3 Dog Housetraining Mistakes New Owners Make
If you are a new dog owner, read some of the common mistakes that you can avoid as you start your dog housetraining.
Mistake #1: Not Using a Crate
Many new dog owners are excited to have a new addition in the home and want to make their new puppy comfortable by letting him sleep in a cute dog bed.
By nature, dogs and puppies do not want to soil the area they’ll be sleeping. When you don’t use a crate, the puppy will hop off the bed and find an alternative in the home when nature calls. Dog crate training will help ensure a puppy is not wandering around and making messes while you’re out or asleep. When you arrive home, the puppy can be let outside in an appropriate area in order to relieve himself.
Mistake #2: Illogical Consequences
A dog owner’s first reaction to seeing a dog’s mess on the carpet may be to begin yelling at the dog for causing another clean-up.
Yelling or disciplining a dog after it has made a mess on the floor will just make a dog confused. He has no idea why his owner is upset; it just had to “go”. Illogical consequences for a dog’s lack of training or understanding will just instill fear in him and will not teach the correct thing to do.
Instead, catch the dog when he’s using your floor as a restroom. Then you can sternly say, “No,” and take the dog outside to finish going to the bathroom. After the dog is done going potty, praise the pooch. Doing this will make more sense to a dog: he is scolded while doing something wrong, is given an alternative and is then praised after doing the right thing. Positive reinforcement goes a long way, especially when housetraining an older dog.
Mistake #3: Not Sticking to a Schedule
Dogs, like children, strive for routines and stability. A dog should not only be fed at the same time every day, but should also be let outside to relieve herself at the same time every day. When a puppy or older dog knows there is a time and place to go to the bathroom, she will be able to control her bladder better.
Training experts advise dog owners to take their dog outside to go to the bathroom in the morning, about half an hour after every meal, after any naps, after being let out of the crate and before bed. When the dog is taken outside, you should say a command that lets the dog know this is an okay spot to use. Keep in mind: puppies have tiny bladders and less control over them than older dogs. Therefore, puppies may need to have more potty breaks worked into their routine.
When housetraining a puppy—or even an older dog—the #1 thing to never neglect is consistency and follow-through.