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 Out the Door Method

Most Recommended
2 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?

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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Aurora
Australian Shepherd
6 Months
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Aurora
Australian Shepherd
6 Months

Hello, my puppy finally is getting used to going outside. But, she is also used to if she does have to go before her next walk, to use her pee pad. How do I properly transition her off the pee pad and permanently outside? Also, she seems very sensitive when punishing her especially towards my fiancé. Whenever he punishes her (even the slightest) she gets terrified to be around him but has no problem when I do it (female) is there any reason why this may be or any advice on how to disciplining her without scaring her? Thank you!!

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Question
Bunni Mae
Shihpoo
8 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 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 Trainer
620 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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Mola
Boston Terrier
3 Years
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Mola
Boston Terrier
3 Years

Just adopted my dog 2 wks ago. He has been paid trained and he initially he was going on the pad inside the pen we set up with no accidents or going outside the front yard , fast forward 2 weeks, he is now peeing on the stairs and the couch. Are we doing something wrong? Is he possibly confused because we take him out too and not just the pad?? Please help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, Pee pad training is partially about a dog learning to go potty in only a specific location inside, not just on the pad material - which resembles other fabrics in the house, like carpet. At pup's old home, pup was likely used to going to a specific location to go potty. Likely either pup needs a crash course on potty training to teach just one specific location for going potty inside (choose a location for the pad and don't move it around), or needs to be switched to just outside potty training. If you choose to teach pup to go potty in one location inside and outside too, I would suggest switching the pee pad out for a disposable grass pad, to help with confusion. For inside potty training, check out the Exercise Pen method - which can be used with the grass pad instead of litter box: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy For exclusive outside potty training, if you choose to just move to that, Crate Training will probably be the quickest way to train, although the Tethering method is also an option when you are home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Disposable grass pad brands: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Also found on amazon often times. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Sam
Samoyed
8 Months
-1 found helpful
Question
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Sam
Samoyed
8 Months

Hi there,
Our dog was pee-pad trained when we adopted her at 6mo. We did not use pee pads to try to break her of this habit right off the bat and took her outside frequently. We have no rugs or mats in our home. We were also told she was crate-trained when we adopted her and initially crated her with a divider during the overnight hours for the first 6 weeks. However, she has very intense separation anxiety and hates being left alone in the crate or behind gates and would bark for 7h straight without settling. We stopped crating her. She now sleeps on the floor at night and does not pee or poop during the overnight hours. Mostly she barks to let us know she has to poop but sometimes pees on the floor with no warning, even if she has just peed outside 30min prior. In places we take her with rugs, such as doggy daycare, it is not uncommon for her to pee or poop on the rug with no warning. We would really appreciate any advice.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marina, If peeing after peeing only 30 minutes prior is something more recent (the general accidents may not be recent but accidents so soon after pottying), I suggest that you speak to your vet about some possible form of urinary incontinence like a urinary tract infection. If she does have urinary incontinence, she will not be able to hold her bladder well enough to learn something new, and the underlying cause needs to be addressed. If the cause is not treatable then transitioning to a washable doggie diaper with disposable pads is probably needed to keep your home clean. You could remove the pee pads and use the disposable diaper alone with frequent trips outside to go potty. Most causes for urinary incontinence at this age are behavioral or related to something treatable like a urinary tract infection though. If you determine that she is able to hold her pee, to control where she pees, you can address the separation anxiety and use the crate (this requires a lot of new structure and confidence building). Check out the article linked below for details: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2013/02/21/separation-anxiety-im-not-seeing-it-at-my-place You can also deal with the separation anxiety and use the "Exercise Pen" method using a pee pad or real grass pad (the article mentions litter boxes but you can use pee pads or real grass pads instead as well): https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Finally, you could use the "Tethering" method if someone is home most of the day and very carefully watch her for signs of needing to pee, take her outside frequently, and reward her with treats for going potty outside. Check out the article linked below and follow the "Tethering" method. Because she is older than a young puppy you can try taking her outside every two hours. If she struggles to hold her urine that long, you will need to take her even more frequently. If she struggles to hold her urine for that long, I would definitely consult your vet though because she should normally be able to hold it for three hours, and even longer once she starts to understand the training. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jasper
Goldendoodle
3 Months
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Jasper
Goldendoodle
3 Months

Hello,

Our goldendoodle is 3 and a half months old. We trained him with pee pads and he is now no longer using them during the day, unless he is left alone for a bit longer. But he still uses them at night, sometimes more than others. We reduced his water a little bit, so he doesn't drink everytime he goes to check if there is food (he is very greedy). His pads were completely soaked until recently in the morning, even though we let him in the garden before we go to bed.
My previous dog was an apartment brought up golden retriever and by the time he was 3 months old he had stopped doing his business at home whatsoever. What is the general age when a puppy is expected to have good enough bladder control? I am afraid that if we leave the pads, he'll never learn to control his bladder, on the other hands, I don't know if I am not expecting too much of him at this stage and he just needs longer than my previous dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, Between three and four months is generally when a puppy can make it through the night. Some dogs are sooner than others and certain breeds tend to potty train faster and have a stronger desire to keep things clean inside the home and so do not use choose to use pee pads if they can avoid it. Dogs that are less worried about cleanliness will not be as motivated to hold their bladder if they don't have to and will choose to pee more frequently out of convenience. A dog like that might never grow out of the pads on their own - although many still will if they are heavy enough sleepers at night. There are two options I suggest: First, go ahead and remove the pee pad and crate him at night - crating at night is extremely important to teach dogs to hold their bladders throughout the night. It uses a dog's natural instinct to hold their bladders in a confined space and teaches a dog how to alert when they need to go out. It also keeps dogs out of mischief when their jaws develop around five months and they can chew through things, which can be dangerous if they eat something inedible . Have the crate somewhere where you can hear him if he wakes up and asks to go potty, or put his crate in another room but use an audio baby monitor to listen for him at night - many dogs sleep through the night sooner this way but either option is fine. At first he is likely to need potty trips because he has not been practicing holding his bladder at night - that does not necessarily mean that he cannot hold it though if you give him the opportunity to practice. When he wakes you to go potty, take him outside on a leash, keep the trip very boring with no play or treats, then put him back into the crate to go back to bed afterward. The entire thing should be very business-like so that he is not motivated to wake you at night for any reason besides pottying. Since he is old enough to potentially sleep through the night in the next two weeks, the night wakings may not happen for very long, and he might surprise you and sleep through the night right away. Starting this now helps him develop a habit of holding his bladder better and not peeing on anything inside - such as pee pads or rugs, before that habit is harder to break. The second option I suggest is doing the same thing I suggested above with crate training, but waiting two-to-three more weeks before starting it (before he is four-months old though), so that he is more likely to be able to hold his bladder all night (which he might already be able to do but he probably won't show you if he can until you crate him). This option decreases the number of nights you might have to take him potty during the process, but could also back-fire because it might make transitioning away from pee pads a little harder (although probably still doable), and he might protest crate training more since he will be closer to adolescence then. You can prevent part of the protesting by starting crate training during the daytime right now - Gradually work up to him being able to be crated for three hours during the day if you are not already crating him. Personally I would choose the first option, but either should be fine and comes down to personal preference. One thing that can help if you want to wait until closer to four-months to start is switching to using a real grass disposable pad instead of a pee pad, because the grass resembles the outdoors and is usually less easily confused with other things like rugs and carpet later. Grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4628430177348674255&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bentley
Havachon
6 Months
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Bentley
Havachon
6 Months

My dog Bentley is 6 mos old. I have had him since 4 mos, the place where I bought told me to do 1-2 mos of wee wee pads, I have had him since Feb 8 2019....he goes on the pad as long as his playpen is open...I crate him all day and go home at lunch to feed him, play and let him go on wee wee pad...I am ready with Spring here to start taking him out. My apartment is upstairs so it's not as easy to move the pad closer to the door I only have the top of the stairs and the spot down the stairs by the door, I do have a terrace that I wished had grass on it to start to teach him to go out there, but if I start putting a few pads out there and tape them down, will he learn that when I walk him he can go on grass as well? I just feel like I am not doing a good job and he will never learn to go outside, but he does go on the pad as long as I keep his playpen door open for him to access it, even when he plays in other parts of the house. Can you please let me know any thoughts on how I will get my little guy trained to hold it through the day (he's in a crate and he holds) but to teach him outside or on my terrace at the same time? Please help if you can thank you so much.
Joanne

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joanne, I suggest completely getting rid of the pads at this point, leaving them sitting out will only lead to accidents later when you remove them. Instead, since he is already crate trained, crate when you are gone, take him directly outside to the grass during your lunch break (carrying him down the stairs if he can't navigate them yet with his size). He will have held it long enough at that point that of you hurry him outside before he has an accident he will probably go potty outside out of desperation at that time. When you are home, follow the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since we are coming up on the weekend, follow the "Crate Training" method strictly this weekend if you are off work then, to get him used to peeing on the grass quickly during your lunch break by Monday. Make sure you reward him with treats for going potty like the article says to do - this will help him learn to go potty quickly when you take him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocky
Maltese
5 Years
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Question
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Rocky
Maltese
5 Years

My dog has been trained to use the bathroom inside on pee pads for about 5 years now. Yesterday I removed the pee pad from where it was in the house and moved it outside to the spot where I want him to go. However, every time I take him outside and tell him to go potty, he never does. Then when we come back inside, he sniffs the area where his pee pad used to be, but he still doesn’t pee. At this point he hasn’t peed in over 12 hours and I’m at a loss for what to do. How do you suggest I transition him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nina, At some point he will have to go potty because he cannot hold it anymore, so when you get the point where he has held it for more than 8-9 hours I suggest simply staying outside with him until he goes potty if possibly. Most dogs cannot hold their bladders for longer than 8-12 hours. When he can no longer hold it you want to be outside with him, paying attention, with lots of treats ready. He will think he is having an accident the first time probably, but if you respond by enthusiastically praising and rewarding him with several treats, one at a time, he should start to relax about pottying outside. After a few days of being rewarded for pottying outside he should start to go more quickly. When you take him outside, tell him to "Go potty". He won't know what this means at first but the more times he is told that, goes potty, then is rewarded for it, the better he should understand, and learn to go potty quickly when told to go potty. If he begins to have accidents inside, then I suggest crate training during the day just until he gets into the habit of peeing outside since a crate should naturally encourage him to hold his bladder while inside. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. It was written for puppies, so because he is older you can take him potty every 3-4 hours (or longer if you are gone), and after he goes potty, give him 2 hours of freedom before putting him back into the crate until the next potty trip. Since he seems to determined to hold his bladder inside without the pee pads you may not need to crate him, but many dogs start peeing on rugs during the transition away from pee pads if you don't crate train so crate training can help prevent that habit if you are quick to start it if you spot that issue. 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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Luna
Mal-shi
1 Year
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Luna
Mal-shi
1 Year

