On the one hand, we’re big fans of washable puppy pads. We should be, since we sell them! They’re a cost-effective and smart way to give your puppy a place to do their business, temporarily, while training is taking place. Temporarily is the key word, and it’s one that occasionally gets forgotten about during the potty training process.
As useful as puppy pads are, a point arrives where they need to go. They can stink up the house, make things awkward for guests, and they don’t ask your puppy to let you know when she needs an out. So how do you make the dreaded transition outside? Well, it requires patience and consistency, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. Read on for some tips to make the big switch.
Slowly and gradually cut back on the puppy pad usage. You don’t want to abruptly stop using them, since it can create confusion and cause your puppy to have more accidents. If he uses it successfully, along with doing his business outside, that’s far better than random indoor accidents.
When your puppy does use the pad, don’t praise her or scold her. Instead, take her outside as quickly as possible. The trick is to show her what to do, not yell at her when she does something wrong. When she does her business out there, then you can shower her with praise.
If you’re running errands, at work, or in bed, that’s a good time to have the pad out. But when you’re home, keep your eye on your puppy and try to anticipate when he’s thinking about using the pad. Look for body language like sniffing around the floor, whining, or scratching. When this happens, leash him up and head outside.
Most dogs that have been pad trained have an annoying habit, and that’s when they’re taken out to do their business, they take a literal eternity. We know it’s no fun, especially if you have to stand around in the rain waiting. But you’ve got to be patient, and you’ve got to be out there. Keep your puppy on leash. If you need to jostle the waste out of them, you can run or walk a little. Once it happens, give your puppy lots of praise. If you need to go over the top a little, no problem.
If nothing happens after 20 minutes or so, head back in. But your job now is to watch your puppy intently. Some pups like the warmth indoors, and will immediately do their business when they come in. Try not to let this happen, and if you see him starting to squat, hustle outside.
Eventually, it will happen. When it does, you need to go a little nuts, but in a good way. Give her lots of petting, love, praise, even a couple of treats. We know, you’re going to feel a little goofy throwing a party over a dog doing her business. But by showing her that going outside makes you happy and gets her praise, she’ll want to do it more.