How to Train Your Older Dog to Use a Pee Pad

Medium
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

Your dog has been in your life for as long as some of your kids. You’ve seen him grow up from the energetic ball of fur he was when he was a puppy to the older and more subdued dog he is today. He’s an integral part of the family. With age though has come health problems. He’s no longer able to make it for long walks or great distances to go for a pee. He either ends up giving up before you’ve managed to get him to a suitable toilet spot, or he relieves himself on your floors. You’re not the biggest fan of cleaning up pee and it doesn’t give the house quite the smell you’d like either.

Training him to use a pee pad only comes with benefits. It will save you considerable time taking him out to go to the toilet. It will also save him from pain and discomfort if he can no longer make the trek to the bathroom.

Defining Tasks

The good news is, training your pooch to use a pee pad is pretty easy. He may be aging, but don’t let it be said that an old dog can’t learn new tricks! You simply need to incorporate the pee pad into his toilet routine. That means consistent use and as few slip-ups as possible. You’ll also need to take steps to make the pee pad as inviting as possible. Treats or toys will go a long way to motivate him to embrace his new toilet patch as well. If he’s still pretty receptive you could see results in just a week. If he’s really old and stuck in his ways then you may need a few weeks to fully affect change.

However long it takes, it will be worth it when you have a straightforward clean-up, instead of a soaked carpet. You’ll also help keep him comfortable if he’s got health conditions.

Getting Started

Before you get to work, you’ll need a few things. A pee pad will, of course, be the first essential. You’ll also need a generous supply of mouth-watering treats or his favorite food. Simply break the food into small, easily digestible pieces.

The hardest component is time. You need to set aside time in the morning, midday, afternoon and evening, to ensure a consistent routine. With such a time sacrifice also comes with the requirement of patience and an optimistic attitude.

Once you have all of that, you’re ready to make a start!

The Set Up Method

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Step
1
Enclosure
Place the pee pad in a location he’ll be comfortable in. Placing it against a wall with some degree of privacy is a good idea. If he has three walls around him he’ll feel even more at ease. It’s best to get the position right from the beginning, you’ll get much quicker results.
Step
2
Easy to clean
Make sure it’s easy to clean. You may want to keep it close to a sink, drain or trash can. All of this will stop you carrying a wet pad throughout the entire house every day. This will save you time and ensure consistency for him.
Step
3
Size
Pick a pad that is the right size for him. If he’s a bigger dog he’ll need a bigger than average size. If it’s cramped he won’t feel relaxed and comfortable and you’ll find it much harder to convince him to use it regularly.
Step
4
Privacy
Make sure it’s in a place where he’ll got some privacy. If there is constantly people walking past it, he won’t be able to relax. You wouldn’t want people staring at you when you go to the toilet, and neither does he.
Step
5
Easy access
Also make sure he can get to the pee pad easily. If he has to trek half a mile to get to it, he may opt for the lazy option and use the floor instead. Also, try and keep it away from where he eats and plays. Nobody likes going to the toilet where they eat, not even dogs. The corner of a utility room if often a sensible choice.
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The Familiarization Method

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Step
1
Introductions
Put him on a leash and walk him around his new toilet. Encourage him to sniff and take an interest. Do this at least a couple of times a day for a few minutes. The more he’s used to it, the more likely he’ll be to use it.
Step
2
Get animated
When you’re around it, talk in an animated voice to get him excited. If he sees it as somewhere he can feel happy and relaxed he’ll be more inclined to use it. Dogs mirror their owners' behavior so he’ll look to you for approval of the pee pad.
Step
3
Routine
When you think he’s likely to need the toilet, put him on a leash and walk him to the pad. Encourage him to go, but also make sure you give him some privacy by facing the other way. If he’s always at the pee pad when he needs to go he’ll soon get into the habit of using it.
Step
4
Reward
When he does go, make sure you give him a tasty reward. A treat or his favorite food will help cement it as his new favorite toilet location. The better the reward the quicker you’ll see results. Also give him plenty of verbal praise.
Step
5
Don’t punish him
If he does pee outside or somewhere else, don’t punish him. His bladder will already be getting weaker because he’s older, you don’t want him to start peeing out of fear. This will make it even harder for him to control it and go where you want him to.
Recommend training method?

The Verbal Cue Method

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Step
1
Routine
Make sure you take him to the pee pad regularly, whenever you think he’s likely to need the toilet. 20 minutes or so after meals, the morning and the evening are all likely times. If he’s always at the pee pad, he’ll be much more likely to use it.
Step
2
‘Go pee’
As he starts to pee on the pad, give a ‘go pee’ command. You can use any word or phrase you like. Just make sure you give the command in an upbeat, high pitched voice. You want him to associate this command with good things and relaxing.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as he’s finished his pee, give him a tasty treat and some praise. He’ll soon start associating the verbal cue with going for a pee on the pad and a delicious reward. Soon the command alone will make him charge for the pee pad to relieve himself in the hope of food. Practice this every day for a few days.
Step
4
Bring forward the cue
After several consistent days of using the verbal cue, start giving the cue before he goes for a pee. By this point he’ll associate the trigger with the pee pad and his bladder will probably automatically start to relax. Continue to reward him after he goes.
Step
5
Practice
You now simply need to practice this every day. If he has any slip-ups, clean them up calmly and make sure you get him to the pad next time. He’ll soon start naturally using the pee pad to go to the toilet, at which point you can top using the verbal cue and you can cut out the treats.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Champ
Rat Terrier
12 Years
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Question
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Champ
Rat Terrier
12 Years

