Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

Avoid These Puppy Potty Training Mistakes At All Costs

Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting time, but it also comes with a fair share of challenges, including potty training.

Avoiding the most common puppy potty training mistakes will save you time and frustration, making the process smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Keep reading to learn about the top 7 puppy potty training mistakes and how to correct them.

Top 7 Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

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Inconsistency in Training

One of the most common mistakes is being inconsistent with your training.

Puppies thrive on consistency, and sticking to a regular training routine helps them understand what’s expected of them.

If you’re always changing the rules or not sticking to a schedule, it’ll be challenging for your puppy to learn where they’re supposed to do their business.

Punishing Accidents

We all make mistakes, and puppies are no exception.

If your puppy has an accident, punishing them is counterproductive.

It can create fear and anxiety, which can lead to more accidents in the long run. Instead, calmly clean up the mess and move on.

Ignoring the Signs

Puppies will often show signs that they need to go potty, such as sniffing, circling, or whining.

Ignoring these signals is a big mistake, as it can lead to accidents and slow down the training process.

Always be on the lookout for these cues and take your puppy outside immediately when you see them.

Not Establishing a Routine

Establishing a regular potty routine is essential for successful training.

Puppies need to go potty after waking up, eating, drinking, and playing.

Having a consistent schedule helps them understand when it’s time to go outside and do their business.

Relying Solely on Pee Pads

While pee pads can be helpful in the initial stages of potty training, relying solely on them can cause confusion for your puppy.

They might not understand the difference between going on the pad and going on other similar surfaces, like your carpet or rug.

It’s essential to gradually transition your puppy from using pee pads to going outside.

Inadequate Supervision

Supervision is critical during potty training.

Leaving your puppy unsupervised for long periods can lead to accidents and slow down their progress.

Always keep an eye on your puppy, especially during the first few weeks of training.

Lack of Praise and Reward

Puppies respond well to positive reinforcement.

Forgetting to praise and reward your puppy when they go potty in the correct spot can hinder their progress.

Always make sure to celebrate their success with verbal praise, affection, or a treat.

How to Correct These Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

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Consistency and Patience

Being consistent in your training approach is crucial.

Stick to a schedule and use the same commands every time you take your puppy outside.

Also, remember that potty training takes time. Be patient with your puppy and understand that accidents will happen. It’s all part of the learning process.

Positive Reinforcement

Instead of punishing your puppy for accidents, focus on rewarding them for going potty in the right place.

Use positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, or toys, to encourage good behavior.

This will help them associate going potty outside with positive outcomes.

Paying Attention to Your Puppy’s Behavior

Learn to recognize the signs that your puppy needs to go potty, and respond promptly when you see them.

This will help prevent accidents and reinforce the idea that they should eliminate outside.

Develop a Routine

Create a consistent potty routine for your puppy, taking them out first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime.

This will help them understand when it’s time to go outside and make the training process more manageable.

Gradually Remove Pee Pads

If you’re using pee pads, start gradually transitioning your puppy to go outside.

Slowly move the pad closer to the door, and eventually, place it outside.

This will help them understand that going potty outside is the ultimate goal.

Key Findings

Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

Potty training your puppy can be a challenging yet rewarding experience.

By avoiding these common errors and implementing the suggested corrections, you’ll set your puppy up for success and make the process smoother for both of you.

Remember, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take to potty train a puppy? Potty training can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the puppy’s age, breed, and individual personality.
  2. Should I crate train my puppy to help with potty training? Crate training can be beneficial for potty training, as most dogs naturally avoid eliminating in their sleeping area. Just ensure the crate is the appropriate size and that your puppy doesn’t spend too much time in it.
  3. Can I use a dog door during potty training? A dog door can be helpful, but it’s essential to supervise your puppy and ensure they’re using the door correctly. It’s also important to maintain a consistent routine and provide positive reinforcement.
  4. What should I do if my puppy has an accident? If your puppy has an accident, calmly clean up the mess and move on. Don’t punish them, as this can create fear and anxiety.
  5. At what age should I start potty training my puppy? Potty training should begin as soon as you bring your puppy home, which is usually around 8 weeks of age.


  • Lindsay, S. R. (2000). Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Volume 1: Adaptation and Learning. Iowa State University Press. Link
  • Yin, S. (2007). Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy off Right. CattleDog Publishing. Link
  • Overall, K. L. (2013). Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats. Elsevier Health Sciences. Link

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