train a puppy to use potty pads

How to Train a Puppy to use Puppy Potty Pads

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How to Train Your Puppy to use Potty Pads

train a puppy to use puppy pads


Sorry, but I’m going to stand by this one. There’s a right way to potty train a puppy. Puppy potty pads are not the way.  I have potty trained hundreds of puppies, fostered dozens of moms with new litters, and dog sat dozens of dogs who “use puppy pads. ” I know dogs when it comes to potty training, and puppy pads do not qualify as a method. Here’s why:

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1. Puppy Pads are meant for puppies under 8 weeks

puppy pads

Unless your puppy situation looks like this, you should not be using puppy potty pads. Puppy pads are designed for puppies who are incapable of being potty trained. At around 4 weeks, puppies start to learn to potty on their own. Before this, they had to be stimulated by their mother in order to go. Once they are physically capable of relieving themselves, they can make it about 4 steps holding it. That is where puppy pads come in. They sure come in handy when you have 8 puppies, 4 weeks old, going potty every couple of hours. Eventually, the puppies follow their mom’s lead and venture far away from their den to potty, so as not to attract predators. This is natural and reinforced when potty training begins. Dogs do not want to potty where they live, play, and sleep.

train puppy to use puppy potty pad
puppy potty training

Does your puppy look like the ones above? Is your puppy under 6 weeks old? Then you should not be using puppy pads! Sorry!

2. Puppy Pads Don’t Work

So you want your puppy or adult dog to go potty on a potty pad. Yes, they have attraction scents built in. They will bring your dog NEAR them to go potty. But realize this: your dog will put their nose not the pad, and potty on the floor next to it. So if you are trying to prevent your floors from getting soiled, using potty pads won’t work.

They also do not work as a potty training method because they are counterintuitive to the actual potty training process. Dogs naturally want to potty somewhere other than where they live. When you allow them to go potty inside, they lose this natural instinct. When potty training, bringing a dog outside creates a strong association. We potty outside, we never potty inside. When attempting to teach a dog to use a potty pad, there is not enough distinction in environments between a puppy pad and the regular floor.

Dogs will also not develop the muscles to hold it for long periods of time. They will get so used to going whenever they want, wherever they want, that they will lose interest in even trying to make it to the potty pad.

I know from experience. I have had dog sit dogs come to my house, have their owners provide potty pads and tell me they will go on them. Without fail, they go potty all over the place, not even near the puppy pad. When they do attempt to go on the puppy pad (maybe it’s just coincidence and they’re not trying at all) They miss and I end up having to clean the floor anyway.

3. Your House Will Stink

The whole point of potty training is so that we are not living like animals with dog excrement all over our floors. Puppy pad use means you will have excrement on your floors, with the buffer of an absorbing pad or without. Either way, when your dog goes potty on your floor or potty pad, the smell is now in your house. It’s in the air, and if this is your dog’s main method of relief, the smell will penetrate your entire house eventually. You will become nose blind to it, and guests will be extremely uncomfortable, you will lose any rent deposit, and if you own your home, it will be more difficult to sell.

Take it from me, potty train your puppy the right way. See this post for a guide. If you already have a house that smells like dog, this post is tips on how to get it smelling fresh!

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