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 situation is unique, 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.
  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?

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.
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