So Luna has used pads all her life, and constantly misses them and pees on the floor, she doesn’t use the bathroom outside in front of me, and she immediately wants to come in when I put her outside, what do I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Demetrius, If you want to train her to go potty outside, I suggest using the crate training method from the article I have linked below. Since she is older, you can take her potty every 3-4 hours instead of 1 hour. On days when you are gone, she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for up to 6 hours, and up to 8 hours once she is trained. Since she is older, after she goes potty outside, you can give her 2 hours of freedom out of the crate, before you put her back in the crate until it is time to take her back outside again. Follow the steps for rewarding her when she potties outside and teaching "Go Potty". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you want to teach her how to go potty inside but on the pads better, I suggest following the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below, and keeping the Exercise in one specific spot so that you are training her to use a certain location (like a bathroom) instead of just a pad. Since she seems to confuse pee pads with other things like carpet, you might want to switch to real grass pads also (if she will go potty on grass when you take her). You could also use the "Crate Training" method found in the article below also, but if you do that I suggest creating an exercise pen like area that is an obvious potty spot, rather than simply laying pee pads around in different areas - you want her to learn to go potty in a certain location and not just on fabric square (aka pee pads). Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real Grass Pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Theo
Cavapoo
4 Months
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Theo
Cavapoo
4 Months

My Puppy pees on his fake grass turf and poops on his pee pad mat. He didnt have any accidents for 2 weeks but then we went on vacation and he went to stay with my Mother in Law and she said he used his pads but would also continue to have accidents all over the house. We brought his back and he is completely fine in our house, no accidents. We want to be able to potty train him without the pads but he wont go outside. Do you have any recommendations

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Asha, If you are ready to transition to him only going potty outside, then I suggest getting rid of all the pads and fake grass inside cold-turkey, and starting crate training. Check out the article linked below. Since he is 4 months old, when you can't be home he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for about 4 hours max during the day. When you are home, take him out every 1.5-2.5 hours, or more often if he has an accident before then. If he has accidents after just peeing outside, then keep him attached to you with a six to eight foot leash after he potties outside while he gets to stay outside of the crate for a while. If he doesn't go potty when you take him, then put him back into the crate and try again in an hour. After he has been out of the crate for 1 hour, put him back into the crate until time for the next potty trip. The goal of crate training is: 1. For him to stop having accidents in the house so that he will form a habit of keeping the home clean and be motivated to naturally want that space clean. 2. Be rewarded for pottying outside so that he would rather go there than inside to get a treat. 3. Never be free when his bladder isn't completely empty so that #1 and #2 can happen. For puppies that have been pee pad trained crate training is one of the only effective options for potty training outside because you need to remove access to other potty spots (which your home is full of to him) while they are learning and have a full bladder. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You also may need to remove area rugs or block off carpeting if you have that option while he is getting out of the habit of peeing inside on pads - many dogs confuse pee pads with carpet or rugs unfortunately. Clean up any new or old accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains ENZYMES - the enzymes will remove the smell fully - other cleaners won't, and any remaining pee or poop smell encourages a pup to go potty in the same spot, and dog's noses are a lot more sensitive than ours. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Omi
Labradoodle Miniature
4 Months
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Question
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Omi
Labradoodle Miniature
4 Months

Hi, we have a 4 month (almost 5 months) old Labradoodle that is a very intelligent dog. She always pees and poops on her pads and sometimes poops right next to them. However, we wanted to train her to go outside because these pads have started to really stink up the living room.

We feed her on a schedule and she usually poops right after she eats, but she just will not do anything outside when we walk her. She doesn't really have any signs of wanting to do business because she is normal at all times and then will just walk right on over to her pad and start peeing without warning. She only pees and poops on her pads and we feel like removing the pads will only make her confused...

She does not have a crate or anything because she cries very loudly when she's locked up so we felt bad about keeping her in one.

We want to train her before she gets too old and it becomes complicated to train her. We'd really appreciate any advice you have for us and thank you for reading!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carlos, The easiest way to outside potty train is to crate train because a crate teaches a dog to hold their bladder in a confined space - which helps them associate that with the rest of the house. It ensures that they only go potty while outside, stops inside accidents - which is necessary for potty training to work, and is one of the only ways to keep a dog from pottying inside overnight and when you are home once you remove pads. If you leave pads inside, the dog can learn to go potty outside, but they will go BOTH inside and outside - and not really learn to hold it in the house. The Crate Training article I have linked below is really what is needed. Most puppies cry in the crate and many people feel bad confining them in there - but crating a puppy while young while teaching them good habits can actually earn them 10+ years of freedom out of the crate later because they learn to be potty trained, handle being alone well, not form destructive habits, travel well, and several other skills. Crate Training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside With that said you can also try placing pee pads outside, keeping puppy attached to you at all times while inside, and taking puppy outside to the pads there every hour. When you take puppy to the pads, say "Go Potty" and if she goes potty on them, reward with 4-5 treats, one treat at a time. This method will require someone to be home all the time and you will still need to crate overnight since you will have to remove indoor potty pads if you want her to not go potty inside long term - the longer you wait the more ingrained going potty inside will be, and once pee pads are removed too late many dogs will start peeing on rugs and carpet instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bluebell
Whippet
4 Months
0 found helpful
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Bluebell
Whippet
4 Months

I'd appreciate any advice – our puppy, Bluebell, successfully mastered the art of doing all her wees (poos not so much but she has had a funny tummy for the past few days which upset her routine) on puppy pads within a few days as we don't have a private garden area that we could use to potty train her. Now she is allowed to go outside, I need to retrain her ASAP as we have carpets inside and it's not great for her to be having accidents everywhere and I don't think she likes making a mess. I've started taking her outside every hour, and in the night she goes out and does all her wees on the grassy areas over the road. However I still have puppy pads down and she is still using them mainly to wee when she feels like it in the house during the day. I've read the article on crate training, and she is very happy in her crate for short periods of time so I think I will start doing this method. Shall I get rid of all the puppy pads and start this routine? Our front door is street level then we have a set of private stairs up to the flat and I don't think she has yet associated thats how we get outside as she's too small to get up and down the stairs on her own. So I need her to tell me when she needs to go and that it's not ok anymore to go inside the house.

Help!! She's a clever little dog, and I know she will get it really quickly if I can master the routine.

Thanks in advance.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sophie, It sounds like she is willing to please but confused. I suggest removing all the pee pads and strictly crate training using the Crate Training method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside She will need you to initiate all potty trips for several months until she clearly accepts that inside is somewhere to be kept clean and starts to naturally want to keep it clean herself. At that point, if she doesn't learn to alert you on her own by pawing, barking, or walking toward the door, then you can put a bell at the top of the stairs where she can access it, and teach her to ring the bell using the article linked below. Once she has learned how to ring the bell on command, have her ring it right before you take her out each time and reward her when she potties outside afterward. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Texas
Great Pyrennes/ Husky
1 Year
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Question
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Texas
Great Pyrennes/ Husky
1 Year

We adopted Tex about 2 weeks ago and although he's making great progress going outside, he has peed twice on our older dog's bed. We are wondering if he might have been trained to use a pad and is confusing the bed for a pad. He literally got up off his bed and went over to hers and peed (not just marked). One forum website suggested an enzymatical formula cleaner. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Casey, It is very likely he was trained to pee on pee pads while a puppy - many puppies that are trained to do that will confuse fabric material with pee pads later in life. Enzymatic cleaners are a must for accidents to discourage repeat accidents, but honestly you probably need to get rid of your older dog's bed right now to break the habit. You might be able to reintroduce that bed in six months once potty training is 100% if it was washed with an enzymatic washing machine additive cleaner to get rid of the smell, but for now it needs to be gone or you will just make potty training harder on yourself. Instead of soft, padded beds, use beds with non-absorbent surfaces such as www.primopads.com, cot type beds, or soft beds covered with waterproof material. The key is for the bed fabric not to be absorbent or soft fabric. Watch him carefully around rugs and carpet since those are similar material. There is a slight chance he is marking the bed because of competition between the dogs - since it was a full bladder and isn't happening in other areas where you other dog spends time I don't necessarily think that's it. It's more likely a confusion about where to pee and him thinking it's alright to pee on anything absorbent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Buddy
Morkie
9 Years
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Buddy
Morkie
9 Years

Buddy is 9 years old and has always used a pee pad. Well now he is using them a lot and its running all over my hardwood floor and making a mess. My room is starting to smell like pee and I'm afraid it will ruin the floors. He will go outside and use the bathroom too. I'm gone from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. so he relies on it alot. Pee pads were nice in the beginning but its becoming a serious problem. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rhonda, Check out Porch Potty - an indoor potty that can hold a lot of urine and has disposable grass pads on top that can be changed as needed. You can also place pee pads on top of the potty if he is more comfortable using those, but since he is trained to potty outside, the grass that it comes with will likely also work. https://www.porchpotty.com/how_a_dog_potty_works_a/133.htm I suggest doing a mini potty training bootcamp one weekend just to get him used to pottying on the porchpotty. Place the potty where you would normally place his pee pad. Check out the article linked below and follow the method from that article that you feel would work best for him and your schedule to teach him to go potty on the porch potty, before simply leaving him unattended with it while you are gone. The article linked below mentions litter box training, but the steps are the same for a potty like porch potty also. You could also try litter box training him but the grass or pee pad on the porch potty will be more familiar and likely an easier transition for him - but a litter box is a lot cheaper initially. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy You could also place a pee pad on top of a litter box filled partially with litter for absorption, and teach him to potty on that for a lower cost - the moving litter below his paws will make it take a bit longer than the porch potty's stable surface though, but he can likely learn to use it with some training and a bit more time. If you want to transition away from indoor potty training in general and teach him to potty outside, then I suggest hiring a dog walker to take him outside as often as he needs (every 4-5 hours at his age potentially) and crate training him using the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Since he is older, the times won't apply to him. Instead, while you are away have someone take him potty every 4-6 hours, and while you are home, take him potty every 3 hours, placing him back into the crate if he doesn't go potty, and giving him two hours of supervised freedom outside the crate after he potties outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he seems to be drinking and peeing larger quantities than before, then I suggest a trip to your vet because increased thirst and increased urination can be a sign of a medical issue, especially since he is older. With some medical issues you cannot withhold water because the kidneys need the extra water, so if you suspect this I wouldn't suggest crate training and withholding water at any point while you are away - and if he is constantly drinking then he will have accidents in the crate still. Instead, switch to a better indoor potty like a litter box or porch potty and make sure he still has access to water while you are away per whatever your vet recommends you do (I am not a vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cha Cha
Bichon Frise
9 Years
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Cha Cha
Bichon Frise
9 Years

