When you first bring a new puppy home, one of your first responsibilities is to housetrain him. The sooner you begin housetraining, the sooner you can stop worrying about coming home to find a puddle or pile in the middle of the kitchen floor. When it comes to housetraining, there are a variety of methods to choose from, and one of them is puppy-training pads. Before you choose a housetraining method, take the time to learn the basics about each method to decide which is best for you.
- Puppy-training pads are often used by urban pet owners. If you live in city apartment, you may not have access to a great deal of outdoor space, and puppy-training pads may be your best option.
- You still need to have a schedule. As is true with traditional outdoor housetraining, you need to stick to a schedule, and be consistent about rewarding your puppy for using the pads if he is going to learn.
- Only use the pads if you can do so correctly. If your puppy has constant access to the pads, he may not understand their purpose. Treat the pads as you would treat a yard (if you had one), and take your puppy to the pad when it is time to go.
- Choose one method or the other. Do not try to incorporate both indoor and outdoor housetraining at once because it can be confusing for your puppy.
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- Consistency is important. The key to using puppy-training pads is to teach your puppy that going on the pad is desired, not that going in the house, in general, is desired. To do so, you must consistently reward your puppy for using the pad.
- Training pads may extend the housetraining process. If you are using training pads as a stepping-stone in housetraining, it may end up prolonging the process by teaching your dog first to go indoors and then to go outdoors.
- Training pads can be used to transition a dog to outdoor housetraining. If your dog has a particularly difficult time with outdoor housetraining, you may be able to start him with training pads and slowly move the pad closer to the door until he eventually learns to go outside consistently.
- Older dogs may revert as they age. If your dog is taught to relieve himself inside the house, he may become lazy as he ages, choosing to do his business wherever it is convenient, rather than seeking out the pad.
- Training pads can result in confusion. Some dogs may not learn to identify the pad as the sole place where it is acceptable to do his business indoors. Your dog may eventually start going on newspapers or mats, which resemble the size and shape of the training pad.
The Bottom Line
The method of housetraining you use is up to you. Whether you use training pads for your puppy depends on your particular situation and on your specific dog. By taking the time to learn the benefits and drawbacks of this training method first, you can make an informed decision.