Pee Pad Training

Pee Pad Training is one of the most popular methods of house training your puppy.

Your new puppy is going to require a lot of training. The first thing on your list is going to be house training.  There is more than one way to go about it, but the two most popular are pee pad training and crate training.  If you choose pee pad, here are a few things to keep in mind to help with quick and successful learning.

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Setting Up Your Puppy’s Space

Keep your puppy in a limited, enclosed space and cover the floor with pee pads. This helps them associate pee/poop with the pad.  Eventually, if they are not in the enclosure, they will seek out the pad rather than use the floor or carpet.  The pad will be familiar territory for doing their business. 

Learning to Go Outside

When you take him out of the enclosure, be sure to put his leash on and take him directly outside.  The leash restricts his range and limits the number of distractions that might keep him from peeing. Take note of pee/poop habits.  Many dogs have a little routine than they do before they go.  Some will spin in circles; others will have a specific posture (i.e. tail position, hind quarters lowered) that they assume as they are looking for the perfect spot. Get to know your dog’s unique routine so that you recognize it later, when he tries to tell you he has to go out. Once he is done, come back in so he knows that outside is for peeing.  Once your pup is trained you can spend play time outside.  For now, it is just a big potty.

Indoor Play Time

While your pup is in the house, but out of the enclosure, keep a close eye on his every move.  Look for the routine that you have identified as “the potty dance”, and have the leash ready to go out when you see it happening or be ready to put him in the enclosure to let him use the pad.

Mistakes Will Happen

If an accident happens, do not scold.  Just take your puppy outside to show him that this is where he should have gone.  Many suggest taking the “evidence” with you so that he associates it with something that belongs outside.  This does not mean you should have him sniff it or rub his nose in it, just put it down in the area where he usually pees so that he makes a connection.

As Your Doggo Progresses

As your puppy’s ability to hold his bladder becomes stronger, you can leave him out of the enclosure for longer.  Once he is showing signs of seeking out the enclosure when he has to pee or poop, you can remove the enclosure and eventually reduce the number of pads being used until you no longer need them. 

Pee Pads for Everyday Use
Indoor Turf is an alternative to Pee Pads. It provides a more natural option and is more absorbent.

Some families, especially those who live in multi-story apartments or condos or work unusually long hours, may choose to keep the pads to use when they just can’t get out.  In this case, have a designated space for the pads as this will provide consistency.  You may also want to get a more durable pad or potentially choose to use an indoor turf as an alternative to be sure the adult pup’s urine volume will be absorbed without damaging your floor.

Whatever method you use, please be patient and consistent.  This will reduce the pressure and stress on your puppy and will increase your chances of success.

Happy training!


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Crate Training your Puppy

When you must leave the house, make sure that there will be someone to let the pup out at regular intervals. A puppy is only physically capable of holding their bladder and bowels for a few hours.

Crate training is one of the most effective methods of puppy training. This is because, unless a puppy is desperate, he will not mess where he sleeps. It is important to follow certain steps and procedures to be successful. The goal is to avoid confusion and frustration for both you and your pup.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Although we may make a small commission it is at no cost to you.  See “Disclosure and Legal Things” section for complete details.

Step One: Choosing the proper crate

When choosing a crate, it is imperative that you select the appropriate size specific to your pup’s size. The guideline is to make sure he can stand, sit and turn around comfortably in the crate. Anything larger will set you up for failure as he would be able to poop on one side of the crate and go over to lay down on the other side. This defeats the purpose. You want to create a place where your dog won’t be comfortable sitting in his own his mess. This will encourage him to hold his bladder or bowels as long as possible until you let him out. Take him outside as soon as you let him out of the crate and return him as soon as he has done his business. This will help to associate potty breaks with going outside. Make sure these intervals are brief at first. Increase the time between potty breaks until your dog is able to hold it for a reasonable amount of time.

Step Two: Make the crate your pup’s Special Place

The idea when crate training is to make your pup’s crate her home. You want her to enjoy going in there and to seek it out as a place of calm and comfort. You can provide appropriately sized, safe chew toys to keep her entertained while spending time in the crate. Make sure there is a nice cushion for comfort. Place the crate in a location where your pup can see people and be involved with the family. Feeling isolated is scary and lonely. These are feelings we definitely do not want our pups to experience. This should become a safe haven for your pup. It will be where she runs to if she is feeling overwhelmed; a place to go when you have company or if she’s afraid during a thunderstorm.

Step Three: Leave the crate door open at first.

When introducing the crate and the concept of it being his place, leaving the crate door open indicates that this is not a place where he will always be confined, but a place where he should be free to enjoy whenever he wants to go inside. Once your puppy shows signs of being comfortable inside the crate, close the door for short periods of time so he gets used to the door being closed while resting or playing in there.

Step Four: Reward your pup for entering the crate on her own.

If your pup goes into her crate on her own, offer a reward in the form of a small treat . Use praise to enforce that you are happy with her behavior. This encourages her to go in easily, knowing that it is a positive experience. This will help if you need her to enter before you leave the house. It is not fun for either of you if you are chasing her around the house and having to gently force her into the crate. This causes anxiety and associates the crate with an unpleasant experience; the very thing you are trying to avoid.

Step Five: Never use the crate as a punishment.

Never use the crate as a punishment.

If your pup has an accident on the floor, it is common to react by sending him to a place out of the way so that you can clean up. Your dog will pick up on anger and tone and know that he has done something to upset you. If you send him to his crate when you are reacting to the incident, you are telling him that this is a place to go to when he has been “bad”. This places a negative tone on the crate and he will not want to go to the crate in the future.

Step Six: While you sleep, keep your puppy crated in your room.

If you keep her in your room, she will not have the sensation that she is isolated or that she has been left alone. This will also cause feelings of anxiety where the crate is concerned. The training will then take longer and will be more confusing for her. If she wakes in the night and cries or tries to get out, take her outside to do her business and return her to the crate as soon as she is done. This tells her that she sleeps in the crate at night and only comes out for potty purposes. This is not play time or a time to visit with everyone. It creates a clear schedule for her.

Step Seven: Never leave a puppy for more than 3 or 4 hours

When you must leave the house, make sure that there will be someone to let the pup out at regular intervals. Puppies are only physically capable of holding their bladders and bowels for a few hours. If you leave them for too long, they will not be able to control themselves and will wind up messing the crate and themselves. Once again, this makes the crate an unhappy place that your pup will want to avoid. Returning home or having someone come by to let your pup out will give him a chance to relieve himself. He will be able to stretch his legs and have a few minutes of stimulation in the form of smells and a change of and scenery. He will be happy to return to his crate after a brief visit.

Once your pup has mastered bladder and bowel control, you may want to keep using a crate and increase the size as needed, or upgrade to a pen enclosure . Another option is to keep her gated in a smaller room until it is safe to leave your pup to roam while alone in the house.

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