Home Puppies How to Potty Train a Puppy on Pads

How to Potty Train a Puppy on Pads

Housebreaking a puppy takes patience and consistency. While you don't always need potty training pads to accomplish this, learning how to potty train a puppy on pads specifically can save you time, hassle and reduce the number of messes to clean up.

Dog pee pads were a great tool for me when housebreaking a puppy. They are easy to use and simple to dispose of. Pee pads come in different sizes to suit all dogs. The bottom has a leak-proof layer, and the inner core soaks up the dog's mess.

There are different styles to choose from. I recommend those that have a quick drying top layer. This prevents your puppy from tracking their mess through your house. I would also shop for pee pads that contain a pheromone attractant to entice your puppy to “go” on them.

Housebreaking using pee pads isn't difficult, unless you have a terribly stubborn pup. However, no matter how stubborn the dog, you'll be able to house train them with pee pads – it just may take a little longer. Stay patient and consistent.

How to Potty Train a Puppy on Pads

dog near potty pad

Supplies You'll Need

  • Puppy pee pads
  • Optional: dog crate (for crate training)


For a puppy or adult dog, housebreaking process is the same. It may take longer to train an adult dog, because they have already gotten used to the bad habit of using the bathroom indoors.

Make time to properly train your new dog. Stay at home with them for at least the first 3-5 days. I recommend adopting your new friend on a Friday and taking the following week off. That will give you 9 days of solid training before you have to go back to work.

Tip: I also recommend crate training if your new dog stays at home alone for long periods of time. Crate training will also give you peace of mind, because you'll know that your pup is safe in their crate, and not roaming around the house, getting into things.

When learning how to potty train a puppy on pads, planning ahead is key. Keep the pads in the same place. Think about the best location before you begin the training. Your dog is going to get used to “going” in the same spot. If you move the pads, the puppy may end up peeing on the floor where the pads used to be.

Use a lot of pads at first. Cover a larger area in the beginning, just to get your dog accustomed to peeing on the pads. When it's time for a bathroom break, place Fido on the pads and use a cue word, like “potty” or “pee pee”.

Do not allow the dog to play on or chew the pads. The multi-layered pads can be fun for rambunctious dogs to shred, but you want a puppy to associate pee pads with doing their bathroom business only. It cannot be associated with playtime.

When your dog goes on the pads, give them a reward – praise and treat. Watch your pup very closely. Reward them any time they use pee pads, and redirect them if you notice the dog going elsewhere.

Rinse and repeat. Continue following these steps until a puppy uses the potty pads on their own. You can gradually reduce the number of pads until you're down to just one. If your dog isn't picking up house training in the first couple of days, don't worry. This process could take weeks to master, depending on the dog.

READ NEXT: 7 Reasons You Fail At Housebreaking Your Puppy

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Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.