My Dog Pees Next to the Pee Pad Instead of on the Pad

This article is meant to help you if your puppy or dog pees next to the pee pad instead of right on the pad.

Note that I am generally not a fan of any type of indoor dog pee pads, “potty pads” or fake grass for dogs. But I realize sometimes they are the best option for certain situations and millions of dog owners use these products.

The reason I don’t like using indoor dog pee pads is some dogs will pee next to the pads instead of on the pads!

So this article will give dog owners some ideas on what you can do to get your dog to pee on the pad instead of around the pad!

Help! My dog pees next to the pee pad

Elli the Pomeranian mix, my dog pees next to the pee pad

How do I train my dog to pee on the pee pads instead of next to the pad?

First things first. Ask yourself, does your dog really need the pee pads? Is it really necessary to have an indoor potty area for your dog?

In most cases, it is not necessary. You can skip the indoor potty stage and immediately train your puppy or dog to go potty outside. See my post on puppy potty training basics. Problem solved.

But if the pads truly are the best option, here are my ideas to help you and your puppy.

1. Go back to the puppy potty training basics.

If your dog is currently peeing right on the edge of the pee pad, next to the pad or in other areas of the house, go back to the basics as though he is not trained.

Dogs need to be trained to pee on a pee pad. They do not automatically know what to do. The #1 mistake dog owners make is assuming their dogs know what to do too soon. If your dog is peeing next to the pad it’s because she doesn’t understand where she is supposed to go. She’s not doing so because of an attitude or for attention.

Training a dog or puppy to pee on the pads is not much different than training a dog to go potty outside. But it does take a couple of weeks or months for them to catch on.

See these posts for more information:

Potty training basics for using dog pee pads:

The most common pee pad potty training mistake is giving the dog too much freedom too quickly and assuming he “knows” what to do.

  • Take your dog to the correct spot (in this case, to the pee pads) and reward him for peeing right on the pads. You may need to have your dog on a leash.
  • Take him there often, like every 45 minutes at first.
  • Prevent him from going potty elsewhere in the house by keeping him leashed and near you at all times or in a kennel/crate when you can’t supervise. This is only temporary!

Order pee pads HERE.

*NOTE: You save 30% on your first order when you sign up for an autoship with This is an easy way to make sure your dog’s pee pads arrive on a regular schedule, and you never have to think about it.

2. Make sure the puppy potty pad is always in the same place.

A tip for potty training a puppy is to always take her outside to the exact same spot. This is also what you should do for indoor potty training with a pee pad. The pee pad should always be in the exact same spot in the same corner of the same room. Every time.

Also, if you rearranged the room where the pee pad is kept, that could be confusing to your dog so don’t rearrange until you’re sure she’s 100 percent pee pad trained.

3. Reward your dog for peeing in the middle of the pee pad.

When you’re first training your dog to use the pads, keep him on a leash and help guide him to the middle of the pee pad. Reward him with a treat immediately when he pees directly on the pad.

When he’s on a leash, you can also prevent him from peeing on the edge of the pad or right next to the pad. Guide him to the correct spot and reward.

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Puppy pees around the pee pad

4. No need to use more than 2-3 pee pads at once.

Some trainers recommend you cover a huge area with the pads at first, like a whole small room. This is not necessary because you should physically be bringing your dog over to the pads to show him where to go. You’re not leaving it up to chance.

You could place 2 or 3 pads down together so the area is a little larger, but no more than that. You don’t want your dog to get the idea that he can pee anywhere in that room, just a small area where the pee pads are.

5. Use a litter box or a pad holder for the pee pads.

If you’re simply placing the pee pad on the ground, try using a pad holder or even a pee pan, which is like a litter box without litter to put the pad in. This makes it easier for the dog to differentiate between the floor and the pad area. This also prevents the pad from sliding around, and it gives your floor a little extra protection.

Some dogs might not like it when the pads slide around, so the pad holder will also help with that.

Order a pad holder HERE.
(You’ll get 30% off your Chewy order when you sign up for your first autoshipment.)

6. Put a clean pee pad down more often.

A lot of dogs don’t like to step where they’ve previously peed, so you can help encourage your dog to keep using the pads by changing them often enough. On the other hand, sometimes a little urine on the pad can help remind the dog where to go.

