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Hi all!

I got a 3 month old pom pup from a breeder a few days ago. The breeder crate trained her so she's very happy to play, eat and sleep in her pen. Her pen also has a pee pad in a tray, which she uses 4 out of 5 times (I live in a high rise apartment so it would take ages for me to take her outside! I'm happy for her to use pee pads indefinitely). She's social, playful and energetic and has started learning to be still and quiet when she wants to be taken out. She still barks and whines when I leave the room or walk a short distance away but we're working on that! She has also learned the "go potty" command.

However, she likes to play and roll around on her pee pad as well. I'm worried this may cause setbacks in potty training. I feed her through her Kong toy, and she'll often take out some kibble, carry it over to the pee pad and sit there while eating it. She often leaves toys and food on there as well. Luckily, she doesn't sleep on the pee pad.

Is this kind of behaviour okay, or should I correct it? If so, how? I've expanded her pen from 4ft to 8ft square but I noticed she's still taking kibble over to the pee pad. Shes sitting on the pee pad right now as i type. First time dog mom here, so I'd love any advice with this! :)
 

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I have a 6 month old, and, before we brought her home, we stocked up on all puppy supplies, including pads. She never used them!!! There were a few accidents where we would use the pads as cleanup (for urine only) and set them in our kitchen and she STILL would not use them.LOL. Lucky for us, her breeder trained them to go outside. I was VERY amazed. But, she would definitely sit on them, play on them, rip them apart. etc. We just took them away. You could probably pick them up until it is "potty time" and then, put them back down. A lot of work, yes,but i think it is worth it.
 

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Does she have another bed in her pen? It can help to have a bed or mat (aside from the crate) that she has lots of positive associations with hanging out on, so she's more likely to choose that over the potty pads. You can do this by teaching a "place" or "go to bed/mat" cue with lots of treats as rewards, or just by simply dropping her little tidbits when she chooses to hang out on the bed herself.

Of course, that does run the risk of her thinking a soft bed surface is also for peeing on. Some puppies really struggle to differentiate between pee pads and other pad-like objects - it's one of the reasons I'm not fond of them, though I am sympathetic to your high-rise apartment being a tricky situation! So give it a try and see how she does. You may eventually find that a litter box or one of those fake grass potty patch setups is more effective in the long run, as those are more distinctive and easier for dogs to differentiate "pee spot" and "not pee spot".
 

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Best cure is one of those artificial turf dog potty stations. They are easy to clean and, no pads for puppy to shred and, potentially swallow, causing a blockage.
 

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Get rid of the pee pad. Train the dog to go outside. Those things are a scam. As a breeder, I never use them. I train the puppies early to go outside and the pee pads are only used to keep the whelping box clean in case of accidents. Puppies are ready to go outside from the day they come home. If you must use something for a very young puppy, use newspaper, but you really should be taking puppy outside to go.
I agree but, in a high rise, out can't always happen fast enough, if at all. The dog needs a safe, sanitary, easy to clean indoor potty option. Pad are a bane of mine as well, Like you, just for keeping the puppy area clean until the pups can be weaned but, that won't work if it takes 5 minutes or longer just to get outside from your apartment. So I suggest an artificial turf potty station, the dog will learn to go there and, when it's possible, going on real grass won't be a major issue.
 
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