My dog Cha Cha came to my trained to use piddle pads. This has been terrific while I am at work, as I often work long hours. Now, however, I have a new job which allows dogs at the office. We cannot use piddle pads there, however. I would like to train her to wait to go outside when we are at work or at another public location, but still use a piddle pad if I have to leave her home at work. Is this possible? If so, how do I train her to do that?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kimberly, This will be difficult honestly. At home you could set up an exercise pen in a room that is not part of the main area of the house and put a disposable real-grass pad in the exercise pen, then follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below. Exercise Pen method - use a disposable real-grass pad in place of a litter box: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy You want to get away from pee pads completely because pee pads are made out of fabric so if you take her to work and there are no pee pads there is a good chance she will pee on a rug or carpet because a lot of pee pad trained dogs confuse those with pads and will choose to go on them when they don't see a pad. Train her to use the real grass pad in the exercise pen in a room away from the rest of the house and put her in the exercise pen when you need to leave her at home alone and for her to pee on a pad, then follow the crate training and tethering methods from the article linked below to teach her to "hold it" in the rest of the house normally. You will want to focus on taking her outside to potty most of the time and her being attached to you or crate inside while you are home to prevent accidents in the absence of the pee pads in that part of the house. When she gets to the point where she will hold it without accidents whenever she is not in the exercise pen, then you can try giving her more freedom while you are home to see how she does. If she starts having accidents she needs more time working on it though, so go back to crating and tethering for longer. I would practice potty training at home for at least a couple of months before trying to bring her to the office, and only try bringing her to the office when she has gone at least one full month accident free. When you first take her with you to work, you can also have her wear a doggie diaper inside just in case. There are reusable doggie diapers that you can place absorbent pads inside of. Some of them even look like little shorts and cute designs so that it doesn't look like a diaper as much. The first week that you take her to work you may want to have her wear that just in case. If she keeps it dry great! If she doesn't keep it dry, then you will know she needs more potty training. Be sure to take the diaper off when you take her potty outside because you don't want her to learn to pee in the diaper normally. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Tink
Brussels griffon
3 Years
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Tink
Brussels griffon
3 Years

We moved to a new house 6 mos. ago and as I was rolling up the rug under the dining room table, I realized that Tink, my 3 yr. old Brussels Griffon was not fully housebroken. Since we've moved to the new house, she has been better as we have fewer area rugs, but she started peeing on the doormat in front of the door where we take her out. I removed the rug, replaced with a recycled rubber mat, and placed a pee pad next to it. Most of the time--and even when we're gone--there are no accidents, but when we are home, she has a schedule in the evening where she needs to go out at 7, 8, and again at 10:30. If we miss the time--even by a few minutes--she will go on the pee pad. I can't scold her because she's actually not doing anything wrong. I'd just prefer it if she went outside to do her business. I noticed that she seems frightened to go out at night, even with the porch lights and street lights. She has to be coaxed to go out, even though I know she has to go. As we live in FL, where the severe storms are sometimes an impediment to walking the dog, I really don't want to scare her into not using the pee pad should it be necessary, but her behavior is making my husband crazy. Suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brenda, The pee pads sound like they are causing the confusion - many dogs confuse pee pads with rugs and carpet unfortunately. I generally suggest using disposable real grass pads instead of pee pads, and only using them in areas that are somewhat away from the rest of the house, like a bathroom, laundry room, guest bedroom, or other place you can close off. Dogs learn to go potty in certain locations and not just on certain surfaces so where you put any try of pad a dog may learn that it is okay to pee in that area in general and if the pad is removed may still pee there on something else. Removing rugs is a great first step. Clean any known accidents with a pet cleaner that contains enzymes - only enzymes fully remove the urine and poop smell and the smell needs to be removed so it doesn't attract her back to the same spot. If you wish to give her a potty area inside, then I suggest using the Exercise Pen method and real grass pads to teach her to use a grass pad in a specific area of the house that she can get to on her own, but isn't in the main area of the house like the den - a halfbath, laundry room, storage room, ect... Exercise Pen method or Crate Training method - the method mentions a litter box, I suggest using a real grass pad which works with this method too for the sake of consistency outside, but a litter box should also work if you prefer that and she doesn't mind the feeling of the litter. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands- also sold on amazon, use a less expensive one while teaching this, and if you want to switch to porchpotty you can invest in that later. www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com If you don't want her using an indoor toilet anymore, then I suggest using the Tethering method while home with her, and the Crate Training method while away to re-potty train her without the pee pads. She needs to be kept confined or really close when she is not completely empty though since she is used to peeing in the house and will likely look for an alternative place to go at first when you remove the pee pads - don't let her sneak off while she is still learning: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
ricco
Pug
1 Year
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Question
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ricco
Pug
1 Year

After 3 weeks training (one day an entire 10 hours outside), my pug refuses to go outside. After the 10 hour day, we came in and he ran to his pee pad and pooped and peed a storm!!! I've put him in bed with me and 4:30 a.m. he started fussing. I took him outside until 6:30 and he did nothing. We finally came in and he went directly to the pee pad. We've gone on walks...nothing! I have a frenchy and a boxer and I take him out regularly with them to go bathroom. He sniffs and turns away...doing nothing...I'm at a loss. I've even taken him from the pee pad to outside and he won't even finish his bm outside. He'll hold it until later to finish...any suggestions!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alanna, It sounds like he thinks going potty anywhere but a pee pad means he's having an accident and it's not acceptable so he is trying very hard not to "have an accident" in his mind. I suggest gradually turning his pee pad into a grassy area, then moving the grassy area outside, then gradually making the grassy area smaller until he is pottying on the grass underneath it in the same spot. To do this use the exercise pen method from the article linked below. Instead of a litter box, place a real grass pad in the exercise pen with a pee pad on top of it. Sprinkle some grass shavings from outside on top of the pee pad also. Over the course of 1-2 weeks gradually cut the pee pads smaller and smaller until one day all that's left is the grass pad underneath. When he will go potty on the grass pad underneath, move that pad outside for him to potty on it there. When he is used to pottying on the grass pad outside (which smells and feels like grass - use real-grass pads and not astroturf for this), then gradually start cutting that grass pad smaller and smaller over the course of 2-3 weeks, until he is finally being taken to go potty in the spot where he went before. Don't give him pee pads back even if he holds it for longer once he can pee on the grass pad. If you get desperate fall back on grass pads not pee pads - because it's less different than the grass outside. Every time he pees on the grass pad OUTSIDE praise and give a treat, continue to give lots of treats or pieces of dog food when he is pottying on the grass in your yard instead of pads. When you take him potty outside, tell him to "go Potty" so that he will learn to go quickly in the future and will be motivated because of the treats. You may also need to walk him around your yard on leash for a bit before walking him over to the grass pad/area to physically help him feel the urge to go - moving can help a dog feel the need to go potty. Real grass pad brands - also carried on Amazon.com : www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bert
Great Pyrenees
15 Weeks
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Bert
Great Pyrenees
15 Weeks

E got Bert when he was 8 weeks old. I have been using pee pads all over the house ...something I have never used before . He usied them alot but not always and misses them a lot and just pees when playing with our 4 yr. old pyr. At night he mostly hits the pads and poops on them if he has to go in the middle of the night. I feel like I need to teech him to ask to go out and that perhaps the pads were a mistake. Our other Pyr. asks to go out...I want to teach him to ask , via barking or making noise . I do not want the buzzer thing ..that will not work in this house ...can you help me ? Our other pyr. sits in front of us and uses her paw to ask.

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-using-pee-pads

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Constance, I do agree that it's time to stop the pads. Because the pads may have caused some confusion I recommend going straight to crate training for potty training - that will help eliminate accidents if followed carefully, which is important to break a bad habit of peeing in wrong spots more quickly. Check out the crate training article linked below. Since pup is a little older he can probably hold his bladder for 4 hours when absolutely needed in the crate, but I suggest taking him potty every 1.5 hours for the training to work much better whenever you are home. Also, go ahead and remove all pee pads from the house. You may also want to take up any rugs temporarily. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Once fully potty trained most dogs will start alerting you when they need to go potty outside on their own because they want to avoid an accident in the house. This typically takes about six months of potty training before they will initiate it too. When they don't learn to initiate it themselves (if you are really consistent with potty training probably 90% learn to do something like bark, scratch or run to the door on their own), then you can teach a Speak command and command speak right before you open the door to take them potty, then give a treat after they go potty outside to help motivate them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mona
Chihuahua
9 Years
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Question
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Mona
Chihuahua
9 Years

I recently moved in with my partner who has a 9 year old chihuahua named Mona. I have a 13 year old lab mix. I take my dog on 3 walks a day. Morning/ after work/evening. Mona has only been wee wee pad trained and although we take her out 3 times a day with my dog she has started peeing on my rugs. Please help. I’ve tried treats, praise everything I can think of. It’s been 3 months of this. My partner thinks it’s cruel to crate/play pen her, and I want to have my rugs back.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Grisell, The truth is, she needs to be crated or confined in an exercise pen during training for the training to work best. Generally, you will not be able to effectively train her to go potty outside unless you can keep her from going inside also. She needs to learn to differentiate between inside and outside. If someone is home all day, then you can attach her to yourself with a six to eight-foot leash to constantly watch her, while also taking her outside every two hours and heavily rewarding her for going outside. Many dogs confuse pee pads with carpets and rugs because both are made out of fabric. You can try switching the pee pads for real grass pads, which will help her prefer grass over fabric. She will need to be confined in a room without rugs or carpet or anything else absorbent, besides the grass pads. Part of the kitchen gated off, a laundry room, bathroom, or other room with hard floor will work. Have the grass toilet be the only absorbent thing in the room. Check out primopads.com if she needs a bed to sleep on that will not encourage peeing on it. You can fill chew toys with her food and a bit of peanut butter, liver paste, or treat paste to give her something fun to do. You can also purchase a device called Pet Tutor or AutoTrainer, which will automatically dispense a piece of dog food when she is quiet and calm for a certain amount of time. This can help her pass the time, give her something pleasant to do, and if she tends to bark, train her to be quiet. While she is learning to use the real grass pad, also take her outside to go potty and heavily reward her any time that she goes outside also. The more she gets used to using the grass pad, the more comfortable she should become peeing on grass also. Her access to the rugs and carpet needs to be completely blocked while she is learning this unless you know she has peed on the grass within the last hour and her bladder is completely empty. If it is easier to take up the rugs while training this, then do so. You may also need to teach her to alert you when she needs to go potty outside. You can teach her to ring a bell and then reward her when she pees outside after ringing the bell. That step will come a bit later though, after she has learned to pee on the grass pads and will pee outside on grass there too. Here is an example of real grass pads. They are more expensive, but each one is advertised to last a couple of weeks: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zeus
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Months
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Question
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Zeus
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Months

