Monday , 11 December 2017

Ask A Trainer: Weaning Off The Puppy Pad

My dog has been trained on a pee pee pad and I’d like her to go strictly outside.  I’ve tried moving the pad closer to the door and believe it or not she’ll pee where the pad used to be.  AHHHH !!!!! I’m annoyed because the pad always has to be clean or else she pee right next to the pad.  My dogs a princess !!!!


Hi there!  Thanks for writing in with that great question!  So you say that your dog is a princess, that she won’t pee on a pad that she’s previously peed on, and that you’d like to train her to do her business outside, and have away with the pee pads once and for all.  I feel you on that one!

I don’t know all the details about your dog, but based on what you’ve written, I’m assuming that your dog is no longer a puppy, but a full grown small breed dog.  It’s very common for people to train their small breed dogs to do their business indoors on pee pads, as some small dogs have a harder time holding themselves for very long periods, and since they are small, the messes they make are not nearly as large as those of a much larger dog.  But I can understand being frustrated when she pees right beside her pee pad if it’s already been peed on!

What we need to realize though, is that some dogs do not like peeing where they’ve already peed.  Some do not like stepping in it.  Some want to spread their scent around a little more, and some, just like your pooch, just plain don’t like it!

Your idea of moving the pee pad closer to the door in preparation of getting her to do her business outdoors is a very good one!  This is a good step when house training puppies to go outside.  The reason she may be going back to her ‘old’ spot to pee, even when there is no pee pad there is most likely that her pee scent is still there, coupled with the fact that she is also used to going there.

To deal with this, and to make it no longer her ‘pee’ place, you will have to take special care to thoroughly clean that spot of any and all traces of urine and its scent.  You will have to make sure to use a cleaning product that will completely neutralize the area of all urine enzymes.  There are many types and makes of pet spot and stain removers on the market, but make sure that you use one that gets rid of the enzymes.  My personal favorite is Out Pet Stain and Odor Remover, although there are other good products out there.  The key is to completely eliminate the scent of urine so your dog is not tempted to return to that spot to pee again.  Sometimes pet repellent, such as Bitter Apple may be needed to deter some dogs who may want to return to the same area, even after it’s been cleaned.

Now that we’ve dealt with ensuring that your princess doesn’t return to her regular pee place, we’ll need to start teaching her to go outdoors now.  What we need to keep in mind regarding this is that we want to teach her where we want her to go, rather than punishing her when she goes where it’s not acceptable.  To do this, we will have to start house training her all over again – and we will have to set her up to succeed!

It would be a good idea to keep her on a feeding and watering schedule, so that you will be able to determine her needs.  If you have a crate, then crate training her will also be a marvelous idea, as most dogs will not go where they rest and sleep.  You’ll have to make sure that the crate is large enough for her to turn around in, but not large enough for her to pee in one end and have enough room to go to the other end to lie down.

From there, whenever she wakes up, finishes eating and when you return home, she’ll need to be taken outside RIGHT away.  You might even have to put her on a leash to make sure that she doesn’t have a chance to squat.  Once she’s outside, you’ll have to wait with her until she does her business.  Once she has, praise her for doing such a great job.  If she doesn’t do anything outside, then you can take her in again, but keep her on the leash, taking her back out every 5-10 minutes until she does eliminate.  Eventually she will have to go, and hopefully you’ll have her outside when it happens!

Consistency will be the real key here though.  You will have to be vigilant in taking her out, only giving her the option of going outside…she shouldn’t have any chance to be able to relieve herself inside the house at all.  This is how we’ll set her up to succeed, and with each success, the faster she’ll learn that eliminating outside earns her more praise, and is what is wanted of her.

So don’t fret, your little princess will soon become a pee padless princess!

Good luck and happy training!

Meira Frankl

Perfect Pet Training

514-209-0271

To ask Meira a question, please contact us – and your e-mail may be posted here!

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One comment

  1. Recently adopted a puppy who came to us pee pad trained. We have established a regular feeding schedule and have removed all pee pads from the house. She is very good about not eliminating in her crate and can last 6-7 hours through the night. If she looks like she is going to pee/poop she is immediately taken outside to her pee spot, but will not pee or poop outside. Since I started taking her out when she shows any signs, she has decided to hide behind the recliner once she gets in the house to eliminate. Any ideas for how I might encourage her to go outside? I already use the phrase “go potty” and have left some pee/poop in the spot we would like her to use outside.
    Thanks-Kate

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