Stepped in poop for the 10th time? Slipped on a puddle you didn’t see?
Welcome to potty training! However, if the accidents are a little too regular it might be time to think about whether you’re making dog potty training mistakes that need correcting.
After all, training your dog means training you too. And we know you want to be the best dog pawrent ever!
Check out these 10 dog potty training mistakes that you may be making and reduce those accidents with positive behavioral techniques.
1. Not Having A Proper Potty Area
Your puppy will quickly start associating places with things—watch how fast they learn where the treat jar is! When this applies to going to potty, they’ll connect an area to doing their business because of the smells of pee, and poop.
Location is important, so make sure that you take them to the same spot each time.
Even the surface of the area where they do their business matters, which is why puppy pad training or a Porch Potty works so well. Puppies get to know what the ground feels like where they poop or pee and this helps them to form a habit.
Visual cues are important when it comes to choosing a designated potty spot for your dog.
With this in mind, it makes sense that you don’t allow other activities in the potty spot. Not letting your pup sleep where they’re encouraged to pee or poop or where they play ensures that you don't send mixed signals.
2. Not Praising Properly
Whenever your puppy does what you’re trying to teach them to do, make sure they know how much you appreciate it! Not showing your pup’s how proud you are of their learning abilities is one of the biggest dog potty training mistakes owners make.
Whether it’s getting your pup to the pad or Porch Potty on time or holding it until you can get them outside, make sure you reward them. Whether this is with loving words, a tiny treat, or both is up to you.
Remembering to praise for potty successes is just as important as not punishing for accidents.
3. Punishing Puppies for Unavoidable Accidents
Don’t make the dog potty training mistake of punishing your dog for accidents. They are exactly that—accidents. Poop happens and this is part of puppy training.
You want to create a positive association with doing their business and not create any sense of fear or uncertainty about it.
Whether it’s soiling their puppy pee pad or Pee Pee Panel around the edges, messing up your carpeting or wooden flooring, or having an accident in their crate, don’t punish dogs for pooping in the house. Clean it up and get on with your day.
4. Not Providing Easy Access To A Potty
When training, you’ll need to take your puppy to their potty around once every two hours, especially at first.
Make sure access to their potty is quick and easy. Puppies can’t hold their bladders for long so they won’t cross their legs waiting while you get them to the right spot.
5. Waiting Too Long Between Potty Breaks
The first rule of how to potty train a puppy on pads is keeping to a strict schedule. You can’t explain to them in words when and where they can pee or poop so your actions show them what you want them to do.
Keeping potty breaks regular will pay off for both of you. Plus, you won’t have to spend so much time cleaning up stinky areas.
6. Letting Waste Stand
Your puppy will keep using an area where it can smell traces of pee and poop, something that will be an issue if he or she has chosen your bathroom, washing hamper, kitchen floor, passageway, or bed!
Letting a soiled puppy pad sit is actually counterproductive to house training your dog.
Clean up any accidents the moment you spot them to avoid them recurring where you don’t want them, especially when crate training.
If your puppy soils its crate, the chances are, you’ve left them in it for too long. You’ll have to clean it extra carefully to get rid of all traces to try and avoid a repeat.
Leaving pee and poop to stand on training pads for dogs or anywhere else doesn’t only cause confusion and undesirable smells. It also encourages the breeding of bacteria and disease-bearing parasites, which is exactly what you don’t want.
7. Not Paying Attention
The best gift you can give your dog or puppy is your time and attention. Doing this will also be a huge help when potty training. Animals may not be able to speak but they know how to communicate what they need. You’ll be able to tell when your puppy needs to pee or poop by watching for certain signs.
Signs your puppy needs to go can include barking and scratching at the door, circling, restlessness, squatting, and starting to sniff around. When you see the signs, take your puppy to their Potty immediately.
8. Making the Bathroom Area Hard to Find
As your dog gets used to its new home, it’ll start getting to know the environment. The space where they eat or sleep will be clearly outlined in their minds. The same goes for their bathroom breaks.
Make sure your dog's potty place is easy and quick to access.
Don’t move the pad or grass patch around too much when you’re teaching them how to use it to avoid confusion.
If you want to eventually move the bathroom process outside, you can start shifting the puppy pad a few inches closer outside over time. Before that, keep it in the same place to make it easier for them to associate the behavior you want with the area you want it in.
9. Not Having A Training Timeline
Establish a timeline for teaching your new dog not to mess in their home. Then stick to it. If you don’t have a clear timeline of when you do what, your puppy will be confused and unsure of what they are meant to do. That’s how poop happens.
Want to train your dog quickly? Follow this 7 Day Potty Training Schedule.
10. Not Using Your Words
It’s a great idea to come up with a few phrases for when you want your dog to potty. This will speed up the process and help them to differentiate between a walk that’s for fun and one in the middle of the night to avoid an accident!
Using consistent commands for peeing and pooping will help your dog associate those words with their bodily function and make potty breaks go faster. You'll be glad for it on cold, rainy days when you don't want to be outside for long.
Make Dog Potty Training Mistakes Part Of The Past
If you avoid these dog potty training mistakes, you should find that training your puppy gets a lot easier. However, if your progress isn’t going well, take your pup to the vet. Your new friend may have a urinary tract infection or another similar puppy ailment that’s causing issues.
If you rule out medical issues and you're still having problems then you may need to go back to basics and start training all over again. Time, consistency, and patience will get you there!
For more information on potty training your puppy, check out these articles: