Does Potty Pad Training Work?


If there’s one thing that nearly all dogs have to learn it’s housetraining. But there are different theories about teaching housetraining or potty training. For some people housetraining may involve using a crate and teaching their dog not to soil in his bed area when he’s confined. For other people they may try to keep a sharp eye on their puppy and hustle him outdoors at the first hint that he needs to “go.”

Other people prefer to use paper training for their dog’s housebreaking needs. Does it work? Is it as effective as other housebreaking methods? Most people say that paper training doesn’t work as well as other kinds of housetraining that involve teaching your dog to differentiate between using the bathroom indoors and outdoors.

Many puppies have their first potty training experiences on paper. As they climb out of their whelping areas where their mother has been attending to all of their bathroom needs, their breeder will place papers down for them to use so they don’t soil their sleeping area. Puppies have an instinctive urge to keep their sleeping area clean so most of them toddle along and start to use the papers. They don’t really care about the papers, of course. They are simply moving farther away from their sleeping area.

After this point many breeders can’t wait to get the little guys out of the house and out in the yard, the sooner the better. It’s not easy to clean up after a litter of puppies, especially if it’s a large litter. When they begin eating solid food the task becomes enormous! And mama isn’t cleaning up after them anymore. The sooner they start to use the bathroom outside, the better.

But some breeders prefer to teach their puppies to keep using the papers, especially breeders with Toy breeds. These dogs are small and some people feel that it’s easy to teach them paper training and indoor housebreaking. It works for some people but some dogs are not good at distinguishing the papered areas from carpet or other places in the house where they shouldn’t use the bathroom. Some Toy dogs have a reputation for being hard to housebreak, perhaps because they have been kept using papers for a long time as puppies.

In fairness to people with Toy dogs, these are small dogs and there are sometimes concerns about allowing them outdoors with big dogs or letting them go outside when the weather is too hot or too cold. These are valid concerns.

If you plan to use paper training with your dog, whether he’s large or small, you should work with him on his housetraining just as you would with a dog that is going outside. Make sure that he knows he’s supposed to use the papers and that he can’t be careless or use the carpet or go anywhere he wants to go.

There are not many dogs that use papers as part of their housetraining successfully. If this is your preferred method you and your dog can make it work.



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