Training Sammie to do his business on a pee pad is ideal if you live in a high-rise apartment or if you must leave him alone for a long period. Newspapers spread on the floor have given way to leak-proof pee pads, which have advanced to the point that some have an attractant that urges your puppy to use them. With consistency and supervision, you can easily teach Sammie that the pee pad is his designated potty area.
Watching your puppy throughout the day can help prevent potty accidents and simultaneously teach him where his designated potty area is. When you catch him profusely sniffing, pacing or circling, pick him up and put him on a pee pad, because these signs indicate that he has to go potty. After he does his business, give him treats and praise so he'll want to repeat the behavior. Tethering him to you or to a piece of furniture might make it easier to consistently watch him. If he goes anywhere other than a pee pad, you'll need to clean it with enzymatic solution, or he'll want to continue to go in the smelly spot instead of on his pads.
For times when you can't watch Sammie, setting up a confinement area is essential. Use a baby gate to block off a small area of the kitchen or another room with easy-to-clean flooring. Put your pup's crate, food, water and some toys on one end of the area and place the pee pad on the other end -- dogs dislike going potty where they eat and sleep. Start with a small confinement area to minimize the chance of accidents. Once Sammie uses the pad consistently, gradually make the confinement area larger.
The way you deal with potty accidents greatly affects your pad-training success. If you find an accident on the floor, clean it up with a pet stain cleanser and keep it moving. Avoid scolding and punishing Sammie after the fact, because he won't be able to associate his accident to your anger, and he might start fearing you. If you catch him in the act, clap your hands to stop him in his tracks and bring him to the pee pad to continue relieving himself. Right after he's done, offer treats and praise as a reward.
Training Sammie to use pee pads might be convenient, but pee pads lengthen the process for fully housebreaking a dog, period. If you intend for the dog to do his business outside all the time, you'll have to transition from pee pads to outdoors. You'll have to teach him there's a new area where you want him to do his business. To get this message across, slowly move the pee pad closer to the appropriate door. Continue moving it a little at a time daily; eventually, it will be outside at the designated potty area. When he consistently does his business outside, get rid of the pad and continue praising him for good behavior.
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