Dear Paws4Pets: I have a 9-month-old Dachshund, “Betty,” whom I have trained to use “wet pads.” She has been very good, with one exception: When she has to urinate she gets her front paws on the pad and starts going, and the urine ends up half on the pad and the rest on the floor (thank God I have tile). It is hard for me to take her outside. I don’t want to scold her, as it would only confuse the situation. Any suggestions?
– Kay, via e-mail
Dear Kay: I like that you’re keeping Betty’s training positive, and I think that a combined solution can work here. Use a piece of wood to create a bumper that can be placed against the edge of the pee pad. It doesn’t need to be very high — three or four inches at most — but it should extend to both edges of the pad where Betty usually hangs her butt. Duct tape the wood to the floor. Take Betty to the pee pad on a leash for the next few days, around the time that she typically uses it. Let her investigate the bumper, and then lead her onto the pad, facing her usual direction. Let her start peeing on her own. She should automatically move forward before squatting to pee. As soon as she does this and starts going, give her lots of praise and when she’s finished, add a treat and more praise. If she doesn’t automatically move up to avoid the bumper, stand in front of her while holding her leash and give the command “come,” and then “stay” when she’s in position. Let her continue the pee ritual and follow with lots of praise. The idea here is to get her to go “Oh, I get it!” or at least associate the middle of the pad with good things. When she starts going straight to that position without prompting, remove the bumper board. Repeat the training session, with lots of praise when she goes in the middle of the pad.