I spoke to a dog trainer last night who also recommended not using pee pads at all and to instead get a piece of sod once a week and just use that until the dog learns to go outside... thoughts?
lots to think about... good thing we have a month before our puppy comes home so we can get our stuff figured out lol
A lot of trainers, even good ones, aren't familiar with the fact that many good breeders of toy dog breeds potty train their puppies to an indoor potty option. The (very good) trainers at my facility were amazed to find out that Kodi was litter box trained, and said they wished that their little dog (an 8 year old Papillon, so maybe breeders weren't doing it as often back then) had come trained that way!
I think it's up to you whether you want to keep that option or not. If you live in a part of the country where there is bad weather for part of the year, or if you plan to travel with your dog, I would STRONGLY suggest that you keep your puppy used to using an indoor potty. They all eventually start going outdoors too, so that's not an issue. It's REALLY hard to go in the other direction!
If you are sure you ONLY want your dog to go outside, then phase out the indoor potty as quickly as possible. But I've seen MANY people on this forum with dogs who only go outside post saying they wished they still had an indoor option for those crummy winter (or pouring rain!!!) days.
As far as sod is concerned I would think it would be expensive and get stinky FAST. I'm not a fan of pee pads unless they are in a Ugodog, because so many Havanese are such paper chewers, and some actually ingest it. Pee pads have a plastic backing, so my guess is that the dangers of ingesting them is even higher than "just" paper.
Other options besides the Ugodog are a litter box with wood pellets, or the Rascal Dog system, which has a grid like the Ugodog, but can also be used with a washable fake grass mat, or with litter. I didn't like the grass mat, because I couldn't get enough of the smell out for my tastes, although other people don't seem to find it objectionable. I do really like the size and shape of the Rascal Dog boxes (and their versatility), though, so I use them as litter boxes for Kodi.