Is there a reason they need to pee on the pads? Because honestly, I and several others on this forum have had not great experiences with them. They're very similar (from a dog's perspective) to other absorbent pad-like objects (rugs, bath mats, a dropped shirt, etc), and it also confuses the issue of whether it's okay to pee inside or not. I'd ditch them entirely and focus on training the puppies to potty where the big dogs do outside. Get an enzymatic cleaner specifically for pet messes (Nature's Miracle is widely available in the US) and thoroughly clean any spots where they've peed so they don't smell it anymore, then go back to basics with a strict potty schedule and rewards for going in the right place outside.
That being said, I don't envy you the work of two puppies. They're easily four or more times the work of one. Read up on littermate syndrome and make sure they're getting individual attention now so they can function apart from each other and bond properly with the people in the household.
You don't say if they are puppies or adults, but assuming that both of them have a clean bill of health from the vet, and don't have urinary infections, then the basic rules apply. For starters, ditch the pads, and train them to go outside. Take them out as soon as they wake up, after they've eaten, after they've had a big drink of water, after they've been playing for a while, and every 20 minutes or so just because.
If you aren't around to keep an eye on them, put them in separate crates that are just big enough for them to stand, sit, and lay down in comfortably. If it's too large, they will sleep in one corner and potty in another. If they pee on bedding, then no bedding in the crates (there are solid, waterproof pads if you want).
He's not peeing for attention, and he only pees on the floor when you're not around because he's learned that peeing when you are around makes you mad. The "guilty face" and tucked, wagging tail are both what are called appeasement gestures, and are basically him asking you to please not yell at him.
So, stop using the pads, take them outside about a million times a day, and crate (with no bedding to pee on) if you can't be watching them.
I just want to start off by saying thank you DaySleepers for taking time out of your day to respond. I would love for them to go outside and be like the big dogs, but there are a couple problems with that in my situation. 1. We live in the middle of the country, where coyotes, hawks, Turkey vultures and many other wild animals are constantly around searching for small animals to prey on, so we can’t leave them outside without supervision. 2. My mom won’t have time to take them outside twice a day when I am at college. My brothers will be home but they refuse to take them out and only agree to give them plenty of attention.
Trust me, if they could go outside just like the big dogs I’d love it. But my mom wants them trained on potty pads. That is why I’m struggling, because now they’re confused. I need advice on how to communicate with them and tell them what I want them to do.
LeoRose, thank you so much for your advice! However, as I responded to DaySleepers I explained why I need to train them on pads. I have two crates that they go in at night and they don’t pee in those, they are the perfect size for them as you said. It’s in their bigger crate (the only one we can find that fits their pen and connects to it fine) or in an open room/in their pen where Chloe pees on her blankets. They are also adults and we bring them to their regular physicals and are always making sure all our pets are healthy and happy, as that is our number one concern.
I want them to go outside, but my mom wishes for them to be on their pads. We have tried everything I can find and I’ve spent hours and hours researching the different training methods. Is there anything you can think of to help me train them to go on pads?
Oof. Difficult situation. I still would try to go for a compromise - either building some kind of covered dog run outside, or an indoor potty area with a substrate very different from anything else found inside. This might be gravel, or grass (sod or fake turf) - ideally something similar to what they'll be pottying on when they are outside so they can make the connection that this surface = pottying is okay.
Do you have plans for how these pups are going to get their exercise when you're away? Being able to explore and sniff outside is hugely important to keep a dog happy and mentally healthy.
Thank you! Also yes, they’ll get lots of exercise because not only will they be in a large pen, not a cage, but my brothers will also let them roam the house (where they enjoy running laps around the living room). My mom will also be able to let them outside in the pen for an hour or two every day after work, where my sister can also do this. Another reason we want them to be pad trained is also so they can at least be in their pens when nobody is around and not stuck in their crates. If I train them now, they’ll also have a large room to themselves if they have a place to go potty. Thank you so much for the advice and for not criticizing me, some people I’ve talked to have been really rude because they don’t know the full story, thank you so much
Hello! I just wanted to clear the air and acknowledge that we only planned on getting one at first and the second one needed a home, where it was my moms idea to keep her. My father wanted a big dog and wasn’t sure about the smaller breeds, where my mom always wanted a smaller dog. Tucker and Chloe are both of our dogs and we love them unconditionally. Thank you for your concern! The convincing was only convincing him for a small dog over a big one. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding
It's obvious you want the best for these dogs, even if you have some hurdles to get through! That's the important bit.
I will say that wandering the same house every day isn't any more physically or mentally stimulating than it would be for us. There's a reason walks are such a big thing with dogs - they're as much or more about exposing the dog to new smells, sights, and sounds and getting their brain working than they are about exercise. I would at the very least invest in buying or making food toys and incorporating them into day to day life. There's a great Facebook group about canine enrichment here, with lots of ideas about how to use cheap things around the house to keep your dog active and encourage them to participate in natural behaviors like sniffing and foraging. It can be a lot of fun, and if you can show your siblings that, hopefully you can encourage them to keep it up when you're not home.
There's a lot of evidence that, like with humans, this kind of enrichment and mental stimulation slows down mental decline, and might even help keep a dog more limber and mobile longer. It's a powerful tool in caring for all of our dogs' needs, not just the physical ones. And, of course, it helps relieve boredom, as bored dogs are more likely to develop behavioral problems.
Thank you so much for this advice! We have the some of the Kong toys, and more food toys! Ill definitely start to use them more often and look into getting some more so my siblings can get used to using them as well. Thank you!
You've received a lot of excellent advice. As for the "pads" question: what type of potty pads are you using? If it's the disposable kind, you may want to switch to whelping pads which are reusable and washable, and most difficult to tear up.
Hi - I feel your pain!! be patient, it will happen. You must, must keep the dogs crated at all times and take out every hour or two at the start. I didn't catch how old they are now. Anyway, they must stay crated or under constant watch. Get rid of the pee pads as everyone has said. I've found that if they pee or poo outside, always give them a little treat, my puppies have always been food motivated so once i gave them a little treat, they would willingly go when i took them outside. (p.s. this worked for my oldest son 30 years ago when i was potty training him but i used M&Ms). Eventually, it will click that they should do their business outside. Good luck but you must keep at it. If you are still challenged in a few months, as painful as it might be, you might need to rehome one of the pups.