Hi My dog Zeus is 6 months old. He does great on puppy pads and we’re transitioning him to go outside. We’ve removed the pads completely. We have keywords for bathroom potty (for pee) and restroom (for poop). But when taking him outside all he wants to do is play and eat grass as well as bark at other dogs as they’re passing by. We’re also having trouble with his crate. We got a crate cover about 2-3 weeks who and he has been doing great. As of this week he started defecating and peeing in the cage. We put a bed in to make it more comfortable (we did towels previously and he would soil those) He is not left for more than 4 hours so I’m confused as to why he started it again.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, A couple of things might be going on with the crate. First, the crate has to be small enough that he can only stand up, turn around, and lay down. Not big enough that he can poop on one end and not be standing right on it. If he can poop in one end and avoid it by standing on the other end, the crate will not be effective. If you have a wirecrate that came with a divider, you can make it smaller using that until he grows. Second, the crate cannot have anything absorbent inside of it. Take everything, including the soft bed and any towels, out of it, except hard or rubber chew-toys. If you want to give him a bit of comfort, then check out Primopads online and put that type of bed in there until he is older, fully potty trained, and not likely to chew on a bed. They do not look very luxurious but they are the type of bed a puppy needs at his age. Continue with the crate training with the changes I mentioned above. When you are home, take him outside every three hours instead of four. When you take him potty, keep giving him his command words, and when he goes, give him a treat. After he has received a treat a few times, then he should start to use the bathroom outside more often. You can also purchase a potty encouraging spray to spray on the ground on the area where you want him to go. When you take him, make sure it is on a leash, and slowly keep walking him around and keep him focused on sniffing the entire time you are out there. If he starts to sniff around, then let him sniff to find a spot to go potty. The movement and scent will help him understand what to do. If he does not go within ten minutes, then take him back inside, put him back into the crate for one hour, and then take him back outside to try again at that point. Repeat this every hour until he goes. When you take him to go potty and you know his bladder is full, hurry him outside so that he does not have an accident inside on the way. If all of that does not work, then put a pee pad outside in an area you would like him to pee on outside. Continue to crate train him, and take him to that pee pad outside on a leash. Tell him to "Potty", and when he goes there, then praise him and reward him with a treat. When he will go potty there whenever you take him there, every three to four hours, then remove the pad but take him to the same spot each time. Repeat everything else just like you did before, telling him to go "Potty, rewarding him with a treat if he does go, or taking him back inside to the crate if he does not go, and trying again in an hour. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
Pomeranian
4 Months
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Lucy
Pomeranian
4 Months

We got our Pomeranian, Lucy, at 6 weeks old and was told from our vet that she couldn't go outside until she had all of her puppy shots. We took advice from others and bought pee pee pads. We already had a puppy play pen in storage that I had saved when our senior dogs had passed away so we started putting Lucy in the play pen with a bed, water bottle, toys and pee pee pads. She started going to the bathroom on the pee pee pads but also all over the house. We didn't know what to do because she wasn't allowed to go outside yet. We then bought her a crate where she now sleeps but every 4-5 hours a night she cried and we let her out to pee pee on the pad. This is costing us our sleep, and we are almost too tired to function in the day. She's now allowed to go outside - my questions are how do we break her from peeing and pooping inside the play pen and just use it as a play area, how do we train her to sleep through the night in her crate and how do we get her to potty outside only? I'm so worried I'm doing a horrible job, and I need to get my husband back in the bedroom to sleep! Lucy's crate is inside our bedroom. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rhonda, First, do a strict crate training policy. Because she has been used to peeing inside, a strict crate training policy is a must. Check out the article below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Because she is older, she can stay in a crate for up to four hours during the day, five hours max but never longer than that or she will have an accident in there too. When you are at home, try to take her outside every two to three hours to help her learn faster though. After she pees outside, then instead of forty-five minutes of freedom like the article mentions, because she is older, she can have one-and-a-half hours of supervised freedom out of the crate. After the hour-and-a-half passes put her back into the crate until it is time to take her potty again, no exceptions. Be sure to follow all of the other steps from that method found in the article below. It will all work together, including: following a schedule so that she is never free when he bladder is not completely empty, telling her to "Go Potty" so that she learns to go faster, rewarding her when she goes potty, making the crate pleasant by giving her fun chew-toys while in the crate, and not letting her out unless she is being quiet when you are first dealing with possible barking in the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside I would honestly avoid using the playpen until she is completely potty trained and use the crate exclusively instead. When her bladder is empty and you want her to be free you can attach her to yourself with a six or eight-foot leash so that she cannot wander off and get into mischief. You can also install an eye-hook on one of the baseboards in a room where you hang out a lot, put a durable dog bed by it and place chew-toys on it. That way you can connect her leash to the eye-hook and keep her nearby. Only do this while you know her bladder is empty though. Check out VirChewLy leashes if she tends to chew on leashes. Once she is fully potty trained, then very carefully bring the exercise pen back out and only use it while you can watch her for the first week, to see if she tries to pee in there again. The exercise pen is a bathroom to her right now. If someone put you into a bathroom, you would assume that they did it so that you would use the potty, unless you were shown otherwise and taught to go to the bathroom in another location first. For the night wakings, first crate training her during the day should get her into the habit of holding her bladder better, opposed to just going potty whenever the urge hits her. Right now she likely needs to go potty whenever she wakes up during light sleep, and not when she truly has to go, but if you ignore that plea right now she might have an accident because her body is not used to holder her pee. So work on crate training her during the day and getting her on that consistent schedule. Also, two hours before bedtime take away all food and water. This will give her time between eating and drinking and bed to go potty one last time and get everything out before sleep. When you put her to bed, make sure that you are taking her potty right before putting her into the crate and not forty-five minutes or an hour beforehand. Also make sure that she is somewhere dark and quiet where she can go to sleep in the crate. Her body will not shutdown her bladder for the night until she is actually asleep, so taking her potty last thing and making sure the setting encourages sleep helps with that. When you take her to go potty during the night, take her outside on a leash, watch her go, and keep the trip really boring. As soon as she goes potty, quietly take her back inside and put her into the crate. The middle of the night is the one time you don't want to make potty trips fun. You want to stick to business so that she will not ask to go out for fun but only if she truly needs to go. If she wakes you up in the morning before it is time to get up, take her potty like you do during the night but don't feed her early, let her play, or do anything exciting. After she pees, put her back into the crate until time to get up for the day. Ignore all crying and crate her in another room if you need to, to help you ignore her. Doing this will set the tone for great mornings later when she can make it through the night without a potty break. She is young enough that she may genuinely need to go potty during the night still. I suspect crate training during the day and keeping night trips boring will cause her to go longer and longer without a potty break during the night over the next two weeks though. If you don't see improvement during the next two weeks doing the daytime routine, then crate her in another room and put an audio baby monitor in there so that you will hear her if she wakes up, but she will not wake up simply for your attention anymore. This might involve some crying when you first put her to bed somewhere else, but that crying will actually help her learn to self-sooth and be less depend on you, which can help with the night wakings too. When you first put her to bed that is a good time to practice that because you know that she does not genuinely need something, like a potty break or food, she just wants attention. Learning to self-sooth in a crate can also prevent separation anxiety later on. I suggest moving the crate out of the room and using a baby monitor if you don't see improvement in two weeks. If that does not work, then she probably simply needs more time for her body to mature. Give it until she is five to six months old. She should gradually start sleeping longer and longer every week around five months of age. If she is still waking you up when she turns five to six months of age, even though she is in another room, then it is time to let her cry it out until it has been six-and-a-half to seven hours since her last pee break. She can make it longer by that age too, but only if she is asleep the whole time. If she wakes up, then she will need to go potty sooner. Generally an awake puppy can hold his bladder for the number he is in months of age plus one. So four to five hours is about right for your pup right now, at four months of age. At six months of age, a dog can go seven hours. When a dog stays asleep, his bladder shuts down in a way and that allows him to hold it for longer, but only while asleep. A five month old dog who stays asleep all night can make it nine-hours in most cases. Also, if you don't want to wait, then you can go ahead and move her crate into another room right now. You might not need to do so, but you also might see quicker progress if you do it now, rather than try other things for two weeks and then see if you need to move it. Check out this article for additional things you can do to help her get used to a crate, if she needs any extra help. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Watson
Terrier mix
8 Months
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Question
1 found helpful
Watson
Terrier mix
8 Months

Hi, we've had Watson for for about 2 months now. He is crate trained and for the most part trained to go on a pad near the door. He does have accidents once in a while in the house. We've tried gently moving him outside with the pad when he starts going. But, he always stops; and as soon as we take him back in after waiting a for several minutes, he does inside. Also whenever we take him on walks to try get him to go outside, he is always way too excited to go and just sniffs and walks around.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alex, I suggest removing the pad from inside the house completely. Put the pad outside then phase it out later or simply take him outside without a pad there. Take him outside every four hours on a leash, tell him to "Go Potty", and if he goes, give him three small treats, one at a time.. If he does not go within ten minutes, then take him back inside and put him back into the crate. Keep him slowly moving and sniffing while outside to help him stay focused. Carry him to the crate if he has accidents when he walks back inside. After an hour, take him back outside on a leash and try again. Repeat the trips with crating in-between every hour after the initial four hours until he goes potty outside. Hurry him through the house on a leash so that he does not stop and pee on the way. If that does not work to prevent accidents on the way, then carry him until he gets better at going outside. When he does go potty outside, you can give him two hours of supervised freedom in the house, then put him back in the crate until it is time to take him potty again at the four hour mark. Do this so that he will only have two options when his bladder is at all full, which is the crate and outside, and never inside. Do all of this very strictly until he goes potty outside every time that you take him and then you can gradually increase his free time outside of the crate after peeing outside, until he can go the full four hours without any accidents between trips. You may want to remove area rugs temporarily for a while when you first increase his free time, to prevent him from confusing them with pee pad material. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Max
Chiuahua Mix
17 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Max
Chiuahua Mix
17 Months

I used pee pads for first couple 2 months and then just create training , at 6 months we moved to house w a yard and dog door and got Milo the lab mix , max occasionally pees on bathroom rugs ( as though they are pee pads) and now with the rain he will pee on hard floor rather than go outside - do I just start over w crate training ? And what about the bath rugs ( yes the pee pads were first in the bathroom ) oops

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicki, Unfortunately, going back to the basics for a little while, until he is doing well again, is the answer. You can either crate train (which you will need to do either way when you are not home or awake) or you can attach Max to yourself with a six-to-eight-foot leash by clipping one end of the leash to yourself and one end to him. Also, you will need to clean the rugs with a cleaner than contains enzymes to fully remove the pee smell (other cleaners don't remove it to the point where dog's sensitive noses can't smell it, and any remaining smell just encourages him to go potty on it again). Many grocery or large pet stores carry a enzymatic spray, some also carry a laundry additive or concentrate bottle. Look for something like the laundry additive so that you can actually run the rugs through your washing machine with the enzymatic product. The spray can be used on things like hard floors - that can't be thrown in the washing machine. You should also be able to get both types of cleaners somewhere like Amazon. Nature's Miracle used to make one and may still. Just check the bottle and make sure it say enzyme or enzymatic somewhere (because not all pet cleaners do contain enzymes - although they should). When you take him to go potty, right now, take him on a leash or go with him to make sure he is actually going potty outside. Tell him to "Go Potty" and encourage him to sniff around. When he does go potty, give him four treats, one at a time. The treats will help him want to go potty outside again. Some dogs really hate going potty in the rain. The hard truth is that these dogs may need to be accompanied outside or at least watched from the door long-term during storms to make sure they actually go potty. One of my own dogs falls into this category. I call him to the door to go outside (He will try to hold is bladder super long otherwise). I tell him to "Go Potty" as I let him out the door, and I watch him from the door window to make sure he goes. Because he knows what "Go Potty" means and I watch him and insist that he goes potty, he has learned that the fastest way to get back inside is to simply go potty quickly while out there. He tends to be my fastest pee-er when it's raining because he is more motivated to hurry up than my dog that likes the rain (the one that likes the rain is of course a Retriever haha). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Indy
Coton de Tulear
18 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Indy
Coton de Tulear
18 Months

