Paper Training is perfect for apartment dwellers and very small dogs whose owners would prefer to not have to walk their dogs.
I remember one of my clients in Palm Beach had a Havanese. We pad trained her puppy from the beginning and was doing very well. She called me one day panicked because she was heading to Paris and was concerned that during her stay at the luxurious Hotel Plaza Athénée her puppy would have an accident, quite a faux pas, to say the least. HOwever, she called me once she arrived ecstatic that her puppy held it the entire flight, which I am certain was a first class trip, to tell me that as soon as she arrived in her room she put that day’s issue down of Le Monde and he went right on the paper. She jokingly said, “My Cuban dog doesn’t even speak French, we trained him in English and he pees on French papers. I think my friends back in Palm Beach would approve but what do you think the French would say?” I told her not to tell them.
Many owners make the mistake of starting their dog on pads when they really intend to housetrain their dog. I recommend that you make a decision day one as to whether you want a housetrained-one that goes outside, or a pad trained dog. Pad training can be easier to implement but don’t decide half way through that you really want to housetrain your dog.
Dog training is not complicated and pad training is probably the simplest part of training your puppy. Like all training, I like to keep it simple.
You want to find a small area in your home. A small bathroom is ideal. Lay on the floor, wall to wall, pads. Pick one small spot for your puppy’s bed as well as food and water. This way your puppy only has a place to lay down, eat and drink in a very specific spot and only ha the opportunity to go to the bathroom on the pads. It impossible for the puppy to go to the bathroom anywhere else because you will keep a baby gate up across the doorway to the bathroom. This way you set the dog up for complete success without the chance of accidents.
Each week you will make the padded area smaller and smaller by lifting up one pad. This the give the dog less area t relieve himself, while keeping the same amount of area for rest and eating but it also leaves a small amount of flooring available for the puppy. If your dog has an accident, meaning he goes tot he bathroom on the spot where there is no pad, you will want to put a pad back down to make the potty area larger. It is a good idea that when you see your dog circling around looking for a spot, to repeatedly say, “go potty”, “do your business” or whatever it is you want to use as the verbal command.
Many time people will want to give the dog a treat as soon as it goes, research has shown that this is not necessary. Going to the bathroom is self-rewarding behavior. Just as when human go to the bathroom, they feel better from having gone. You can reward the dog by giving it lots of love and praise. Give it some playtime to run around the house for short periods of time, no more than approximately 15 minutes.
As your puppy progresses and becomes more reliable when using the pads, you can slowly build up the amount of free time the puppy gets. However you don’t’ want to jump a huge amount of time free. Build it up slowly, 15 minutes, 25 minutes, and 40 minutes. Just because you dog has been doing well, you don’t want to give it 15 minutes this week and then 40 minutes next week. If you rush the process, you will have more problems and take two steps forward and one step back
As your puppy continues to progress in the training, and you make the padded area smaller, you will be giving the puppy more frequent periods of free time, not just longer periods of free time.
Be consistent and keep it simple and before you know it, you will have a pad trained dog.