How to Train a Puppy to Use a Pad & Go Outside

Be consistent and patient when housebreaking your puppy.
i I love my puppy image by Elliot Westacott from

Just like toddlers, potty training your puppy can be a messy and smelly experience. If done incorrectly, your puppy might end up fearing you and you might frequently come home to find unpleasant surprises on the floor. Gradually transitioning from puppy pads to an outdoor bathroom might ease the process.

Step 1

Find a small area in the house with tile, linoleum or other hard flooring that provides enough space for your puppy to eat, sleep and play. Use a small room like the kitchen or bathroom or close off an area with dog gates.

Step 2

Place a puppy pad in an area of the room, away from your dog's sleeping area, because dogs dislike eliminating where they sleep.

Step 3

Put a paper towel soiled with your pup's urine under the puppy pad so your pet companion smells it and recognizes the pad as his potty area.

Step 4

Confine your puppy to the small area, observe him and if he shows signs that he needs to go, such as circling, sniffing, whining or barking, place him on the puppy pad and say "go potty." Do this each time you think he has to go -- be consistent.

Step 5

Reward your puppy with a treat and praise him immediately after he successfully uses the pad. Avoid waiting until after the fact, because your pet companion won't understand what he's being praised for.

Step 6

Allow your puppy access to more areas of the house, after about one month of using the puppy pads without any accidents. Keep monitoring him to ensure he uses the puppy pads. If he has accidents, you might have allowed him to explore too much of the house too soon -- reduce the area somewhat.

Step 7

Observe your puppy and when he shows signs that he needs to go potty, bring him to a designated bathroom area in the great outdoors.

Step 8

Bring along a soiled piece of paper or a soiled pad and place it in the potty area outside. The familiar scent might help your pup feel more comfortable in the new environment and might motivate him to go potty.

Step 9

Tell your pet companion to "go potty" and wait patiently for your pup to relieve himself.

Step 10

Reward and praise your puppy on the spot, immediately after he goes potty.

Step 11

Bring your puppy to the same outdoor bathroom area each time, because his scent will motivate him to go potty. Remove the indoor puppy pad as your pup gets used to using the outdoor potty area.

the nest