Is it confusing to an 11 week old westie to pee on puppy pads and outside?
by April H
I have just brought home an 11 week old female westie. She is very tiny and goes pee pee all the time!
I purchased a crate and puppy pads. There are two pads down in the kitchen that she is starting to pick up as to where she needs to go relieve herself. She still has had a few accidents on the kitchen floor but that I am expecting will happen until she has total control over her body.
I was just wondering while i am training her on puppy pads...if it would be wise for me to try to take her outside too. She is so small (about 6 inches long) that i don't feel she needs to be outside for another 2 weeks or so. Should I just train her on the pads and then slowly move them to the door and try it that way? Or is both ok?
I want to be consistent with her and make it as easy on her and myself. Also in her crate i have her bed at one side and then i laid a pad down in the front. Is this confusing as well? basically saying you can pee in the crate as long as this pad is there? She came from a pet store so she was in a cage that she eliminated in. I know she must be confused!
Other than that she seems to prefer going on the pads at least...unless we are in the living room on the carpet!
Hi April I'm sure that she is a little confused right now, there's been a lot of changes in her short life!
This issue is always a tricky one, especially for tiny puppies in the winter time. However, if at all possible it is better to start off training her to go outside right away. If it's cold she can wear a little sweater, and even boots if you feel she needs them.
The problem with the pee pads is that it gives a puppy the idea that eliminating indoors is okay. They don't necessarily understand that it is just the PAD that makes it acceptable, they just think that peeing in the kitchen is what they're allowed to do!
It is possible to retrain a puppy to go outdoors after they've learned to use the pads, but it takes a lot longer and can be difficult.
If you really want her to do her business on the pads for now, I would recommend getting a puppy playpen or exercise pen or something similar and keeping her and the pads inside that area. Supervise her very closely when she's not in her pen or crate, and don't allow her to eliminate anywhere else indoors.
That way she will associate her elimination with being acceptable within the pen area only. As for the crate, get a small crate and don't allow her to eliminate in it. I would recommend that you read my crate training to fully understand why crate training works so well, and how it is counter-productive to give a puppy a big crate.
Pups who come from pet stores or breeders who have kept them in crates/cages that are not being used correctly, are at a disadvantage in the housebreaking department. However, if you set up the house rules and help her to learn what you expect from her right from the beginning, it will be much easier.