In the past with my large breed dogs I always used a combination of crate training, and the umbilical cord method (keeping them tied to me at the waste so they don't have the chance to sneak off to pee and so I will see their signals right away). And of course I'd never scold a dog for an accident they did a while back, they'd have no idea why I am mad. My breeder likes puppy pads. I'm wondering if I should try them, they are new to me. I'm worried they will end up only wanting to use a puppy pad and not want to go outdoors though. Anyone have experience with this?
Your method should work fine, but my breeder says that their puppy buyers who have the most problems with accidents are those who insist on outside only. My choice with Kodi was that I wanted to maintain an indoor potty solution for really foul weather here in the north east, but have him most of the time go outside. My experience, and that of almost everyone here on the forum that has used an indoor potty solution is that they very quickly and naturally learn to use the outdoors, and then soon PREFER to use the outdoors. Then, if you want to maintain an indoor option (FANTASTIC when you are on the 8th floor of a hotel at a dog show!
) you really need to WORK on maintaining their interest in the indoor option. As an adult, Kodi goes outdoors almost all the time. If the weather is REALLY bad, and you say, "Use your box," he'll look at you, sigh, and go use the box.
I don't think there is a single person on the forum who has WANTED to transition their dog to outdoors, who has had a problem with it. There are a couple of people who choose to ONLY let their dog use an indoor potty, but that is their choice, not because they couldn't train the dog to go outside. The much more common "problem" is people who get away from the indoor potty completely then wish, for one reason or another, that they hadn't.