Your puppy might understand that pee pads are for peeing, but who says they can't double as a chew toy too? Well, you might say that, but your puppy doesn't care, so it's time to use a few tools and a command to stymie his attempts at shredding his pad.
Put a stop to your little guy's plan by keeping the pad in place. And while you're probably dreading the thought of having pee pads strapped to your floor by duct tape or something similar, fear not. Pad holders are available in pet stores and online. Place the holder on the ground, insert the pad, secure it to the holder and your pup will be hard-pressed to remove what he thinks is a chew toy.
Teach your puppy to leave the training pad on command. The "Leave it" command takes a bit of time to teach, but it's a valuable command you can use for the rest of your pup's life. Start out with his favorite treat and hold it in your hand. Say, "Leave it" and make a fist around the treat. Once your inquisitive friend is done sniffing around and pulls back, congratulate him and hand him a treat from your other hand; never give him the treat you're using for training. Keep doing the command over and over again, moving into more difficult territory—such as telling him to leave a piece of cheese alone on the ground—until he responds positively each time you say, "Leave it." Whenever you catch him gnawing on the corner of the training pad, say the command.
Apply bitter spray along the edges of the pad. Just a thin application should do; you just want to discourage him from shredding the pad to pieces, not from ever going near it. Bitter sprays are sold in various flavors in pet stores and online. Just make sure you keep an eye on your puppy. He may decide the spray is way too much to handle and relieve himself on your floor instead. If that happens, lock up the spray and don't use it again.
Give your puppy lots of toys to choose from. A good selection of toys makes it less likely he'll become bored and bolt for his training pad to tear it into pieces. But don't force him to play by himself the entire time. Join in on the fun and throw fetch or play a little game of tug.
Crate your puppy at night and when you're away from the house. When you first begin crating him, he'll probably throw a fit and beg you to let him out by launching an attack on your ears with constant howling and whining. Stay strong and keep him in there until he quiets down. He'll soon love the crate and may even choose to eat inside it during the day. Lure him into the crate at first with treats; don't throw his furry butt in against his will.
Train your puppy to relieve himself outside. Pee pads can be used for smaller dogs in lieu of a litter box and outside training, but sometimes feisty puppies simply will not leave their pads alone, and you can't always catch him in the act. Anytime your puppy begins relieving himself on the pad, hurry up and take him outside. As soon as he finishes in the grass, act excited for him and give him a treat. Repeat this for a week or two and your little guy can kiss those pee pads goodbye.
- Puppies have a hard time sleeping through the night and your little guy may have an accident in his crate occasionally. Stop feeding him about two to three hours before bedtime, let him out immediately before you crate him and take him out again if he wakes you in the middle of the night.
- Make sure you secure his pad to the holder. Most holders come with a straps or buckle that keeps your pup from easily tearing out the pad when he grabs a corner with his mouth.
- Do not run at your puppy and yell or hit him if he starts tearing up his pad. Doing so will only make him scared and he'll probably relieve himself elsewhere in your house.
- Crate your puppy only at night and while you are away from the house. He needs plenty of freedom and should not be crated because he's acting wild while you're home. You want him to feel comfortable in the crate, not think of being in it as punishment.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.