How to Train Your Dog to Stop Using Pee Pads

Easy
1-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

Those wonderful puppy pee pads promised to make potty training your pup so easy! All you had to do was rub a little of their pee on the pad and put it in the same place each time. Your pup will follow his own scent to the target and boom, no more wet spots on the floor. You can even do the same with a little poop. And as long as you keep a ready supply of pads, everything's all right. Or is it?

Yup! Those pads are a real modern miracle until you miss one for a day or two and the stink starts to set in. Maybe it's time for those pads to go for your sake, your dog's sake, and the sake of your nose.

More importantly, those dirty pads are pretty nasty and unhealthy, so missing one could be a really bad thing.  Even more importantly, no one wants to step on one of those pads in the middle of the night.

Defining Tasks

Now that you have your dog trained to do his business on the pads, you have a couple of challenges to overcome in order to get him to start going outside. First, by leaving the pee pads on the floor for your pup to use whenever he needed to go without telling you, you have to teach him to let you know when he needs to go so you can let him out.

However, teaching your pup to let you know when he needs to go and then getting him to go outside is a very important step in his becoming an adult. On top of this, you won't have any more of that awful smell in your home.

Getting Started

There are a few things you might find come in handy when training your dog to stop using the pee pads and to go outside.

  • Treats: To reward your dog when he lets you know he needs to go outside.
  • Cleaning Supplies: To clean up any accidents during the transition phase.
  • Endless Patience: Training your pup is going to take time and will involve a few accidents, so be patient clean up the mess and keep working with him. It won't take long before he starts letting you know he has to go.

The Outside Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Observation
Observe your dog and watch for him to make signs he has to go to the bathroom.
Step
2
Ask the question
The best way to find out if your dog needs to go outside is to ask him. Try, "Outside?" or "Need to go outside?" in a happy, questioning voice.
Step
3
What's he looking at?
If he stops and looks at the door, ask him again.
Step
4
Reward time
If he genuinely looks like he might go to the door, go open it and encourage him to "go outside" If he does, give him lots of praise and a treat.
Step
5
Repeat
Once he has started to put the question and the action together, you can start asking him every half hour or so until he simply starts coming to you to let you know he needs to go out. Lots of praise and treats will help him learn fast.
Recommend training method?

The Sliding Pad Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Set a single pad
Get your dog used to a single pad in the same location for a few days.
Step
2
The slow move
Each time you put a fresh pad on the floor, move it a little closer to the door.
Step
3
Keep the treats flowing
Each time your dog goes on the pad in its new location, give him a treat and plenty of praise.
Step
4
To the door
Move the pad all the way to the door and treat your pup when he uses it. Repeat this with the door open.
Step
5
Out the door at last
Finally move the pad outside and treat your dog when he uses it. The last step is to stop using pads altogether and let your dog pick his spot out in the yard.
Recommend training method?

The Out the Door Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
At the door
Put your dog's pee pad by the door and get him used to using it. Reward him with praise and a treat.
Step
2
Moving on out
The next time you see him use the pad, gently pick him and the freshly soiled pad up and go outside.
Step
3
On the ground
Place the pad and your dog on the ground and stand by him. Encourage him to "go" using phrases like "Go Potty" or "Go pee" to help him learn to go potty on command.
Step
4
Going outside
If you are lucky enough that your dog "goes" outside, shower him with praise and treats.
Step
5
If he doesn't go
If he doesn't go within the first 3 or 4 minutes take him back inside and try again in a few minutes.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Bunni Mae
Shihpoo
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bunni Mae
Shihpoo
8 Months

I need my 8 month old shihpoo to stop peeing in the house. I live on the second floor of my apartment. She has been using potty pads since before we got her. she only seems to use the bathroom when I am off at work.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, I would recommend first teaching Bunni Mae to ring a bell. This will come in handy later. To teach that follow one of the methods from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Next, you can either follow one of the methods from the article above "How to Train Your Dog to Stop Using a Pee Pad" or you can remove the pee pads cold turkey and start fresh with potty training. I would highly recommend removing them and starting fresh. To do that follow one of the methods form the article that I have linked right before. If your schedule would allow it I recommend using the "Crate Training" method or a combination of the "Crate Training" method and the "Tethering" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You need to strictly monitor and control her Bunni Mae's environment and schedule to prevent her from having accidents in the house, while at the same time teaching her how to alert you when she needs to go outside with a bell, rewarding her for going potty outside so that she will want to go out there instead of inside, and learn what "Go Potty" means so that she will understand why she is outside when you take her. Following the "Crate Training" method will ensure all of that if you command her to ring the bell on her way out the door after you have taught her how to do that, tell her to "Go Potty" while she is outside, and reward her with treats after she goes. If she does have an accident inside or you know of previous accident locations, then make sure you clean them up with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. The smell of previous urine or poop will encourage her to keep peeing or pooping in that spot inside if you do not and only enzymes break down the pee and poop enough to truly eliminate the smell to where a dog's nose cannot still smell it. You can also get cleaners for washing clothes if you have small area rugs and places that have been soiled before. During this process if you are able to, I recommend removing area rugs and any fabric type material on the floor. Most Pee Pad dogs confuse things like rugs, carpet, and shirts with Pee Pads and will start to pee on them when they cannot pee on a pee pad. While she is learning to only go outside keep the indoor environment as least confusing as possible. Carpet obviously cannot be removed but supervise her especially closely on that, which tethering will help a lot with. When she begins to go potty outside when you tell her to "Go Potty", alert you when she needs to go outside, and not have any accidents inside, then she is ready to slowly be given more and more supervised freedom outside of the crate. Start very slowly with giving her more freedom though and go back a step or two for a while if she has an accident. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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