Ask a Trainer: Are pee pads a good way to house train a puppy?

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Here’s another question from our Ask a Dog Trainer section.

“We are going to get a new puppy. Do you think we should use the pee pads ( aka Wee Wee Pads) or just train him/her to go outside?”

  • “Deciding whether or not to use pads is a personal preference. If you are able and willing to take your 8 week old puppy outside every 3 hours, skip the pads. If not, they can be a useful tool but it will take longer to house break your pup.” (Lauren Wojcik – owner/trainer, Laurens Leash,, 917-261-1128)
  • go outside right away” (Elisabeth Weiss, DogRelations,
  • The pee pad can contain indoor “messes” to one spot of your choosing. But most every dog can learn to go only outdoors, and to do this you have to eventually ween off the pee pad. If you’re willing to put up with some messes in unexpected locations during the training period, it will make the process quicker to never use the pee pads in the first place. Get your pup outside whenever you think they need to pee; get them to eat, sleep, and live everywhere in your house possible; and reward them with praise and treats when they do pee outside.” (Anthony Newman, Calm Energy Dog Training,,, (646) 942-1979)
  • “Dedicated Dog Training firmly believes in training for the real world, if your ultimate intention is do have the dog eliminate outside that is what you should be training for.”  (James Colella Dedicated Dog Training (888) 370-7477
  • We have had some great success with starting with the pee pad and then transitioning puppies to toilet outside over time. You could start by bringing some picked grass inside to sprinkle on the pee pad, to accustom your puppy to pee where it smells the scent of grass.” (Robert Machi and Sylvia Wilson,,  877-500-BARK (2275))


 (NOTE: We do not endorse any particular trainer or their training ideas – this is here to give you perspectives from different trainers for training issues. Please do your research before hiring a trainer and avoid any that use methods that seem abusive. Here are some additional resources to read on why and how to train: ASPCA Guide to Training, APDT How to Select a Trainer, LiveScience on Training)

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