Hi, my dog's name is Indy, and he's about a year and a half old. My dog is becoming a bit too dependent on pee pads recently. He was doing extremely well going outside, but ever since I started my job (would leave at 7am and not get home till around 5pm some days) he has been relying on pee pads more. He is a small dog (around 14 lbs.), so I initially had the pee pads there because I would be gone so long during the day and the pee pads would be there to use in case he needed to go to the bathroom. But Indy is using them so much that he hardly will go outside anymore. I often use treats when he goes to the bathroom outside, but it doesn't seem to be working that much. My dog also seems to lack an attention span too. He gets extremely unfocused (especially when we go outside) and bark at every little thing he hears or sees (he barked at a rustling bush just today). If he starts barking/unfocused, the only way to get him to focus again is to change is setting (which is going inside). It's getting to be so bad that even when I wake up to take him outside in the morning, he won't go to the bathroom hardly at all outside. I'm not sure what we are doing wrong! I need help and guidance please!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, First, as long as he has access to the pee pads he is going to prefer those. Imagine having an out-house behind your house vs. an indoor bathroom right around the corner inside. Which would you use? When he has the convenience of being able to relieve himself inside as soon as his bladder feels the least bit full, then he will also get out of the habit of holding his pee for longer. He will get used to peeing whenever he feels like it, almost like a toddler in diapers vs. someone who knows to wait until they can visit the restroom. His desire to hold his bladder actually can decrease and he will not hold it for as long during the day. You have three options when it comes to the pee pads. 1. You can remove them entirely and crate train him during the day until he gets out of the habit of peeing outside. You will need to crate him if you do this because if he cannot find a pee pad and is not out of the habit of peeing inside yet, then he is likely to start peeing on rugs and carpet instead. Go back to the basics of crate training. Since he is older, he can be crated for up to eight hours during the day once he gets used to holding his bladder again. Until he is used to holding his bladder, only expect him to hold it for six hours in the crate though. You might need to hire a dog walker to come midday for a while at first. When you take him outside, tell him to "Go Potty", and give him three treats, one at a time, after he goes. If you are at home with him, then you can take him to go potty as often as every three-and-a-half to four hours. The only time that he gets freedom in your home is when he has peed outside within the last two hours. After that, put him back into the crate until it is time to take him potty again. Doing this will ensure that he is never free when his bladder is full, which prevents accidents. As he gets used to only peeing outside again, then you can gradually leave him out of the crate for longer between potty trips, as long as he remains accident free, until he is out of the crate for the entire four-plus hours between potty trips. You can also teach him to ring a bell to go outside if he does not let you know when he needs to pee in another way right now. 2. Teach him to use something other than pee pads inside. I suggest a litter box instead of a pee pad if you go this route because, although he might not use it less often, it is easier for you to clean and does not resemble rugs or carpet. Of the indoor toilet options, this one is the most likely to lead to him holding his bladder until he gets outside. You can also use real grass pads. The real grass pads are actual grass so his desire to pee on the grass inside and outside are consistent. The grass pads inside are more convenient to use so he may not learn to prefer while using these, but when you are somewhere where he does not have access to the pads he should still be in the habit of peeing on grass outside too, making it easier to take him other places without the pads. Grass pads are also less likely to lead to peeing on carpet and rugs later if you remove them. To litter box train him, check out the article that I have linked below. Since he is older, you can take him to the litter box every three hours when he is outside of a crate, and every three to four hours when you are home and you are using a crate. If you are gone, then you will need to use the "Exercise Pen" method and leave him in the pen, or crate train him for NO longer than six, and eventually eight-hours. You can also use the same methods to teach him to use the grass pad instead. Simply replace the litter box in the article's steps with the grass pad. Since he is used to peeing on grass already, he might catch on quickly to the grass pad. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Here is a link to a real grass pad. https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=pd_sim_199_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00EQJ7I7Y&pd_rd_r=03668d4d-e535-11e8-b82c-21b13ea86793&pd_rd_w=KKrr3&pd_rd_wg=j4X11&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=NN4YQ2VQMGVMYZFTAPSW&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=NN4YQ2VQMGVMYZFTAPSW 3. Your final option with the pee pads is simply to accept that he will use them. I know that is not very helpful, but now that you know the alternative options, you can decide which option is the most worth it for you. If you do keep the pads, then I suggest setting up an exercise pen, leaving the door open, putting the pad inside, and then showing him where it is by taking him to it often. Doing this will help prevent him from getting used to just peeing inside anywhere. If you later decide to remove the pee pads, him having only one specific, obvious location where he is used to peeing inside can minimize the number of accidents he would otherwise have inside when you removed the pads. You can simply block off that area, take him outside VERY frequently, teach him to ring a bell, and heavily reward him for peeing outside, at that point if you removed the pads. This only works if he is used to peeing in only one location that is very visually different than the rest of the house though. Imagine setting up toilets all over your house vs. teaching a toddler to go into the bathroom to pee. Both create very different expectations for where you need to pee. When it comes to the distraction and barking outside, work on teaching Indy the "Quiet" command, then work on desensitizing Indy to each of the things that he tends to bark at by using his food to reward him whenever he sees or hears one of the things that he tends to react toward. Start with the individual triggers as much as you can, keeping the environment calm and rewarding him as soon as you see or hear something he normally barks at, before he has a chance to bark. Check out the video that I have linked below. The video is for desensitizing a dog to guests arriving, but you can use the same type of training in the backyard with the things that he barks at there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cash
American Eskimo mix
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Cash
American Eskimo mix
5 Months

Cash was trained to go on pee pads by the woman I adopted him from. He'll use them in the house and OCCASIONALLY pee next to them. He'll pee outside no problem with my older 12 year-old dog, and even though he pees a lot, he'll generally always go again when we get back in the house. If there's no pad, he'll go where the pad was.

To be honest, we don't take him out super often, but this happens on a day where he's been out every 2 hours vs. every 4-6. He can hold it for over 9 hours overnight or occasionally in the crate, though we try to keep that to a max of 5 to 6 hrs. We originally had 4 pee pads in the house, but we've removed from the bedroom with success and he only goes on ones in the living room (about 3 feet from front door) and one in the hallway outside the bedrooms before the living room. This is the one he goes on most and when removed he pees where it was.


Pooping outside has been a challenge and honestly I just gave up. I've only gotten him to poop outside once. Before the last 2 weeks, he would go like clockwork right after he ate. So the first time I got him to go outside, if he didn't go after 10 min, I brought him inside, crated him, and tried again in 5 min. After about 4 trips he went merely because he couldn't hold it any longer. I've tried that 2 times since and even let him outside of his crate and watched him like a hawk to see if he went towards the pads and it took over an hour so I gave up. Now his schedule has changed and he doesn't go right after he eats, which makes it more of a guessing game.

I should mention that we live in an apartment in a house. Our front door opens to a foyer that has the front door of the house directly after that. Outside there is a small deck with about 10 steps that goes to a landing. If you make a right, there is a huge 40x40 porch, and beyond that a fenced in 6x3 ft.area with a bush and mulch. We've been trying to train him here due to the winter weather, if it's raining, and because I have a medical condition where sometimes I won't be able to "walk" him until my husband gets home from work. Also at the bottom of the 10 steps, if you go straight there is another 25 steep steps down to the street. We have him trained off-leash when we open the front door to go directly to where we want him to pee. He only goes towards the street when we have his leash on. He goes pee just the same on walks, but since I got him to poop that one times in the fenced area, that's where we try to get him to go.

Any advice? At this point he's 20lbs and I'm tired if cleaning up messes that are half on and half off the pad.

Thanks,
Lauren

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, The least confusing thing to do for him is remove all pee pads, follow a strict crate training schedule, reward him for going potty outside with treats, and clean up any current or previous accidents (that you can remember) with a cleaner that contains enzymes to remove the lingering urine and poop smells that will encourage him to go potty in that spot again and are left behind by any cleaners that don't contain enzymes. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Because he is older, you can take him to go potty every 3-4 hours instead of 1 hour. Once he goes potty outside, you can give him 1-2 hours of supervised freedom outside of the crate, then put him back into the crate until it is time to take him potty again (to prevent him from being free and having an accident while his bladder is filling up). If he pees inside when you bring him back inside even after cleaning the area well and peeing outside, you will need to put him right back in the crate after outside trips, or clip him to yourself with a six-to-eight-foot leash and watch him extremely carefully until time to put him back into the crate. All of this can be pretty time consuming but you need to stop accidents inside to build his instinct to keep his home clean. Every accident he has, makes it take longer to potty train him, so crate training carefully for a couple of months is usually the quickest way to potty train and one of the only ways to potty train a dog who is already used to peeing inside. Check out the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below. That article also contains other tips for getting a dog to poop outside: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you wish to keep him potting inside too because of your health, then set up an exercise pen in a corner or unused room like guest bathroom (the area should have hard floor not carpeting). Purchase a disposable real grass pad and use that inside the exercise pen so that both inside and outside are grass and not fabric (fabric resembles carpet, clothes, and rugs so can lead to accidents). Use the crate training method in general, but when you want him to pee inside take him to the real grass pad in the exercise pen inside and close the pen door until he goes potty in there. Reward him with a treat and praise when he goes potty on the grass pad in the pen or outside, then let him out of the pen. Remove all other potty locations inside and be just as strict about the crate training schedule with both the inside and outside potties as you would be with just an outside potty area. Only keep an inside potty if you plan to use one long term. You are creating a life long potty habit and if you eventually want him to only potty outside, he needs to learn to only go potty outside. If you have the option, you can also create a potty area on the deck so that you don't have to walk as far for trips. "Porch Potty" makes a good potty for this purpose. You can also create your own using a shallow large plastic bin and a piece of grass sod placed in the plastic bin. Real grass disposable pad: https://www.freshpatch.com/products/fresh-patch-standard?variant=3477439297&gclid=Cj0KCQiAjszhBRDgARIsAH8Kgvf9K6vN-Q8A7Nhd3SepHlkIjMRZpWKty1cnOLuaYsfu1Mla8PIR9gEaAjMyEALw_wcB Amazon.com also carries REAL grass disposable pads. They are more expensive than pee pads but are each supposed to last a couple of weeks. Porch potty: http://www.porchpotty.com/Default.asp?gclid=Cj0KCQiAjszhBRDgARIsAH8KgveNWQnf9KNyAYxmUjUoMGiYKCYqcNVA7YfIim9S5VKPLTvIPzOC448aApojEALw_wcB Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lady
Cocker Spaniel
1 Year
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Lady
Cocker Spaniel
1 Year

