Should You Use Potty Pads with Your Dog?

puppy potty training, potty pads for dog

Quick Tip - Should You Use Potty Pads with Your Dog?

Ahhhh the age old question…

Anyone who really knows me and knows my writing, knows my answer to this little question!

NO, no, no, no, don’t do it, and NO!

I know, I know I have heard from several of you who have never had a problem with potty pads and integration to the outside.

I have even heard from some of you who are proponents of potty pad but are still having trouble potty training your puppy (I don’t understand how people stick to something when it is not working).

We Used to Call it Paper Training

We used to call this kind of potty training “paper training” because people used newspapers to give the puppy an appropriate place to potty.

And, crazy as it may be, this kind of training was more effective!


Because most people don’t leave newspaper scattered on the floor or around their house.

Think about it; unless you are a hoarder, you probably don’t have a bunch of paper on your walls or on your floor.

So, once the newspapers disappear the puppy is more likely to acclimate to going outside.

Potty Pads

puppy potty training, potty pads for dogPotty pads aren’t like newspaper.

Potty pads are soft and plush.

Potty pads feel like your carpet, your clothes, your towels.

So when the potty pads disappear the puppy begins to use soft things he finds on the floor or walls of your house.

And, let’s face it… there are a lot of soft things in the floor of our homes!

I have seen many puppies scratch towels down from their towel racks so that they have something potty pad “like” to go to the bathroom on.

That is why I don’t like potty pads, they have become something that is too much like other things we have and keep in our homes.

Yet, ironically newspaper probably wouldn’t sell, because people think they want something soft and plush for their puppies to pee and poop on inside.


Personally I would rather not teach my dog to go potty inside my house.  It is counterintuitive if I want him to learn to go potty outside.

So it is better for me to get him outside every two hours, rather than to allow him to form a bad habit.

If He Has to Go Inside

But, if he has to have an option to go potty inside (perhaps you work long hours).

puppy potty training, potty pads for dog

I would much rather teach him to use one of those grass pads that you put in your home.


Because there is nothing else in my house that looks like or feels like grass!

I don’t want a dog that poops or pees on carpet, clothes, towels or anything else that I have in my home.

I want him to understand the clear boundaries of going potty outside or going potty on something that isn’t similar to anything else in his environment.


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  1. ankeeta says:

    It is something that i was searchng for. Thnk you very much.


  2. Janet says:

    Now you tell me. Bernie was only 7 weeks old (I know he was too young but it had to be) and I thought he was too little to hold it very long. He is now 4 months and we are struggling to move from pads to outside. We have a dog door but he will go outside and play, come back in and potty.


    Minette Reply:

    I hate doggy doors for the same reason


  3. Ann Gibson says:

    Thank you very much very useful info.


  4. Julia says:

    Same with my puppy Yoshi she’s so use to the pee Pads and waits to come inside the house to go potty. We go for a walk and she won’t go.


  5. Ed Smith says:

    I have a 9 week old lab. We take her out potty on schedule. She will walk around, then lay down and not go. we take her back in the house and as soon as she starts walking, she will pee………HELP!


    Minette Reply:

    Crate immediately when the puppy comes in if she doesn’t pee outside


  6. Karen Ann Burley says:

    Please I need some help!!
    We got our beagle when he was 10 months old and he had been kept outside. He is now 2 and were still trying to get him to go #2 outside its hit or miss.
    Mostly miss he just does not seem to get it. He is so busy sniffing everything
    That I don’t even think he remembers why he’s out there. Please help!!!


    Minette Reply:

    Potty training is more about YOU than anyone else in the equation, read this


  7. Constance says:

    I have more of a question than a comment if someone can help. I’m severely handicapped and I can only get out of bed a few times a day for a very limited time. Yes, I used the potty pads because I cannot always get up to take her out when she needs it and she knows to go on them. She has also been trained to our pee outside on command. My problem is the pooping. I go in the bathroom so she goes in the bathroom (yay because it’s easier to clean up but boo because she will not go outside). So the next answer normally is to crate her but…remember that part about only being able to get out of bed a few times a day? I can’t keep her kenneled all day. Not fair to her and frankly it’s hard to know how long I have to stay in bed until I can move again to take her out. Recommendations?