Since its been terribly cold in Midwest Champ has taken a liking to use the basement rather than outside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisahanson, Because Champ is older he might he peeing inside for a couple of reasons. Because he is a breed with short hair the cold might bother his joints and he may have a harder time regulating his own body temperature now. You could try putting something warm on him when you take him out, like a dog jacket to make the experience more comfortable for him. He also is likely loosing some of his bladder control with age. As dogs age they need to be taken outside more frequently again. If he is having to hold his bladder for too long, he may be eliminating out of necessity. The more this happens, the more he will loose his desire to try to hold it. Be sure to offer him enough opportunities to go outside. Teaching him to ring a bell when he has to go potty could help. It would give him a way to alert you. Because it makes noise it will be more obvious that he has to go. While he is relearning to go potty outside, you can give him treats whenever he eliminates outside. Only give him the treat right after he eliminates so that he will not ask to go outside when he does not need to go potty though. Use several tiny treats, one at a time to reward him. If you are not able to take him outside as often as he needs or he does not respond to the treats for eliminating outside or the added warmth to make going outside more pleasant you have a couple of other options. The first option is to create a small enclosed area for him to encourage him to hold his bladder so that you can break the habit of him peeing in the basement. You will need to also reward him when he does eliminate outside, to take him out frequently so that he does not begin to eliminated in his small area as well, and to make sure he has a way to let you know that he needs to go potty. Teaching him to ring a bell when he needs to go would work for this, as you can place a bell somewhere within his enclosed area that he can reach it. The second option is to teach him to eliminate on puppy pads or in a litter box. You can teach him to eliminate in either of there places using the methods described in this above article at: https://wagwalking.com/training/use-a-pee-pad-1 To teach him to eliminate in a litter box you can utilize the same methods as you would with the pee pad but just substitute the litter box for the pee pad. An open litter box rather than one with an enclosed top is likely to be easier for him. Best of luck with training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Hazel
terrier
10 Years
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Question
1 found helpful
Hazel
terrier
10 Years

We brought Hazel home last week from a rescue. She had been previously trained to use wee pads, which is perfect for us in a fourth floor apartment. Everything was fine until Wednesday, when she started pooping in other places, but never on the pad. She still pees consistently on the pad. She will literally hold her poop until she is free from her pen and supervision and find a random place to poop.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Eliana, Probably what Hazel needs is a crash course on potty training now that she is in a new environment. The easiest thing to do would be to purchase an exercise pen, create a comfortable sleeping and playing area on one side on the pen and place the pee pad in the other end of it. Pay attention to what time of day she tends to poop at. Some dogs have a consistent time of day. During that time of day make sure that she is inside the exercise pen. Also place her inside the pen after any meals, since eating will cause her to need to go. Purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination, usually called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", or something similar. It is typically found in the potty training section of your pet store. Spray the pee pad with this spray to encourage her to go there. You can also leave one poop on a pee pad right next to the new one. The smell should encourage her to go. Only leave one on a pad right next to it though, because if the pad is too dirty she will avoid it. Make sure that you are cleaning up all accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the poop on a protein level, and only then will she not be able to smell it anymore. Avoid any cleaners on your floor that contain Ammonia. Ammonia will encourage her to eliminate there because it smells like pee and poop to a dog. She needs to create a habit of pooping on the pads, so until that happens keep her in the exercise pen with interesting toys when you cannot 100% supervise her. To ensure that she cannot sneak off while you are still working on this with her, when she is free from the pen attach a six or eight foot leash to her and clip her to yourself, so that she has to follow you around. Eventually she will have to go on the pads in her crate, even if it takes a day or two. When you catch her going there, go over to her and give her a treat. The more times that you can reward her for going there, the more willing she will be to do it again. Evaluate your home. There might be area rugs or things that resemble pee pads that are confusing her. Especially if she has had accidents that have not been cleaned up with an enzymatic cleaner, and so still smell like poop to her. If all else fails you will need to litter box or toilet box train her, instead of pee pad train her. A toilet box is a plastic or wooden box that contains a piece of grass sod. It smells more natural and does not resemble other things in your home, so it is less confusing for a dog. Litter box training would probably work just as well, and be cleaner though. So I would recommend trying that first. If you are able to contact her previous owners or the rescue who said she was pee pad trained, maybe talk to them and find out how her environment there was set up. Did they have carpet? Was she confined more during the day? Was their home a different size? If she truly was pee pad trained before, without accidents there, then finding out what is different to her at your home might help you solve the problem. One last thing, is to make sure that the area where you have set the pee pad is not the problem. If she tends to prefer privacy while pooping, and the pee pad is out in the open, then mimicking the more private types of places that she is choosing to have accidents at might help, to make her feel more secure about going there. Also, if all else fails have her checked out by your veterinarian, to make sure that her digestive tract is not blocked up. If she tends to hold her poop all the time, then she might have issues going at will because her system is too full of poop, as gross as that may sound. She can have issues with that and still be able to poop, opposed to typical full blockage constipation, depending on the details of her pooping. Your vet will know more if you suspect that problem. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you! We bought one of the grass boxes and will try to get her to eliminate on that. We will pen her at all other times with a pee pad. Eventually she will have to go somewhere appropriate.

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Question
Reggie
Chihuahua
8 Years
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Question
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Reggie
Chihuahua
8 Years

Hello. I've had Reggie for almost 6 years now we've moved around a bunch and he's always had an accident here and there but now he's peeing in our new place pretty much daily. I don't know what to do and I'm not willing to have a place that smells like dog pee or give up my security deposit bc he wants to pee on the carpet. He's super stubborn but I have to figure something out. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aimee, if your new place has more carpeting than your old place, or if there have been accidents there from other previous dog's in the place, then either of those things could be encouraging him to eliminate there. The smell of old accidents, if they were not cleaned up using enzymatic cleaners, encourages further elimination there, and carpet is absorbent so many dogs that have been trained using pee pads will confuse carpeting with pee pad material. His age also might be making it harder for him to remember where the pee pad is or hold his bladder. I would advise you to set up an exercise pen on a non carpeted area that is easy for him to find. Place the pee pad inside the exercise pen, on top of something that is easy to clean, like a plastic lid. On the opposite side from the pee pad place a non absorbent bed, such as a Primo Pad, cot type bed, or other nylon or vinyl covered foam pad, with interesting toys on the bed for him to chew. Every three to four hours while you are retraining him, place him into the exercise pen on the pee pad, and tell him "Go Potty", then leave him in the exercise pen until he eliminates. If he pees as soon as you place him inside, then give him a treat, and let him back out for three to four hours. When he is not inside, leave the door to the exercise pen open so that he can choose to go there on his own if he needs to eliminate sooner than you are taking him. If you are not at home to place him inside that often, then leave him in the pen while you are gone. If he is still having accidents, then you will need to place him inside the pen even more often and give him less freedom in between pees. If you want to make things especially clear to him, then use the exercise pen, like described above, but instead of pee pads, use a litter box. Here are several Wag articles on how to train him to use the litter box: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy https://wagwalking.com/training/poop-in-a-litter-box The more accidents that you prevent, and the more you motivate him to go to his "Toilet" area by limiting his freedom and giving him rewards for peeing there, the less likely he will be to pee on the carpet. Right now he has no reason to choose the pee pads over the carpet when he needs to eliminate. The pee pads are further away and the carpet is closer, and both are absorbent. When you clean up any old accidents, make sure that you are using a pet safe spray that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the pee and poop proteins, which will completely eliminate the smell. Other cleaners only remove the smell enough for people to not be able to smell it, but not enough for a dog, with a more sensitive sense of smell, to not be able to smell it. Also avoid cleaners in the area that contain ammonia, because ammonia smells like urine to a dog, so can encourage elimination. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sunshine
Australian Shepherd
4 Years
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Question
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Sunshine
Australian Shepherd
4 Years

