Now that you know what steps to take, there are some things you should also know not to do when house-training your puppy. Mistakes at this early stage can lead to quite a few setbacks and prevent your dog from learning.
Some mistakes can even cause harm to your puppy that might last for the rest of their life.
Here are a few don’ts when house-training your pup:
1. Don’t Reprimand Your Puppy If You Didn’t Catch Them In The Act
If you come home to find that your puppy had an accident, do not punish them. They will not connect their behavior with the punishment, so they won’t learn what they did wrong.
In fact, your puppy may think you have a problem with poop and pee in general, which could lead to them feeling anxious about going potty at all. Or they could develop neurotic behaviors like eating poop to hide it from you.
If you catch your puppy having an accident, startle them midstream with a quick shout or clap, and then hustle them outside to finish the job. Praise them when they’re done so they learn that eliminating outside isn’t just allowed, it’s generously rewarded.
2. Don’t Clean Up Accidents With The Wrong Cleaners
As mentioned before, your puppy will have accidents. Clean them up with a product that contains live bacteria or enzymes, and make sure the ingredients are dog safe.
Stay away from ammonia-based cleaners; they’ll smell like urine to your puppy, and they’ll want to pee again on the same spot.
Also, stay away from products that contain bleach or harsh chemicals. These can harm your puppy.
3. Don’t Use Punishment
There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to reprimanding your dog. Punishment is rarely effective, and it’s certainly not as valuable for learning as positive reinforcement.
Don’t push and rub your dog’s nose in the spot where they have an accident. This old wives’ tale doesn’t work.
Don’t yell at your dog. If they’re going potty where they shouldn’t, then only give a quick, sharp shout when you’ve caught them mid-act. The yell is meant to startle them into stopping, not to verbally punish them for the accident.
Don’t smack your dog with a newspaper or throw them outside. This should go without saying. Harsh punishments only harm your bond and do not work for teaching good behavior.