What to do if my dog stopped using pee pads

If your dog was previously trained to go potty on pee pads but now your dog pees next to the pee pad, ask yourself what has changed?

Have you recently moved to a new home or apartment? Your dog might be confused on where to go. Have you rearranged the room recently or moved where you put the pads?

Other life changes could cause your dog to feel nervous as well such as a new pet in the family, a lot of visitors or a new baby.

Regardless, if your dog starts peeing around the pads or seems to be missing the pads on purpose, I would go back to the basics outlined above. Hopefully you will only need about 3 weeks of consistency for your dog to understand what to do.

Why is my dog peeing next to the pee pad or on the edge of the pad?

If your dog pees next to the pee pad, it could be for a variety of reason such as:

  • Confusion on where she’s supposed to go (go back to basics)
  • The puppy is not fully potty trained yet
  • You’re expecting too much from your puppy too quickly
  • Your dog is getting a bit lazy (go back to basics again)
  • Possibility of a UTI or upset tummy

My dog won’t poop on the pad anymore

I haven’t addressed this issue yet in this article, but it’s really the same concept. If your dog is peeing on the pad but not pooping on the pad, you may need to go back to some basic training. Take your dog to the correct spot every time and reward with a treat immediatly.

Now, keep in mind that a lot of dogs like to poop during a walk. It just helps to “get things moving” if you know what I mean.

So, even if you prefer that your small dog poops on indoor pads, I highly recommend you plan a consistent walk in your schedule every day. Do this shortly after meals and try to stick to the same routine every day. This will help your dog learn to poop “on a schedule” and gives him an opportunity to do so outside if he prefers. I think this is a fair compromise.

We should all be walking our dogs at least once a day anyway, regardless of if we use pee pads for them or not.

Are puppy pads good or bad?

As I said in the beginning of this article, I am personally not a big fan of training puppies or small dogs to go potty on pee pads. For the most part, they’re unnecessary and they seem to cause a lot of potty training problems for a lot of dogs.

However, of course I understand puppy pee pads are very popular and many, many dog owners use them! I would ask yourself if you truly need them for your situation and go from there. If you’re able to stop using them and take your dog outside for all her potty breaks, that would be ideal. If you want to use them for your pup, that is entirely up to you.

How long should you use puppy pads?

There are always exceptions and you know your own situation best, but I would avoid using puppy pee pads all together if you can and take your puppy directly outside. Especially if you have a large dog, this just makes the most sense. Start training your puppy to go potty outside immediately.

Now, if you choose to use the pads for whatever reason, I would recommend you use them for as short of a period as possible, just a few weeks or a couple of months.

And yet, others choose to use the pads throughout their small dog’s life. Perhaps the person works long hours and the small dog needs an indoor potty area. Or perhaps they live in the 25th floor or it’s just not safe to be out at night. Again, you know your situation best.

Now … how about the rest of you?

What tips do you have if a dog pees next to the pee pad instead of on the pad?

Am I missing something? How did you train your dog to stop peeing around the pee pad?

Let me know in the comments!

Products to help your puppy use the pee pads:

  1. Pee pad holder
    A pee pad holder keeps the pad in one place and sets up a more obvious “boundary” around the pad to make it more obvious where to go.
  2. High value treats
    Reward your puppy with a treat the second she goes potty on the pee pad, not after. I recommend Zuke’s minis.
  3. Crate or kennel
    Crate your puppy for short periods when you can’t supervise her. This will reinforce calm behavior and prevent potty accidents. Remember, you can take 30% off your first autoship order with Chewy. A great deal!

Related articles:

Get all of our training tips HERE

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training and behavior, healthy raw food for pets and running with dogs.

69 thoughts on “My Dog Pees Next to the Pee Pad Instead of on the Pad”

  1. Missy was dog door trained and not very good at it when we got her. Thankfully, all the accidents we had started on the hardwood floor and then moved to CVs bathroom vinyl. A lot of our issue was just making sure that she was 1 in a routine and 2 comfortable. She didn’t know to give us an idicator.

    So I guess my tip is routine. And continue to make it fun. Praise well.