Hi there, Sunshine has a past of peeing on the carpet but once she got a little older and really "got it", she has been very consistent and HATES to "go" inside. But she is 3.5 weeks pregnant and seems to be feeling the squeeze already. Sometimes she can't make it all night and one day a week, we leave her inside and are gone about 7-8 hrs. We have put pads down and told her "go potty" while she was on them but it seems the old memory of going on the carpet is stronger. She is so quick to learn I know she will get it but --- I put the pads at the transition from hard floor to carpet, near the place she has used. It sounds like that is wrong as it is a traffic zone. She was sniffing near the kitty litter box last night - what do you think about that location? - (it's more out of the way too). I also have not taken her there to actually go potty when we are home thinking that she should continue going outside when possible. I know she needs to practice using the pads to get used them. Also, I had gotten smallish pads (24") and put 4 together - maybe I need larger ones just so she feels like she has plenty of space. Any advice would be welcomed - Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, First of all you are correct in assuming that the recent accidents are due to the pregnancy. Being pregnant will make her have to go more frequently. After everything that you have told me, I would honestly recommend that you train her to use a modified litter box or create a different type of toilet area instead of using pee pads. Some dogs confuse the fabric type material of the pee pads with carpet, and since this seems to be an issue for Sunshine, encouraging her to use the pee pads might only make that tendency worse and prevent Sunshine from transitioning back to only eliminating outdoors after the pregnancy. Depending on how large Sunshine is, you can either use a normal open cat litter box or create a large one out of something larger like a shallow plastic Tupperware type container filled with litter. Another option that would be even better for maintaining potty training, but less convenient for you, is to create a portable toilet area out of a shallow plastic Tupperware type container or wooden box, and to fill this container with a piece of grass sod. To retrain Sunshine to eliminate on something indoors check out the article link that I will add at the bottom of this response. I would recommend using the the methods that involves an Exercise Pen. If there is room for the Exercise Pen in the cat litter box room, you can absolutely put it there, as long as there is a few feet between the Exercise Pen and the cat's litter box, then after Sunshine has learned to go to the bathroom in the toilet area inside the Exercise Pen, you can try putting just the toilet area there. The smell of the cat eliminating in her box might encourage Sunshine to eliminate nearby. It is possible that Sunshine is only interested in the cat litter box because many dog's find cat poop tasty, so I would watch out for any attempts at eating the cat poop if Sunshine can access that. Another area, that is more easily accessed would also be fine since Sunshine will be in the Exercise Pen while learning, she will have time to become familiar with where it is, regardless of which spot you use. Here is the article I mentioned. To teach Sunshine to use a box filled with grass sod instead of a litter box, simply substitute the grass box for the litter box and follow the rest of the steps. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Blue
Mixed
4 Months
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Question
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Blue
Mixed
4 Months

She won’t pee on her pad, there’s days where she will but she poops on my bed right after she pees on the pad ! What do I Do ??!😡

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nelly, You can either continue with the pee pads or you can switch to a litter box. If you continue with the pee pads then purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination and spray it on the pee pad. The spray is usually called something like "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", or "Puppy Training Spray". Ten to fifteen minutes after she eats take her over to the pee pad on a leash and stay there for up to thirty minutes, until she poops. When she begins to go, tell her "Go Potty" in a calm voice, and praise her and give her a treat when she finishes. This will help her to go sooner in the future. Instead of using a leash you can also place the pee pad into an Exercise Pen and leave the door open on the pen most of the time. Bring her over to the Exercise Pen and pee pad every two hours that you are at home, and right after she eats, drinks, finishes playing, or gets very excited. Close the door to the pen so that she is locked inside, and tell her "Go Potty". As soon as she goes, praise her and go over to the pen to give her a treat, then let her back out of the pen until time to take her back again. As she gets better holding her bladder and going in the correct location, then you can slowly increase the amount of time between trips there. You will need to still take her there frequently when you are at home though, until she will always go there on her own. Most puppies need to poop within thirty minutes of eating, so when you take her over to the Exercise Pen leave her in there for thirty minutes, until she goes. The Exercise Pen will help in two ways. First, it will keep her close to the Pen Pad, so that she cannot get to your bed. Second, it will keep her close to the Pee Pad, so that she will remember where the pad is and go there. The more accidents that you prevent, and the more times that she eliminates in the correct location and is praised and rewarded for it, the quicker she will learn to only go there. Some dogs prefer to eliminate on surfaces that better mimic the outdoors. If this seems to be the case with her, then you can also train her to eliminate in a litter box without the lid on it, instead. Use the same process that I described above for the pee pad for the litter box also, but simply replace the pee pads with a litter box. If your end goal is for her to only eliminate outside when she gets older, then I recommend using a litter box instead of pee pads to avoid confusion when you remove the pads. There are not many things in your home that resemble a litter box, but there are things outside that resemble it .Whereas there are a lot of things inside that resemble pee pads and if you eventually remove the pee pads then there is a chance that she will eliminate on other fabric type surfaces if she cannot find a pad, such as a rug. You can also build your own toilet area using the plastic bottom of a litter box and a piece of grass sod placed inside. I usually only recommend this type of toilet for those who want to transition to potty training outside later one. After all, the only place your pup is likely to see and smell grass is outside, so using a grass sod toilet makes it easier to transition to outside later on. It is less convenient to clean up though, so it is not a great solution for those who wish for their pup to use the bathroom inside long term. No matter which toilet you use, remember to purchase the spray designed to encourage elimination and spray that on the area you wish for her to go on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Peanut
Yorkie Pom
11 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Peanut
Yorkie Pom
11 Years

