Potty training should be your priority immediately you bring your puppy home. Well, it is especially important to potty train your puppy if he is going to be living in the house. I am going to show you 3 simple steps to train a dog how to use a pee pad.
Most dog owners having problems with a dog who soils the house end up giving up. It is not that a dog cannot be potty trained, it is about how you train your dog. Therefore, you must employ effective measures to ensure that your puppy is fully potty trained.
Why use pee pads for my new puppy?
The idea of owning a puppy is entertaining. However, this is not until your new pup won’t stop peeing on your carpet or couch. Gross, right? Well, this is bound to happen if a puppy is not well trained. I always encourage dog owners to start potty training on the first day the puppy arrives.
The purpose of house training a dog is to ensure that your puppy knows it is unacceptable to soil the house.
Using pee pads is going to be convenient for both you and your puppy. Puppies who have not been potty trained may not hold their bladder for so long. Therefore, pee pads provide an option, and it is much easier to clean up anyway.
Also, it is a great way to potty train a dog, especially if you live in an apartment building. Since you do not have immediate access to outdoors, pee pads will help control house soiling.
3 simple steps to train a dog to use a pee pad
You need to master the times at which your dog is likely to pee or defecate. Most puppies will need a potty break every one hour.
Step I: Use a crate
While the thought of confining a dog might sound awful, it is the best approach to introduce the use of pee pads. I suggest you get a crate, especially for new dogs. Ensure that the entire floor is covered in pee pads before you put your pup in there.
Think about the method you want to use. An alternative could be setting up a small room for him. Once again, the floor should be covered in paper pads.
I love using a crate because it provides just enough space to stand up, lie and turn for the puppy. It works to your advantage given that dogs will not pee or defecate at the same place they sleep. Thus, limited space limits the chances at which your dog could eliminate in the cage.
The laid out pee pads will help take care of the small accidents in the crate. However, you must set up a potty place. It could be in the bathroom or laundry room corner. Place pee pads on the designated potty area of the house.
To reinforce training, get your puppy out of the crate and lead him directly to the pee pads. As I mentioned above, you might need to do this every hour. Do not let him get distracted on the way to the potty place. Instead, use the same route every time you let him out of the cage.
If your dog does not do his business even after taking him to the pee pads, I suggest you take him back into his crate and repeat after about 15 minutes. Keep doing this until he finally eliminates and use a treat to reinforce and reward good behavior.
Step II: Use verbal commands
The good thing about owning a dog is that they are intelligent. Introduce verbal commands as early as possible. It will enhance not only potty training but also obedience training. Besides, you need the means to communicate with your canine friend.
It is easy to associate a certain word or phrase with a certain action. For instance, I prefer instructing my dogs to ‘go potty’. Once I say that they all know what is expected of them.
However, I must mention that this is a time-consuming training. You will need to be patient and spend most of the time in the house. Verbal commands are best used in combination with crate training. For instance, each time you let your pup out of the cage, instruct him to go potty and lead him to the pee pads.
Now, you want to ensure that your dog knows how to use a pee pad. This way, once he sees it, he knows that it is okay to pee or defecate on them.
Once again, to encourage verbal commands training, use positive reinforcement. Always have a treat as you lead your puppy to the designated potty place.
During potty training, ensure that your dog is under supervision at all times. It is going to be easier to monitor his behavior as well as master his bathroom behavior. As I have described above, take your puppy to the potty area every one hour and use the command ‘go potty’.
Repeat this every few minutes until your puppy obliges. Immediately present and offer him a treat as a reward for good behavior.
Step III: Remain patient and consistent
Now, training a dog how to use a paper pad could take several weeks. Therefore, it is not a process that can be done easily. Besides, you must exercise patience as your puppy will have a few accidents before he is fully trained.
So, how prepared are you? Whenever you are taking up major dog training such as pee pad training, I advise you to take some time off work. It is best to adopt a puppy when you do not have so much in your hands. This is especially if you live all by yourself.
