March 13, 2019 4 min read

Retraining a dog that uses a Porch or Indoor Dog Potty to use BrilliantPad


We have all heard the saying; you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.Well, we are here to tell you otherwise. If you have an older dog who is 25 pounds or less and uses an indoor dog potty or porch potty, then this is for you. Full disclaimer, we are not promising the transition from grass or turf to BrilliantPad will be easy, but where’s the fun in easy?

Before you get started on the BrilliantPad training journey with your pet, there are a few things you’ll need (aside from a Brilliant Pad, of course!)

1. Be Patient. This transition will not happen overnight. It is important to remember this is not only new for you, but for you pet as well.

2. RewardThink about times you have maybe decided to work out a little more or eaten healthier foods. Rewarding yourself with your favorite snack is motivation to stay on track. The same goes for training your pet to use a Brilliant Pad. When he or she has completed a step successfully, rewarding their behavior with a treat or lots of praise and love is all the motivation to keep them working at perfecting their new potty habits.

3. Punishment Rarely WorksDogs rarely understand what was wrong when punished. In fact, punishment may cause even more accidents. Instead, encourage & rewards good behavior.

Once mental prepared to stick to the plan, it’s time to follow these basic steps!

Step 1: Let your dog get comfortable

Set up BrilliantPad and see how your dog reacts to it. The first step is to allow your dog to take as much time as he needs to get completely comfortable with BrilliantPad before starting any training.

If your dog is scared or nervous around BrilliantPad, you may need to hide it by covering it with a towel or even moving it to another room. Then uncover or reintroduce the machine to your dog a few days later. 

Step 2: Encourage dog to explore

Once your dog is comfortable around BrilliantPad, use treats and praise to encourage your dog to step up onto the platform. Have patience and remember to praise your dog when he gets on the BrilliantPad platform even if he doesn’t go potty. Continue this until your dog completely accepts BrilliantPad. Only then should you begin training your dog to use BrilliantPad.


Step 3: Use Leash to Lead your Dog to BrilliantPad

When it is time to go potty, put on his leash, lead him to BrilliantPad, and see if he will use the platform. If your dog goes potty on BrilliantPad, praise profusely and give him treats. Thereafter, continue leading him to the machine on a leash whenever it is potty time. After one to two weeks, your dog should feel comfortable going potty on BrilliantPad without being led there.

If your dog is not ready to use BrilliantPad inside right away, then, when you take your dog outside to go potty, take a transition pador a traditional dog pad outside with you. Put the pad on the ground when your dog shows signs of potty behavior. Then use the leash to lead your dog to the pad. Praise your dog and give him treats if he successfully goes on the pad. 

Repeat until your dog is OK going on the pad outside. Bring the pad indoors and put it on BrilliantPad. Then lead your dog by the leash to the machine with a slightly soiled pad on the platform.

Click here to buy additional BrilliantPad transition pads.

To help your dog transition, once your dog is OK using a pad outdoors, place your dog on the BrilliantPad platform center indoors at the following times:

• Every 2-3 hours

• When your dog wakes up

• After playing 

• 10-15 minutes after eating 

• After noticing pacing, circling or sniffing

Give your dog lots of praise and treats if he stays on the platform even if he does not go potty. After a while, your dog should start going potty on pad surface atop BrilliantPad.

If your dog does not go potty on the pad on the machine, then continue bringing a pad with you when you walk your dog and then try to reintroduce your dog to BrilliantPad after a few days.

It may take a few days or weeks to train your dog to make this transition. After all, it’s take a lot of time to each an old dog a new trick! Stick with it!

Step 4: Reduce size of your regular pad

Once your dog has used the pad on the machine for a few days, reduce its size by folding or cutting it in half. After a few more days fold or cut the pad in quarters. Eventually, remove your pad completely.

If your dog resists going on the platform once the pad size is reduced or the pad is removed, put a pad the same size as the last one successfully used on the platform. Then after a few days try gradually reducing the size of the pad again.

Step 5: Slowly introduce use of electronic controls

Once your dog starts using BrilliantPad, use the MANUAL advance for a few days. Then, with the dog nearby but not on the platform, press and hold the manual advance button to advance the pad, or double-click to advance a full sheet:

If your dog accepts the machine noise, praise him and give him a treat.

After several days of advancing manually, you can consider setting the Automatic Timer to replace the pad automatically one, two or three times per day (i.e., once every 24, 12 or 8 hours).

Follow these training steps for dogs that are currently using indoor dog potties and porch potties and with time, effort and patience, your dog can become a BrilliantPad dog!

For more training information go to BrilliantPad's Training Support Pageor check out our Troubleshooting Guide for tips and suggestions.