My yorkie poo and yorkie pom are potty trained very well outside. They are 9 and 11 years old. They haven't had accidents inside until I tried to train them to use a potty pad and Brilliant Pad (As seen on Shark Tank. The self cleaning potty pad). It has been 4 months now. I knew they would be confused. I gated them in a room and covered the floor with potty pads. Little by little I have been taking away pads so there are fewer covering the floor. I am down to 3 pads on the floor now. 60% of the time they pee on the potty pad. 40% of the time they poo & potty on the floor. I have been working with them to get on the Brilliant Pad with "Get on your mat" command followed by treats. Sometimes I actually take a potty pad that has been peed on, pick up their poo outside, put it on the Brilliant Pad, and leave it for a couple hours so they can sniff it. I'm running out of ideas. They just aren't getting it yet. Any advise?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chrissy, Unfortunately some dogs confuse pee pads with other things in your home and struggle to make the connection between using the pee pad to use the bathroom verses simply peeing inside. First make sure that the dogs have separate areas that are not too close together in the gated area. Provide a bed and eating and playing area on one end and put the potty area in the other far end. Dogs naturally want to keep their dens clean, so use that instinct to your advantage and separate the two sleeping and peeing areas. Make sure that you clean up any accidents with a pet safe cleaner containing enzymes. Anything that does not contain enzymes will not remove the smell to the point where the dogs cannot still smell it, and the remaining smell will encourage them to go on the floor there again. Also, you can purchase a spray called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", or something similar, designed to encourage elimination, and spray it onto the pads. Whenever a dog goes potty on the pads praise him, go over to him, and give the dog who eliminated a treat to let him know that he did the correct thing. If those things do not help, you may need to switch the material entirely. After a lifetime of learning not to go on fabric being forced to eliminate on a fabric like material is probably confusing. Instead of using pee pads try to teach them to use a litter box with litter in it, or a litter box with a combination of grass sod and litter in it, to help them get used to using a litter box. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
Maltese
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Bella
Maltese
9 Years

Has Pee accident when left for some hours. Sometimes. If I'm home he never has an accident

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mindy, As dogs age their bladder capacities decrease again and they cannot hold their pee for as long. She probably cannot hold it for eight hours during the day any longer. Bella probably needs to be taken out more frequently now because of her age. I would suggest hiring a dog walker, like a Wag! Walker, to take her out when you have to be gone for long periods of time. You could also look into installing a doggie door if your backyard is fenced in and safe from other animals, or you could train her to use a litter box in a specific location in your home when you are gone. If you choose to use a litter box you can learn how to teach her by using one of the methods in this article bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bambi
Chihuahua
12 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Bambi
Chihuahua
12 Months

I adopted a stray dog from the shelter and he is obviously not potty trained. I really want him to utilize the pee pads but instead he pees all over the place. What can I do to train him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lizeth, If you are at home most of the time right now, then the quickest way to train him is to use a crate. Check out this Wag! article bellow, that has instructions for training a dog to use a litter box with the help of a crate. Even though the article is for litter box training you can use a pee pad in place of a litter box, and follow the rest of "The Crate Training Method" steps, found in the article, to teach this. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you are gone during the day then the next best way to train him is to use an exercise pen, a spray that encourages elimination, and also treats when you are at home. To do this, use "The Exercise Pen Method" found in that same article, that I have linked above. Again, to use pee pads instead of a litter box like the methods mention, simply substitute pee pads where it says to use a litter box, and then follow the rest of the steps of the method. Using confinement, such as an exercise pen or crate, to keep him from peeing in other locations will help. Using a spray that encourages peeing and pooping on the pee pad, so that he will prefer to go there, and using treats to reward him when you see him go on the pad, will help him to learn to pee only on the pad. If he begins to pee on rugs or mats then consider using a litter box instead of pee pads for potty training. Most dogs are fine with pee pads, but occasionally a dog will confuse pee pads with rugs. When that happens the easiest way to fix it is to temporarily remove all rugs and teach the dog to use a litter box instead. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dolly
Welsh Terrier
15 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Dolly
Welsh Terrier
15 Years

I have two questions.
1.) I just introduced my dog Dolly to the pee pad and she keeps wanting to lay on the pad. I’ve been reluctant to let her because I don’t want her to start viewing it as a bed and then not wanting to pee on it. At the same time I want her to be comfortable around the pad and not feel like I don’t want her to be on it. What’s the best thing to do in this case?

2. I have the pad in a laundry room. When I am away from the house is it okay to shut her in the laundry room with the pad or is that a training no no?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, To discourage Dolly from laying on the pad without scaring her away from the area, try placing something that resembles the outdoors on the pads, leaving enough room for her to still eliminate on the pad. Three rocks that are large enough that she cannot pick up or swallow might be good options, or a stick if she will not eat the stick. The idea is to make the pad a bit less comfortable but not so uncomfortable that she will not want to walk on it. Also make sure that you are offering her another comfortable area in that same room, to lay down on. She is probably laying down on the pad because it is less cold than the floor is. If you need to give her something to lay down on and she destroys plush dog beds then look into purchasing a cot or vinyl type bed. The online company PrimoPads makes durable foam beds covered in vinyl, and many different companies make raised hammock type cot beds. For the laundry room, you can leave her in there with the pad as long as you have dog proofed the laundry room so that she is safe. Place a bed or a crate inside the laundry room to create an area for her to relax and sleep in. Place it on one end of the laundry room and place the pee pad on opposite end of the room. This is to keep her toileting area away from her relaxing area. You can also give her safe chew toys or a food stuffed hollow chews toy, such as Kongs, in her relaxing area. If you give her any food or water while she is in that room make sure that you place it near her bed/crate and not by her pee pad because dogs generally do not like to eliminate near their beds or food. As long as the laundry room is at least four times as long or wide as she is and you do not place the relaxing area and pee pad right by one another that should not be an issue though. You can also spray the pee pad with a spray called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", or some similar name. It can be found online or at most large pet stores and is designed to encourage a dog to eliminate where you spray it. This will help her to differentiate the pad from the rest of the laundry room. In general she will need you to reward her whenever you see her going on the pad when you are with her, but as she begins to learn where to go you can leave her in an enclosed area, such as the laundry room, with the pad. I would actually recommend doing that or leaving her in an exercise pen or a crate when you cannot supervise. It will make it easier for her to find the pad. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Freya
Chihuahua
12 Years
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Freya
Chihuahua
12 Years

I previously per per trained Freya about 4 years ago when I 1st adopted her, but since then we've moved into a house with a yard. So, away went the pre per per (in addition to there not being a good place to put her per down).
So, as she's getting older, I am hoping I can retrain her to go ONLY when the per is down, so basically when I'm at work. There's not a problem now, but I'd like to prepare and come up with a plan (and begin training now), if it's possible.
Is this a fairy tale dream I have?....
:-)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Talia, The easiest way to do that is to create a toilet area that you can open and close off. To do that, purchase an exercise pen and place the pee pad inside the exercise pen on one end and create a resting area with a safe bed or crate and safe chew toys on the other end. Place her into that area when you are at home and you think she needs to go. Do this for about a week, in addition to taking outside to go potty at least half of the times. Praise her and let her out of the area when she goes potty, and when you take her outside to go potty and she goes give her a treat. Only give her a treat for eliminating outside, not when she is inside and goes on the pad. Praise her both times though. Only use the pee pad in that specific area, so that she will learn to go in a specific area and not just on the pad. Watch her closely when she is loose in your home and take up any small rugs or mats while you are training her, so that she will not confuse them with the pee pads and will try to hold her bladder when the pads are not available. When you are gone confine her inside the exercise pen, so that she will only pee in that specific area on the pad. When you are at home and want her to pee outside keep the door to the exercise area closed, so that she will hold it. Be sure to take her outside very frequently so that she will not have any accidents in your home when she cannot get to the pee pad. When she is reliably peeing outside when you take her, peeing on the pad in the exercise pen when you are gone, and not having any accidents in your home, then you can experiment with leaving her outside of the exercise pen and leaving the pen door open, and then eventually phasing out the pen altogether and leaving just the pee pad there. She might pee on the floor in that area without the exercise pen though when the pad is not down. If that happens then you will need to leave the pen there and the door closed while you are at home. Another option, to decrease the chance of her peeing in the area where the exercise pen used to be when a pad is not down, is to teach her to pee in a litter box with a pee pad inside. The litter box itself will eventually become the toilet area and it will be easier to close off a small litter box if you do not have space for the exercise pen long term. The only downside is that she will have to learn how to go inside an enclosed litter box, instead of just on a pee pad on the floor. To teach this, set up an exercise pen for this also and purchase a litter box that has a lid that can be taken off. Place the pee pad inside the litter box, without the lid on it. Go through all of the steps that I described before for getting her used to peeing on a pee pad while inside the exercise pen. Once she is reliably peeing on the pad inside the litter box, inside the exercise pen, while you are gone, then place the lid on the litter box with the pee pad inside, and practice that way also. When she will consistently pee on the pad inside the litter box with the lid on it, then you can try removing the exercise pen, leaving just the litter box. When you are at home, simply cover the opening to the litter box, to discourage her from going in there, and to encourage her to hold it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lady
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Years
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Lady
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Years

We are in a condo, so training on potty pads. Her previous owner had a fenced in yard, so she always went outside. Lady will go on the potty pads when I take her there and gate her area. However, she won't go to the area on her own to do her business, but rather goes anywhere in the house. How can I get her to go to her potty pad by herself when she needs to go?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Phyllis, First of all, make sure that you are cleaning up any accidents with a cleaner that contains Enzymes. The Enzymes will break down the pee and poop enough for your pup to not be able to smell it still. Other cleaners remove the smell for people but not enough for dogs to not be able to smell it still. Any remaining smell will encourage her to eliminate in the same area again. Second, temporarily remove any rugs or mats that she tends to repeatedly pee or poop on, if at all possible. Third, continue to take her to the Pee Pads, but when you take her there tell her to "Go Potty". When she goes, then praise her and give her a treat. When she begins to go quickly when you take her to the area and tell her to go potty, then every time that you take her stand one inch further back than the last time, and send her into the Exercise Pen from slightly further back. Tell her to "Go Potty" from where you are to let her know what she is supposed to be doing. Overtime, gradually send her from further and further back from the Exercise Pen so that she is having to go over to the area on her own from further away. Do this until she will go over to her potty area when you send her from another room, and will go potty. By that point she ought to start making the connection that she should walk into the other room and go when she needs to. If your home is large, then you likely also need to set up an additional Pee Pad area in the far end of your home so that a toilet it is easier for her to find. Take her to the new area for awhile also, and then practice sending her from further and further back from that Pee Pad also, until she can find both toilet areas from other regions of the house. Make sure that you are rewarding her whenever she goes on the Pee Pads until she is having no more accidents in the house, and is going to the Pee Pads on her own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sunny
Minature Pinscher
16 Years
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Sunny
Minature Pinscher
16 Years

