There may be many reasons a dog needs to be trained to pee on a pee pad. Dog owners who are immobile may not be able to take their dog outside often enough for the dog to eliminate. Some owners train puppies on pee pads before training the dog to go outside. City dwellers without yards might decide to use a pee pad for their dog inside the apartment. Moreover, older dogs who might not make it outside may find their last years easier using a pee pad. Small breed dogs are often taught to use pee pads because the outdoor elements may be difficult for them to handle as the seasons change. Teaching your dog to use a pee pad could eliminate stress for you as well as your dog. He will not be left fearing punishment after having an accident, and you will not have to worry about messes to clean from carpets and floors.
Using a verbal command such as “potty” will help teach your dog where to go. Pee pad training your dog is not difficult, but it does require patience. To be successful, someone will have to be with your dog for long periods of time over the first few days to show him your expectations for using the pee pads. Puppies will be easier to train to use pee pads, however, adults can be trained as well. It just may take more time and patience, as you are not only teaching him a new skill but potentially changing previous habits. If you want your dog to eliminate on a pee pad always, be prepared for the materials you need and have a space partitioned off within your home to do the training. Keep the pads in the same place, because moving them may require retraining for your dog.
You will need a few items on hand before you begin to train your dog to pee on pee pads.
We just rescued a puppy mill breeding female this week. She has only done her business 3 times in 4 days... all inside the house. She does not understand the leash or steps and may never have experienced grass. The rescue organization had an outdoor kennel for her on a hard surface, so we are trying that. We also taped down a pee pad to a hard surface in our family room. The accidents were always when nobody was in the room with her. Thanks for your thoughts!
Hello Shelly, When you are home follow the "Tethering" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you are gone, check out the "Exercise Pen" method from the article that I have linked below to prevent accidents. Use a real grass pad for the exercise pen method and at first cover the entire exercise pen with a real grass pad (or a piece of grass sod with something waterproof like a large shallow plastic bin under it). Confining her to the exercise pen and grass inside will help prevent accidents and get her comfortable with going potty on the grass. When you see her go potty there or she goes potty outside, reward her with five treats, one at a time - especially if it's outside because you want that to be the most exciting place to pee. The article linked below mentions litter box training but most of the steps are the same for using a grass pad(s) instead. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad: (you will probably need to lay down more than one in the exercise pen at first to cover the exercise pen - you want to make the exercise pen big enough that she can pee on one end and lay on the other clean end). https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3995932458694647996&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 Porch potty also sells just the grass without a box, as well as fancier (and more expensive) permanent grass boxes. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I want to train him to potty inside his crate, located in the living room, and sleep on a little bed, also located in the living room. How can I do so efficiently?
Hello Alexandra, First of all unless that was a typo on your request, I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT teach Rocky to use the potty INSIDE of a crate. That will make all future crate training and possibly potty training attempts, as well as the ability to travel with your dog, board your dog, and possibly re-home your dog if needed almost impossible. A dog has a natural instinct to hold his bladder in a confined, den-like space, which a crate resembles. This instinct can be utilized for potty training and teaching a dog to keep his areas clean, which many dogs are able to eventually generalize to the rest of your home, for potty training. A crate is also an important tool for dealing with separation anxiety, preventing destructive chewing, boredom barking, self-soothing, self-entertainment, and for confining him to keep him safe. Teaching a dog to pee in a crate prevents you from using the crate for any of those purposes. If you wish to train this, then I suggest using a litter box without a lid instead, so that you will still be able to use a crate for other things later on. The litter box will also be more open so that it should not interfere with the instinct to hold his bladder in a confined space, since he will not be locked in an enclosed, den-like area, but will instead be in an open box type area. To litter box train, check out the article that I have linked below. You can use a real grass pad or another potty material inside the litter box structure in place of the litter if you wish. Just make sure that the potty material does not resemble other materials in your home, like fabric and carpeting and rugs. If it does resemble those things, then you might end up with a puppy who pees on rugs and fabric too because she does not understand the difference. