One of the first behaviors that we train our dog is housebreaking. The concept of housebreaking and pee pads seems easy enough. Teach your dog that it is not acceptable to go potty inside the house. However, as some of us have learned, that concept becomes fuzzy when we have made a common mistake. Some dog owners have begun training with the use of pee pads.
What's the appeal?
Pee pads were designed to assist in the training of puppies on a specific location, chosen by the owner, to go to the bathroom. This seems simple on paper, reduce the area that a dog will go potty to a single corner or room. Some of these pads are designed to look like grass, which in theory makes the transition to going outside easier, right? The answer is, unfortunately, no.
Housebreaking and pee pads, practical right?
Winter is fully upon us here in Northwest Indiana, and with it comes the snow and ice once again. The last thing we want to do is drag out every 20-30 minutes to take our puppy out. We have seen pee pads mentioned on TV, on the internet, and even in TV shows and movies. They can't be bad right? Why would they market something that isn't good to use for our puppy? Unfortunately, these are the incorrect way to train your dog to not go potty in the house.
Pee pads cause confusion for your puppy. At one time, we allow them to go in the house, placing pee pads in a corner or near the door. However, as we attempt to fully housetrain our pet, we expect them to understand that they are no longer allowed to go inside the house just because we remove the pee pad. This creates confusion for your dog, as they do not understand why it was acceptable to go at one time, but not now. By eliminating this confusion, your puppy will learn faster without as much regression or accidents.
Professional Training Advantages
Professional dog trainers should be able to offer advice on housebreaking your puppy. They can teach behaviors that will assist in your training, such as ringing a bell when your dog needs to go out. Training is a lifelong adventure, and this adventure always seems to begin with properly housebreaking your pet. Housebreaking is not something we can train during a class, or session, but it is something that we have plenty of experience with. As trainers, we have encountered countless puppies that need a little help learning where they should go to the bathroom, and the proper techniques and tools to accomplish this training. Any trainer you contact should be able to offer their help with even the most basic training, even if it isn't something they can physically train your dog.