I've been trying to train my puppy to use potty pads for over a month to no avail. The biggest problem is that as soon as she sees a potty pad she instantly sets in on shredding into fine strips of confetti using her teeth and paws.
I researched this online and spoke to the puppy training expert at my vet about this.
Here are something things I've tried:
1. Use a pad holder, use pads with sticky edges, tape the pad down
RESULT: She can dislodge the pad despite this, but it really doesn't matter because even with secured edges she still manages to tear herself a hole in the middle of the pad (like drilling a pilot hole) then proceeds to totally decimate the pad. I think she times herself to see how long it takes her and she's got her time under 10 seconds.
2. Use verbal commands to stop her
RESULT: This only works in the moment I'm doing it (if at all) and then the second I turn my attention elsewhere she goes back to destruction.
3. Spray the edges with bitter apple
RESULT: She licks it then asks me if she can have some more of the "apple candy". I guess I could find something stronger but she doesn't need the edges to destroy it and it seems like that would just deter her from going onto the pad anyway.
4. Restrict her movements
RESULT: I tried this and it's failed multiple ways. If I make it where she can only be in the crate or on the pad and she's left alone, then the pad gets destroyed long before she would need to use it. I've also tried feeding her a big meal then putting her on the crate and only letting her out directly onto the pad with me there holding her leash. I did this every 15-20 minutes for 2 entire evenings last week. She just "holds" it somehow and has no idea what I'm trying to get her to do.
For the record she is a very smart dog and she has no problem going outside. However she does have to spend significant time alone during working hours, so she needs the pads yet she just thinks they're too appealing as shreddable objects.
Oh, and in case you're wondering:
- she's got a billion toys, they just aren't as cool as shredding potty pads I guess
- her nails are trimmed