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy To teach him to sleep on his own bed check out the article that I have linked below. Anytime that you catch him laying on his own bed without being told after you have taught him to go there using one of the methods from the article, then randomly go over to him without saying anything and place a treat between his paws to encourage him to lay on his bed more in the future by choice. https://wagwalking.com/training/sleep-in-a-dog-bed Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My puppy is doing really well with peeing on her pee pads but not so well with pooping. She will do it almost anywhere besides the pads. Is there anything I can do to make her more sucessful with this? Thanks
Hello Kate, The first thing that you can try to help Izzy poop on the pad is to purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination. This spray can be found at most large pet stores or online. It is typically called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", "Puppy Training Spray", or something similar. Spray the spray onto the pad and lead her over to the area. Encourage her to sniff the pad by keeping her on a leash near the pad or by placing the pad into an exercise pen so that she cannot wander off. Also, make sure that you lead her over to the pee pad fifteen minutes after she eats, in addition to normal potty break times, because most puppies this age need to poop after eating. Keep her by the pee pad for up to thirty minutes after you take her, after she has eaten. Tell her to "Go Potty" so that she will learn that phrase overtime. If she goes, then praise her when she finishes and give her five small treats that she likes, one treat at a time. Whenever she is free, supervise her closely, and if she tends to wander away from you and have accidents, then attach her to yourself when she is free for as long as she is still potty training, with a light weight leash. If you see her squat down or begin to sniff around to find an area to poop, then quietly and quickly rush her over to the pee pad and tell her to "Go Potty" there. If she gets distracted again, then spray the spray onto the pad and let her sniff it to remind her what she is supposed to be doing. After she is pooping on the pad regularly, then you can leave one small poop on the pad rather than use the spray, to encourage her to continue pooping there, until she is potty trained. If you prefer the spray, then you can continue to use that instead though. The key with all of this is to encourage her to eliminate on the pads with scent, to prevent her from being allowed to eliminate anywhere else by supervising her closely, and to reward her when she goes so that she will want to poop on the pad in the future. Be sure to clean up an accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes because only enzymes will break down the poop enough to remove the smell for a dog. Any remaining smell will encourage her to poop in that same location. If none of that works, then you will need to use a crate for a little while. To use a crate, follow the "Crate Training" method found in the article bellow. Instead of taking your puppy outside like the method describes, when it is time for her to go, lead her over to the pee pad instead. Once she is consistently pooping on the pee pad and not in other places, then you can stop using the crate if you wish. Here is the crate training article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Another option is to utilize an Exercise Pen when you cannot supervise her, so that she cannot wander away from where the pee pad is. To use an Exercise Pen follow the "Exercise Pen" method in this article bellow, and simply substitute the litter box in this method for a pee pad, unless you would prefer to switch to a litter box in general. Here is the Exercise Pen method article: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you are still having issues after trying all of that, they you might need to consider switching to a litter box or to taking her outside to eliminate. She might have an aversion to pooping on the soft, fabric type material of the pee pads. I would not worry about that possibility until she is closer to twelve weeks and showing no improvement at all in this area despite you following the training, unless you simply want to make the switch. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I adopted my dog about 2 months ago and she is settling in great. The only issue is she has accidents when I’m at work. Not every time, but I’d say a majority of the time. I want to train her to use pee pads when I’m at work and she can’t hold it. How do I go about training her? I’ve been trying to bring her on it when she has to go but she doesn’t want to and just whines at me while sitting on it until I let her out. How can I fix this?
