Wee-wee pads are a great tool in housebreaking a new puppy, because they are generally super absorbent and protect your floors from the dog's waste. However, some puppies find another purpose for their wee-wee pads, other than as an elimination area. Instead, they use them as chew toys. But there are ways to keep this from happening, as well as other alternatives for housebreaking.
Start by placing a wee-wee pad in the same spot daily where you want your puppy to "go." Putting the pad in different spots can confuse the puppy. If he remembers a pad had been previously placed in a certain area, this may prompt your puppy to relieve himself there -- even if you've moved the wee-wee pad to a new area within the home.2
Reward your puppy with positive words, a physical touch and a treat whenever you witness him doing his business on the pad. This will reinforce that he has just done a good thing and has pleased you.3
Reprimand your puppy, on the other hand, if you catch him in the act of chewing the wee-wee pad. It's much more effective to show the puppy at the moment he is misbehaving than to punish him afterward. In fact, a dog cannot associate something he did hours earlier with a punishment received when his owner finds out.4
Remember, too, that teething is a normal part of puppyhood and is a function -- not a behavior. So distracting the puppy with an alternative item such as a rubbery toy can help resolve his urge to chew the pad.5
Plan to remove the puppy pads by a certain time in your puppy's development. Most experts agree that at 16 weeks, a puppy should be able to hold his urge to relieve himself overnight. Your puppy may become able to hold his bladder sooner or later than 16 weeks. But whenever that time comes, once a puppy is successfully trained to pee and poop outside, the pads should be removed.6
Consider alternatives to wee-wee pads if your puppy continues to tear them to shreds. One option is using an indoor dog litter box such as the UGODOG, which has a special slotted cover that fits over the pads so dogs can't get to them. Another alternative is crate training.
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