  8. Edur says:

    I just adopted a 3 year old Morkie.. she has been with puppy pads.. I would like to get her trained for outside. I take her out every 2 hours and when she goes she is praised and given a treat.. she has pads in several locations but will some times used throw rugs


    Minette Reply:

    and, that is why I don’t like using potty pads! 😉


  9. Reita Ash says:

    Since I have failing health, I would like to train my 10 year old furry baby to potty in the shower on newspaper. She goes on command outside and lets me know when she needs to go with a little “ruff”. Sometimes she likes to just chill in the sun (or shade if it is really hot) but only for a short while if she is alone. If I am outside she stays fairly close for as long as I stay out. She also goes to the park with my grown son and/or daughter almost every day. She is not allowed in the dog park but she is extremely social and has lots of furry as well as the human kind of friends. Everyone adores Maggie and while they dont remember my name they do remember hers. She loves sniffing the flowers and chasing the little geckos or a bug. She never barks at them or attempts to hurt anything, just has to let them know who is the boss. In her case the Queen of everything. Yes she has me well trained, I have spoiled her rotten and I dont regret a single thing. She just hates the rain. Living in Las Vegas we get very little of it so it isn’t a huge problem but she will keep her little legs crossed and refuse to go out that door if she smells the rain. If we are out and even one raindrop dares to hit her, she is done with the outdoors for the day. She has to be carried out to her toilet area in the rain or fireworks. She is a 22 lb Dandi Dinmont Terrier rescue baby. She is so wonderful and smart and happy and learns everything so quickly. Would it be so terrible and/or confusing to train her to potty in the shower on newspaper when it rains or fireworks are blasting? She is so quick to learn that it only takes 2 or 3 times before she has the new trick or behavior down pat. You can’t believe all of the dancing and tricks she will do for her after dinner cookie without even being asked. If someone just says the word dance she goes into her little dance routine or if someone sings “Who let the Dog Out?” or “You ain’t nothing but a hound dog”. Also if you ask her who is the Queen she immediately shoots that right front paw into the air. Would the damage be bad for her to do the shower potty? Of course it would be more convenient for me to simply flush rather than forcing her to go out in the rain or into the awful firecrackers. It is more important to me to do what is best for her.


  10. Lynn says:

    I live in So. Fl. and there is heavy rain a good part of the time. We have two dogs. A 3 1/2 year old Morke, and an 8 month old Shih Tzu. Our Morkie trained to go on potty pads when we can’t take her outside and goes outsides all other times. She has no accidents and knows if it’s raining or we aren’t home,and she has to go she has the option of the potty pad. This works out very well for all of us and have had no problems with Lily doing both. Gigi, on the othe hand, will go outside with no problem, but if we can’t take her out, she will go on the potty pad sometimes (rarely) but goes wher ever she wants to go most of the time. She will sometimes go right next to the potty pad. I don’t know how to teach her to go on the potty pad all of he time when she can’t go out. I give her her command, Gigi, go potty, and it works for outside, but if I put her on the potty pad and say the same command, she will sit on it and look at me like I’m crazy. I don’t know how to let her know to go on the potty pad when she has to go and we can’t go out. I thought she would learn from her older sister, but I see, that’s not working. I need help with this. Please help


  11. Barbara Escher says:

    We live in Tampa, Florida, and some of our storms bring wind, torrential rain and sometimes lightning (Tampa is the lightning capital of the world). No one in their right mind wants to take the dog out under those circumstances. Normally, we take her out of her crate as soon as she awakens. Carry her out to her favorite spot, then go for a walk. During the day, she goes out at least every two hours. We have wee wee pads and used them successfully only once – we put a pad down in a walk-in shower and she peed on it. But normally, she does not understand that we WANT her to use the wee wee pad. Can you help?


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