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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just adopted (3 months ago)a chihuahua. he is almost 2 years old. We walk him 3to 4 times a day and now that its getting a little cold he refuses to go out. so since winter is around the corner what are the best ways for me to train him on a pad?


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Good luck with you new housemate. Kudos for the rescue as well!
I have trained many pups and the method I use isn't a new one, but it seems to work well.
First, a small crate is a big help for those times you can't be with your dog, most dogs won't eliminate where they sleep.
I choose a place, or places, For the pads where the dog has eliminated ( had an accident) before,
I put the clean pad, face down, on a fresh pee spot, step on it, and turn it face up. It may sound gross, but your dogs scent on the pad really helps.
Dont be too fast to change the pad if you can tolerate a bit of pee on the pad. I even have left the pad down after a BM ( after removing the solid waste of course) . Dogs are so scent driven that, in my experience, these icky steps really seem to speed up that Aha moment.
I am also a beliver in positive reinforcement and treat training.
Shaping behavior ( small correct steps toward the main goal) helps. In other words, praise and treat even if your dog just gets really really close to the pad. Use it as a chance to get the urine scent on the nearest pad.
Keep your cool and stay calm and positive, your dog will get the idea.
I would also keep taking your little one outside, even if it is cold, especially if your dog is well trained to eliminate outside..
Good luck!

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First you need to ask yourself do you really want him pad trained? Are you O.K. with him using pads year round? If you aren't then it's best to keep taking him outside and skip the pad training.

It will be an uphill battle to get him to potty in the house on a pad if he's fully trained to potty outside. My own boy will hold his bladder for 12 hours rather then potty in the house. If your boy is like that you are going to have to wait and wait for him to be about near ready to pop and take him to the pad, give the potty command, and then give him a really, really, good treat just as soon as he's lifting up from pottying. The same with bowel movements, it'll be a waiting game, and he's likely going to have to no longer be able to hold it before he's willing to go in the house.

Starrs suggestion of getting his urine and feces scent on the pad will help attract him to the pad and give him the idea that it's the place to potty.

It will also help if he can potty on command, you'd just keep taking him to the pad throughout the day and giving the potty command until he finally pottied. Give him a really awesome treat just as soon as he's finished pottying.

The other thing you could try is bringing the pad outside when you know he has to potty and putting him on it to potty rather then the grass. Once he's got the idea that the pad is to be pottied on you'd start trying to get him to use one inside, dogs are very surface driven when it comes to pottying. It's why they'll choose to potty on the grass, rather then the sand or vice versa.

I have a chi x dach mix and I just put a sweater or coat on him and take him outside to potty during the winter. We try and stay out of the wind and in really cold weather stay out only long enough to potty and then run back inside. Once inside he has a little electric space heater that he'll sit in front of and warm up. He's learned that the faster he potties the sooner he gets to come in. It does help that I live in Tx so the lowest it usually gets is the mid 30's.
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