    Missy now goes outside, even at -3 (this morning) And enjoys it immensly! 🙂

    1. OK so please figure this one out……..I have 3 rescues that were kept outside always and ignored.
      When I got them, I tried no pads to see what would happen and let them go outside by themselves. What they did was pee on the floor. So I immediately placed pads down by the door to the yard and that seems to take care of the problem. But here’s the problem, Often enough one of them will now use the edge of the pads which is basicly like urinating on the floor! Generally, they seem to know to pee in the center of the pad. I usually put down 4 to 5 pads covering each other in a small area by this back door. I’m having a hard time understanding why suddenly they are doing this. When they go out in the morning, rather than going to the grass downstairs, they will just sit by the door instead preferring to pee inside. Oh Boy…sometimes I will go down with them and one or two of them will not even come outside with me!!!!

      1. Boy..I can’t believe you have the same exact situation that I have. 3 Rescues that were left outdoors. I tried no pads, they also went on the floor. I put down 3 to 5 small pads that cover the small section next to the back door and sometimes they seem to know to pee in the center, but then again here comes the problem with only going as far as the edge which means urine on the floor running everywhere. Because they were mistreated and ignored previously, I do not have the heart to place them in a large cage, keeping them there until they learn when or where to go. Sometimes, as with what you have said, they won’t even go downstairs to the grass preferring to pee on the pads…and certainly not at night! In the morning, they will go on the pavement instead of the grass if the grass is wet!. Really! What do you do with these kids…I laugh at this as I write about it because they are such funny animals, but I scream when I see what they did.
        Please respond…..

        1. I had the same problem …
          here is what I did :
          just use the pads with highlighted borders, she will stop peeing beside it because she recognizes the border better, when the pad`s border is transparent she can`t decide where exactly to pee. just change the pad and enjoy the result 😉

          1. how wide are the borders? My pads have blue borders
            1 1/4 ” wide – he still pees right on the edge/blue border?

        2. Tonya Etheridge

          I live upstairs apt so my 3yr old shih poo doesnt get out much especially bcuz i have knee an ankle issue its hard 4 me goin up an dwn so she pee on pad but misses most da time im constantly moppin the pee so i was thinkn the grass may help her hit the target better .if she was able to go out more she knows wat to do in grass i guess it’s natural instinct but in house she tries use pad but either right on edge or off all together im looking for advice actually.

      2. Hello, A very similar problem here…I have 3 rescues who I did not want to train by placing them in a cage to teach them not to go in the house…I did not want to do this to them because of the abusive background they had. They ask to go outside when they need to pee in the usual way dogs will do by walking back and forth by the exit door. They don’t like to stay outside because that is where they were kept and ignored. I have placed down Pee Pads by the Hartz company, 100, for about $13.00. I put quite a few down to cover the linoleum and have found that every morning I have to wash the area because very often, if not daily, they will pee on the side of the pads!!!…..I decided to take a chance and buy the”Out Pet Care Dog Pad Holder”. I thought it was the last try!
        The next morning, they did not even Pee on it. It took one night to Remedy the problem!
        I know it sounds like a miracle, but in 4 days, there has not been a problem. I put 2 square Pee pads on the holder and do not even clip them in and so far so good!
        Hope this helps you and others!

    2. Dog pee pads are a great thing. I don’t understand why you would say they are not necessary. Maybe for retired people or those who work at home. But for the regular person, they are at work, and most dogs can’t hold their pee for 7 hours.
      Pee pads have not caused any of my dogs to have bad bathroom behavior. Please do your research before you come up with an article like this.

      1. Jennifer Dieges

        I agree. I live in a condo. Sometimes, the weather is bad and we can’t get outside, so we have to rely on pee-pads.

      2. Absolutely!…It is not fair that people leave their dogs for an entire day and expect them to hold it in!…And when they are not able to do this, many dogs are hit or beaten…Terrible!
        How does it feel when we have to pee within an hour or so? Animals are the same as us. they have living functioning bodies and should be given the respect in understanding their need. Thank You for your comment!

      3. He didn’t say in every situation. He also said it was not what he liked. Didn’t say we had to agree. I personally thought it was a good article. I took what i liked and left the rest. Mine are 100% pee pad dogs.

  2. Yeah, no peeing in the house unless we are super ill or old, none of which has happened. We feel you either pee outside or don’t pee and it the time is too long, go to day care or get a pet sitter, but some people do like this solution.

  3. I never used puppy pads myself because I figured if I have to teach them to pee on this, then I may aswell skip this step altogether and get them to pee outside.

    However if anyone does use puppy pads. Place the puppy pad as close to the back door as you can. So when you transition the dog to pee outside, you can move the pad further and further out the door.

