The Six Biggest Potty Training Mistakes Dog Owners Make

by | Breeding, Dog Training

6) Scolding or punishing their pup for peeing or pooping in the house.

Unless they are caught in the act, puppies will not understand why they are being punished. Even if they are caught in the act, unless they are over a year of age and fully understand potty training, punishing your puppy will just make them fearful and anxious. Researchers estimate that if your response—either positive or negative—does not occur within 3 seconds of a dog’s action, it will have no idea that the two are related. All punishment does is make dogs fearful of and stressed by their owner.

5) Taking their puppy out at fixed intervals, usually every hour.

This develops what we call a “one-hour bladder” and does not enable the puppy’s muscles to hold it longer.

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4) Not cleaning accidents up thoroughly so your pup cannot smell it.

Remember a puppy’s sense of smell is much better than ours and dogs are drawn to investigate pee and poop. So, if you do not clean up well, your puppy is likely to keep going in that same spot.


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3) Giving too much freedom to their puppy too soon.

As puppy owners, we are always in a hurry! We know it is better to have a potty-trained dog than to be in the midst of potty training a puppy. Be patient! Too much freedom too soon will set your puppy back for weeks or months.

2) Confining the puppy far away from the family so no one hears her ask to go outside.

Despite our best intentions, few of us will wake up to a whining puppy in the basement at 3 in the morning. So we sleep on and our poor puppy potties in its crate or confinement area.

And the #1 reason that puppies do not get fully potty trained is…

1) Crate

True laying quietly with bone1) Not using a crate or pen for potty training their puppy, thus giving the puppy the opportunity to easily move away from its immediate living area to pee or poop. Confining your puppy’s living space is the only way to succeed at potty training.

For more information about potty training your puppy, visit

Want to know more about raising healthy, stable puppies?

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  1. dogtraining

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was
    doing a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled
    upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending
    some time to talk about this subject here on your website.

    • Marcy Burke

      You are more than welcome! We have found that so many potty problems happen because people think like people, not dogs (imagine that!) Our potty e-course has been really successful because we teach people step-by-step how to train understand how to communicate with their pups, along with so many other things!
      Hope you enjoyed your lunch!

  2. June Summa

    I just adopted a “puppy” we think he is less than a year old. He has been worked with and is very smart. I am trying to figure out his breed and how to best teach him. He is excellent when visiting the rest home today. They want him to come again. I am trying to work with him with farm work. Cattle and horses. He has a german shepherd face and is blond with white spots on his chest. He is going to be “big”. I am willing to learn and want to do the best I can.

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