Parenting a puppy? A huge responsibility! It’s just like parenting a toddler, who is full of energy and doesn’t know the difference between good and bad. Just like the mistakes we make while parenting a toddler, we make mistakes while training the puppies.
The same is the case with potty training, no matter how many articles you have read, you may still make some mistakes while training them.
You should stop making these mistakes with you’re training, so your puppy could stop making mistakes while following your guidelines.
Top puppy potty training mistakes that most of the dog owners make:
We have listed down some of the most common mistakes dog owners make while potty training their puppies, so you could avoid them.
1- Not Using Crates
You don’t want to put your puppy in a crate because it’s mean? If this is you, let me tell you that it is not at all wrong. Instead, it’s good.
Dogs are “Den Animals”.
Do you know what Den means?
“A wild animal’s home that is hidden”
(Dogs need their own shelter that is just enough for them to sit, stand and turn inside and feel secure. They need a home within a home, so they can have some alone time especially when they are tired or stressed out.) Ref
So keeping them away from the crate is actually MEAN.
How does crate training help with potty training?
Den Animals never make their dens messy. By training them to live in the crate you can leave them there while you are busy and can’t watch them prevent any accident.
It is their natural instinct, they won’t relieve themselves and lay down at the same place.
It will help the puppy to learn to control his urge.
- Puppy peeing in the crate for attention – What to do?
- Why is my puppy peeing in his crate at night?
- Puppy goes into crate to pee – what can you do?
2- Using Potty Pads
It seems easier but it isn’t. Potty pads are not worth it.
We have 2 reasons:
- Potty pads are almost like rugs or carpets. A puppy won’t understand the difference easily. They may have more accidents on such things that are soft and fluffy.
They might understand the difference in a few days but cleaning carpet and rugs are not easy.
Even after you put lots of effort into cleaning it, there might still be some smell left and puppies are capable of smelling the urine and they will think that this is the place to do the deed so they may stick to that place.
- What you will do when you are outside and you don’t have your potty pad. Ohh sorry! I mean your puppy’s potty pad?
So we recommend training your dog to go outside but there is another good option, which is DOG GRASS PAD. It looks and feels like grass so your puppy will be trained to go potty on grass instead of soft things like carpet and it’ll be easier for you when you go outside.
However, sometimes use of potty pads becomes inevitable. Like; when you live in an apartment on the 7th floor, how will you take your puppy outside every few hours? And when the weather is extreme, and the doors are covered with snow. Who will take him to the potty?
In such situations, potty training a puppy with pads becomes the only option.
3- Not getting the puppy from the right place
From where you’ve got the puppy is important.
If you’ve got him from a quality dog breeder, it’s very likely that he has been taught good habits from the very first day.
Usually, dog breeders keep a small number of puppies and keep them at their home and they spend more time with well-mannered and well-trained dogs. So, it will be easier to potty train them as they were already being trained.
And if you’ve got the puppy from any pet store, online shop, or dog mill, you are most likely to get a dirty guy.
These poor little guys live with tons of other animals and they have a small crate to live in where they are packed with their mummy and other siblings.
Because of no availability of potty spots, they eventually hurt their den instincts and start to relieve themselves near to where they go to sleep. Bad!
So training these little guys will be a challenge and they will take much longer to be trained.
4- Letting Him Roam Around The House Before Completing The Training
Your new puppy has just entered the home and you are so excited to introduce him to his new shelter. Don’t make this mistake.
Once he starts roaming around the home, you won’t be able to stop him.
Wait for a little more! Introduce him to the whole house once he is fully potty trained.
Make sure that you introduce him to a specific area of your home, ideally a crate until he knows how to behave.
5- Not using a similar command every time
At first, using a similar command every time is a good idea, and using direct words like “go potty” is even better.
Later on, when he will be fully trained, you can use any words. But for now, using the same command will make them clear that what they are expected to do at the time of urge.
6- Not asking for help
You should definitely seek some help. You can ask any other family member who has some sort of connection with the puppy, to visit sometimes to help you out so you could have some free hours.
Watching a puppy 24/7 is exhausting and you might end up losing your temperament.