      1. Hi Lindsay, we have a great dog Milly. We have recently moved from a house with yard to an apartment. Milly has still LOTS of exercise, company and love, but she is weeing on the carpet at night. W3e take her out last thing in the evening, and I am up at 5:30 AM, but she doesn’t seem to be able to hold on, or alert us for that matter. We bought an indoor potty for night time, but is that just confusing? Do we need to set the alarm for 2am and take her outside each night?
        Cheers, Lynda

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          I would keep her in a kennel at night or smaller area for a few weeks and yes take her out in the middle of the night for a few weeks. I think she just needs some reminders. There might also be old smells on the carpets of the apartment from other animals who have lived there, who knows. Just go back to some basics, take her out often, reward her with treats. Good luck!

  4. Hi,

    What went wrong ? Both dogs are trained to pee on the fake grass pee pad. They were doing well and suddently they went off it. They will pee on the toilet floor which is acceptable for us but would much prefer on the pad.

    I empty and wash the pad as often as I get the chance to. The strangest thing is, they will poo on the pad without fail just not the pee. Sometimes on and most of the time on the toilet floor.

    Now how do I get them back onto the pad and do I still reward them if they pee on the toilet floor ?

    Fake grass pad in also placed inside the toilet.


    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Has it been in the exact same place the whole time? Maybe you moved it and they think they can go where it once was? I don’t know, just thinking.

      Or maybe they are really picky about having a clean pad and won’t pee on it unless it’s clean?

      I would go back to the basics. Take them directly to the pad on a leash and reward for going in the correct place. Supervise or use a leash/crate to prevent them from peeing on the floor.

      1. we have a 3 year old Yorkshire terrier. she is 5 lbs and trained to do her stuff outside and inside at the same place. The thing is that during the night without us noticing,she goes where she’s suppose to go but pees half on the pad and half on the floor. the pads are always clean because it stinks. I walk her 3 or 4 times a day and her last walk is around 7pm. In the winter she only does her things inside because she has a very hard time with cold (-10C to -20C). very cold here in Ontario. we figure she is so close to the ground and that is why she can’t take cold weather…same thing when it rains. she ask to go out but as soon as she realize that it rains,she is NOT moving. The question is why does she pee 50% on the pas and 50% on the floor ? she doesn’t do it often but we are renting here and her pee stinks.

          1. Meredith LaRocque

            I’m going to try this. My 7 month old Pom pees and poops on a pad and outside. Lately she wants to do her business inside because the grass is damp and there are tons of mosquitoes that buzz at her face. She starts off ok but moves as she goes so there is a trail off the pad. Brutal! We were doing so well!

        1. I have a male that is neutered and he wants to pee on edge of his pee tray. .he started to cock his leg at 4 mo of age ,so he was neutered at 5 mo. He still cock his leg on edge of tray ,how can I break his habit..

          1. Lindsay Stordahl

            I’m not sure you can break the habit as that is natural for males to pee by lifting their legs. You could teach him to pee right in the middle of the pad though so it will be less likely to go off the tray/pad. You’d have to go back to basics and bring him there on a leash and reward or set him in the middle of it. Reward with treats when he squats to pee or pees in the middle of the pad. It will take some time to build the new habit, very difficult to do.

      2. I’m having sort of the same problem. My frenchie 8 month old Jack was completely potty trained on real grass pad I keep inside. Too many stray cats come to my backyard therefore I’d prefer he goes inside.

        Anway, the grass pad is in a box just maybe 2 inches high. So Jack has to go on it but recently, to pee, he’ll only put his front legs on grass then back legs stay on hardwood floor then pees against the box. He does #2 just fine but #1 is off against the box EVERY TIME on the same exact spot.

        Note, no accidents since I’ve recd him from breeder just last week he began to pee like this. Please HELP!

