My biggest fear when getting our puppy was if I would have the patience to potty train a dog. We got a smaller bread dog, Yorkie Bichon mix, and there are many stories out there that it’s harder to house train a small dog as opposed to a larger breed dog. Guess what, IT’S TRUE! The little guy’s bladder could not hold more then a shot glass of water at any one time. My wife and I probably made every mistake in the book. The first thing we had to admit was that we had no idea what we were doing and then I went out and did a ton of research and asked dog experts all over the area how to properly potty train a puppy?
There are ton’s of articles out there that tell you all the things you need to do to make sure your little doggy gets house broken. I don’t know about you, but I learn better from people’s mistakes as opposed to someone’s successes. That’s why in this article I wanted to list the 5 biggest mistakes made when you potty train a dog.
I’ve seen my parents do this, my friends parents do this and even did it myself. The logic is that if you show the dog what he did wrong that they’ll understand. That couldn’t be further from the truth and you only serve to confuse them. I don’t know about you, but every dog I’ve been around actually likes to eat poop! Your dog might actually like having you shove their nose in it.
Getting serious again, dogs have a short attention span and respond so much better to praise and love then yelling and forcefulness. This leads me into the next mistake.
Mistake #2: Punishing Your Dog
Dogs, especially puppies, have no idea that they are not suppose to go to the bathroom inside the house. It’s only natural for us to get mad and want to yell, but in all honesty it really does no good at all and only creates tension and fear in your pooch. If you continue to yell at your dog while catching him in the act you’ll cause your dog to be afraid to go to the bathroom in front of you inside or outside of the house. Here is what you should do…If you notice that your puppy is about to go, quickly make your “no” noise and then scoop him up and bring your puppy outside.
Mistake #3: Inconsistency
Puppies learn best in a consistent environment. If you try and potty train a dog by taking him out when you have time, or when it’s not raining or snowing outside this will only serve to confuse the dog. They will never know when a good time to re-leave themselves is. Take the other approach for example, when you wake up in the morning you take your god outside. After your puppy eats he goes outside. When you get home from work it’s time to go outside and lastly before you go to bed. It’s important, especially early on, to time these events to the hour. So at 8am; 12pm; 5pm; 10pm; you are taking your dog outside no matter what.
Mistake #4: Not Rewarding Your Puppy
As I said earlier, dogs respond best to praise, love and rewards. Be ready with a treat after the deed is done and even play with your cute little puppy to show him how excited you are that he just went to the bathroom outside. Why does this work so well? If your puppy were to go to the bathroom inside the house, there would be no treat, no playing and no excitement. Dogs want to please and they will quickly associate going to the bathroom outside is a good thing and brings rewards, love and praise.
Mistake #5: Training For Too Long
One last mistake is trying to train your dog in one outing. Like little kids, puppies have very short attention spans and will quickly lose interest in the potty training exercise. Even if you have food, your dog will get full or tired of what you have and start ignoring you. This will only lead you to get frustrated and start yelling and repeating yourself. The best thing with any kind of dog training is being consistent, keeping the training to around 5 to 10 minutes and if your dog isn’t paying attention to you, stop and try again later.
It’s just important to know what not to do as it is what to do. The reason for this is that even if you think you are doing everything write, you may slip in some improper ways to potty train a dog. Many slip ups later in a dogs life can be directly traced back to bad training techniques when they were puppies. A happy, well trained dog will greatly improve everyone’s demeanor and create a loving relationship with your dog, not one where you are cursing the thought of coming home to a mess on your carpet.
Happy Dog Training!