Hi! So we have crate trained Lady since she was a puppy and we have also used the pad when she is out and about so if she really has to go she can use the pad instead of doing her business on the tile. We technically need help with two things. the first is, we have noticed that she never quite learned how to hold her urine simply because her crate has a floor grid and so when she urinates it goes straight through and onto the tray. However, she has learned to hold her poo as it does not go through the metal bars. The second issue we are having is we simply want to get rid of the pee pad altogether and the tactics explained on this site just dont work for us. We have a very small and narrow enterance to our apartment and there is simply no room for the pee pad to go there. Is there any other advice you can provide me? Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello, To teach her to only go potty outside, you will need to go back to the basics of how you would train a puppy to go potty outside. Check out the article that I have linked below. The "Crate Training" method is typically the easiest, but you will have to experiment to see if that option could work. You would need to transition her to a normal crate (where the pee would collect at her feet and not drain and the crate was small enough she could not move away from it to the other end). You would want to take her outside every three hours even while crate training at first, to give her opportunities to succeed and not force her to pee in the crate while she is still learning to hold her bladder. Taking her out more frequently and removing the drainage might help her learn to hold her bladder in the crate to avoid mess. As she improves, you could gradually space the potty trips further apart later as she is able to hold her urine for longer. She would probably end up having about three accidents in the crate that were uncomfortable for her before she would realize that the pee does not drain and try to hold it in the future. If she consistently has accidents after the initial three, I would abandon this method because she might continue to simply soil herself regularly. The second option is the "Tethering" method from the article linked below. This method can be limiting if you do not work from home but you are home, it is a good option. If you cannot use this method all the time, one compromise is to set up an exercise pen in a room that she normally cannot access, like a bathroom with hard floors. Put a disposable real grass pad on one end (to encourage peeing on grass still) and have her stay in there when you have to leave the house. The only time that she would be in there is when you are not home and you would use the Tethering method while you are home. This compromise is not as ideal as her holding her bladder the entire time you are gone like crate training, but it can work as a compromise if crate training is no longer an option and remove the option of the pee pad from the main area of the house to encourage her cleanliness inside. Be sure to reward all pottying outside with treats and praise right now - you want her to prefer going potty outside. Make sure you clean up any old pee pad locations or accidents with a pet safe spray that contains enzymes - the bottle should say enzyme or enzymatic on it - only enzymes remove the smell well enough for a dog not to be able to smell the urine or poop still and any remaining smell will encourage peeing in the same spot. While training, I also recommend blocking off the spot where the pee pad used to go - so that she does not simply use that spot as if it were a pee pad still. This should be less of an issue if you are consistent about crate training or keeping her attached to yourself at all times with the tether leash. Potty training article - Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Disposable real-grass pad - only buy real grass ones: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=psdc_3024225011_rv_t1_B005G7S6UI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cornelius
Havanese
18 Weeks
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Cornelius
Havanese
18 Weeks

Hi! I have had my dog since he was 9 weeks old and is now 18 weeks old. I live in an apartment and so I trained him to use wee wee pads. Originally, we had him free in our apartment and he was having accidents everywhere. So we created a smaller pen area for him and his accidents minimized, but he hates it and cries and yelps and jumps when he is there too long. He also destroys the wee wee pads by scratching or chewing them. So we started letting him out free in the apartment again. His accidents have minimized because we are crate training him. He is comfortable in his crate and likes it. He sleeps in his crate at night and can now hold it between 8-9 hours overnight. During the day he can hold it for about 3-4 hours. There is one wee pad in his pen, and 2 in our apartment (very close to each other) because we found that unless the pad is directly in his face if he gets distracted he pees wherever he is. He also has separation anxiety- I can't even go to the bathroom without him following. I have to return to work in 2 months full time and would like to get to a place where he is either ok free in our apartment or okay in his crate for longer periods of time. I have never left him alone in the apartment without me and I am fearful he will freak out since I can barely leave the room without him getting upset. He goes to daycare twice a week, but I would love to just have a dog walker come once during the day. Is it ok to crate him for 6 straight hours?? That feels cruel. Help! What do you suggest? Also, he pees outside with no problem- I am transitioning him to go outside, but he only goes #2 in the AM when he really has to, otherwise at night he will not go and only goes on a wee pad. Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julia, First, I suggest just switching exclusively to crate training for potty training and getting rid of the pee pads to prevent future issues with potty training confusion as an adult - due to doing both for too long. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. You may already be doing most of that, but if not you want read over that to find out. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Second, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. There likely will be some crying pup needs to learn how to cope with being alone now, to avoid separation anxiety as an adult. Know that it is 100% normal for all puppies to have to make this adjustment. Practicing the surprise method can help pup adjust more easily. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Working on commands like Stay and Place and having pup practice staying while you walk in and out of the room is also a good way to ease into some independence and teach better impulse control. This will be something you work up to as pup's Stay and Place improve with practice. As far as crating time. A puppy can generally hold it during the day for as long as the number they are in age plus one. At about 4 months, pup cannot hold it for longer than 5 hours - that number will slowly increase every month. Most pet parents have to work and a crate is usually the safest place for a puppy to be while unsupervised. You can help pup make the transition to longer days in the crate by using the Surprise method linked above to help them work up to longer time - gradually before you have to go back to work, by giving pup dog-food stuffed chew toy in the crate to help with boredom - such as a kong, by hiring a walker to come play with and walk pup midday, or even using the daycare occasionally just to change things up on some days. Many puppies will learn to simply sleep most of the time they are crated. Just be sure to give exercise, training, and attention when you are home, and most dogs do great as long as their bladder capacity is taken into account. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Alex
Maltese
4 Months
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Question
0 found helpful
Alex
Maltese
4 Months

My alex is only 4 months old. We’re in an apartment and we use pee pads for him. He does pee on the pads in the room. But when he comes out of the room he pees wherever. I live in in istanbul and its a very busy city for me to be able to take him for walks. Should i put a pad in every room? When do i stop the pee pads? Please help. First time puppy owner
Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cansu, Check out the Exercise Pen method from the article I linked below. That method will describe how and when you transition pup to a larger space with potty training. If pup seems confused about area rugs or carpeting and shipping things from amazon through the mail is an option for you, you could also try switching pup to a disposable real grass pad instead of pee pad - because a grass pad will resemble carpet, rugs and other fabric a less than fabric pee pads do. If pup isn't having accidents specifically on carpet and rugs, you probably just need to confine closer to the pee pads for longer and make the transition to the rest of the house much more gradual. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=sxin_4_osp105-29f62a1c_cov?ascsubtag=29f62a1c-73b7-4357-ae95-b96fab5be9b3&creativeASIN=B005G7S6UI&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osp.29f62a1c-73b7-4357-ae95-b96fab5be9b3&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-search&keywords=grass+pad&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B005G7S6UI&pd_rd_r=62618bfb-839a-47fb-a5e5-ce3f4a4abe34&pd_rd_w=kkdg9&pd_rd_wg=CmRcJ&pf_rd_p=53eff971-6e12-4016-9864-b6dfd929b2b3&pf_rd_r=V3MFCP643XXAMVQN6MBS&qid=1575041620&tag=5042nst800sr-20 www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com - also on Amazon www.porchpotty.com I would try the less expensive grass brands before purchasing a more expensive long term option like porchpotty though to ensure pup takes to it well. Also, the exercise pen method linked above mentioned litter box training, which is another option, but that method can be used with pee pads or real grass pads also and the steps are essentially the same with all the different surfaces. If you go the grass route, I suggest using only real-grass brands and not astroturf. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kris and Sparky
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
4 Years
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Kris and Sparky
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
4 Years

Missing info above: second dog is 9 years old and a Maltipoo.

My fiance has two dogs who have been living in the house where his family resides. These dogs have been exclusively pad-trained for all their lives. They will be moving to a new house soon with me and my fiance and so we are trying to ween them off of the pads completely. Unfortunately, they both still struggle with peeing on the couch leg or pooping on the carpet sometimes for no reason (sparky more mimics what Kris is doing, even though he was completely trained on the pad). There is a pad in the bedroom they sleep in and one downstairs in the living room. When there are accidents, there is usually very little to no repercussions from the family. Here are the things we want to manage:
- Eliminate at least the bedroom pad while training to go outside
- Get them trained to go outside
- Stop the accidents in the house
- Find a form of discipline when accidents occur so that they stop doing it

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabrielle, Removing pee pads: First, know that all the pee pads need to be removed to make the transition. I suggest doing this all at once instead of gradually while at the same time starting crate training for potty training - you can get pups used to being in a crate before crating for potty training, but once the pee pads are removed you need to move into crate training for potty training to stop accidents from happening in the house long enough for pups to learn a new habit of pottying outside. Crate training: You will need to crate train them for potty training. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crates don't have anything absorbent in them - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for them. Make sure the crate is only big enough for them to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that they can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take them potty less frequently. I suggest taking them potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if they have an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return them to the crate while their bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since their last potty trip. When you have to go off they should be able to hold their bladders in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while they are getting used to it and longer once they are accustomed to the crate. Only have them wait that long when you are not home though, take them out about every 3 hours while home. You want them to get into the habit of holder their bladders between trips and not just eliminating whenever they feel the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If they is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When they cry and you know they don't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give them each a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help them adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If they continue protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell each dog "Quiet" when they bark and cry. If they get quiet and stay quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If they disobey your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at that dog's side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If the pup stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward their quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Discipline: For discipline to work you have to catch pup while they are still going potty - if you are that vigilant then you can also probably prevent the accident in the first place - which works even better. Don't wait to catch pup in the act and discipline, instead use the crate to control their schedules and supervise closely enough that you can prevent accidents - dogs are creatures of habit so forming a new habit is the most important part of potty training - which includes stopping the old habit through prevention. If pups still have accidents during the time they are out of the crate due to trying to scent mark, keep the free dog tethered to you with a leash so that they can't sneak off to mark. This is mostly just an issue with male dogs. If you do catch pup pottying in the act, saying "Ah Ah" calmly and clap your hands three times to surprise them, then quickly take them outside to go potty. Anytime pup uses the potty outside, give 1-4 treats, one at a time (you can use pup's own dog food as treats and keep the treats in a little ziplock bag by the door you take them out of so you will remember. The three most important things to focus on are: 1. Stop current accidents from happening as much as possible through management. 2. Reward pups for pottying outside and teach the "Go Potty" command. You really need to go with pups outside at first to ensure they actually go while they are still being trained. Don't just put them into a fenced in yard and hope. 3. Get rid of potty smells in the house really well by using a cleaner that contains enzymes - bleach and other cleaners won't do the trick. Make sure it contains enzymes. Read the bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Noah & Ellie
Chihuahua
7 Years
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Noah & Ellie
Chihuahua
7 Years

Our dogs currently have been trained to use potty pads (chihuahua-7 years old, cavalier King Charles-7 months old) . I have struggled to find information on how to transition them from the potty pads to A LITTER BOX. We have bought the litter box and litter, but how do we train them to use the LITTER BOX now? Thank you for your time!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lindsey, Check out the article I have linked below. In your case I recommend using either the Exercise Pen method (easiest for you time-wise) or the Crate Training method (most effective if you find the exercise pen method isn't working). https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Using these methods you will go straight from a pee pad to using the litter box, removing the pee pads right away. Occasionally pup will still refuse to use the litter box even without other options like rugs - if that happens, place a pee pad on top of an open top litter box and work on pup using the pad on the litter box (with the litter underneath so they get used to the feel of it a bit). Once pup is used to peeing on the pad in that location in the box, start cutting the pad down over the course of two weeks. Cut away an inch or so of the pad on each side every day or two - until finally you will be left with a very small square pee pad only a couple of inches wide - at that point, stop using the pee pad completely and just leave the litter box there for pup to use - because the pee pad will be so small pup will have been peeing mostly on the litter anyway by then. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cappie
Shepherd mix
3 Months
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Cappie
Shepherd mix
3 Months

Hello! I’ve seen your responses to others that are very helpful and was wondering if you can help with my specific situation. I have a puppy who just turned 3mo old and who knows to use pee pads in the apartment, though he at times has accidents on our rug, which I assume he mistakes for a pee pad. I take him out as much as possible, and he knows to pee/poop outside, so he essentially is doing both inside and outside right now. (He’s also starting to learn to ring the potty bells slowly). However, I want to get him away from thinking he can go inside at all.