  5. I could really use some help trying to figure out my dog’s psychology.
    My dog is 5 months old and we put her in a cage. There she had that pad holder (sort of looks like grills and holds newspaper underneath) and beside was her sleeping area. She peed and pooped there consistently so we decided to let her out of the cage while we were in the house.
    We started out by telling her ‘inside’ every 45 minutes, and she would jump into the cage and pee on the pad holder. Then she would jump out and continue play time.
    However when we didn’t tell her ‘inside’, she pees on our wood floors. However, she knows how to jump in to poo on the pad holder without any problems.
    So we shout NO each time she pees on the wood and I guess she knows she’s being punished.
    Recently we decided to shift her to the kitchen and remove the cage. She started peeing on the left side beside the pad holder. And she does it while we are not looking. So somehow she holds it till we are not looking and then she pees on either beside the pad holder or on our kitchen floor.
    Again we shout NO and she runs to the pad holder so I assume she knows it’s wrong.
    I don’t know how to train her to pee on the pad holder. Do I leash her to the pad holder until she pees? I tried standing there for half an hour and doing intermittent play time. But when I give up and leave, she pees on the kitchen floor

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      How frustrating! It seems she is a little nervous to pee in front of you, and I think it’s because she’s confused about where she is allowed to go. I would go back to the very basics. Pretend like you just adopted her today and assume she isn’t potty trained. Just begin from square one, reducing her freedom, setting her up for success, taking her to the correct spot and rewarding often. When she makes mistakes, I would ignore her vs. scold her. This seems to be making her stressed. I hope that helps and good luck! I hope things are better since you left your last comment.

      1. Hey there
        I had that problem as well
        Started following my poodle to the pre pad and repeating ‘On the paper’ while gently pushing her toward the center of the pad. Now she goes closer to the center of the paper not on the edge

  6. I CAN THINK OF MANY REASONS TO USE A PUPPY PAD! Some live in high rise condos, apartment buildings, live on a houseboat, have disabilites themselves and it is very convenient for sure during rainy and snowy days for sure! I have a 10 pound shitz/haveneese mix and she came to us potty trained at 4 months and is now “3 yrs. old” and we are in our third ome since she has come to our family and still uses the pads and we LOVE THEM We buy them every two months at only one place that sells them 100 in a pack and are awesome for under $20. (Marc’s) So. Hope I have cleared up “why” people use them!!!

    1. Thank you! We are dealing with this issue ourselves and I was a little disappointed at the pee-pad bashing in this article. We live on the 29th floor of a high-rise with 3 slow elevators (one usually on service) so that extra 10+ minutes to get outside with the little guy usually led to accidents in a public space in our building. Not good. We’ve had good success with a pee-pad holder placed inside a plastic storage bin. The lip is around 3-4 inches high, so he can jump inside but can’t straddle to pee on the edge. We’ve been trying to get rid of the box now he’s older and we’re back to edge peeing. It’s a process!

    2. I live in Alberta Canada and it gets pretty cold here in the winter month!
      We have 2 Dachshunds and the female puts her paws on the pads then pees on the floor!
      She’s 7 years old, do you have any suggestions to how to get her to go on the pads?

  7. Puppy Pads are a dream for small dogs. When you have hawks, wild creatures who run around your yard, and neighbors with loose dogs….they surley do come in handy. Some people do not have YARDS! And, some people actually do not have the time or the ablility to go outside four times a day. I know – don’t get a dog right? WRONG…

    1. Yes between the hawks and one dog that weighs only 5 lb
      s and the others weighing up to 140 I can’t let the small one outside with them

    2. Exactly! I pad train due to Hawks stalking my chihuahua allll the time. They’re constantly sitting on my fence or a neighbors house being sneaky. I take her outside for vitamin d sunshine but sit next to her the whole time.

  8. My puppy Khloe is 13 wks old and weighs 1 lb 8 oz. We have her for 3 weeks now. She was doing great going on the wee wee pads pee and poop. I clean the area everyday and we give her treats and praise when she goes. However lately she been going (pee and poop) on the bathroom floor and or near the wee wee pads, We have not moved the pads everything is the same. Why is she doing this? We correct her when she does this. But she still does it. Can you please help us we want to fix this issue asap.

    Thank you,
    Linda S

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Are you making sure to take her to the pee pads each time? Or is she going over to them on her own? I would take her there every 45 minutes or so when she’s not in her kennel/crate and that way you can guide her to the right spot and reward her each time. I think it’s just too soon for her to fully understand where to go.

  9. We bought a gorgeous second hand area rug for our dining room and our chihuahua (6lb) pees and poops on it. I know the previous owner did have a dog but had it professionally shampooed. Do I only have the option to get rid of our rug?