Puppies in training need constant supervision. As I have indicated above, a puppy can only hold his bladder for so long. You must be able to take him out of his crate, or room every one hour. Should you fail to take him out, he will go in the crate.
Well, I already said that the dog’s crate should be spacious. A large crate might allow your puppy to choose a corner for a potty place. Well, should you fail to get him out of the cage for several hours, he will go in the crate, despite having limited space.
Not only would it be stressful for your pup to be in the same crate he eliminated on, but it can also promote another undesired behavior such as coprophagia.
However, even though your pup seems to have accidents here and there, do not stop the training. Successful pee pad training will only work when it is used consistently. Within a few weeks, your puppy should already be aware of using the pads. Continue the training until he can do it by himself.
Things to keep in mind when training a puppy how to use pee pads
Above, I have outlined the 3 simple steps to train a puppy how to use a pee pad. And as you can seem it is not an easy task. Training a dog will take some time and you must remain consistent. Do not give up the training because some dogs can be extremely difficult to train.
Below, I am going to list down some of the things you must remember to aid the training process.
Purchase the necessary items
If you are going to train a puppy how to use a paper pad, you are going to need a few items. For instance, you must buy a couple of paper pads. Also, should you prefer to use the crate method of training, you must get an appropriate crate.
Well, I also advise you to purchase a leash and collar. You might need to use a leash on him every time you take him out of his crate. Some puppies tend to get distracted on the way. As a result, he might start running around and forget why you took him out of the crate in the first place. You must not let this happen.
Keep a feeding schedule for your dog
Well, the easiest way to keep train your dog on how to use paper pads is by estimating when your pup is likely to eliminate. Above, I said that you should take your pup out every hour. However, expect him to defecate at least half an hour after each meal.
Now, feeding your puppy at the same time each day will make it easy for you to estimate when your puppy is likely to eliminate.
Also, try not to change his diet during this training process. It could affect his digestive system and result in house soiling.
Clean accidents immediately
During training, your dog will have accidents. Well, this is not only gross but also frustrating. However, remember that it will take patience and consistency to fully potty train a dog. Therefore, instead of yelling or punishing your dog for soiling the house, clean it up.
You should use enzymatic cleaners that will help remove the smell and the stain.
The smell of a previous accident is likely to trigger your dog to repeat. Besides, it is only fair to keep your dog in a clean environment.
Use a lot of rewards
To successfully train your dog, I suggest that you use positive reinforcement on your dog. Purchase high-quality dog treats and keep them close. However, do not let your dog see or sniff it until he has successfully used the pee pads.
Be careful with the amount and types of dog treats that you are using. Some dogs tend you gain weight fast. Too many fatty treats can result in obesity.
You can also use verbal praises or pet your dog to show your approval. For instance, you can gently scratch him on the head and say ‘good boy’. Positive reinforcement assures your dog of a treat or generally a pleasant outcome.
You should offer the treat to him immediately he eliminates successfully. The reward should link directly to the action, which is using the paper pads.
Be gentle when handling a reluctant puppy
It could take a few weeks to train a dog to use a pee pad. At the same time, it could take a different dog months before he learns the same. It does not always mean that you are using ineffective methods of dog training.
Well, if your dog is taking longer to learn how to use a paper pad, be patient with him. Continue training him consistently and do not get angry at simple accidents. If you find him in the act of peeing on the carpet or floor, clap your hands gently to get his attention.
Hitting or yelling at him will only make your dog afraid. It is ineffective to try and correct the house soiling behavior way later after it has taken place. Your puppy does not have the capability to relate the two acts. Thus, punishment is ineffective during potty training.
The above-discussed steps should help you get started to train your dog on how to use a paper pad. However, it could take some time before your dog adapts to using the latter. Whichever method you choose, be consistent.
Avoid changing the position of the pee pad as it could lead to further confusion. Use rewards for positive reinforcement and be kind to your puppy.
As you can see, training a dog how to use paper pads can be time-consuming. You might consider getting professional help if you lack the time for consistent training.