I work full time but come back for lunch, so he is alone for 4 hours at a time. At that time he is in a small confined area with his crate (door open) and a pee pad. Since he’s only 3 months, it feels too long to crate him for 4 hours at a time, so I use the above situation, but I worry that continuing with pee pads for another month will make it harder to wean him off. Can you help me figure out the right transition plan?

Thank you!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christina, I am so glad you have found the other answers helpful. Thanks for letting me know. I suggest moving his area to somewhere that can be closed off from the rest of the house - like a small bathroom, or exercise pen in a spare bedroom without carpeting. Keep the crate setup the way it is and switch out the pee pad for a disposable real grass pad for him to go potty on. Make sure there is something fabric in the area that he would pee on instead of the grass pad. I would use this setup while you are away for one more month. While you are home, keep pup tethered to you at all times unless he is in the crate to prevent accidents while he is getting out of the habit of peeing in the rest of the home - especially on rugs. You may even want to pull up rugs temporarily if they seem to be an issue at first. When switching to the grass pads I would make the switch right away - removing all pee pads and replacing with grass pads instantly since pup is used to peeing on grass outside already - you want to go ahead and get away from fabric material for pottying. Disposable real grass pad brands - also on Amazon: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com When he is four months old and can hold it for 4-5 hours, I suggest switching exclusively to crate training. He will be crated for a good amount of time but it shouldn't be longer than he can hold and he will likely sleep most of the time. Just be sure to give him a dog food stuffed chew toy to keep him entertained while you are away. In the evenings and weekends spend intentional time training and exercising him to make sure his needs get met. Crate Training method - these times are for when you are home. Since he will be older, potty trips when you are home can be every 2 hours and he should be able to hold it for 4-5 when you are not home. When you are home you can also combine the crate training method at 4 months with the tethering method to continue potty training - pup may even be able to handle a bit more freedom by then too if you have been able to stop accidents during the previous month. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside During this month, while pup is still in the pen or confined area going potty on grass pads, go ahead and practice getting pup used to being confined in the crate for one hour as often as you reasonably can practice it. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Getting pup used to being in the crate quietly now will make the transition to crate training for potty training later easier on pup. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shera
Labrador Retriever
7 Weeks
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Shera
Labrador Retriever
7 Weeks

We got him from a litter in Boone. He is used to pee and do potty outside. We do the same here. But at night it is difficult to take him out every three hours. He does make sounds when he has to pee. Tried to take him to the bathtub and also pee pads. He refused and then went back to his pen and peed on the sheets and started making sounds to clean it. How do I make him get to the bath tub or pee pads to pee at night? During day it's absolutely fine. Night is the issue

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, I suggest purchasing disposable real grass pads instead of using pee pads for this. Since pup will be going potty outside, the consistency of grass will help the process go easier now and also help avoid confusion with peeing on rugs and carpet later. Disposable real grass pads - also on amazon: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Place the grass pads in the tub - starting with enough grass pads to line the bottom of the tub while teaching this, or remove all bath mats from the bathroom and set up an exercise pen lined with grass pads in the bathroom, or another room without carpet, that can be closed off later when you are teaching pup to no longer go potty in the house. During the day, confine pup in the bathtub or exercise pen until they go potty there on the grass, and reward with treats and give some freedom after they go, returning them to the grass area until they go again when their bladder starts to fill again (probably 45 minutes of freedom before they need to be returned to the grass). Do this throughout the day for a few days until pup is starting to go potty quickly on the grass when you take them there. When you reach that point, then you can resume taking pup potty outside during the day and taking them to the bathroom grass just at night. When pup is doing really well for a couple of weeks on the grass in the bathroom at night, you can then try reducing the number of grass pads in the area slowly, until you eventually just have one pup is using in there. (You can keep more if you don't mind the cost though. It won't hurt training). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Duke
Miniature Schnauzer
11 Weeks
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Duke
Miniature Schnauzer
11 Weeks

I got duke at approximately 6 weeks old. Used strictly potty pads for the first 5 weeks or so. Introduced him to my backyard this past Monday. Had a couple successful p's and a couple poop's by friday. I was determined to jump start the "weaning" of the pads starting friday evening as I had the weekend off (which i dont have every weekend). I tried to go cold turkey starting friday evening. Got a good p and poop friday evening, but had a few pee accidents by bed time, two on floor and a couple in the crate. I had a pad at my back door, which was opposite of the spot he had gotten used to (front door, a mistake by me). I gave in and let him use the pad and put an extra one down about halfway between original spot (front door) and new spot( back door). First thing saturday morning I woke him from crate and immediately rushed outside and got a good p and poop followed by praise and treats. Fed a meal in his crate and left him in there for a couple of hours. Had a pretty successful day saturday with no accidents, only what I interpreted as a "marking pee" or two on back pad. Sunday the same thing, pretty succesful day in my eyes. Here's where the problem is. Both me and my wife work full time, I had been using a "safe area" with a gate in a hallway in my house while we are at work. Had been pretty successful with that until he decided the pads were toys he should drag around and chew, and already today he has had multiple accidents on the floor due to this. But that is the dilemma, don't have the time to drop in at lunch as we both commute to work. Can possibly have someone drop in to let him out of crate, but i doubt they would have the time to give him any "free time" for a job well done. And from the time she leaves for work, the earliest I can return home is an 8 hr window. Not sure what I should do? Any suggestions? Or any details you would like from me that maybe I left out, trying not to write a book haha

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello PJ, In cases like yours here is what I generally suggest until pup is old enough to hold it for 4 hours in the crate - with someone coming one halfway through the day to let out... Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads at all anymore if the end goal is pottying outside). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold his bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day while in the crate and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so he won't go into there looking to pee, and take him potty outside only. Since he may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like the exercise pen more and the crate later - until he is out of the destructive chewing phases too even after potty trained - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shelby
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
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Shelby
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

We are in the process of training her. She stays in her kennel sometimes during the day and at night. She is constantly wetting her pads even after we are taking her in and out. As we get her out, she wets my floor (carpet). Should we discontinue the pads? We do not let her out unsupervised yet at night.Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Susan, I am guessing due to her breed size that you plan to teach her to exclusively potty outside. If someone is home to take her out every 3-4 hours max at her age, I would highly suggest stopping the pee pads and going straight to crate training exclusively for potty training. When you are home, take her out as often as the method mentions at first - she should quickly work up to needing to go outside about every 2 hours at this age though. When you are gone she should be able to hold it for the number of months she is in age plus one - meaning no longer than 4 hours at 3 months of age, then 5 hours at 4 months of age. Past that amount of time she will be forced to have an accident in the crate. Check out the Crate Training article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside It also sounds like she is probably submissive peeing some. That is common in young puppies and most puppies will outgrow it if you can help them avoid situations where it happens regularly. Keeping a drag leash on pup while you are home so that you can calmly pick up the leash to direct pup without having to touch pup during times of excitement or anxiety can help prevent accidents. Ignoring pup for 5 minutes when you get home if pup can hold it that much longer - to let pup calm down before you let them out of the crate, and minimizing getting puppy really excited while inside (take it outside when it's too exciting for pup), and keeping discipline and interactions calm and not angry can all help. If pup is having frequent accidents in the crate within 45 minutes of peeing outside despite a correctly sized crate and nothing absorbent in the crate you may need to see your vet to rule out a medical cause of urinary incontinence like an infection. (I am not a vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nala
Pug
15 Weeks
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Nala
Pug
15 Weeks

Hello! I have recently adopted Nala, and I believe the breeder used pee pads in her crate. Every time I put her in her crate, she pees within 5 minutes, even if I have just taken her out immediately before putting her in the crate. I do not want to train her with pee pads, I would prefer to take her outside, As I have roommates, but I’m afraid she associates the crate with peeing, and so she does it immediately. How can I put a stop to this behavior? She does not pee in the crate over night, and she alerts me when she has to go during the night if she can’t make it all the way through, it’s just during the day, she’ll pee in the crate. When I take her outside, I reward her with treats and many “good girl”s. What else can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lucy, First, make sure that the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, stand up, and lie down - and not so big she can pee in one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. Remove anything absorbent from the crate - including a soft bed or towel (check out www.primopads.com for a non-absorbent bed option), and clean the crate thoroughly with a cleaner that contains enzymes to fully remove the smells from the accidents - look on the bottle for the word Enzyme or Enzymatic. It does sound like she has likely learned to go potty in there because of how quickly it is happening, but try the above suggestions first to make sure it's not an easier fix. You can also try feeding pup her meals in there to discourage accidents but if she has learned to potty in there, most of the time you simply have to switch potty training methods until she is fully potty trained - at which point you might be able to use a crate for travel again later in life. To switch methods if the crate isn't an option - while still teaching outside potty training, check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home use the Tethering method. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly - but pup should only learn to potty in that room and not the rest of the house using the below method). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature, are a few options. Don't set the exercise pen up in a main area of the home like the den or kitchen., if at all possible. Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Teddy
Pomeranian
9 Weeks
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Teddy
Pomeranian
9 Weeks

Hello, I have had Teddy for 2 weeks now and have got him trained on the puppy pad in the apartment, now he has had all his vaccinations I want to train him to go outside. I take him out first thing after he eats and basically every hour but he just holds it in and goes on the pad as soon as I bring him back in. I tried taking the puppy pad outside but still didn’t want to go. I was wandering if you had any advise. Thank you, Andi x