She is taken outside regularly and whenever she asks; however, lately she just goes on whatever rug is avsilable while we are near and without warning while we are right there and doesn't when we say no. We have a large washable pee pad. Where should we place it? Where She sleeps? On the rug she peed on yesterday or the one she peed on tonight?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Liz, If she was previously potty trained and the accidents are recent, then the issue is probably related to her age or a urinary tract infection. First, if she cannot hold her bladder for long periods of time any more no matter where she is at, have her evaluated for a urinary tract infection and urinary incontinence by your vet. If it is a urinary tract infection, then she will likely need to be treated with antibiotics by your vet. If the issue is related to urinary incontinence due to her age, her mental decline with age, or declining eye sight, then she will simply need more management in that area since she is physically not able to hold it well enough and get to the right spot to go potty in time. First, begin taking her outside more frequently. Pay attention to when she typically needs to go or has accidents and take her to go potty at least thirty minutes sooner than that amount of time, even if pee pads are down. Don't expect her to find them on her own no matter where they are. Second, she needs to be supervised when she starts to get within an hour of needing to go potty again, until you take her to go potty and she goes potty and her bladder is empty again. Third, if you cannot supervise her, cannot take her out that often, or she is having accidents during the night, then set up an exercise pen and put a litter box with cat litter on one end of it and a pee proof bed, like a primopad, on the other end with some of her favorite, safe toys on the bed. Put her in the exercise pen whenever you cannot take her to go potty or supervise her. When you take her to go potty each time, place her on the litter box and tell her to go potty. If she needs extra encouragement, then spray the litter box litter with a spray designed to encouraged peeing and pooping before you put her on it. Repeat this until she gets used to going potty there. When you put her on the litter box, tell her "Go Potty" and if she goes, give her three small treats, one treat at a time. You can also use the washable pee pad in place of the litter box if she is already used to that. If the pee pad is made out of fabric, then she may be confusing the rug with it, if it is not made out of fabric, then you should be fine. If confusion seems to be an issue though, try switching her to using a litter box to make it clearer. Set the exercise pen up in an area without any carpeting or a rug under it. You don't want anything absorbent other than the litter or pee pad in there. When she is loose in the house, leave the exercise pen door open so that she can go there on her own to go potty if needed. The exercise pen will be easier to spot than just a pee pad and will be a more designated location opposed to just a certain type of fabric, like the pee pad, which will help her tell the difference between the toilet in the exercise pen and a rug. It will also allow you to close her in it, so that you can keep her close to the toilet when you cannot take her to go potty, since she may not be able to hold her bladder long enough to walk across the room to the toilet once the urge to goes hits her, or she may not be able to find the toilet or door anymore when it is too far away. Having her in the exercise pen keeps the toilet close to her for her to find it on her own when you cannot bring her to it. Avoid placing the pee pad directly where she sleeps. You want at least two feet between it, which is why you should place the primopad bed on one end of the exercise pen and the litter box on the far end, to put a couple of feet between them. If they are too close she may not go on the litter box because dog's do not like to pee where they sleep. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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curley
jack russel terrir/ chi
5 Years
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Question
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curley
jack russel terrir/ chi
5 Years

he cant make it to the dog door,and i have another chi and i think ever since we got her he has been jealous and has had trouble . I would like both of them to go inside on the fake turf pad. will it be hard to train them?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cindi, It will take time to teach them both how to go on the turf since they are not used to it, but it should be doable. If you are at home all of the time, then using a crate to confine them when you cannot supervise them, taking them to the turf on leash for frequent potty breaks, rewarding them with treats when they go potty on the turf, and gradually increasing the amount of freedom that you give them in your home overtime, after they have not had an accident in the house for one month, will probably be quickest way to train them. To teach them how to go potty using crate training check out this article that I have linked bellow and use the "Crate Training" method found in that article. The article is about how to train a Chihuahua puppy to use a litter box, but you can use the same training process with a turf pad instead too. Simply substitute the litter box for the turf pad and follow the rest of the directions in the method. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you are not at home during the day, then the simplest way to train them is probably using an Exercise Pen. Once they are trained, then you can remove the Exercise Pen later on. To teach them how to use the turf pad using an Exercise Pen follow the "Exercise Pen" method in the article that I have linked above. Again, that article talks about litter box training but you can use the methods with a turf pad also. Simply substitute the litter box for your turf pad. You might need a larger sized Exercise Pen though because it is important for your dogs to have enough space between the turf pad where they will go potty and an area where they can rest, since most dogs naturally do not like to eliminate where they eat or sleep. Make sure that the turf pad is placed on one end of the Exercise Pen and a resting area on the opposite end. Lastly, if your dog used to be fully potty trained, and is peeing more often then usual, then make sure that he does not have a urinary tract infection. If he is holding his bladder for long periods of time but simply choosing the wrong location to eliminate in, then it is probably not a urinary tract infection, but if the accidents are happening every one to three hours, then I would suggest a visit to your veterinarian. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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moses
Yorkie
13 Years
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moses
Yorkie
13 Years

my dog has always been well trained. recently we had my daughter visit with her baby and her new dog. its less than a year old. suddenly moses started to pee right in front of us on the floor. we assumed he was jealous. After my daughter and the entourage left, he still pees whenever we go out. we brought him to the vet and had him checked to see if he is ill but he seems very healthy. Not sure what to do now. We've started putting him in a crate while we are out but tonight he peed in the crate too. he was never crate trained so this is really difficult for him. what can we do now? he's a good dog in other ways and he can clearly old his pee since he sleeps with us at night and doesn't go until the morning. He's quite deaf so trying to yell or give him voice commands is pretty useless.
Thanks for whatever you can suggest

