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How to Paper Train a Dog

Paper Training Your Dog 

Paper Training Your Dog

Paper training is a special type of "potty" training that involves teaching your pet to use the restroom on a newspaper inside. This type of training is generally used with pets that will not be going outside.  Small pets that will remain indoors are often paper trained and also pets that will have to stay indoors for extended periods of time.

Candidates for Paper Training

Larger male dogs that are over 20 pounds and that are entire are not good candidates for paper training.  These dogs will lift their leg to urinate and as a result, they will tend to get urine on the walls if they try to empty waste on a newspaper.  Pets that will eventually be outside pets should not be paper trained because it can be difficult to transition them from paper training to emptying outdoors.  For these reasons, only dogs that will remain indoors at all times and those that do not lift their legs to urinate should be paper trained.

Create a Schedule

Just as with housebreaking training, it is important to create a schedule when paper training a dog.  The dog should be encouraged to empty waste when you get up and before you go to bed.  It should also be encouraged to go 20 to 30 minutes after eating and after engaging in strenuous activity.  To help keep the schedule consistent, you should also feed your pet at the same time every day.  This will help keep your pet’s body schedule consistent.

You should also limit your pet's evening water intake.  Four hours prior to bedtime, encourage your pet to drink before putting the water away.  If your pet becomes thirsty after the water has been put away, provide it with ice cubes.  After the paper training is successful, you can go back to leaving the water out at all times for your pet.

Using the Paper

Each time you take your pet to the newspaper, be sure to accompany it with a simple command such as “go potty.”  Your pet will then associate your command with the act of using the restroom.  If your pet has an accident, take him to the paper and ask him to "go potty".  When your pet does successfully go to the restroom on the paper, praise him, clean the paper up immediately and lay down fresh paper.

It is important to always keep the paper in the same place for your pet. Your pet will get used to going to the same spot to use the restroom.  It is important to clean the urine and feces up right away, but it can sometimes be helpful to leave a small amount of urine or feces on the paper while your pet is training.  This will help to cue your pet into understanding that the paper is the proper place for going to the restroom. 

The area set aside for the dog should be about three feet by five feet.  It should also be closed off, yet near to the family action.  A baby gate is a good tool to use for accomplishing this.  Your pet's crate or bed should also be included in this area.