Many small dog owners prefer to train their dogs to use wee wee pads, especially less mobile or handicapped owners. Other dog owners use the wee wee pad for the first 4 months of the puppy’s life, before the puppy receives all his rabies shots, and then transfer outside. Whatever the case, this summary addresses how to get your dog trained on the wee wee pad.
As with training a dog to go outside, using a word like “potty” or “go pee pee” helps relate the dog to his wee wee pads. We suggest you use the crate training method. That is, when your puppy is not peeing/pooping, sleeping, or playing, he is in his crate to prevent any mistakes that can happen. The routine is that in the morning, first thing, you should take your puppy out and over to the pee pee pads, on leash, so you can keep him focused on the area. You should set down 4 pads at a time at the beginning, so that your pup has a big target. Holding his leash, say your magic words for him to go potty. If he does go potty, praise him greatly, and give him treats. If he does not go potty in 10 minutes, take him back to his crate and close the door for 15 minutes, then take him out and try again. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Note, if he pees, leave the pads there for 24 hours so he has a better target next time.
Accidents: If your dog makes a mistake, blot the pee with paper towels and then take the pee-stained towels to the pee pee pad to attract him next time. Regarding the pee stain, be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner to clean the stain completely. You should do this daily for a few days to make sure there is no scent left – you can even use a blacklight to make sure you have gotten it all. This cleaning process is important because if your dog smells a hint of pee, he will want to go back to that area over and over.
Once your dog has a good track record of peeing in the right place, you can start scaling back the square footage of the pee pee pads, but do it slowly. If he misses, you may have to put some pads back for a while.
After a few weeks, once he becomes proficient with peeing in the right spot, you can take away the leash and directing him to the pee pee pads. However, you should continue to be vigilant for the next month or so.