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Arlene, Since you have ruled out possible medical issues, it sounds like Moses felt threatened by the other dog, especially if the other dog was a male, and began marking his territory. You are right to crate him when you cannot work with him. First of all, purchase a cleaning spray that contains enzymes and clean up any new accidents and the location where had previous accidents. Only enzymes will break down the pee enough to fully remove the smell for his sensitive dog nose. Any lingering pee smell will encourage him to pee there again to mark. If the other dog peed while he was visiting, then thoroughly clean that area with the enzyme spray. Doing that alone can make a huge difference if that was the case. Avoid using any cleaners that contain Ammonia in the area because Ammonia smells like pee to a dog. If he peed on a piece of furniture or something that cannot be cleaned, then remove it from the room for now. Next, get him used to wearing a "Belly Band" or "Dog Diaper" and place something absorbent, like a feminine pad or pad made for dogs in it, to absorb the pee. Have him wear the band while you are at home so that you can stop him from trying to take it off until he learns to leave it alone. When he is used to it, set up a camera to spy on him and leave the house and watch him outside where he cannot see you. Do this to see if he will leave the diaper on. If he will leave it on and the issue is marking, then this should prevent him from marking, and help to break the habit since he cannot add new scent to your home. If he will not leave the diaper on or it is not effective, then look into purchasing a remote vibration collar. Set up a camera to spy on him and leave the house, but stay close enough for the camera and vibration collar remote to reach. You will probably need to gate off part of your house so that he stays where you can see him on the camera. When he begins to pee, vibrate the collar, and then immediately go back inside and take him outside to go potty with a calm but serious demeanor. When he pees outside, then relax your demeanor and treat him like all is forgiven. He may not pee when you take him outside since he is likely peeing to mark, but take him anyway just to make sure and to communicate to him that good things happen when he pees outside and he will not be vibrated for peeing there. When you take him outside for regular potty trips and he pees where he should, then give him a treat while you are working on breaking the accident problem. Do this to reinforce that he is only being vibrated for peeing inside and not peeing in general. For a camera, you can use two tablets or smartphone with your voice on mute on a Skype or Facetime App. Other cameras that work that you may have handy are: GoPros with the live phone app, video baby monitors, and video security camera. Any camera that will send a video signal that you can watch outside and set up the monitoring end inside to watch your dog will work. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shea
Maltese
10 Years
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Shea
Maltese
10 Years

he's been paper trained since the day we brought him home at 12 weeks. Literally, never peed anywhere except the pad. About 7 weeks ago, he started going on an area rug nearby or/and our wood floors. Vet said nothing physically wrong..probably behavioral. We are giving him verbal cues and high reward treats to encourage correct behavior. Every few hours, I point and tell him "go pee". Lately, he will just look at me when I bring him to the pad and then wait til we leave the room to relieve himself on the wood floor. I am at my wits end!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Peggy, This could be caused by a number of things. The first thing to do is purchase a pet safe cleaning spray that contains enzymes. The enzymes are extremely important because only they will break down the pee and poop smell completely so that he is not encouraged to pee in the same spot again. Any avoid using any products that contain Ammonia in the area because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog and will encourage peeing. Clean any old or new accidents that you can with the enzymatic spray. I would also encourage you to either remove the rug or wash it with a cleaner that contains enzymes if it is small enough to wash. Next, purchase an exercise pen and put a Pee Pad in one end and a bed and some toys in the other end. Whenever you cannot closely supervise Shea, he needs to be in the pen. You can also purchase a spray designed to encourage peeing and spray that on the pee pads when you want him to pee there to make them more enticing. This spray is usually called "Puppy Training Spray", "Hurry Spray", "Go Here" or something similar. Continue to give him a verbal cue and reward him whenever he goes on the Pee Pad. If his issue is simply a bad habit that has formed after an accidental pee at some point, then controlling his environment, rewarding him for peeing in the correct location, and preventing accidents by confining him and supervising him when he is free, should remind him to only pee on the pads. If he is getting forgetful with age, struggling to find a pee pad, or simply does not want to walk over to the pads because he is sore, then he will likely need his freedom limited to just one room or an exercise pen all the time when you cannot watch him. Unfortunately it is normal for older dogs to regress with potty training as they age. If it is an age issue, then the easiest thing to do is prevent him from wandering too far away from the pee pads in the first place, unless you know that his bladder is empty because he recently went. If he seems like he has become afraid of peeing on Pee Pads for some reason, then you can introduce him to using a litter box instead. Check out the article that I have linked below for how to do that. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Snoopy
Dachshund
13 Years
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Snoopy
Dachshund
13 Years

Snoopy has been pee pad trained for 13yrs. We recently had to move cross country and moved in to an apartment that is mostly carpeted. He has had more " accidents" in the last week then in the last 5 yrs. We have ran out of ideas on what to do. We walk him morning, afternoon and night. and still get accidents if we run late on walking him. We even have gated him in a bathroom when we are out and put pee pads down and doesn't use them. but when we take him out 10min later we catch him peeing or pooping on the carpet. Any suggestions ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shayla, Unfortunately, you will have to go back the early days of potty training Snoopy and teach him to go on the Pee Pads again in this new location by providing him with a lot of structure, supervision, and rewards for going. Follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article that I have linked below. That article talks about litter box training, but you can simply substitute the litter box for Pee Pads and follow the rest of the training. You can also use the "crate Training" method from that article, but that method is more time intensive. He needs the close supervision and confinement or a crate or Exercise Pen until he stops having accidents though. When you set up the Exercise Pen, set it up on hardwood or linoleum floor and not carpet. Also, when you remove the Exercise Pen later, when he is consistently going on the pads and ready for more freedom, keep the Pee Pads in the same location because you want him to learn to go in a specific location, not just on the Pee Pads, for him to learn not to pee on the carpets too. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you did not have carpet at your old home, then the issue is likely confusion. Many dogs that use Pee Pads have a hard time distinguishing between Pee Pads and carpet and rugs. If the "Exercise Pen" method is not successful with the Pee Pads, then another option is to train him to use a litter box instead. The litter box will be a more obvious difference than the carpet for him. If you had carpet at your old home and he did not have accidents on that, then it's possible the issue is the smell of the carpet. A previous resident's pet may have peed on the carpet in multiple locations and the carpet was not cleaned with a cleanser that contained enzymes, so the urine was not broken down enough for your dog not to be able to smell it still. Any remaining urine or poop smell will attract your dog to pee and poop in the same location. If the smell is the issue, then you may need to clean the carpet with a color safe carpet cleaner that contains enzymes. It must contains enzymes though, or the smell will still be detectable to Snoopy. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leah/Itta Bit
Chihuahua/poodle
6 Years
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Leah/Itta Bit
Chihuahua/poodle
6 Years

