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My girlfriend and I just adopted a 4 year old beagle mix named Sadie a few days ago from a shelter. She is relativity well trained. We live on the second story of our apartment. and while there are many grassy areas for Sadie to go potty, she often gets distracted by the activity of cars, people and such things bustling around. Ideally we would like to train her to go potty on pads / faux grass pads on our patio since we feel it will be quicker and less distracting for her and easier for us to do in the early morning.

If anyone could offer any advice on how to train her effectively we would be grateful.
 

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If she's fully housebroken, I think that'd be awfully hard to teach her. Kind of like telling you to wet the bed, you know? :) I dont like pee pads because I think they confuse the dog. Thats just my opinion though.

To get her to pee with distractions, I'd take her, on leash of course, to the same area each time, circle her around you as you repeat your 'potty phrase' over and over and over. Annoying to those listening to you, but it works. Dont let her wander too much; stay in about the same spot and circle her. If she pees, throw a party. If she doesnt, go back upstairs and try again in a bit. Be patient. It'll take awhile at first. Take her out more often than she actually needs to go, in order to speed up the process of her learning this. The goal is to teach her what you expect of her, thats why its important to go to the same area and repeat the phrase. Eventually, she'll learn to pee on command. Distractions are hard, but it's totally do-able. I'm a puppy raiser and teach mine to pee on command and on all sorts of surfaces and areas.
 

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I agree with Labmom4. Potty pads can actually cause more problems in some cases. For instance, we used them with my first pup out of necessity, and it got him thinking it was ok to pee on anything remotely "pad-like", like door mats, throw rugs, bath mats, etc. We have lots of hard wood flooring, with rugs, so it seemed we went through a period of time where he had accidents on all our mats and rugs, until we retrained him. :(

So, if you really think this is best, try the faux grass, or something similar.

But, yes, the distractions are part of potty training. It happens to the best of us. For us, in our backyard, the distractions were squirrels, birds, lizards, the wind in the trees, anything, really. :) Make it boring by not talking too much (except to say the potty phrase), and do the same boring thing, in the same boring area.
 

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I've also heard of people going to their local park and cutting out a nice 3x3 mat of grass and plopping it in their backyard :)
(like the grass mats that people roll out instead of growing from scratch).
 
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