How to Train Your Dog to Pee on Newspaper

Medium
1-12 Weeks
General

Introduction

Dog lovers don't just live in the countryside, with unlimited access to fields or woods for their dogs to toilet in. Indeed, city dwellers are just as likely to love dogs and want to keep a canine companion. But if you live in an apartment block, trailing down flights of stairs each time the dog needs to relieve himself is not practical. Indeed, even when you get outdoors, the dog may only have to access to a postage stamp sized patch of green which is already soiled and unhygienic. 

From tower-block dwellers to the disabled, toilet training a dog is almost impossible if you have to trek long distances before the dog can perform. The answer could well be to designate a dog toilet area indoors and keep it clean with a covering of newspaper or puppy pads. Indeed, with a little time, patience, and persistence it's perfectly possible to train the dog to pee on a patch of newspaper, which minimizes the mess and keeps everyone happy. 

Defining Tasks

Teaching a dog to pee on newspaper involves doing just that. Instead of the dog relieving himself where ever he chooses, he learns to target a pad of newspaper. This can subsequently be disposed of and a fresh wad put down.  

Training a dog to do this depends on consistency so that he understands what's required of him. In turn, this means you need to have tactics in place to either make him want to choose the newspaper or to praise him when he happens to visit the right spot. 

This task is made considerably easier when you eliminate the possibility of the dog making the wrong choice! Again, this can be via method one in which you start with a room tiled with newspaper or you watch the dog constantly to prevent accidents. 

Any dog, even a puppy from 8 weeks onwards, can learn to pee on paper. However, adult dogs may have ingrained habits which are difficult to break. But even old dogs can learn new tricks, so be patient and consistent and eventually, the penny will drop in the right place. 

Getting Started

Time and patience are two essential commodities when teaching a dog to pee on paper. Never force the pace or the dog may get confused, which will set the training back. 

In addition, you'll need (depending on your chosen method):

  • A small room in which the dog can be confined
  • A dog bed or crate, food, and water bowls
  • Plenty of newspaper 
  • Cleaning equipment for those inevitable mishaps
  • Treats
  • A treat bag you can wear on your belt, so as to have treats handy at all times

The Paper a Room Method

Effective
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Step
1
Understand the idea
When the entire floor is covered in newspaper the dog will, by default, pee on the paper. Every few days, remove some of the paper so the dog gravitates to a smaller area of paper. Eventually, you will have a papered patch sufficient for the dog's needs as a toilet but no bigger.
Step
2
Set aside a small room
Choose a small room in which the dog can live for while. A small bathroom or laundry room will do, although do make sure the dog doesn't feel too isolated from the family. Paper the floor with newspaper, and put the dog's bed in one corner and his water in another. Makes sure the room is comfortable and pleasant so the dog doesn't think he's being punished.
Step
3
Replace soiled newspaper
The dog is likely to pick a patch of paper away from his bed, food, or water. Be sure to removed soiled paper promptly and replace it with clean. Make a mental note of where the dog tends to go, as this is may well be the best spot to leave the paper down last.
Step
4
Remove some patches of paper
After a few days of the dog peeing in the papered room, a pattern will emerge of where his favorite patch is. Now you can start slowly removing areas of paper, to expose the floor beneath. Start by removing the newspaper closest to his bed or bowls, since these are the areas he's least likely to soil.
Step
5
Limit the newspaper to one spot
As the process continues, increase the amount of exposed floor while leaving the toilet spot papered. Out of habit, the dog will seek out the papered area. Quietly praise and reward the dog when he visits this spot.
Step
6
Put peeing on cue
As a final step, you may wish to put the peeing on cue. Simply praise the dog when he visits the toilet spot, quietly say your chosen cue word. "Get busy" or "Toilet time" are good choices. After he has finished, give him a treat. He will learn to link the cue with getting a reward, and start peeing on command in order to get a treat.
Recommend training method?

The Pee on Command Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
This method goes back to the basics of potty training. You supervise the dog at all times and take him to toilet on paper. Then you reward him for going in the right place so that he's keen to visit the spot in feature and use it as a toilet.
Step
2
Supervise the dog
It's essential to supervise the dog so that he doesn't have the opportunity to pee in the wrong place. To do this, keep the dog on a collar attached to a longline so that you know his whereabouts at all times. If he shows signs of sniffing as if to toilet, take him straight to the newspaper. Crate train the dog when you can't be there to supervise. Then you can put the dog in the crate in your absence, where he is unlikely to soil because it is his sleeping area.
Step
3
Take him to the newspaper
At regular intervals, take the dog to the papered spot. Ideally this would be when the dog wakes, after he's eaten, before play, and every 1 to 2 hours. This will increase the likelihood of the dog needing to relieve himself at a time when the newspaper offers a convenient option.
Step
4
Praise the dog for performing
When the dog does pee on the newspaper, quietly praise him. This helps the dog understand that the paper is a good place to relieve himself. To make him even keener, once he has finished, offer a treat. Now he'll want to save up his pee to 'spend' it on the newspaper for a tasty reward.
Step
5
Add a cue command
It can be helpful to have the dog go toilet on command. To do this, when the dog relieves himself, say your chosen cue words, such as "Get busy". Say this in a firm happy voice, but not sufficiently excited to distract him. Then when he's finished, give a treat. The dog will start to link the command to the action, and perform on request to earn that treat.
Recommend training method?

