Learn whether you should use pee pads and how you can teach your dog to ring a bell to go out. Yes, really.
You might call this my Supplementary Housetraining Edition, because it takes up three of the most common housetraining questions after the big “Why can’t I housetrain my puppy?” One, “Can I / Should I use pee pads?” Two, “What about using a dog door?” and three, “How do I teach my dog to let me know when she wants to go out?”
And one, two, three, here we go.
Should You Use Pee Pads with Your Dog?
Pee pads are not the spawn of Satan. Climate change notwithstanding, winters in much of the world remain cold enough that many tiny little dogs cannot comfortably walk outdoors no matter how well insulated those adorable coats and booties are. By all means, teach your shivering Chihuahua to relieve himself on pee pads in the wintertime.
Pee pads can also help sick and convalescent dogs, and superfearful dogs who haven’t overcome their fears enough to eliminate outdoors. If you have a puppy whom you must leave at home for longer than he can hold urine and stool, you can put pads in a corner of his pen and cross your fingers that he uses them while you are gone. If you live in a high-rise and your puppy can’t hold it first thing in the morning during a 20-story elevator ride, teach her to use a pad for that a.m. pee. If your puppy hasn’t yet had her vaccinations and you haven’t got a private backyard, teach her to use pads till she’s ready to set foot in public places. (You should still take her out for socialization, but carry her in your arms.)