They go outside to go potty with the occasional indoor accident. I moved onto the 3rd floor and would like to train them to go on a pee pad on the balcony. I have the pee pad ready and they know the command “go potty” means we are going out to handle business. I’ve got the treats and praise ready. Also, I sprayed the pad with “go attraction spray”. They smelled it a few times and walked away. They have literally gone 12 hours without going outside because they won’t go on the pad. I figure if I take them out to the grass as usual then it will confuse the fact that I want them to go on the pad. Do I just give up for the day and take them out but still work in it daily? Any tips? Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kim, There are a couple of things you can add to what you are doing that might help. First, understand that they have been taught all their lives to not pee on carpeting and rugs, and a Pee Pad at this point looks like a piece of rug to them. If you decide to switch, you might have better luck using a litter box. That is not to say you cannot use Pee Pads, but remember to be patient with them. If you decide to switch to a litter box, then check out the article that I have linked below. I recommend using the Exercise Pen method from that article, which you can set up on your balcony. That will keep them from being able to walk away from the litter box or Pee Pads. You can remove the Exercise Pen later when they are trained. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy For the Pee Pad training tonight, you do not want the dogs to have an accident inside, so for tonight, either stick it out until they go on the Pads, which could take quite some time at first, or take them outside to go potty tonight and start fresh in the morning. If you have the time in the morning, the best time to work on this is right after they wake up and their bladders are full. Set up an Exercise Pen and put the Pee Pads, or litter box if you switch, on one end and lead them over to the Exercise Pen. Once they are in the pen, tell them to "Go Potty", and the close them inside the Pen. Walk away to where you can still see them if they go potty, but they do not feel like you are hovering and will fuss at them for having what they view as an accident. The first time that they go on the pad or litter box, return to them right when they finish going and praise them enthusiastically and give them five treats, one treat at a time. This part is important because they need to learn that going potty there is alright and you did not considered it an accident. You can also purchase a piece of grass sod and cut a smaller piece of it into the size of a pee pad. Place that cut piece on top of a Pee Pad right now to get them used to using the bathroom in that area. The grass will be more familiar and will encourage them to pee there. It will also will help them associate the Pee Pad that it is on it with using the bathroom. When they get used to going on the piece of grass, then gradually decrease the size of it until they are left with only the Pee Pad underneath it to pee on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocky
Havanese
9 Years
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Rocky
Havanese
9 Years

Hi there
My Rocky is a sweet, yet shy and somewhat anxious Havanese. He does most of his business in our large yard where we can let him go out from the kitchen. Occasionally he has accidents with his poops if he is stubborn and doesn't want to go out for weather related reasons or simply because he's lazy so he goes to the same spots in the living room on the area rug. When we go out we usually gate off the kitchen and he has his crate in there where is likes to hang out when were out. So my question is... we are hoping to have my daughter and boyfriend take care of him at his condo for a couple weeks as I am hoping to accompany my husband on a business trip to Australia at the end of November. He has stayed there before but because he is the "nervous" type he has a harder time adjusting to unfamiliar environments and as such is prone to having accidents with pees and poops. My daughters boyfriends place is relatively new and my daughter and him are reluctant to have him there unless he can be pee pad trained. We do have a breeder/boarder who we send Rocky to when we have no one to watch him, but as you know it is very expensive over a couple of weeks, so I would much rather have my daughter take care of him and he is so used to her and her boyfriend. My daughter is a natural with dogs also. I have no idea if Rocky is trainable for pee pad training at this stage of the game and I need some help with this. As a lot of mature dogs, he is "creature of habit" and I'm skeptical if he can learn this technique. Any advice would be helpful. P.S. My daughter ordered a box of Pee pads from amazon and she and my husband are asking me to start doing this training ASAP!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judy, I would recommend using this product: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you use pee pads you run the risk of teaching your dog to pee on area rugs and things made out of fabric, which is not something you want once you return home. Pee Pads resemble fabric and I only recommend them for dogs who will continue to use them for the rest of their lives because once you remove a pee pad the dog will often go looking for the next closest thing, a rug. The product I linked is real grass in a throwaway box, essentially. For two weeks you likely want to purchase two to reduce smell by replacing one each week, and they will want to pick up the poop from there after he goes to cut down on smell too. One can be used for as long as two-three weeks if they find there is not a smell that bothers them. To teach him to use the bathroom on the grass box set up an Exercise Pen and follow the "Exercise Method" from the litter box training article that I have linked below. Simply substitute the grass box for the litter box in that method. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy For your purpose I would encourage you to keep the Exercise Pen up always for him so that it it a very clear, specific location to go potty in and not just a certain type of surface. That will also help him to understand where to go at their apartment too. The article talks about how to transition the Exercise Pen away but keep yours up. Simply leave the door to it open all the time after he is trained so that he can go inside whenever he chooses. Your family will still need to take him to go potty in the pen or outside as frequently as you normally do though. Just like at home, you do not always wait until your dog asks or initiates to go out before you take him to go potty. When they leave, they can set up a non-absorbent bed on the opposite side of the exercise pen, a couple of feet away from the pen, so that he is close to the toilet and not likely to have an accident when they leave. Have them leave him with a couple of his favorite chew toys on the bed. PrimoPads are good non-absorbent beds to use if he does not already have something he will for sure not pee on. You can purchase PrimoPads online off the company's website. They are firm foam beds with vinyl coverings. They provide firm support and are waterproof. You want to use the Exercise Pen rather than simply setting the grass toilet down because you do not want Rocky to think peeing in the house in general is okay. Instead, you want him to think that Exercise Pen's with grass toilets in them are bathrooms. Think of the bathroom in your house and how it is a specific designated location to use the bathroom in. Think about how you look for a bathroom when you go to other people's houses, opposed to just random toilets sitting out in various locations. Give him a toilet and a bathroom since you desire for him to go potty outside long term. You do not want him to get too comfortable with going to the bathroom just anywhere inside. If you cannot use the grass toilet I linked, then here are a few more options to try in the link below, but I highly recommend using the one I linked above because Rocky will be more likely to have issues will going on the fake grass or plastic of the other ones. The one I linked above is real grass and will be more familiar to him already. The other options below are still better than other indoor alternatives, like Pee Pads though. http://petslady.com/articles/5-indoor-dog-potty-free-leash-68664 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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