Mistakes To Avoid In Potty Training

mistakes to avoid in potty training

mistakes to avoid in potty training – The puppy is not potty trained overnight because he must first build the musculature of his sphincters.

As for adult dogs, they can become unclean as a result of behavioral disorders or illness. To facilitate toilet training, it is essential to accompany the animal repeatedly and with the right gestures. So, in this article let’s know mistakes to avoid in potty training.

Here’s a breakdown of the key takeaways, emphasizing the importance of patience and consistency.

Mistakes to Avoid in Potty Training

  • Rushing the Process: Puppies, especially, need time to learn bladder control and where to go. Be patient!
  • Inconsistent Schedule: Taking your dog out frequently and at the same times each day builds good habits.
  • Not Supervising Closely: Preventing accidents is key. Watch for those “potty cues” (sniffing, circling, whining) so you can get them outside in time.
  • Punishment: Reprimands after the fact only create fear and mistrust, hindering the learning process.
  • Using Cleaning Products with Ammonia: These can actually attract your dog back to that spot, thinking it’s a designated potty area.
  • Giving Up: Potty training takes time! Stay consistent and positive, and your dog will get there.

Key Takeaways

  • Patience is a Virtue: Every dog learns at their own pace. Don’t get discouraged by setbacks, keep at it!
  • Consistency is Everything: Regular feedings, walks, and potty breaks help your dog understand what’s expected.
  • Positive Reinforcement Rules: Heaping on praise and treats when your dog goes in the right place makes them want to do it again.
  • Accidents are Normal: Clean them up calmly with an enzymatic cleaner. Don’t dwell on mistakes, focus on successes.
  • Seek Help if Needed: If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate to consult a professional trainer or your veterinarian.

Additional Tips to Remember:

  • Start Early: The sooner you start potty training, the better the chances of success.
  • Crate Training Can Help: Crates tap into a dog’s natural instinct not to soil their sleeping area. (Note: Crates should never be used for punishment).
  • Know Your Dog’s Signals: Learn to recognize when your dog needs to go to avoid accidents inside.

Remember: A well-potty-trained dog makes for a happier pet and a happier you!

Common Potty Training Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Not taking your dog out frequently enough. Puppies need to go potty every few hours, so it’s important totake them out regularly, even if they don’t seem to need to go.
  • Not choosing a consistent potty spot. Dogs are creatures of habit, so it’s helpful to choose a specific spot inyour yard where you want your dog to go potty and take them to that spot every time.
  • Not using positive reinforcement. Rewarding your dog with treats or praise when they go potty in the right spotwill help them to learn what you want them to do.
  • Punishing your dog for accidents. Punishment will only make your dog afraid to go potty in front of you, whichwill make potty training even more difficult.
  • Giving up too soon. Potty training takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if your dog has accidents, justkeep at it and eventually they will learn.

Why Is A Dog Messy?

A dog is considered unclean when it does its business inside the house when it is allowed to do so outside regularly. In puppies, we cannot speak of uncleanliness because they must first strengthen their sphincters.

If the disorder persists or returns (in an adult), questions will need to be asked. Understanding the cause is indeed essential to put an end to the situation. Some possible explanations for uncleanliness in dogs:

A Pathology:

It is important to make sure your pet does not have an illness such as diabetes, a urinary tract infection, or bladder stones. If his health deteriorates or he appears apathetic, consult the veterinarian.

Do the same if your dog becomes incontinent with age because the professional will be able to provide an appropriate response;

Emotional Disorders:

Hypersensitivity, a state of stress (in your absence for example), fear (noise), excitement, or even depression can generate an uncontrolled reaction in the dog. Here again, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary. Note that the animal can also urinate in the house to mark its territory.

Bad Learning:

For a dog, being clean simply means not soiling the place where he sleeps. This will involve teaching him your concept of cleanliness which differs from his. An animal adopted from a shelter can therefore suffer from uncleanliness if it has lived its entire life in an outdoor enclosure.

