Before you start training, decide where you want your puppy’s potty area to be. If at all possible, set up your dog’s papers, pee pads, turf tray or litter box where you want them to be long-term. Although not impossible, training him to use a new indoor area – and to stop going in the original area he was trained to use – is tricky, so avoid having to change the location of his papers, litter box, or training pads if at all possible. Putting your dog’s potty area in a room with linoleum, tile or other hard flooring is better than putting it on carpet, since there may be occasional overflow or misses. In the early phases of training, if your dog’s potty area has to be in a carpeted area, you may want to buy a linoleum remnant or waterproof plastic tarp to put under his papers or litter box, to prevent any overflow from getting to the carpet.
Since your puppy will be relieving himself in the house, also consider the ick factor when choosing a location. Many people choose the kitchen for the dog’s papers, pee pads, litterbox, or turf tray, since the flooring makes training easy and it can be an easy place to create a confinement area. However, they later realize that cooking and eating right next to dog poo and pee is less than pleasant. This can work for some owners, especially those with large kitchens, but you’ll have to be extra-vigilant about keeping the pads or litterbox clean or nobody will ever want to come to your house for dinner again! Other icky areas that should be avoided if possible include right next to your bed (you’ll be awakened by the “stink alarm”), a small child’s play room, a pantry or other food storage area, and right inside the door where you greet your guests. Laundry rooms and bathrooms (especially if there’s one that isn’t frequently used by humans) are usually great spots for a dog’s potty training pads, litter box, or artificial grass potty tray.
Another very important note on choosing a potty area: Don’t let the dog choose his own potty area unless it’s the same one you would choose. It’s not unusual to see a potty pad right in the middle of an expensive rug in the living room or to see several all over the house. When asked why the pads are there, the dog owner inevitably says, “That’s where he always goes, so we put potty pads down for him.” That’s not potty training, that’s giving up!