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6 Common Mistakes New Dog Owners Make When House Training Their Puppies


It takes a considerable amount of time and energy to mold your pup into a balanced canine companion; no wonder some pet parents end up frustrated and confused when their dog becomes uncooperative. House training your puppy doesn’t have to be a grueling process though; it’s just a question of establishing a good routine built around your dog’s needs.

Here are 6 mistakes you should avoid when house training your dog:

Wrong feeding habits

The first thing you should be aware of is that your pup’s digestive system gets stimulated whenever she eats, leading her to urinate within 15 minutes of eating, and defecate within half an hour of having their meal. Consequently, practices like over-feeding, observing unsuitable diets (like salty food) and not feeding your pup at regular times only make potty training harder.

Punishing the puppy for its indoor accidents

Puppies generally lack good bladder control; they need to urinate every two or so hours. Not understanding their urinating patterns can make you frustrated and angry, leading you to punish them when they do their business inside the house. This can lead to a worse problem of them getting scared of toileting in front of you making it more difficult to potty train your pup. If your puppy has an accident in the house, don’t punish them; just try harder to watch them next time.

Leaving your puppy alone for too long

how to potty train a puppy

Leaving her alone for too long can cause separation anxiety which can only exacerbate a bad problem of urinating at the wrong time and place. It can also force your pup to go indoors, thereby setting a bad precedent that may be difficult to eradicate.

Not using the right cue words

You can unconsciously send the wrong messages to your dogs while interacting with them. If they can differentiate between the words ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’ and their cue to go to the toilet, then you’ll have a problem potty training them. Try using cue words like “go potty” or “get busy” while they’re relieving themselves to help them understand the appropriate time to do so.

Laziness on your part

Sometimes we’re simply too lazy to let out our pups during the night to relieve themselves. It’s quite unfair to expect your young puppy to make it through the night without answering the call of nature. We also fall prey to the habit of leaving the back door open for our furry friends to come and go as they please, which may be convenient, but is no way of toilet training your pup.

Expecting your pup to tell you when she needs to go  

It’s unrealistic to expect your dog will let you know when they need to go, as intelligent as they are. It is better to take them out at regular intervals to the garden or when out for a walk to help them learn to associate the outdoors with the act of relieving themselves. The best thing to do is find a good tough dog toy, like those on TufToys and head on down the park!


A tip for switching from the potty pad to the outdoors: make a point of moving the potty pad from its initial location by a small distance each day. Do this until you position it at the eventual location you’d like your puppy to relieve themselves in.

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