Paper or Litter Box Training | PAWS Chicago

Paper Training

Teaching a dog to eliminate indoors, even on paper, makes it more difficult to ultimately teach him to eliminate outdoors.

If you do not have to paper train your dog, then don’t. But there are some circumstances when you might want to consider paper training:

  1. Housetraining on pads serves a purpose for some small dog adopters in the city.
  2. Many small dogs have trouble in high-traffic areas or in the dead of winter.
  3. If your dog is very young or very old and you cannot take him outside to eliminate as frequently as he needs, you may need to paper train.

Tips for Paper Training

  • Purchase your supplies. You will need an appropriately sized exercise pen, a small crate and a supply of house pads. Exercise pens are easy-to-set-up panels you can find at any pet supply store. These pens can keep your pet contained and still allow enough room for them to wander.
  • Set up the area. Find a place that is both out of the way of foot traffic and convenient. Most people choose an area that is close to a sliding door and where it is easy to put the dog or puppy while you are busy cooking or taking a shower. Initially cover the inside of the pen with the pads. Put the small crate inside the pen area. You may also want to put a chew toy and water bowl inside the pen.
  • Keep your eye on your dog. Put your dog inside the pen first thing in the morning (just let him out of the crate if you are crate training), frequently throughout the day and right before bedtime. Also put him inside the pen area when you can’t watch him or when you go to work or to run errands. It is important at the beginning that you don’t let your dog wander off when you’re not paying attention.
  • Don’t rush the process. It’s best to take it slow in the beginning. Once your dog is having success eliminating on the pads inside of the pen, start leaving a panel open while you're with your dog in the room. You are ready to step out of the room or leave your dog outside of his pen while you shower when you observe that your dog is consistently going to the pad on his own to eliminate. 
  • Eliminate the exercise pen. After your dog is consistently going to the designated area, you may choose to phase out the exercise pen. Young puppies who are still teething may need the pen longer. If any accidents occur, back it up to the last point of success.

Back to top

Training Classes

Practice makes perfect, and your pooch will get plenty of practice in training classes. Learn about PAWS Chicago’s training classes and enroll today!