Q&A: how long should we use the pee pads?


We are picking up our new Yorkie puppy in 2 days! She is 8 weeks. She’s been using a pee pad in her current home and has done very well, meaning going on the pad exclusively. But this week has pooped a couple of times off the pad and out of the pen area. That’s her history. We want to train her to go outside. My question is do we train her first to use pee pads in our house and then later to switch to outside? And if so how long do you use the pee pads before switching to outside? I’m hoping you say skip the pee pads and just start training her outside right away. This has been an on-going debate in our family of four.~Heather

It is always preferable to train the puppy outside initially so he does not begin a habit of eliminating in the house. To do this you must be willing and able to take the puppy outside frequently throughout the day, ideally after eating meals, for about 20 minutes or until he goes, first thing in the morning and before bedtime. Until the pup gets the idea you will also have to take him out every hour or two. It is helpful to train him to ‘go’ on a newspaper so that he understands more easily what to do. So the first time he goes outside, slip a paper under him when he urinates so it catches some of his odor. Then next time, take the same paper and let him sniff it to get the idea, place it on the ground and keep taking him back to it until he goes on it. This will take patience and you can expect to take up to two weeks for him to really start being reliable about it. Present ‘used’ paper to him at first until he gets the idea. Then gradually reduce the size of the paper until it is no longer needed, Observe your puppy through the day so you get to know his internal schedule of elimination, to avoid mistakes.

Because your puppy has been going on puppy pads, start by placing a paper over the pad and let him use it. Then begin the outdoor training.

Puppies cannot hold their urine as long as grown dogs, so keep this in mind. He may have accidents overnight. Many people keep pups in a comfortable crate overnight as they do not like to soil close quarters. Do not let him wait too long in the morning to go out – it’s worthwhile setting the alarm at the beginning and avoiding mistakes in the house!

 

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