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We were planing a dog for months now and the day finally came. We took a trip to the animal shelter in hope to get a small dog. We were horrified as the shelter had 8 small puppies who were abandoned when they still desperately needed their mother, they were all just around 2 months old, I mean who could be so cruel to get rid of helpless little creatures. There were lots of other dogs too but in the end we decided to take one of the small puppies.
So there we have it. We have a doggy. No, not a doggy, a small, small puppy. Its body constitution reminds of a Maltese, it has shorter hair though and is black with white paws and few white spots. A really cute thing. We intended to have her (yes it's a female puppy) indoors so we knew that toilet training would be one of the first things we would need to look in too.
We got familiar with the procedure of toilet training using old newspaper before we got the puppy but we are not subscribed to any newspaper (well only the scientific ones but they are not to be wasted) so we would have to be buying the newspaper just for this purpose (neighbour is subscribed to newspaper but has some sort a sentimental relation to old newspaper so this was a no go). But as we were buying basic dog supplies (bowls, leash, collar, toys) we noticed these trainer pads. They had them in 3 sizes (small, medium, large) and in packages of 15 in 30. We decided to buy medium sized ones (30x45cm) since we were planing a smaller dog anyway. We took a pack of 30 (enough for 30 days) at a price of £7 (£6.5 on Amazon at the time of writing, large ones are £11.5 on Amazon). A lot cheaper than buying newspaper for this purpose.
These pads are obviously used to toilet train a puppy, you can use them if you have an ill or weak dog that can't go to the toilet outside or if you have an outdoor dog and you temporarily have the dog indoors. They are also used in dog crates and pet carriers.
***HOW DO THEY WORK?***
They are made from non woven fabric which will not fall apart even if it is wet (read has been tinkled on). This is true, we even tested one with lots and lots of water (curiosity) and it did not fall apart, it is dipper like material.
The sheet is supposed to keep the moisture away from surface and it does so (again the water test, we did not test it with doggy pee but believe if it works with water it works with pee too), the water is quickly absorbed in the pad. They are super absorbent.
The pads stop odour. This is true to some extent. They lessen the odour allot, you won't smell it but if you get really close to the pad you might. This is a great thing though because the dog needs to smell it since this way it is more likely it will pee there again.
The sheet bottom is from plastic like material so the fluid does not get through to the floor.
It dries within 30 seconds, I was not timing it with a stopwatch to confirm this but I can say it dries quickly.
***HOW DO YOU TRAIN YOUR DOG WITH THEM?***
You can also purchase a tray from the same manufacturer so you can put the pads in. This prevents the dog to chew on the pads or to carry them around. We did not buy it since we live in the ground floor so toilet training the dog to use the grass should be quicker, but if you live somewhere where training would be more long-lasting or you use this as a "regular" toilet I would advise to buy the tray too. Certainly better looking than just pads laying around.
Anyway you take the pad an place it somewhere where the dog feels safe. If the dog previously tinkled or pooped somewhere in your household this might be the place to put the pad since chances are it will go there again.
So now you have your place. As soon as the dog eats or drinks you put it on the pad and wait with it until it does it business (don't worry, small puppies do it rather quick after eating or drinking). When it's over you need to reward the puppy, if it is big enough for treats with treat if not with padding and gentle words, it will understand it did something good. Whenever you see some anxiety (that is not happiness) you put the dog on the pad since chances are it needs to go.
If an accident happens and by that I mean if the dog poops or tinkles anywhere else you need to gently scold it but only if you caught the dog in action. If you find a poop or a small puddle without seeing the dog do it do not scold it because it will not know why it is being scolded, so just clean up and pay more attention to the dog hehe.
After the puppy does its business on the pad you do not need to clean it, well unless it is a poop and you can remove it. But I would advise that you train your dog to do it's pooping outside, it is easier to get it used to poop outside than to pee since it is less frequent and you can figure out the pattern pretty quickly so you just take it for a quick walk often enough. We were lucky probably since our nugget of joy started pooping outside after just 3 days! Peeing is more of a problem though because it is frequent and comes without much warning so we are using the pads to train her. We put her on the pad every time she drank water in the beginning and there was some waiting but as I mentioned they do it pretty quickly. The problem comes with peeing after that. You really have to keep an eye on the doggy because peeing takes seconds, whenever we noticed she squat down we grab her and ran to the pad (more often than not leaving a tray of wee on the way). This really needs patience and it can take a lot of time before puppy starts to use the pad. But they figure it out sooner or later. As soon as this happens you need to start gradually moving the pad to the place you want the toilet to be or to the "exit" if you want for the dog to eventually pee outside only - don't forget whenever your dog pees outside you need to give it a reward!
We are now at 90% success rate I would say after few days of hard work and running around in the role of the "pee police" she now uses the pad with an accident on the way to the pad here and there. We moved it quite a lot since first use (we use it for 7 days now) and she uses the pad and does not pee on the place the pad used to be, so this is a success. Again I can say that we are lucky because she seems to be learning quick but I guess this can take quite a while and requires patience to achieve.
We use one pad daily.
I love this product, certainly better than newspaper by far. I was sceptical about it, well about only using 1 per day but this proved to be true. It gets pee on it multiple times a day and it holds on I can easily say that you need to change it daily only due to hygiene not because they would not be durable enough. They are super absorbent and if the puppy accidentally pees on her paws (yeah it happens) the few steps she make on the pad dry them up. I have the feeling that we won't be needing the whole pack since we are close to the door now so I would advise to buy the pack with 15 pads (well if you have 1 dog, its 1 pad per dog) for a start and you will see if you need more later. They are wonderful for the night since you can easily oversleep when the puppy begs for toilet - we have a playpen of a sort for the night (so that she would not hurt herself in the house) and we put the pad there if there would be an emergency. One night she had a mild diarrhoea and we did not hear her when she needed to go and she automatically went to do it on the pad, we could not be happier.
I could not recommend it more for toilet training, well you can stick with newspaper if you wish to but prepare yourself to live with the stench!