Hello Alisha, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Exercise Pen" method. You can also follow the "Crate Training" method but that method requires being home during the day, so the "Exercise Pen" method will probably work better for you. If she has used the bathroom only outside all of her life, then I actually suggest using real grass pads instead of pee pads. She may be intentionally avoiding peeing on the pads because she associates the pads with carpet and rugs which she is not supposed to pee on. The grass pads are disposable and made of real grass - making them easier for older dogs to transition to. The article below mentions using a litter box but the training is the same for both pee pads and real grass pads, so simply use a real grass pad or pee pad in place of the litter box mentioned in the article and follow all of the other steps. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass Pad (real grass pads are more expensive but they are advertised to last up to two weeks each). Here is one brand. Look for those made out of real grass to make the training easier for her. https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=asc_df_B00EQJ7I7Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309806233193&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16975675753296178593&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-572651300532&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi there. I have a question about pee pad training. I live in a small apartment in NYC and will be using pee pads until the dog is fully vaccinated because we have heard recommendations not to let the dog down outside until he is vaccinated. We do not have a separate room to make a "pee pad room". Would you suggest the leash pee pad method is the best? Also to then transition the dog to outside training once he is vaccinated? If we use the leash method, will the dog eventually know to go to the pee pad to eliminate even if he does not have the leash on him?
Hello Zoey, I actually suggest a completely different approach for potty training right now since you want to train Jax to pee outside when he is older. Using pee pads and then later removing the pee pads and transitioning to outside can cause many dogs to have accidents on rugs and carpet because pee pads are made out of fabric and resemble rugs to dogs. You essentially end up accidentally training the dog to pee on rugs when he cannot find a pee pad to go on. To avoid that I suggest using real grass pads and exercise pens for puppies. Real grass pads as disposable boxes of grass. Using grass teaches the puppy to prefer peeing on grass - which makes transitioning to outside easier later. Grass also does not closely resemble anything in your home, so when you remove the grass pad later it will be less confusing for the puppy. Putting a grass pad in a sturdy exercise pen serves two main benefits. 1. It gives your dog a specific area to pee in - like a bathroom, rather than teaching your puppy that he can pee anywhere in your home. When you remove the pad later, you can also remove the exercise pen, removing both the toilet (grass pad) and bathroom (exercise pen), so that the only toilet and bathroom option is outside on that grass. 2. It allows you to confine your puppy in the exercise pen when you have to leave or cannot supervise him, so that he will not be loose in the house, having accidents and getting into mischief. If you plan to crate train later, you can either use a combination of the "Exercise Pen" method and the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below now to start the training, or you can use the "Exercise Pen" method but attach the crate to the side of the pen as part of his exercise pen area, so that he simply gets used to sleeping and hanging out in the crate right now. Doing this will make the transition to crate training for potty training easier later. Make sure that there is not anything absorbent in the crate or exercise pen, other than the grass pad. If you need a bed for the crate, I suggest using a primopads.com. The article that I have linked below mentions litter box training for the "Exercise Pen" method and the "Crate Training" method, but you can use grass pads in place of the litter box and still follow all the same steps. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pads: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1 Each pad is advertised to last two weeks. You can also make your own grass pads by purchasing a shallow wide storage bin and a piece of grass sod and cutting the sod to size, just make sure that the sod has not been treated with chemical recently though. When you get ready to transition to potty training outside, I suggest using the "Crate Training" method from the article I have linked below. That will likely be the least confusing method for Jax. Another option is to use the "Tethering" method found in that article. Either way, you don't want Jax to have unsupervised freedom during the transition (or in general at that age), because he may have accidents while he is re-learning that the potty is now located outside.You will need to take him out very frequently. The timelines from that article are written for puppies 8-16 weeks old. Puppies older than that can hold their bladders for a bit longer between potty trips. Also, when you catch Jax peeing or pooping on the grass inside, you can go ahead and start telling him to "Go Potty" right before he goes potty, and then reward him with a treat afterward. This will make the transition outside easier later because you can tell him to "Go Potty" also and he will understand what that means. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You might also want to check out the free pdf eBook "AFTER You Get Your Puppy" for tips on how to safely socialize a puppy without exposing them to disease as much. Essentially, take your puppy with you as many places as you can, but just carry him anywhere where a dog may have been, because it is the feces dirt carried on paws and shoes and on the ground that is a risk for Parvo, and direct touching contact with other sick dogs. If you can avoid the ground and non-vaccinated dogs, then you can minimize your risk without having to miss out on socialization. The most important part of the socialization window closes about when a puppy becomes fully vaccinated. Also, take your shoes off and put them somewhere where puppy cannot get to them since they will track dirt into the house. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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The first few days we brought frank home, he did really well going to the bathroom on his pee pads. Now it seems every day he is getting worse. Having more “accidents”and deliberately not going on them. I will take him to the pad and say “potty” every hour or when he looks like he needs to go and he won’t go then will go immediately once he hits a soft surface. Today he went in his bed twice and his crate once within minutes after i took him and he would not go on the pad. Sometimes he even looks me in the eye as he goes where he knows not to. He never has gone in his bed or crate before. Everyday seems to get a little worse and further away. What is going wrong
Hello Amy, I suggest switching from using pee pads to using a real grass pad or a litter box. Some puppies have a very hard time differentiating pee pads from other surfaces like rugs and carpets. They naturally do not feel like they should be peeing there. Once you make the switch, if you want him to use an indoor toilet, then follow the "Exercise Pen" or "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you want him to learn to go potty outside later, then go ahead and start that process by following the "Tethering" method or the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, here is a link to a real grass pad. They are more expensive but each one is advertised to last two weeks. https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello, I need help training my puppy to use the pee pads. She does
Not want to use the pee pad. I put her many times over the pad but she cries and then pee somewhere else. How can I do it? I also spray the training spray over the pad but still not working.
Hello Liz, Check out the article linked below and follow the "Exercise Pen" method. At first add extra pee pads and make the pen small enough that her only option is to pee on the pad (and not right beside it. Place her on there with the exercise pen door closed. Tell her to "Go Potty" and wait - ignore her crying. At first this might take a very long time. When she finally goes potty, praise her and reward her with several treats, one at a time, then let her out of the pen. Repeat this process until she starts to quicky go potty on the pads when you place her there. At that point remove one of the pads or make the exercise pen a bit bigger to see if she will still go on the pad. I also suggest using a real grass pad instead of a pee pad. Many dogs naturally prefer the grass pads and they are less likely to cause confusion with other fabric type items like rugs - since they are not made out of fabric like pee pads. Check out the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below. It mentions litter box training but can follow the same steps with real grass pads or pee pads instead of a litter box. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real 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=106890599448301024&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=aud-643330155750:pla-568582223506&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I've had my dog for about two weeks. We have been trying to teach her how to do her business on the pee pads, but she still hasn't gotten the hang of it. I have a question to ask. How long would it take for my dog to be able to learn to pee and poop on the pad?
Hello Gabriela, It takes most puppies about 3 months to be potty trained where they will initiate going to the right spot (or alert you when they need to go) and not have accidents inside. If done correctly, most puppies should be pottying in the right spot (pad or outside) about 95% of the time because you are supervising or confining them and taking them often. You cannot expect a puppy not to need your help at this point though. Check out th article linked below. If you are not home to give the amount of supervision or potty trips necessary, I suggest following the "Exercise Pen" method so that she is always close to a potty area. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you plan to transition her to going potty outside, I suggest transitioning to Crate Training and taking her potty outside and get rid of the pee pads immediately (pee pads can lead to accidents on rugs and can later if you remove them because they are made from fabric. If you are gone too long to take her potty often enough, then I suggest using the "Exercise Pen method from the article linked above, and a disposable real grass pad (linked below). Crate Training method for pottying outside: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Real 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=14683449166463762672&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=aud-643565131866:pla-568582223506&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My puppy isn’t doing too well on they puppy pads, as i’m trying to train him inside until he can go outside. He also throws a fit when i don’t let him sleep with me, and when he does he ends up peeing in my bed. How can i fix this?