  10. Maurice Ferguson

    I have a tiny (now 11 mo old) pom puppy with a tiny bladder, live above ground level, and I work a standard 8 hour day, so he uses pads. I feel like it makes our walks funner because they are just for enjoymemt and excercise. At first he wanted to chew and drag the pads around. So I immediately got a holder, with a raised plastic grate to keep his paws dry. Worked well, except that he’d sometimes pee on the edge and miss a little. So I got a pad holder with walls on 3 sides, and now he *almost* never misses. We’re still working on the occassional misses, but seems like an overall success. I’m a little disappointed this article doesn’t lend any advice for the last bit of training. But we’ll get there.

  11. Maximus Mephisto

    (Thank goodness for internet anonymity… )

    One great thing I did with several of the more stubborn -to-training dogs I have had is great, but often unsettling for those I have told.
    I basically show them how it is done followed by giving myself a reward (any food, dog treats are rarely as good as they smell.) as well as audible cheers. Yes, that’s right… I pee on the pad. (Mind you… this is far easier for a man to do. #feminism lol)

    I first noticed this technique with my first dog which was a Maltese. I would leave for work and he would pee everywhere. I was unaware of separation anxiety and was a first time pet owner (outside of the pets I had growing up.) He was a genius of a dog, and it worked on him immediately. He started to pee on the pad in the area that I went and never failed to go anywhere else when I was not home.

    Sadly, only one dog I have ever owned actually was trainable in this manner to use the toilet, but you better pray the seat was up!

    (Sorry… this is often uncomfortable for people to hear, so I tried to dilute it with a little humor… albeit potty humor…. badumm-tssssss!

  12. My 4 year old Yorkie pees on the edge of the pee pad at times and urine runs under the pad onto my Harwood floors. She always poops directly on the pad. The pee is the problem. I need advice. Also, I want to move pee pad to a different room. Please help.

  13. My problem is also living in an apartment, having to work and having a dog who holds it when it’s raining or snowing, or she sneaks off to go on the rug. We’ve had a pad and she’s used it a total of 3 times since we adopted her a year and a half ago. She’s fine if I personally can take her outside but won’t go for anyone else. Help!

  14. Our dog, Slim, did not like his kennel so we let him sleep in his dog bed beside our bed. He was getting up during the night and using pee pads (I only put out three) but the last few nights he has been peeing off the pads. Why did this happen and what can I do?

  15. I am having the same problem my toy poodle is praying a half he goes outside and also uses the pad now he’s not going on the pad but going on my kitchen floor off the pad I’m at wits and help

  16. My 3 & a half year old toy poodle has been pad trained and goes outside also for the past couple of weeks he will not go on the pee pad but goes on the floor in front of the pads I am at wit’s end help

  17. I got my puppy at 5 weeks (first time dog owner) and I didn’t know it was to young for a puppy to be taken away from mom until he was already at home. He has now turned 8 weeks but I like I have to keep on training him a few times a week to see on the pad. I get really frustrated every time he pees outside the pad because we go over the same routine every few days. He now has 2 potty sections and he pees on the side of the pad or nowhere near the pad. I really need to know I can do to fix this… I have gone back to the basics many times, but he just keeps going back to peeing where ever. I need help I don’t know what else to do.

    1. He’s just young. It takes a lot longer than people realize to potty train. Just keep being consistent and patient and it will catch on in a month or two. Hopefully sooner! But it does take some time.