To facilitate his gentle education, five behaviors should be avoided:

Not Taking Your Dog Out Regularly:

A golden rule for potty training your dog is to take him out as often as possible. Ideally, every two hours for a puppy who does not yet know how to restrain himself and four times for an adult. You will have to operate strategically because certain times are more favorable than others to take him to do his business:

  • After his nap;
  • Fifteen minutes after his meals;
  • After moments of play or excitement;
  • When you return from work.

Remember to congratulate him and avoid bringing him in immediately after he has relieved himself because your dog risks associating his needs with the end of the walk.

Use a Potty Mat:

It is not recommended to use a “cleaning mat” such as litter, mop or other newspapers. If the method seems effective at first, it will prolong the time it takes to potty train because the puppy does not exercise his sphincter muscles and therefore does not learn to restrain himself. These mats will sow confusion by letting the animal believe that it can relieve itself inside the house. However, the only authorized place must always remain outside.

Punish the Dog:

As in all learning, certain actions should be avoided at the risk of making the situation worse. Among these: scolding your pet without having caught it in the act.

The dog has a short-term memory and will not understand why someone is arguing with him for peeing that he did an hour ago.

When you catch him urinating, tell him firmly “no” and take him outside to continue pooping. Otherwise, don’t say anything. In the same spirit, do not put the nose in his urine or excrement because this reaction risks generating stress which will be counterproductive.

Clean Up The Dog’s Needs In Front Of Him:

Even if your puppy tries hard, accidents can still happen. In this case, do not clean up his mess in his presence because he may misunderstand your intentions: seeing you squatting down and taking care of his little affairs may encourage him to want to play and start again.

If there is a pee (or more), calmly put your dog in the garden or another room and bring him back when everything is clean. Tip: as the smell of bleach tends to encourage the marking of dogs, choose white vinegar mixed with water or baking soda.

Losing Your Calm:

As a general rule, your pooch should be potty trained no later than 8 months of age. In the meantime, remember that the puppy has not yet mastered his muscles and does not have access to the toilet at will. Result: he will not always be able to repress his urge to urinate or poop.

With an adult, you will have to proceed in the same way as with a puppy, being even more patient because his toilet training will take longer. In all cases, when faced with small accidents that may occur, you must always adopt the right attitude:

  • As soon as the animal arrives home, set aside time, ideally a few days off, to support it in its education. If this is not possible, free up as much time as your obligations allow because you will thus reduce the learning time;
  • Pay attention to your dog’s behavior to recognize the signals: a dog that wants to do its business will start to become agitated: looking around, going in circles, sniffing in corners looking for the ideal spot. ;
  • Remember to always praise him when he does his business outside. Reward him with caresses, encouragement, and even treats. Next time, he will be happy to meet your expectations by relieving himself in the right place.

When To Start Potty Training Your Puppy?

Experienced breeders do not recommend walking small puppies outside for the first two months of life. Vaccination is carried out during this period.

Until all the necessary vaccinations have been completed, it is better to keep him at home to eliminate the risk of infection for a puppy that does not yet have sufficient immune protection.

Toilet training should begin from the first day your pet arrives in the house. The owner needs to allocate a separate place in the toilet, where there will be a special tray with filler.

Ready-made wood compositions can be used as filler. At first, small puppies can be covered with a disposable absorbent diaper or newspaper.

Basic Rules For Potty Training A Puppy:

If you train a dog to go to the toilet in a special tray at home, this will eliminate the need to walk it 3 times a day, which will significantly save the owner’s time. It will also be possible to refuse to walk the animal in too cold and inclement weather.

But in any case, an older dog needs to be taught to use the toilet outside during walks. You can begin such training at 3–4 months, after completing a course of compulsory vaccination. We will give some useful tips that will help your pet develop this useful skill very shortly.

Walk On Time:

Walk your dog on a schedule, at least three times a day: in the morning immediately after waking up, in the afternoon, and in the evening, before resting at night. Determine a convenient time for walks; the animal will gradually get used to the routine.

Encourage And Praise:

At first, after each trip to the toilet outside, praise and reward your dog with his favorite treat. This will give her confidence that she is doing the right thing and that her owner approves of her actions.

