puppy padsDogo trainers do not recommend potty pads to teach your dog toilet manners if your end goal is to have the dog do their business outside. This is because your dog will form a substrate preference and find it harder to relax on the grass or asphalt. However, we know each situatfe, and you either want your dog to pee on the pads or need it as a solution for the transitional period.
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Steps to train a dog to use pads

  1. Have a smaller confinement area for your dog, like a dog pen or oversized kennel with enough room for a bed, water, food, and potty space. It’s important to make sure that the confinement area is not too small for your dog. Your dog should be able to move around comfortably and have enough space to play and exercise. Additionally, you can try to make the confinement area more appealing to your dog by including toys and treats. This can help your dog associate the area with positive experiences and make them more comfortable spending time there.
  2. Cover the whole area with potty pads.
  3. Put your puppy in there every time you think they might need to go potty, and only allow them outside that area after the dog eliminated on there first.
  4. Remove only one of the pads and see if your dog chooses a pad or that open area to eliminate on. Suppose the dog chooses the padded area; great! But, if the dog chooses that non-padded area, go back to covering it.
  5. As the dog chooses to eliminate on the padded area, slowly remove the pads one by one until there is only one pad left that the dog chooses to eliminate on.
  6. Have at least one or several pads outside the confinement as well and see if the dog is willing to use them there, too.
  7. Now, your dog can be inside or outside the confinement without your supervision.

How to teach the dog to go from the pads to the outside?

If you want your dog to eliminate outside, you should start training them to do so as soon as possible. Teaching your dog to go outside is essential because it helps them avoid forming a substrate preference. It also allows them to experience the outdoors, which has several benefits, including fresh air and exercise. It can be a challenging process, but it’s worth it in the long run. Keep in mind that the training period may vary depending on your dog’s age, breed, and personality. Be patient and consistent with your training, and your dog will eventually learn to go outside.

The best would be to set up a reminder during the day to take your dog out every two hours. So your pup would get the chance to eliminate themselves outside without the need to do it on the pads. Once the dog does their needs outside, throw a big party, praise, and reward generously. However, since your dog is used to going on the pads, move them towards the exit, so the dog knows where to go in case of an “emergency.” Move the pads towards the outside door, and if you used to have them in the dog pen, take them out. Expect that you might have a few accidents but for a few weeks, dedicate regular time every few hours to take your dog out prophylactically or every time the dog wakes up.

Suppose your dog is reluctant to eliminate outside even after following the above steps. In that case, you can try training them to eliminate on a different substrate, such as a patch of grass or gravel. You can also try using pheromone sprays or attractants that encourage your dog to eliminate outside. However, keep in mind that these products may not work for all dogs and may take some time to be effective. Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid punishment or negative reinforcement techniques as they can damage your dog’s trust and relationship with you. Instead, be patient, consistent, and positive, and your dog will eventually learn to eliminate outside.

 

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