    2. As I read through everyone’s frustration, I felt the need to provide my own tactic to help those struggling to potty train their little angels. I have a 3.5 Yorkie. I’ve had him since he was 12 weeks old. Potty training was a breeze. Since he is very little it was easy to contain him in a little play pen (I bought a collapsible/soft ESK 45″ diameter with two entry zippered doors) where I placed his pee pad, food and bedding (make sure their food is the farthest away from their pee pad). Anytime he goes, I say the words, “go potty” and praise him for doing so. I paid close attention to his potty habits (usually when he wakes up, after he drinks/eat, after play and before he goes to sleep), which helped me anticipate when he needed to go to prevent any accidents. I kept the play pen close to him always when he is out playing in the living room, etc. so he can run back in to his little safe spot to go potty. Even though there are two entry doors to the play pen, I ONLY kept one size open for him to go in and out. Even if the play pen top is open, I always made him go through the play pen door to potty to get him in a routine and not cause confusion on how to enter the play pen. I stuck to this routine until he was accident free for two whole weeks. Then, he gradually gained his freedom unsupervised in the living room (or area where you can still contain them) while he played. Aside from safety reasons, never give your puppy unsupervised access to the entire house until they have not had any accidents for two whole weeks… straight. When he did have an accident in the early stages, I didn’t scold, but firmly and quietly say, “no,” when I caught him in the act and placed him “un-frustrated” on his pee pad and say, “go potty,” in the play pen. He will often finish on the pee pad. To correct him after the fact is just counter-productive. Then the count down started again for two weeks. I always had the play pen within site during potty training. He sleeps in the play pen at night and during nap times also. It basically forced him to get up and go on the pee pad when he needs to go. In a few months, he was potty trained. At 8 months old, I graduated him completely outside of his play pen and placed two dog litter pans by his play area easily accessible and visible to him at any time. He is now almost 2 years old and he is still potty trained. I found that the Dog Litter Pan by PuppyGoHere Indoor Training System for dogs up to 20 lbs. works the best (plastic, waterproof and higher sides to keep liquid in). I stack several pee pads on each one for easy replacement (take dirty one off and a clean one is already there, in addition, keeps the smell to help him remember). He also now goes on command, so that is helpful too. Having two areas to go helps him have an option so that if he feels one gets too dirty, he’ll go on the other. Don’t get discouraged. Consistency in training is key and the more they feel safe at home and the calmer you are, the better luck you’ll have potty training. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  18. Oy. Puppy pad bashing, for sure! Here’s another fantastic reason to have them = Old dogs! One of my pups is 12.5 years old now, and while she has been potty trained to go outside since day one practically, she recently developed cushings disease and began having accidents in the house at night and during the day. The disease causes her to drink insane amounts of water, thus she pees like a horse. I take her out every 45 minutes nowadays, but during the night and when I’m at work or out, I can’t. So now I’ve resorted to utilizing indoor pee pads. My husband hates this solution, but what else can I do with this old dog? I’m not going to force her outside after living life as a perfect indoor dog. So, there it is – medical reasons. Don’t bash these things, because you never know when/if you may need them.

  19. No matter what i do i cannot manage to get him to pee in the center of the pad. Any tips? (Outdoor potty training is not an option with our backyard set up)

  20. My 9month old russe terrier constantly pees on my bed when she gets excited without hesitation. She also refuses to use the puppy pads. She walks 2 times a Day with a game of fetch incorporated but for some reason she just keeps peeing on the bed n away from the puppy pads.

  21. jeanene mchale

    i have a poodle that is 13 years old. the last eleven years she has peed in one room of the house where i have newspapers laid out across half of the room. i clean it everyday. recently she has been peeing right outside of the room, but yet she goes into the room to poop. also, after years of sleeping with me she now goes into the bathroom to sleep. she seems fine and happy, but just not sure if there is something i’m missing. any suggestions?

  22. My 21/2 year old Chihuahua has started laying on her pee pad like it’s a bed although her bed is in the same room, she uses the pad to pee on but prefers to poop on a different one at the back door, my question is my dog trying to tell me something by laying on her pads??

  23. Margaret Strobbe

    Gaaahhhhh! My 9 year old dog, who was perfect in every way, passed unexpectedly January 1st. I was mentally and emotionally crazed and bought a miniature poodle puppy within a month. It was winter, she was little, there was snow on the ground or cold and rainy and I don’t think she had ever been outside before. I used pee pads for the first few weeks and have a nice set up with a dog door to the fenced back yard. One day I got suspicious because she didn’t seem to be going much and was pooping at night near the back door. I got one of those black light flashlights and took a look around. She was peeing at night in a linear fashion all along the edge of my $1000 persian carpet! She was also peeing on the bathroom mats, I guess they kind of look like pads. I immediately started crating her at night 🙁 and walking her twice a day. I’ve cleaned the carpet as best I can with a home carpet cleaner and haven’t had any more problems, but the damage has been done. I had basically forgotten everything I’d learned over the years about dogs and house training. 1. They don’t really “like” to poop in their own area, if they have no choice they will, but if given the chance a dog will pick the neighbors yard over their own every time. 2. No new puppy should have free run of a house until they have proven that they at least know what potty training means. Now that we have the twice daily (roughly the same times each day) routine, I’m not having a problem. I’m lucky, since I’m semi-retired and work from home, but I tell you, she peed pretty much every where in the house when little. Luckily most of it is hardwood floors. I’m still scanning the carpets occasionally with the black light to make sure there’s no back sliding, but I think we’re OK now. She’s 1 year old a week ago. Lesson re-learned…

  24. I cannot get my puppies to stay off the pad when they are not going potty and NOT play on it… this is a major problem as they are always covered in their pee and poop and who wants to snuggle a puppy like that! PLEASE HELP!