Hello Breanna, Check out the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below. Instead of a litter box like the method mentions you can use real grass pads or pee pads. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Some puppies also benefit by switching to a real 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=16975784713143448161&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=aud-643330155750:pla-568582223506&psc=1 At 7 weeks of age he simply does not have the bladder control to potty train well. The goal at this age is to familiarize him with it and encourage potty training but be patient and realize that he needs to mature more before he can hold it well enough to control where he pees and when. Limit his freedom to when you know his bladder is empty from already peeing recently. His ability should improve gradually over the next month as you practice. Also, most puppies cry at night for the first two weeks. I suggest crate training or having him sleep in the exercise pen at night. Every time you give in and let him sleep with you when he cries when he does not need to go potty it makes adjusting to sleeping in the right spot take longer because he is being rewarded for crying. Stay strong and ignore the crying until he tires and goes to sleep. He is young now so will have to fall asleep at some point. He should learn after a few nights that he is safe where he is and should go to sleep where you put him. A crate should eventually make him feel safer at night - once he adjusts. If he wakes up at night needing to pee, take him potty to the exercise pen, then bring him back to the crate but keep the entire experience calm. Since you will be using the Exercise Pen method you can also let him sleep in the exercise pen. Put a non-absorbent bed, like www.primopads.com, on one end, or attach a crate on one end of the exercise pen and put a real grass pad or pee pad on the opposite end. Expect crying at night in the pen also, like the crate, stay strong and give him time to fall asleep and adjust. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi! For the past few days since I got him I already started training him for doing his business on the potty pad, but as time passed by he started to just pee everywhere else and just pee on the potty pad when he wants. What do you suggested me to do? Would you suggest me to do the leash method?
Hello Danielle, Check out the article linked below. If you are at home often during the day I suggest using the "Crate Training" method. Switching the pee pads out for a real grass pad would also probably make training him easier, but you can continue trying the pee pads for longer if you feel strongly about using them. The natural feel and smell of grass tends to be preferred by many dogs and is less confusing than the fabric of a pee pad - which resembles rugs and carpet. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you at not at home often enough to use the Crate Training method from the article I have linked above, then I suggest using the "Exercise Pen" method also found in the article I have linked above and switching to real grass pads. The article I have linked above mentions litter box training but you can use pee pads or real grass pads instead of a litter box and follow the same steps to teach those also. Real grass pads (each one is advertised to last two weeks): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K3WS97D/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07K3WS97D&pd_rd_w=kaWAj&pf_rd_p=733540df-430d-45cd-9525-21bc15b0e6cc&pd_rd_wg=FBYRb&pf_rd_r=CG1XFFWYNCDBW1YMA1Q3&pd_rd_r=13e6f5fc-58e1-11e9-96c4-2d30919d7fd2 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog is kept in a playpen while my husband and I are at work. He has toys, his crate, water and a potty pad. He will usually use the pad when he is locked in the playpen. However, he will sometimes pee on his bed, and when we are home he will go pee wherever he wants to. Potty attractant/replant sprays have not worked as he doesn’t sniff around before pooping or peeing. We have also tried to take him outside to potty and he doesn’t like the grass. We have tried tons of things to try to get him to train but we feel we’ve hit a brick wall... what else should we do
Hello Jenn, The pee pad may be causing confusion. Pee pads are made out of fabric and some dogs have a hard time telling the difference between pee pads and rugs and carpet and other soft things. First, you can try switching to using a real grass pad or a litter box. Check out the article linked below and be sure to spend time rewarding him for going potty in the right place when you are home - this will mean intentionally keeping him in the exercise pen some when you are home at first, but watching him carefully so that you see when he goes potty and can reward him for it. Exercise pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy For the training to work you also need to remove anything absorbent from the exercise pen area during potty training - which means no soft bed. Look into a cot type bed or www.primopads.com for a non-absorbent bed instead. If the above isn't helping you will need to use the crate training method from the same article linked above/below when you are home, so that he will only have the option of peeing on the pad/litter box when his bladder is full and will hold his bladder between trips. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy When he is free, until he improves at peeing in the right place and holding it better when loose, he will need to stay tethered to you with a 6 or 8 foot leash so that he cannot sneak off to pee, and be taken back to the exercise pen to potty every hour. Tethering method - instead of taking him outside when following this method you will take him to the exercise pen to pee on the pad/litter box: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Real 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=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=14309293369678908651&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010791&hvtargid=aud-643565131866:pla-568582223506&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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