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How to Train a Dog to Use Grass Potty Pads: 7 Expert Tips

Jana Blagojevic

By Jana Blagojevic

Dog grass pee pads for potty training a puppy at home or apartment

Getting a new puppy is an incredibly exciting time. During the first period in your new life together, your puppy will need to learn the rules around the house and how to behave. Understanding when and where to go potty will be its first and most important rule, but of course, you want to learn the quickest and easiest method. Well, while it might seem like a difficult task, it can actually be done by following several simple rules.

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The 7 Great Tips on How to Train a Dog to Use Grass Potty Pads

1. Keep the Grass Potty Pads in One Location in the Beginning

A green artificial natural grass which may make a fresh environment condition at home
Photo Credit: Gugun Ramadhan, Shutterstock

The first and most important tip you can get when starting potty training is to choose a location for the grass potty pad and stick to it. Picking out only one location for the potty pad will be extremely helpful for your puppy in training as it will eventually learn to return to that specific spot to do its business. This is especially important if you live in an apartment without constant access to a backyard.

Constantly switching the location of the potty pad can be very confusing for your puppy and cause an even bigger problem. Notice where your puppy mostly goes potty, and place the grass potty pad in that location.

2. Guide Your Puppy with a Leash

Initially, your puppy will need some help finding and getting used to the grass potty pad. It will be best if you first guide it with a leash to let the puppy learn its location and begin understanding its purpose. Some dog owners rely on the dog’s instinct or intelligence to find the grass potty pad on its own and learn its purpose right away, which is rarely successful. Your puppy needs a little guidance at first, so using a leash is an excellent way to provide this kind of support.

3. Always Stay Consistent During Potty Training

labrador retriever puppy pee in the artificial grass on training
Photo Credit: Toey Toey, Shutterstock

Make sure to always stay consistent! This advice will save you months of effort, and while it may seem like your dog is simply unwilling to listen, you need to always stick to your guns. Sometimes it might become frustrating to repeat the same method over and over, but with consistency, you will start seeing fantastic improvement over time. Your puppy may seem like they don’t understand the point of the potty pad at first, but you will soon see impressive results with consistency.

4. Watch Your Dog

At first glance, you may wonder how your dog never goes potty when you take it to the potty pad, but then just a few minutes later, it may use another area of your carpet for this. It can be very frustrating as you try to understand your dog’s specific needs, but there are actually many cues that your dog will give before actually going potty. It will most likely start whining or sniffing around your home, which is the best time to pick up your dog and take it to the grass potty pad.

It is also helpful to take the dog to the potty pad after every nap and mealtime; this is usually when your puppy will get the urge to use the pad. Some of the most common behavior you’ll notice when your puppy needs to go will be:

  • Restlessness
  • Playtime stops suddenly
  • Sniffing around
  • Circling
  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Staring at you

5. Remove All Rugs, Mats, or Towels from the Floor

Blue rug on white ceramic tile
Photo Credit: LIAL, Shutterstock

Another essential tip that can help your puppy understand the grass potty pad is keeping all other similar materials off the floor. Dogs get easily confused at times, and even with the right intention in mind, they may accidentally use a rug near the grass potty pad. Keeping all rugs, mats, towels, and clothes off the floor is best until your puppy learns to use the potty pad exclusively.

6. Stay Calm During Training

Since our puppies are incredibly sensitive to our emotions and behavior during training, they can sense even when we get slightly frustrated with them. This can happen because the first few training sessions can be extremely discouraging. It is important not to lose hope and to remain calm throughout your training session. Your dog will be more likely to listen to your cues and commands when you have a calm but firm voice, and all dogs react much better to positive reinforcement rather than to punishment.

7. Reward Your Dog

Yorkshire Terrier dog eats a treat
Image Credit: Valerie Nik, Shutterstock

The last tip for teaching your dog to go potty is to reward it generously after each successful use. Your dog will remember, and the next time you offer it the potty pad, it will remember what needs to be done to get the reward. Your dog will respond best to positive reinforcement and rewards, so if they succeed at least once, make sure to offer a tasty snack.

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Once learning these tricks for teaching your dog to use the grass potty pad, you’ll see quick improvement. Once you learn the cues to look out for, you will have a much easier time understanding your puppy and its needs. Remember always to use positive reinforcement and to praise your puppy whenever it uses the potty pad correctly.

Featured Image Credit: VidaHawaii, Shutterstock

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