    I’ve had my Yorkie for about 10 months. He was completely trained on potty pads be?ause I am disabled and can not walk her outside. Now he has been going on the carpet. The only change is that I have been training more tricks and spending much more time focused on him. why is this happening.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      It’s hard to say why. I would go back to the basics and train him to use the pads as though you just adopted him today.

  26. Bruce Harrington

    We have a 7yr old yorkie. I’m 65. I’ve had dogs since I was 4. I’ve never had any potty issues untill the Yorkie. The real problem is inbreeding. Inbreeding makes for a very stupid dog. People should not support “pure breed dogs”. The practice is cruel, creates a mutant dog, produces a dog with genetic disabilities, and a dog with impaired intelligence. I didn’t get the dog, it came with the girlfriend, so I’m trying to deal with it, but it is the dumbest dog I’ve ever dealt with!
    She used to use the potty pads and would go outside too, but through the last couple of years she has been peeing and pooping on rugs and the floor. She is only 4.5lbs and can’t hold it for 8hrs. Running out of patience, tried every tactic and none are working. She is just too stupid, in my opinion, to be retrained. Most normal dogs have the intelligence of a 2yr old human. This Yorkie has the intelligence of a 6mo old. Only other pure breed I had was a 130lb german shepard, and he was really stupid too. He was so fixated on playing fetch, he would try to play with a blade of grass or a leaf. It was the only thing he wanted to do. Just like a mentally disabled human.
    STOP supporting inbreeding. DO NOT get a pure breed, get a mutt from the pound.

  27. We have a 7 year old Yorkshire Terrier that goes inside and outside. Outside is not a problem. Inside has a problem sometime with her going on the edge of the paper or right off the paper. My floor is ceramic so the clean up is not a problem. It’s just so annoying that she has no problem sometimes and others times will not pee on the paper. Please any suggestions.

  28. I have a terrier debil (she’s a mix of a bunch of them) who is pad trained because we couldn’t take her out all the time.
    We’ve moved states and now she only DOES IT ON THE EDGE!! we had to change the brand of the pad, before she was using one with green borders but now it’s one with transparent borders. I thought she might be wanting attention since every time she does it my mom yells at her for a long period as well as hitting her with a rag. When she’s home alone with me she won’t do it out of the pee pad.
    APPARENTLY her big brother learned that behavior too so now we’re constantly having to clean pee because they keep missing!! My mom yells at me if I try to lay down more than one pad, too, she claims they’re too expensive.
    We also tried a pad with a bright yellow border.
    And going outside she only “marks” territory, but won’t truly go

  29. My dog is a 17 year old Jack Russell. He knows how to use the peepad but pees beside it as well. I know he cannot hold it as long as our other dogs. I have to use several pads because he wanders. Sometimes(rarely) he goes in the middle and no problem. We can’t confine him because he may lay in it. Are there any pads that have the top material under the edges – for extra floor protection to stop it from leaking under? Currently when I pick up the pad, 1/2 of the bottom is wet.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Gosh, I don’t know. Would he stay on the pads better if you had them lining a fairly large plastic tray/container? Like a large litter box or a large/low storage bin? Or do you think that would be too difficult for him?

  30. Our chihuahua/frenchie mix (6+yrs about 15-ish pounds) recently (last work or two) begun to pee on the edge of her pad and pee gets on the floor underneath. The center of the pad is untouched. She was very good about this beforehand. It almost is like it is done on purpose. She only does this late night/early morning while we are sleeping. We take her out just before we go to bed and first thing in the morning. We live in an area where there are mountain lions and coyotes and we have been cautioned not to leave our animals and children unattended.
    I tried to place towels underneath the pads last evening and she peeled on the edge around the pad!
    I have been cleaning with a solution of pinesol. Is there some sort of cleaner/spray that will discourage this behavior?
    Thanks for your suggestions.

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