How do you teach your puppy to stop chewing their potty pads?
What if they’re also pulling on them like crazy?
As frustrating as this behavior is, it’s easier than you might think to break this bad habit.
Read on for these easy dog training tips to help your puppy learn that potty pads aren’t for playtime!
Tips for Stopping Your Puppy From Chewing and Pulling Their Potty Pads
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A reader recently asked, “How do I teach my 9-week-old German Shepherd to not chew and pull on potty pads?”
First off, potty pads are a great way to prevent accidents from happening inside the house.
Unfortunately, most puppies love to chew and shred them apart. They end up becoming a chew toy for your puppy rather than a place to do their business.
So, how do you stop your puppy from chewing and pulling their potty pads?
The following tips will make sure your puppy uses their potty pads the right way.
Tip 1: Invest in a Pad Holder
Most puppy owners have probably pondered the crazy thought of duct-taping a potty pad to the floor. It’s a common reaction to the frustrating effect puppy accidents can have on people.
Luckily, pet companies have a product called pad holders to keep us from having crazy thoughts involving duct tape.
These pad holders will hold down the potty pad to ensure your puppy doesn’t drag it across the room.
All you have to do is put the holder on the ground, insert the pad, and secure it to the holder. Then, your puppy will have a hard time dragging it across the floor.
However, this is a short-term solution.
Your puppy will eventually get strong enough to drag the holder across the floor.
Honestly, you’ll want to fully potty train your puppy before this is even becomes a plausible scenario.
Tip 2: Startle Them
It will reinforce a right behavior and still allow your puppy to teethe.
Over time, your puppy will associate the noise with chewing the potty pad. It will make them think twice about ripping it apart because they don’t want to hear that noise.
However, this all depends on you being consistent, therefore, you must use the same noise every time to make your puppy stop chewing.
If you don’t use the same sound every time, you might find out your puppy responds differently to another sound. Basically, stick with the first sound that works.
Tip 3: Give Your Puppy a lot of Toys
By giving your puppy a lot of toy options, they’ll be less likely to see the potty pad as a chew toy.
Also, don’t always force them to play by themselves. Get in there and join the fun!
Playing shouldn’t be a spectator sport.
Related: The 5 Most Indestructible Dog Toys
After all, your puppy would love nothing more than playing with you. The main reason they’re tearing apart potty pads is they’re bored.
Most likely, your puppy needs something to occupy their time.
Be that something!
Tip 4: Teach Your Puppy “Leave It”
The “leave it” command is an effective tool against your puppy’s inability to resist picking up nasty things– a potty pad– with their mouth.
Fortunately, there are four simple steps to properly teach your puppy this command:
- Grab your puppy’s favorite treat. This will be their reward for learning the new command.
- Show them the treat in your hand. Make sure to have your palm facing up. Your puppy will likely respond by trying to poke it loose. Say, “Leave it”, and close your fist with your palm facing down.
- Watch your puppy’s reaction until he breaks his attention away from your hand. The moment he looks away say, “Good boy”, and give him the treat.
- Repeat these steps until your puppy looks away the moment you say the “leave it” command in step 2.
Got a pup who doesn’t care for treats? Check out our training tips for dogs that aren’t treat motivated.
Depending on how fast your puppy learns, you’ll want to continue repeating these steps over several training sessions. It’s important to keep each session short—no longer than five minutes—you don’t want to overwhelm them.
Once you have successfully trained your puppy to understand the command, you can use it to stop them from shredding the potty pad.
Tip 5: Get Some Bitter Spray
Applying bitter spray to the edges of the potty pad will discourage your puppy from picking it up with their mouth. Although, make sure you limit the bitter spray to the outside edges.
After all, you don’t want the spray to discourage them from using the potty pad completely. However, your puppy might rebel against even the thinnest coat by relieving their selves on the floor.
In this case, bitter spray wasn’t meant for you and your puppy.
Put away and never use it again.
Tip 6: Never Discipline Your Puppy For a Shredded Potty Pad
If you see a shredded potty pad, don’t yell or belittle your puppy. This will just make their behavior worse.
In most scenarios, your puppy won’t remember what they’ve done to make you start yelling. Often, we won’t find torn apart items until hours after our puppy actually started shredding.
If you do catch them in the act, use tip number 2 rather than yelling. Your yelling will just reinforce the idea that shredding the potty pod will make you notice them.
As we all know, puppies love any kind of attention.
Follow these tips to teach your puppy to stop chewing their potty pads, and you’ll break the bad habit in no time! Just remember, as with all puppy training, patience is vital!