number of pads down so that it covers a larger area and is a bigger target for your puppy to hit! Then gradually shrink down the size to only 1 pad once your puppy gets the idea.
How do I know when my puppy needs to go toilet?
It’s important to watch for the signs that your puppy needs to go toilet to help him understand where he needs to go. The signs that you need to look out for are that your puppy is starting to go around in circles while constantly sniffing the same part of the floor and looking for a spot to go. Your puppy will also be more likely to want to go toilet at certain times of the day such as first thing in the morning as well as during the 15-20 minutes after a meal. They also like to go after a car trip and whenever they get very excited. When you do notice these signs, take your puppy over to the pee pads and wait for them to go on the pads. When they do, give them lots of praise and attention but use words like good toilet so that over time they will learn that the word toilet is connected to the action. If you use a rough schedule for taking your puppy to the toilet such as after every meal or sleep, you will be more consistent with their training and just as with any other training, you will see the results much sooner and more consistent.
How should I deal with accidents?
Potty accidents are common and are pretty much bound to happen. The best way to deal with these is to keep a sharp lookout for the accidents and clean them up as soon as possible. There are products that help to remove the smell from the floor so that the puppy is not inclined to use the same spot again. If you catch your puppy in the act of going toilet in the wrong spot, clap your hands or give a short and sharp ‘No!’ to startle them and then immediately take your puppy over to the pads to relieve himself. Again praise profusely when he goes on the pee pad. If you find an accident after it’s already happened do not rub your dog’s face in or punish them as they will not know what they are being punished for and at worst may think that they are in trouble because you found it and will be inclined to hide it in the future. Puppies have a short attention span and if you punish your puppy for something that’s already happened he won’t have any idea why he’s being punished. As puppies get older they will become more reliable about using the pad on their own.
Training your puppy to go toilet on a pad is not difficult but it does take persistence and patience and is well worth the effort.