A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying… that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. ~Alexander Pope, English poet
I’m not sure where I got the idea I was supposed to use Puppy Pee Pads to house train a dog, but I’m here to tell you … DON’T!
When I brought Dallas home many moons ago, he was practically house trained. No Pee Pads were necessary, and accidents were few. Right from the get-go, he understood “outside” was the potty place.
Not so with Sully.
His breeder hadn’t bothered with house training, so I opted to use Pee Pads left over from Dallas’s time.
I put them in his ex-pen and beside three doors.
They were a nuisance — poor absorbency, poor feel compared to the newspapers he’d gotten used to from the whelping box, and he refused to use a soiled one … even if it only had a teaspoonful of liquid on one corner.
At first, I thought it would be easy to train him to the pad — convenient in inclement weather, too — and then transition him to outside when the temperature warmed a bit.
Sully quickly learned that pottying on a pad brought a treat while going on the floor resulted in an angry “No!”
But the transition to outside puzzled him.
And why shouldn’t it? Learning it’s okay to pee inside on a pad, then having to relearn that it’s better to go outside in the grass could only confuse a wee pup.
Then my son Domer came home for a week-long visit, and all bets were off. Sully turned into a real brat, pottying anywhere and everywhere. And I was spending so much time on my hands and knees cleaning his messes that I felt I was ignoring Domer.
I called Sully’s vet to ask about him peeing so much. I was instructed to stop giving him unlimited water.
A few days later, when he peed a tablespoonful at one end of the kitchen and, while I was cleaning it up, another tablespoonful at the other end, I hit the roof.
What was going on? Was I the village idiot for not being able to house train a dog?
This time, the vet wanted a urine sample. And this time, they told me the poor pup had a bladder infection.
Well, no wonder.
Here I was, fussing at him for his failure to follow the potty training regimen when he was sick and couldn’t help it.
I beat myself up over it, then got him started on antibiotics.
Finally, we’re seeing some progress.
But it’s been a LONG haul.
At least I’m learning he’s got a brain in that cute, fuzzy head of his!