So having a helping hand with you is great for you as well as for the pupp.
If you have any person around who has some experience of potty training a puppy, that would be awesome.
7- Not getting prepared
Before starting to potty train, it’s a good idea to get prepared.
Preparation means having all the supplies in hand so you don’t have to run with every accident. Preparing some meals and freezing them before you start is also a great idea as the first week or so might be very exhausting for you.
Make sure that you have enough groceries for at least a week and if you can do it for a month, that’s even better. You’ll have to spend more time with the pupp during this time so it’ll help you out.
If you have any guests coming over and you have to go to any event, it’s better to finish your tasks before you start training your puppy.
8- Not sticking to one door to go outside
Your puppy is not familiar with the whole house, so NOT choosing a specific spot and a specific way to that spot might be a good mistake.
Choose one door to the potty spot and show him the same way every time. If you will not take care of this thing and will make your puppy pass through any door of the house, even if leads to the same spot, he might not understand.
When he will start to follow his urge, he might pass through any door of the house and do the deed, Even if it is your bedroom’s door. Yuck!
So sticking to one door is a great idea, until your puppy is fully potty trained and completely familiar with the house.
9- Not bonding first
Some people start to potty train from the very first day the puppy is home. It’s a good practice but only for preventing some accidents and encouraging good habits.
But bonding with the puppy should be the first priority. So things are easier for you and your puppy.
When he will have a connection with you, he is more likely to follow your command and the process is expected to be smoother as compared to if you won’t bond first and start to potty train.
10- Not being consistent
You’ll have to be consistent with the potty spot, the way to potty spot, and with the routine.
Whatever method you chose to train your puppy, make sure to stick with it.
Most dog owners make this mistake, they start the process with so much excitement and set the routine for the first few days but with time they start to get fed up and stop being consistent.
11- Setting wrong expectations
“He understands my commands, I will show him the right path and he’s gonna understand and follow within no time.” Wrong!
Puppies are animals, they don’t naturally understand that why they are not supposed to relieve themselves anywhere in the house.
Setting the right expectations from the pupp is crucial. He is an animal, he is so young and he is new to this potty training thing. You’ll have to keep these things in mind before you start. It will help you keep your patience level up and you don’t lose your temper and start to yell at your little animal.
12- Not paying attention to cues
It is said that when you are potty training your puppy, you should take them to the potty spot at certain times of the day like after every meal, immediately after waking up, and so on. You must have already been aware of these times.
Great practice but it is also important to understand the cues that your puppy needs to go. Just like toddlers, every puppy has some specific signs when they feel the urge.
You’ll have to keep a spy eye on the pupp and understand what he does before relieving himself.
13- Punishing or yelling
It’s hard and it’s totally justified to lose your temper. But it’s not good for the training and your bonding with the puppy.
He won’t understand that why you are raising your voice on that poor little thing, instead he might get confused and perform worse at his training.
14- Not letting him meet other dogs
Last but not least, If you are thinking that you will take him to the other dogs in the family once he will be potty trained, it’s time to rethink.
Just like, kids learn faster when they meet other kids, similarly, you can expect your puppy to learn faster if he sees other dogs going to a potty spot when they need to go.
He will learn from them and you should take every opportunity to meet them to other potty-trained dogs.
Do not take him to other dogs, instead invite others.
15- Feeding them throughout the day
If you are placing their meals in front of their eyes and they are eating anytime they want. This is a huge mistake.
Puppies are potty machines, so feed them on time. Usually 2-3 times a day.
And take them to the potty 5 – 30 minutes after they eat.
16- Not using enzymatic cleaners
Always use enzymatic cleaners to clean the accidents. Because if you’ll use any other cleaner, the urine smell will remain there. And the puppy will think that this is the place to potty and he might stick to that place.
Even if you can’t smell the urine, puppies can. So make sure to always use enzymatic cleaners.
So, make sure to avoid all these mistakes if you really want the process to be smoother and shorter.
If you want to mention any mistake that is commonly made by puppy owners, make sure to comment below.
Have a question to ask? Comment below.