I used to train my dogs to potty outside--we have a fenced and concrete exercise yard for them right off our covered porch straight from the kitchen. But the last several years I have used the potty pads (I actually have a crate of 36 by 36 hospital pads delivered to my house as I need them).My dogs are a toy breed with long coat--the snow and coat did not mix. As well as rainy days and some really nasty cold in the winter--I felt so sorry for them to shiver when they went out. Now I am glad they use the pads, that's what we use when we travel. The weather can be so unpredictable, and we don't want wet dogs in the rv. Everybody stays clean and more important, safe when we travel. I don't mind rolling up the pads and laying down fresh ones and the expense is not bad.
I really do not want to expose them to the cold even though they have sweaters already. It is nice and toasty inside and then I have to take them outside, it don't think the drastic change from warm to cold would is good for them. I think they can develop arthritis or something.
UH... these are dogs right? Nature gave them natural coats for a reason, and I would think that this is sufficient protection against even the harshest elements long enough to pee and poop. Yikes lady let'em be dogs.
Dogs kept in the house on a regular basis do not develop the same winter coats as dogs keep outside year round. Some owners also clip the coats --so yes, they do need protected from the cold. I get the pads online they are the largest and cheapest for the size that I can find. www.northshorecare.com
I am jsut curious about one thing, are you planning on keeping them in ALL winter? The reason I am asking is because it is pretty critical for all dogs to get at least a small amount of socialization. There was a toy poodle named Joey in Kodas obedience class and the dog was kept indoors all the time and he was terribly shy of people in new situations.
I have raised some kind of animal all my life and I am quite aware of my dogs needs for "socialization"--I do show once in a while. However, trips to potty outside do not count as social time. When the weather is clear my dogs get run time and fresh air and sun. We all socialize inside every day all day.
Okay, chill out, I was just making an observation. I can't see why 2 minutes for a pee break and a breath of fresh air is going to hurt or freeze your dogs by any means. My dogs just learned that they needed to hurry u poutside and get back in. The cold will not hurt your dogs as long as they are not out in it for long periods of time. A pee break won't hurt them.
Being inside does not hurt them either. You must not have read the rest of my post about snow and coat. Many people who have problems housetraining a new pup in the winter do not take into account the body's natural reaction to a blast of cold--it shuts down the urge to go, at least for a bit. That is why the pup comes in the house and immediatly goes on the floor--and people do not know why--"he was just out" they say.
i use the blue pads from petsmart. i wish they were bigger ! we have days here where it rains all day long. when i open the back door to take my frenchies out, they dead stop at the door and refuse to go out in it. our gsd runs out , does his thing, and comes right back in. they will not go out at all. i put them i the bathroom with the pads and they are fine. sometimes they dont always get it all on the pads, but its only because they need to be just a wee bit bigger. the pads that is, not the pups. lol
I have not tried the ones from pet stores, they were so expensive when I looked. But it has been a while, so things may have changed. And I wanted big ones so it would be easier for the dogs to hit the target, so to speak.
Sorry, I raised Pomeranians and never had a problem with them going potty. My moms chihuahuas have no problem with going potty either. She lives in the middle of a wheat field where the winds blow really hard, the dogs go out and back in really quick. Besides that, alot of dogs(including poodles) LOVE to play in the snow. You can do what you want, obviousely, I just don't understand it, thats all. I can't stand it having my animals poop and pee in the house, my cat box is cleaned after they go every time. My dogs go out and go potty and can come in, they don't go potty, they don't come in or they have to come in and be in their crates until they do go potty. I have not had an accident in almost 3 weeks with my puppy. And not in years with koda. Guess I just do things different. I just can't stand the pee pads, they stink and I find them embarrassing when company is over. Also it seems to set back housetraining. (I have tried them with my poms, they went in and out the door real quick because they stunk and I didn't like them.)
Dogshadow, I loved that website for litter training, I am going to try it lining it with the pads.
and regarding the socialization part,
My dogs are very happy and interact very well with each other. I do take them out to the petstore, for walks, to my relatives' homes, to the park, and other various places when it is not cold.
I know I might be a little extreme on wanting to litter train my dogs but hey, I do not want them to get sick and want them to last me as long as possible. I do not want them to get arthritis and if I can help it, I'll try to keep them in good health as much as possible.
We use wee pads because of circumstances where we could not take our dog out during the day. I do like to take them outside and have them go potty outside whenever possible and now that we no longer have that situation it may have been nice not to train them to go inside. I think it is a little harder to train to go inside with no mistakes but it is working for us.
Good things are you don't have to take them out when it is raining, in the middle of the night or too early in the morning or when it is too cold and generally nasty.
Bad things are it gets expensive, you have to keep up with changing pads and they sometimes can have wet paws if they have been holding it and have a big puddle and they are still a little wet, especially my female, and can sit on your rug or if you pick them up you can get a messy hand. Sometimes, they may drip just a little too. If we take them outside, they usually dry off before coming in. They both seem to like going outside too. Although, Georgie won't do #2 until we go to someone else's yard so I always have to bring pick up bags.
All things to think about. I also have to bring pads when we go to someone's house and take the dogs. Some people may think that it is weird and feel funny about your dog peeing in their house.
I just read every post on this subject and I'm sorry but I have to agree with KatzPomDogs. I love my dogs too. And I get really upset with my kids when they lock them out of the house when I'm not home and it's raining. But in the same respects, the rain hasn't hurt them in the least. Just my feelings....but like Katz said, they are your dogs.