Moving From Puppy Pads to Outside

  • Hello all!

    Paco is now going on 10 months and is quite the happy pup here on St. Thomas. A little issue has come up, and I'm hoping you all can suggest some things for me.

    We used puppy pads while potty training Paco so that if he had to go and we either weren't around to open the door (or asleep) he could use the pads to go. We still use a pad next to the door because he often wakes up before us in the morning and wants to urinate, so this way we can continue to sleep and he can do his business. The problem is, whereas he once could hit the pad dead center pretty regularly, he now ALWAYS pees right on the edge, leaving us with (usually a quite large) puddle of urine on the kitchen floor to clean up.

    I'm thinking that he's old enough to hold it until we get up to let him out to pee, as long as I give him a chance to go before we go to bed, which he usually gets. We've had days where a puppy pad wasn't down when the door was closed though, and he just urinates on the floor where the pad is supposed to be. I should probably just save my money and stop buying the pads, since either way I'm going to have a puddle on the floor to clean up, lol.

    Question basically is, how do I teach him that he can now ONLY go outside? I suspect just taking the pads away won't work, and I won't be able to keep an eye on him while I'm sleeping to move him outside if he starts to pee on the kitchen floor.

    I appreciate the help!

  • Good luck with that…. honestly, this is exactly the reason that I do not encourage paper training... and get them outside as quickly as possible.

    and your right, just taking the pads away will most likely not work... he will just look for something that looks like a pad and pee anyway... it is now what he thinks is approriate... Sounds like he is not crate trained? Easiest way (90%) of the time to potty train as they will wake you up to go out rather then pee in the crate (again, 90% of the time).... So I would have to say if you really want to break the habit... you will have to find a way for him to wake you up and during the day go back to potty training 101.

  • I have always wondered if this is why some toy breed dogs are difficult to housetrain. Many owners and rescues use puppy pads.


  • Do not just take up the pee pad. I would take a used pee pad and set it outside where you want him to do his business. When you go outside be sure to use a cue word and then have a major party with lots of treats right where he voids.

    I would suggest you teach him to ring a bell hanging from the main door he is to use, so that he can alert you to when he has to go out. I googled these words: "ringing bell to go out - canine" and got a lot of hits.

    You will need to have him on a long line attached to you or in a crate any time you can not watch him. Every time he has an accident in the house - it sets you back in housetraining by 1 week.

    That means he is in a crate at night or he is on line and attached to you while in bed with you. That way if he gets off in the middle of the night - you are alerted and know you need to get up and get him outside. That does not mean you then take the line off. Until he is 100% reliable in the house, he remains on a line or in a crate or behind a barrier.

    I do not think the problem is using the pee pad. My litter was box trained and I leave Ph'nx in an expen with a smally "potty box" lined with paper for her to use when I am at work. She uses it when kenneled but she is also well on her way to being houstrained and she is only 4 1/2 months old. Of course I also have a doggie door which makes it easier to train as she does not have to get my attention to go out - she just goes when she needs to - which she does. The point being she is able to use the potty box when she is kenneled but know she needs to go outside to do her business when she has free reign of the house.

    She can hold her urine from 10pm until I get up - which can vary from 5:30 to 7:30. But then again she is crated so she has learned to hold it - which in turn expands her bladder and her ability to hold her urine.

    Barring any infection - there is no reason a 10 month old can not hold his urine overnight. Sounds to me like he has no concept of the proper place to void; if he has been allowed to pee in the house - even on a pad whenever the urge hits him - he has not learned any bladder control nor perhaps has he had to hold his urine long enough to help exand the capacity of his bladder.

    Good luck.


  • In my opinion a 10 month old puppy should be able to wait - it seems to me that he has just got into the habit of using the pee pad. I would agree with Sinbaje - put the pad outside the door. It might be a matter of getting up earlier for a while until he knows that outdoors is the place to pee.

    I also agree about a cue word - (mine is 'toilets') and then when he obeys give him loads and loads of praise - make him think he has done the most clever thing ever.

  • i have a 4/5 month old puppy and she now holds through the night.

    We had her from 8wks and once she mastered the stairs we'd leave our bedroom door a crack open and the screen door slightly open. She comes and go as she needs and we've only had two or three accidents in the house and that was during the day, we havent had an accident at night.

    Crate training is good and moving the pee pad outside. Treat and praise when he goes outside.

    Does he pee outside during the day?

  • Paco is crate trained and stays in a crate when we aren't home, we just allowed him to sleep with us in the bed once he learned where it was he could pee. He knows that he cannot go wherever he wants in the house. The only reason the pad is there really is for when we're sleeping, the door is closed, and he wants to go. He only pees on the pad once a day - in the morning when we're still asleep. The rest of the time he pees outside.

    I think the idea of a line on him is a good one; that way when he gets up in the morning to pee I can wake up and open the door for him.

    Or…if he's waking me up too early, another question: How much success have those of you who use litterboxes had in regards to aim? I'd be willing to switch from pads to a litterbox or something like it, if he can actually get in the litterbox and not miss like he is with the pads.

  • Just wanted to update for anyone in the future doing a search and finding this thread…

    I bought a litterbox and put a training pad inside of it. I used treats to lure Paco into stepping into and out of the box until he was comfortable with it, and then refused to open the door for the day with him, so he couldn't go outside to pee. He finally used the litterbox, though I wasn't there to see it, and I replaced the training pad.

    This morning, he went outside the litterbox instead of inside. I've cleaned up the mess and gave him treats again for stepping into the litterbox and even got him to sit in it. I put some of what I cleaned up off the floor onto the fresh training pad inside the litterbox; hopefully next time he will get the hint.

  • When I start training the puppies for outside after our lovely winter, I take the litter box/pee pad outside and leave it by the door. On nice days, I left the door open so that they would know the potty is outside. They eventually got the idea that outside was where the potty area was. I did move it down and away from the door after they got the idea of 'outside potty'. This time I also hung chimes on the inside of the door and when I let them out I would take their paw and wack the chimes with it. Two times and those chimes were ringing non stop for them to go out. If I didn't respond the first time with the chimes they would really wack them. Just a few thoughts that may work for you. Don't forget, at 10 mos, the puppy may take a little longer to train.

  • Thank you very much, nomrbddgs. He's already pretty good at going outside, and usually the door actually is open all day for him…it's just those darned morning pees that I'm never awake for. I would hate to suddenly start putting him in the crate to sleep after all these months of sleeping in the bed with us, just to make him hold it until I wake up in the morning...I really don't mind him going inside as long as it's on the puppy pad, or now in the litterbox.

    I've given serious thoughts to the bells...except that if he decides to ring them at 4 or 5 am and I either don't wake up or choose to ignore him, I'd prefer not to have a puddle on the floor from him if there could instead just be a puppy pad or litterbox to clean.

  • Our rescue, Kell was so easy, he trained us. He has slept in bed with us from the first night. he would wake up to potty a couple of times a night at first. He would arf, and continue to arf louder & louder until one of us woke up and got up, took him outside, praised him while he pottied, and then we would go back to bed. He never had an accident in the bed. That has dwindled down to not going until my husband gets up to go to work around 5:45.

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