Try To Understand When You Need The Toilet:

Any tamed animal can show by its behavior that it needs to go to the toilet. As a rule, the dog signals its desire by whining, can spin in a circle, and pull the owner towards the front door. Do not ignore these requests, immediately take your pet outside or provide the opportunity to go to the litter box at home.

Be Patient:

Be patient when toilet training your pet. Dogs are very smart animals and quickly learn useful skills.

“Understanding the nuances of effective training techniques is essential for any learning process, be it for humans or animals. In the realm of pet care, Dog training particularly vital as it not only shapes obedient behaviour but also fosters a bond between the pet and its owner. Programs like those offered at Brain Training for Dogs provide in-depth insights and practical approaches to dog training. Their methodologies emphasize mental stimulation that goes beyond the basics, ensuring a well-trained and mentally agile pet.”

How To Toilet Train A Puppy:

  • For the first time, remove carpets, rugs, and rugs, and cover upholstered furniture.
  • Buy several trays and place them around your apartment. Lay out the diapers on the floor. Gradually, you will notice which litter trays your puppy goes to more often. Over time, the extra ones can be removed, leaving one or two.
  • If your baby chews on bedding or drags it around the house, secure it to the floor with tape or masking tape.
  • If necessary, you can limit the pet’s space, for example, by leaving it in a separate room.
  • Puppies most often go to the toilet immediately after eating. After the meal, put him in the diaper.
  • Keep the litter box clean, but remember to leave your puppy’s scent on it. It is better to put a diaper in it, after wetting its edge with urine.
  • After each successful “hike”, praise your pet – pet it and treat it with a treat.
  • Do not scold your pet if he accidentally makes a mistake – this can cause stress and aversion to the litter box.
  • If necessary, use special toilet training products for dogs.

In some cases, it is necessary to litter train an adult small-breed dog. This is quite possible, but it will take a long time. The advantage is that an older pet will not relieve itself too often; it can tolerate it.

Useful Tips For Potty Training:

The most important advice from experienced breeders concerns the age of the pet that is planned to be trained to a diaper or tray. So, the first lessons should be carried out from the first day the puppy appears in the house. Usually this is 1.5-2 months of age.

The older the dog gets, the more difficult it is to accustom him to a certain place.

If the owner notices that the new pet is urinating in the bathroom, and the owner does not like it for hygienic reasons, then it is necessary to close the doors to the bathroom so that the dog cannot get in again. When picking up a puppy from a breeder, ask the seller what type of litter box the puppy used in his home. First, equip your baby with a familiar type of toilet.

Another good tip from the experts: keep a diary of your dog’s toilet visits. Write down there what time the animal prefers to urinate and defecate. In addition, feed your pet according to one regimen.

These methods will allow you to always know at what time the puppy wants to go to the toilet and take him to the diaper on time.

It’s also worth knowing that puppies usually prefer to relieve themselves after waking up and 10-20 minutes after eating; bowel movements often occur after eating or after active play.

You can understand that a dog wants to go to the toilet by its behavior. The following signs indicate that the puppy wants to relieve himself:

Mistakes To Avoid In Potty Training:

Cleanliness is a truly human notion. As a general rule, this notion assigns precise rules intended to respect the criteria of cleanliness.

For the dog, “being clean” just means “not being under him”, in his “sleeping place”, “where he eats and drinks”… As we saw in the previous sheet, training the dog to cleanliness consists of learning a set of tricks that will condition it to respect the basic rules of hygiene, that is to say, evacuate his droppings (urine and stools) outside the home, and if possible, in the place we have chosen for him.

This education therefore boils down to teaching the dog to do its natural needs in the right designated place at home and outside at the right time during the walk.

At first glance, this may seem easy and within everyone’s reach. However, we must be careful not to do it haphazardly, in an anarchic manner, and without a precise method already experienced or according to certain prejudices proven to be false, because this would risk not only giving no results but even worse, putting the dog in danger.

To better guide and support you in this task which requires patience and perseverance, we will list below the most important mistakes to avoid during the toilet training phase for your dog.

Feed The Dog At Regular Times:

You will first have to start teaching the dog to feed at fixed times. By observing and monitoring your dog’s daily life, you will end up knowing the times that suit him the most.