The What NOT to Do Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Don't choose the wrong spot
Make sure the spot you choose to put the final newspaper toilet area is quiet and somewhere the dog can do his business uninterrupted. For example, don't put the paper next to a washer which might go into spin cycle and frighten the dog. Also, make sure the post is distant from the dog's bed and food, as dogs dislike soiling near where they sleep or eat.
Step
2
Don't chastise the dog
If things go badly and the dog pees off the paper, never chastise him. He's unlikely to link your reaction to where he peed, but instead, he'll think you don't like him peeing, period. This will make him secretive about where he does go, which makes training harder rather than easier.
Step
3
Don't leave soiled paper down
Once the dog has soiled on the newspaper, be sure to remove it and clean the area beneath. This helps prevent odor seeping onto the floor, which may inadvertently label the area as a toilet for the dog. Plus, no-one (including the dog) likes a dirty toilet.
Step
4
Reduce the risk of misplaced pees
It's important the dog doesn't pee in the wrong place while training is in progress. Urine soaked into carpet acts as a strong marker that will attract the dog back to repeat the offense. If he does toilet in the wrong area, be sure to thoroughly deoderize the patch so that it doesn't draw him back.
Step
5
Don't distract the dog
When the dog visits the paper, take care not to distract him. Now is not the time to play or chat to him. Let him concentrate on the job in hand, and once he has performed, then you can praise and reward him.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Samuel
AnimalBreed object
8 Months
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Question
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Samuel
AnimalBreed object
8 Months

Hey.
Samuel is already newspaper trained, and pee on it 1-2 a day (other than 4 times on walks). my question is when is it a good time to remove the newspaper for him to learn to pee only outside? and what is the best method for achieving that. Thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Idan, When to make the transition depends mostly on your schedule. If someone is home with him during the day, or not gone for longer than 2-3 hours at a time right now, then I suggest starting immediately and going straight to a training program, removing the newspapers completely right away rather than trying to phase them out. At his age he physically cannot hold his bladder for longer than 2-3 hours during the day (and about twice as long at night while asleep). Ideally for potty training to go faster he would be taken out every hour at this age during the day. Most puppies can typically hold their bladders for the number of months they are in age plus one while in a crate or asleep. Meaning that at two months he can hold it for 2-3 hours, at four months he will be able to hold it for 4-5, and at six months he will be able to hold it for 6-7 hours, until he reaches 8 hours around 7-8 months - which is the maximum amount of time an adult can hold it for normally. These are maximums though, for potty training it is generally better to take the puppy out halfway through that maximum amount of time - meaning every 1-1.5 hours right now, except for times when you have to be gone for longer. Start potty training without paper as soon as you can take him out often enough to accommodate his potty needs at his current age. The longer the wait, the harder potty training will be. When you get ready to train, I highly suggest using the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below. It requires a lot of structure but tends to be the quickest way to potty train and teaches puppies how to handle alone time - which can prevent separation anxiety later, and learn to chew their own toys instead of your things, and prepares them for trips and boarding later on. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Snickers
AnimalBreed object
8 Months
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Question
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Snickers
AnimalBreed object
8 Months

Hi, we are in the process of potty train Snickers. He goes to the bathroom outside when we take him out every 3-4 hours and the last time is at 11.30 pm and first thing in the morning at 7.30 am. 4-5 nights a week he doing his business in his crate during the night. We limited the size of his crate to small size, but he still does.

Do you have any suggestions of how to help with this and we are also thinking about potty train him on the newspaper instead of outside since he usually shaking outside when it is cold and might have a hard time in winter. Please suggest how to transfer to process.

Thank you for your help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nic, At this age it's normal for a puppy to need to go potty twice during the night, and certainly at least once. Most puppies will cry when they need to go - make sure you can hear him using a baby monitor or him close by in your room, if he is crying to go out but you are not hearing him. Make sure that there is nothing absorbent in the crate also - such as a soft bed or towel - that can encourage pottying there for some pups. Check out www.primopads.com for a non-absorbent bed option until pup is past potty training and future chewing phases that sometimes occur again around 5-7 months. Since it sounds like he isn't crying to go out, if adjusting bedding doesn't fix it, unfortunately that means that you will need to set an alarm to take him during the night every 3-4 hours also. At this age, the maximum amount of time a puppy can hold their bladder is the number of months they are in age plus one - meaning 3 hours normally. At night a pup can go a bit longer if they don't wake up. As he gets older, you should be able to extend those nightly trips out by thirty minutes gradually, until pup can make it through the night. Be sure to keep night trips super boring - taking pup on a leash, giving very little attention or affection and no treats, then straight back to bed. You want pup's only reason for waking at night to be an actual need to go, not attention - so that pup will sleep through the night sooner as their bladder capacity increases. During the day, I do suggest spacing pup's potty trips closer together if your work schedule will allow. Pup will do better with potty training if potty trips are about every 2 hours during the day. If you decide to teach pup to go potty inside, I suggest making sure you want to do that as your long term plan, since teaching that and changing later can lead to more accidents in the house once you remove the indoor potty. I also suggest doggie litter box training or disposable real grass pad training using the Exercise or Crate Training method from the article linked below, to avoid pup confusing fabric pee pads with things like carpet and rugs in your home. Disposable real grass pad brands - also on Amazon previously: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Exercise Pen or Crate Training methods for indoor potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mila
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
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Mila
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks

I’ve been trying to train Mila to do her stuff on paper during the night, but she doesn’t want to do it on paper and rather hold it and not poo (only pee until she can’t any more). She does pee willingly on the floor and the bed though, and poos outside. What can I do?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
85 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the picture of Mila -she is a cutie! This guide has excellent advice on potty training a puppy:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside As well, I would try a scented product from the pet supply store; it's a spray that you can spray on the newspaper to encourage Mila to pee there. A litter box is another option; many dogs prefer that to newspaper. Take a look: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy All of the methods are good options! All the best and have fun training!

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Question
Lego
AnimalBreed object
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Lego
AnimalBreed object
7 Weeks

Hi! My dog won't pee on the newspaper but always walks of the mat and pees on the floor instead. We put her in a cardboard box but she only whines and doesnt do her poo or pee. I feel bad. what should i do?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
94 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you some training information on how to work with your dog to use a potty pad/newspaper. Choose Your Spot Pick a space in your house where you want your dog to go. Obviously, you’ll want this spot to be a low-traffic area. Make sure this spot is easily accessible to your dog, and make sure the floor surface is linoleum or tile, as opposed to carpet. If your dog “misses,” it will be easier to clean up. If the only spot you can put the pee pad is a carpet, you might consider getting a small tarp to put underneath the puppy pee pad to guard against spillage. Choose a spot that is outside of your “smell zone.” An important tip to remember is to make sure not to let your dog decide the spot he likes. Not only might he pick an area you won’t like, but he’ll learn that he is in charge – not you – which can cause a host of problems down the line. Monitor Your Dog When you are potty training your dog, full-time monitoring is an absolute necessity. It’s impossible to correct bad behaviors if you don’t see them happen. Dogs have very short memories. It is important to catch your dog in the act. If your dog goes on the floor, and you try to correct him hours after the fact, he will be confused and upset, not knowing what he did wrong. This can hinder training and your relationship with your dog. Puppies, in particular, must be watched constantly. They have less control over their bowels and will go when they have to go. If you miss these moments, you lose precious training opportunities. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to be with your dog 24 hours a day, but try to spend more time at home during the weeks you are potty training – it will pay off in the long run. Learn Your Dog’s Schedule Dogs, for the most part, are predictable. They will go to the bathroom at predictable times. You should be able to learn when your dog has to go based on timing as much as on his signals. Take some time to study your dog’s bathroom habits. You’ll learn the amount of time after he eats or drinks that he has to go, and you’ll get in rhythm with his daily bathroom schedule. This will help you reduce accidents and speed up the potty training process. Studying your dog’s habits can also help you identify his bathroom “triggers” – like having to go after a certain amount of playtime. Once you learn your dog’s schedule, use it to your advantage in potty training. Bring him to the pee pad a few minutes before he normally goes, and encourage him. This will help him get used to going in the right spot, and help you establish repetition in your training. Choose a Command Word Dogs have keen senses – they respond to sight, smell, and sound. When you begin pee pad training, choose a command word and use it every time you take your dog to the pad. Just about any word will work. The tone of your voice is more important than the actual word. Try phrases like “go on” or “go potty” in a slightly elevated, encouraging tone. Make sure to repeat this same command, in the same tone, every time you take your dog to the pee pad. Avoid Punishment When your dog has an accident, it’s just that – an accident. When you punish your dog during potty training, he will become confused and scared. He doesn’t know what he’s done wrong, and can’t understand why the person he loves most is mad at him. Most importantly, it will not help his potty training. Positive Reinforcement Both human and dog behavior is largely based on incentives. Dogs’ incentives are very simple – they want to eat when they are hungry, play when they are excited, and sleep when they are tired. But the most important thing your dog wants in life is to please you. Use this to your advantage. Whenever your dog goes on his potty training pad, shower him with lots of praise. If he sees that he gets praise for doing his business on the pad, he will be incentivized to keep going on the pad – and he’ll be excited to do it! Potty training – whether it’s a pee pad or going outside – will take time, but if you do it right, can take less time. Many dogs are potty trained in less than two weeks. Just remember that you and your dog are partners. Do everything you can to help him learn the proper etiquette, and you will enjoy a long, quality relationship together. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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