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Ask Bruce: Puppy pads


Cockerpoo puppy playing with a ball at doggy day care

Lucy Miles is collecting her new puppy soon and asks; are puppy pads a good idea for house training puppies?

In short, yes they are a useful training tool, but shouldn’t be used too much or for too long.

Puppy pads are specially scented pads designed to encourage dogs to relieve themselves on the pad rather than the floor. And being highly absorbent, they keep mess and odours to a minimum. Good news in the first days of a puppy’s life in their new home!

However, while it’s important to teach your puppy to use the pad in the house, it’s more important and natural for them to learn to go outside. This should always be your long-term aim.


dogs having fun

Start by using the pad in the house by the back door and reward your dog when they use it.

Once they understand what’s required, next time, as soon as you see them heading for the pad and circling to go to the toilet, take them outside immediately. And when they do their business outdoors praise and reward them hugely.

Make out this is the best thing ever and they’ll soon get the message!


two cocker spaniel puppies playing in a tyre

Continue the process until your puppy is heading for the back door with no need for the pad.

Remember to stay vigilant for the signs so no opportunity is missed and accidents occur.

Within weeks, you should have a fully house-trained puppy and no need for puppy pads. Like nappies, their job is now done and it’s time to move on.

This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of award-winning community magazine Look Local