It is of course obvious that if you choose to feed your dog at set times, you will be helping him to do his business at specific times that you will end up recording yourself.

Do Not Use Newspapers Or Mattress Pads:

Getting your dog used to doing his “errands” on newspapers spread out on the ground (newspaper method) is a fatal error and a real waste of time since, due to lack of consistency, the puppy will have difficulty discerning the roles of the newspaper. , litter, and outdoors.

Thus, this method will be assimilated in the subconscious of the anima as permission to relieve oneself only at home.

This method is not recommended because even though it may seem practical, easy, and hygienic at first, it nevertheless considerably slows down and biases toilet training.

If you want to teach the puppy to acquire cleanliness and good integration into the family, you will need to teach him to recognize the two places reserved for this purpose, namely a corner at home and the space chosen outside.

Never Hit Or Shout Your Dog:

We have all heard one day that to get rid of this bad habit of the puppy doing its business anywhere in the house, it is recommended to punish it by taking it by the scruff of the neck and putting the muzzle in these places. excrement: This is a monumental mistake.

Never put a puppy’s nose in its droppings because this practice is disgusting and demeaning, especially since the animal will not understand your reaction at all. You should never punish or even scold your dog when he has done his business on the floor.

When your puppy pees or poops on the floor of your house, you have the right to be angry and disappointed, it is legitimate and humane, but you should under no circumstances make your pet understand or feel it by physically correcting him.

Not only is this chosen technique useless but it can do more harm than good, since it will destroy, on the one hand, the bond of trust established between the two of you and install a fear that can considerably slow down the process of learning, on the other hand.

To potty train your puppy, the only strength is to succeed in establishing a relationship of trust between you and the animal.

After The Accident, Take Them To Their Toilet Area:

After an accident, take your puppy and take him to his toilet area, making him understand in a punitive manner that he must go free there. Sensitive to the intonations of the voice, the puppy will understand his stupidity and the message conveyed to him by his master.

Organize Walks At Set Times Of The Day:

Taking your dog out several times a day to potty train is almost useless. On the other hand, if you want to have a clean puppy quickly, it is advisable to take him out regularly and at set times.

Cleaning Up Excrement In Front Of Your Dog:

Another error, often made by many dog trainers and reproduced by the owner, often through ignorance or sometimes inadvertence, is to think that you should never clean up in front of your puppy for fear that he will repeat these accidents to attract the attention of his master. This has now been proven to be a completely false allegation and remains an old myth that has been maintained for too long.

On the other hand, when you clean up in front of your puppy, just be careful that the mop that is moving is not perceived by your puppy as an invitation to play. If your puppy insistsently continues to react to this stimulation, then, in this case, put it in a secure room and clean it quietly.

Choose A Suitable Cleaner:

To clean the puppy’s natural waste, it is especially strongly recommended not to use an ammonia-based cleaner (detergent) or bleach, as this encourages the animal to go to this area again to eliminate, knowing that the ammonia contained in this cleaning product is strongly assimilated to the ammonia that makes up its urine. The ideal would be to choose specialized products reserved for this purpose.

Avoid Thoughtless Nastiness:

Unscrupulously throwing an object in the direction of the puppy to force him to stop relieving himself on the floor of the house is a traumatic and devastating method because your puppy will understand that it is the gesture itself that is punished and not the place where this gesture is performed.

The puppy will then begin to want to hide his feces in several possible ways, thinking that they are the source of the reprimand inflicted by his owner. Worse still, he will try to hold back out of fear, which can cause serious health problems.

Avoid Confining It:

A containment zone inside the home is often used by many homeowners. You must establish a living area for your puppy and preferably confined to prevent him from doing his business in another area of the house, this is the key to successful training.

Your Authority Remains Intact:

Considering puppy accidents as a lack of authority on your part is an error of judgment. Believing this misconception is like correcting a human baby who has just defecated in his diaper because he doesn’t respect you.


When potty training your puppy, remember that he is a complete novice. It’s not the same with an adult dog, the procedure is a little different, your dog may have picked up bad habits when he was a puppy, and this will need to be corrected.

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Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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