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andi, Check out the crate training article linked below. Following that article, pup's only potty option will be outside. If he doesn't go potty when you take him, you will bring him back inside, crate him right away, then try again in 30 minutes. Repeat this process until he goes outside when you take him. You may need to carry him outside for just the first week, to prevent an accident on the way while his bladder is so full. When he finally goes potty outside, praise and reward with five small treats or pieces of kibble, one piece of kibble at a time. Pup earns free time by going potty outside and is prevented for pottying in the house while their bladder is full while learning. Remove all pee pads from inside immediately - pup's only pee option is outside now. Place one pad outside while using the crate for potty training, so it's more familiar. Once pup is going on the pad outside well, slowly cut away part of the pad at a time until pup is going potty on the grass underneath it. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, be sure to take pup potty on a leash in a calm area like the article mentions, to keep pup focused on going and not playing. Play comes after pottying first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Corky
Yorkshire Terrier
7 Months
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Corky
Yorkshire Terrier
7 Months

My Yorkie has been pee-pad trained on one pad in one location by the door for many months. He pees and poops a lot. However, now that we have nice weather I am trying to get him to do his job outside. He loves going outside, but doesn't know why we are out there.
Sometimes after being outside for 20 mins. and I know he has to go, we go inside and he pees on his pad. I take him to the same area outside where a couple of times he has peed and I tell him to go "potty". It appears to mean nothing.
He is very smart, but very defiant. I removed the one pad the other day thinking he would not go there, and he peed and pooped in the same spot where the pad should have been. Note: crate training does not work for him. He will pee and poop in the crate. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sandra, I suggest putting a pee pad outside also, in the area you want him to go in. When he does his business inside, tell him Go Potty and give a treat - to teach the Go Potty command. Once he knows Go Potty well, begin taking him to the pad outside and telling him to Go Potty. If he goes there, give a treat. When pup is regularly going on the pad outside, slowly cut away part of the pad over a couple of weeks, until pup is going on the ground in that spot instead of the pad. If you want pup to permanently switch from pottying inside to outside, opposed to using both, I suggest doing the above, but once pup is doing well outside, also follow the tethering or crate training method from the article linked below and remove the inside pee pad completely. Once the inside pad is removed, you will need to give more supervision and confinement inside to prevent accidents for a while, which is why I suggest the tethering or crate training method for a couple months. Because pup is older, potty trips can be every 3 hours at this age with the outside methods, opposed to 1-2 hours that you would use with a younger puppy. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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georgie
King Charles Spaniel
5 Months
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georgie
King Charles Spaniel
5 Months

Georgie is almost 5 months,crate trained pee pad trained,she has never peed or pood outside,and not from a lack of trying.We've done everything that's been recommended including putting her pads outside were trying to encourage her verbally go pee etc. She's still holds it until she's back in the house. i've been diligent in shadowing her and watching for tell tale signs.She seems to go that second you're not watching.With trying to train her she now goes in random spots in the house.Where do we go from here.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello James, I suggest strictly following the Crate Training method from the article linked below and for the first two weeks carrying her to and from the crate so that she can't have accidents on the way either. Once she is going outside more regularly, have her walk to and from the crate to get her used to going to the door for later. The crate training method linked below works on the idea that she isn't given any freedom unless empty, and the crate naturally encouraging a dog to hold it, so that outside is her only option, then when she does go outside, you will reward to show her it's okay to go potty outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Check out the Surprise method for tips on introducing the crate if she isn't used to one. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate You can either go straight to taking her to grass or place the pee pad outside like you have been doing, then gradually cut it away until she is pottying just on the grass. Using the crate is the difference though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kylo
Corgi
15 Weeks
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Kylo
Corgi
15 Weeks

Hi. So my puppy is crate trained and pad trained since we live in an apartment and had to wait to take him outside until he was fully vaccinated. We just started taking him outside and getting rid of the pads but it’s really stressing him out. He doesn’t understand that he can potty outside and I take him out every 30 mins-1 hour. When I bring him back in, I immediately crate him and he pees within 5 mins. Of course I tell him “no” and interrupt him in the action and take him outside, but he won’t finish outside. He just whines to come back inside because that’s the only place he thinks he’s allowed to go. We trained him on the pad by interrupting him if he peed anywhere else and took him to the pad and we also rewarded him when he went on the pad. It probably took about a week and he was good. He would also never pee in his crate. He would go through the entire night without peeing and if he did have to go he’d whine so we’d let him out, then he’d walk right back into his crate to sleep. Same for during the day. Even when we’d play with him outside of his crate, he would always go to the pad to the pee. He was also trained to go on command, we taught him “go potty” and he knew what to do on the pad but when I tell him this outside he just looks at me or pulls the leash to go inside. We were accident free for a couple of weeks and it was a good system for him. Now that we’ve taken the pads away, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He just sniffs around outside and whines to come back inside. When I bring him in, he immediately tries to go where his pad used to be or in his crate if we crate him. He also refused to poop because there was no pad. I caved in and gave him his pad last night because he threw up twice from either stress, eating too much foreign grass outside and/or not pooping even hours after eating. I just don’t know how to get him to understand that he can go outside if he doesn’t actually go and I can’t reward him. I feel like I’m telling him no all day and it’s not working.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julie, I suggest taking a pee pad with you outside and laying that down in a really quiet area and telling him to Go Potty on that. Reward with treats and lots of praise if he goes. When he is inside with you, keep pup tethered to you with a 6 or 8 foot leash and watch him carefully for any signs he needs to go also. When he is going regularly on the pee pad outside, slowly begin cutting away at the pee pad over the course of 1-2 weeks, until he is just left with pottying on the grass underneath. Continue giving praise and treats for pottying outside during this time. If that doesn't work, then I suggest switching the pee pad out for a disposable real grass pad, having him continue pottying on the grass pad for a bit longer inside to get him used to pottying on grass, then moving the grass pad outside and taking him there to go, cutting the grass pad away slowly until he is pottying on the normal grass underneath. Finally, spend some time with pup outside, simply playing and sitting out there for an 30-60+ minutes each day that you can. You want pup to get used to being outside so that it becomes less scary and distracting - which will help pup be able to relax enough to go potty when out there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Carter
French Bulldog
9 Weeks
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Carter
French Bulldog
9 Weeks

Hoping to find the best solution to potty training our puppy Carter! We live in a condo; our entrance is downstairs but our whole living space is upstairs. We bought a grass pad to put by our back patio door upstairs because he does not know how to tell us he has to go potty yet other then when he is in his crate at night. He has gotten good at going to the grass pad to go pee all by himself but sometimes doesn’t quite make it to the right spot in his playpen to go poop. He is not big enough to go down our stairs to the front door yet; he is very tiny. I am wondering how we can eventually transition him off of the grass potty pad into him letting us know he has to go potty and then we can walk with him downstairs and outside? Should I incorporate a bell now when he goes on the grass pad? I don’t want to confuse him with too many areas and things to do at such a young age. Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aimee, Continue the grass pad, and also begin to get him used to a crate. The easiest thing to do most likely is to get him used to going outside occasionally, even while he is - just to remove the newness and scariness of it - reward with treats when he does go potty outside on a leash, to get him familiar with being in a locked crate for up to an hour at a time, and later to switch to strictly crate training him and just using the crate training method from the article linked below at that point. Surprise method for familiarizing pup to a crate now - so you can use the crate later: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Training method for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The bell is a wonderful thing to teach. You can begin it now, but it may not be as helpful at this point. It would not hurt to begin it though. I would however start the bell when you switch pup to going potty outside, if you haven't taught it before then. A dog generally won't let you know when they have to go potty until they have been mostly accident free for at least a couple of months - pup is actually ahead of the game for that. The first part of potty training is simply teaching pup to hold it between potty trips. Pup learning to alert you comes much later. Expect pup to need you to take them potty and supervise them - to watch for signs they need to go, for a while longer. The quickest way to help pup get to the point of alerting consistently, is to supervise well enough that pup is having minimal accidents so begins to want to keep the home clean because they have developed a habit of keeping it clean - that then helps motivate pup to alert when they need to go. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sassy
Shih Tzu
2 Years
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Sassy
Shih Tzu
2 Years

Hi there,

Sassy's situation is unique. She has used a pee pad her whole life and was trained to do so by her other owner. Sassy still lives with this owner 50% of the time but lives with me the other half of the time. In the future she will most likely fully live with me, but I'm not sure when that will be exactly.

She knows how to use a pee pad at my house too, But I would like to train her how to go to the bathroom outside when at my house.

However she will still need to use a pee pad when staying at her other owners house due to limitations that this owner has.

Will this be too confusing for Sassy? If she uses the pee pad at one house, should we be consistent at my house? Should I wait until she lives with me 100% of the time (in the future) until I train her to go outside? I am just nervous it will be too late then..

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

Thank you for the question. This is definitely a unique situation but I do not see why Sassy cannot learn to pee outside as well as on the pee pad. Just be sure when Sassy is with you, that you give her plenty of opportunities to go outside as she learns and praise her verbally and with treats each time she succeeds. Here are tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/pee-outside https://wagwalking.com/training/go-pee https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-using-pee-pads. You may find it helpful, if Sassy has issues, to train her to use a litter box (even one with fake grass to simulate outside) as a way to transition between pee pads and grass outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Good luck and enjoy little Sassy!

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Ona
Mixed
4 Months
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Ona
Mixed
4 Months

Hello! We recently adopted our dog Ona and have had her for 4 weeks now. She got pretty good at peeing on pads indoors. However, the last two days she’s been peeing randomly in the apartment far from the pad. Any idea why? We’ve been working with her to pee/poo outside and she’s gotten good at that too. But since she’s been peeing outside, she’s now been peeing randomly in the apartment. Any advice would be super helpful!

Thanks,
JP

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

Sometimes when a dog is presented with two options they are not quite sure which one you want and can become confused. Others have both options and do fine. Make sure that when you clean up the accidents in the house that you use an enzymatic cleaner (that is the only thing that will remove the odor around the apartment). If Ona smells the pee, she will keep peeing inside. You may consider removing the pee pads from inside the house since she is doing so well outside and keep her to going outside. If you feel she needs an inside spot, try a grass litter box with real grass, it will allow an easy transition once you decide that she should pee outside only. (It really does make it easier.) Keep consistency and positivity, throughout and that will help Ona. https://wagwalking.com/training/use-indoor-grass-1. Good luck!

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Chuy
Chihuahua
9 Weeks
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Chuy
Chihuahua
9 Weeks

Hi, I have had my puppy for two weeks and I wanted to train him to use outside immediately, but because he was so small, I couldn't find a collar small enough to fit his neck to use a leash. I do not have a fenced yard, so I can't just let him loose. Since, I have been using pee pads, which he uses, pretty well. But now I have found a collar and have tried to take him out at trigger points. After he gets up or after he eats, but he refuses to go outside. I have been out with him several times, but won't go. But, as soon as I get inside, he goes to the pad and potties. I don't know what to do to get him to go outside. I am also using a crate. I have crate trained before, but then I had a fenced yard to use and it was much easier and the dog was much larger. Please give me some tips.

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