How to House Train Puppies With Piddle Pads

"Where do you want me to go potty?"
Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

If Sparky seems to think that your entire house is one big potty, you're most likely not a happy camper. Assigning one area where he can do his business is essential if you want to maintain your sanity and prevent constant cleanup. Piddle pads, also known as pee pads, can help during the housebreaking process. These absorbent, leak-proof pads are ideal to use when Sparky's home alone or if you don't have easy access to an outdoor potty area. With consistency, patience and supervision your pup can be potty trained in no time.

Step 1

Place a piddle pad in an accessible area of the house with easy-to-clean, hard flooring, such as the bathroom. Avoid carpeted areas, because if Sparky misses, the cleanup can be a pain.

Step 2

Watch Sparky like a hawk when you're home with him. Don't let him out of your sight, because he might have a potty accident. Close the door to the other rooms of the house or use a leash to tether him to you so he can't wander out of your sight.

Step 3

Take him to the piddle pad as soon as you notice him profusely sniffing, circling or scratching, because these restless signs indicate he has to go potty. Place him on the pad, say "go potty" and wait patiently, making sure he doesn't walk off the pad. Also take him to the piddle pad after playing, after drinking or eating, and after he wakes up.

Step 4

Throw a little party immediately after he does his business. Praise and reward him lavishly to encourage and reinforce his good behavior. Treats, petting, games and kind words can all get the message across.

Step 5

Clean accidents with a pet stain cleanser, because if Sparky can still smell his waste he might soil the same area again. If you catch him having an accident, clap your hands to startle him and say "na-ah." This might stop him in his tracks, after which you can take him to his piddle pad. Once there, say "go potty" and praise him lavishly after he finishes doing his business.

Step 6

Confine Sparky to a small area when you can't watch him. Block off the area with a baby gate. Place a crate, food, water and toys on one end of the area, and a piddle pad on the other end, because dogs dislike soiling areas where they sleep and eat. Start with a rather small area so there's minimal visible floor space, and after one month of consistently using the piddle pad, slowly increase the size of the confinement area.

Step 7

Move the piddle pad slowly closer to the front door if you want to transition Sparky from using the pad to using an outdoor potty. As long as he uses the pad consistently, keep moving it until it's outside in the designated potty area. Then use scissors to slowly reduce the size of the pads. As they get smaller, and your pet companion continues to use the outdoor area, get rid of them.


  • Avoid punishing or scolding your pet companion after finding an accident on the floor. He won't be able to associate your anger with his prior potty accident and might end up fearing you.


  • Replace the piddle pad often, because if it's very dirty, Sparky might refuse to use it and do his business elsewhere.

  • If you have more than one puppy, train each pup individually, because if one makes mistakes you might not know who's to blame and the other might copy the behavior. Have separate crates and confinement areas until the pups are fully potty trained.

  • Create a schedule for your puppy so he gets used to a daily routine that includes playing, outdoor walks, eating, going potty and resting.

Items You Will Need

  • Leash
  • Treats
  • Pet stain cleanser
  • Baby gate
  • Scissors