“We’ve been doing very well with our potty training. I would say she’s been a good girl about 90% of the time (using her pad). A few days ago she started tearing the pad into a lot of little pieces and now it’s becoming a very bad habit of hers. Any suggestions on how to get her to stop this very nasty little game?”

“Glad to hear things are going well! The pad shredding is a favorite hobby of a lot of puppies and dogs for some reason… must be a lot of fun! There are a few things that you might try to fix the problem. First, you may want to do something to keep her from being able to move the pad, since half the fun of shredding is dragging the pad around. You can tape it to the floor, put something heavy on top of it to keep it from moving or get a plastic pad tray from the pet store.

If these solutions don’t work, you can also try using washable, re-usable fabric potty pads. Lots of people are using them these days, since they’re a “green” option for eco-friendly indoor potty training!

Of course, you should also be sure she’s getting plenty of exercise and that she has other fun things to play with and chew on, since the pad shredding can be the result of boredom and energy overload!

One thing you should NOT do to try to fix the problem is using an anti-chewing product like Bitter Apple on the pads. I’ve had a few clients who decided to try this (without checking with me first!)… of course, they didn’t think about the fact that it would not only get the dog to stop chewing the pad, it would make the dog want to stay away from the pad completely. Not good.

I hope this helps!”