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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

5 Potty Training Mistakes to Avoid

Potty training a puppy can be frustrating and challenging, but avoiding common mistakes can make the process smoother. Here are five common mistakes to avoid:

  1. Inconsistent Routine: Puppies thrive on consistency and routines. Inconsistent potty schedules can confuse them, hindering their ability to learn where and when to eliminate. Establish a steady routine for feeding, training, potty breaks, and walks to provide clear expectations and facilitate successful potty training. Additionally, keep notes of when and where your puppy goes potty to track patterns and adjust your routine accordingly.

  2. Not Supervising Closely Enough: Puppies require vigilant supervision, particularly in the initial phases of potty training. Failure to closely monitor them may result in missing crucial cues signaling their need to go outside. Stay attentive to your puppy's behavior, especially after meals, drinking, playtime, or waking up from naps. Additionally, monitor their water and food intake to anticipate when they may need to relieve themselves.

  3. Punishing Accidents: Accidents are bound to happen during potty training, yet punishing your puppy for them can be counterproductive. Such actions may instill fear and anxiety, potentially causing your puppy to become apprehensive about going potty in your presence or in designated areas. Instead of resorting to punishment, concentrate on employing positive reinforcement to reinforce desired behaviors and guide your puppy in learning where they should go potty.

  4. Not Using Proper Cleaning Products: Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and if accidents aren't cleaned up properly, they may continue to eliminate in the same spot due to the lingering scent. To effectively tackle this issue, utilize enzymatic cleaners like Nature's Miracle or Scout's Honor, specially formulated for pet messes. These products thoroughly clean accidents and eliminate lingering odors, discouraging your dog from revisiting the area as a potty spot.

  5. Rushing the Process: Potty training takes time and patience. Rushing the process or expecting your puppy to learn overnight can lead to frustration for both you and your dog. Be patient, consistent, and understanding of your dog's individual learning pace. Celebrate progress and be prepared for setbacks along the way.

In summary, effective potty training for your puppy requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. By avoiding common mistakes and implementing a structured routine, you can guide your puppy to develop good habits. Remember, punishment is counterproductive, and proper cleaning is essential to prevent repeat accidents. For personalized assistance with potty training your puppy, reach out to us at or text/call 301-231-1907. We're here to help you and your furry friend succeed!

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