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House training or toilet training a puppy can be a long and drawn out process, and there will be some accidents and mistakes along the way. Some dogs pick up house training much faster than others, and some owners are rather more intuitive about how they house train their dogs than others too, but teaching a puppy to ask to go outside to the toilet is rarely a completely straightforward process.
There are also a number of common mistakes that many if not most dog owners make at some point when house training their dogs; they can be hard to avoid even if you’re very conscientious, so you may just need to shrug your shoulders and move on if they happen, as there’s nothing you can do to correct it after the event!
However, simply knowing what these common house training mistakes are and learning to identify them and look out for them can help you to avoid making them in the first place – or repeating them in the future.
With this in mind, this article will share seven common and avoidable mistakes many owners make when house training their puppies. Read on to learn more.
Dogs that are house trained know to go to the appropriate door and ask to go out as a cue they provide to advise you they need the toilet. However, if this door is not close by and in sight of a puppy most of the time and so something they see regularly and can find easily, it will take them a lot longer to learn to go to the door, and to make an association with the door and going out.
Ideally, the door should be in the same room as your pup sleeps or spends a lot of time in, in sight of them.
The younger the puppy, the smaller their bladder will be and the lower their level of control over it. However, their age also dictates their ability to learn and understand things, so don’t expect a very young pup to understand the basics of toilet training for some time.
Getting them into a routine of showing and telling them what happens is fine, but accept that your pup may need to get a little bit older before this information sticks!
If your puppy is standing at the door asking to go out and you were in another part of the house, how would you know this? If the door your pup needs to use isn’t in sight and/or hearing distance of where you are likely to be at any given time they need to ask to go out, rethink the doorway or cue you teach them to use, otherwise you won’t know when your pup is asking to go out, and your pup will not connect doing so with the desired action.
You might think you know what cues to look out for when a puppy starts letting you know that they want to go out, but this might well be different from dog to dog and you can’t necessarily teach a puppy to act in a specific way!
One might paw at a door, another might cry, another might come and find you – so before you assume your pup isn’t picking things up and giving you a cue, assess whether the problem might be that you’re missing a cue instead.
Any time your pup asks to go out, it is really important to respond to them and not leave them guessing if their needs will be met. This is not only apt to make your dog unhappy, confused and insecure, but it will reverse any teachings you’ve achieved that let your pup know they need to ask to go out. Consistency is key.
Something most dog lovers have been guilty of once or twice is being peripherally or even fully aware that the dog is asking to go out and thinking “just a moment” while we finish off whatever we were doing.
However, even just pausing for 30 seconds might be long enough for an accident to happen and additionally, it will serve to confuse your dog because your response is unreliable.
Responding immediately to a cue to go out to the toilet is one of the few situations in which it is desirable for the owner to be at the dog’s beck and call!
Finally, if you’re sure you’re doing everything right and cannot see why your pup isn’t getting to grips with house training after several weeks, ask your vet for their thoughts and if they might want to examine your pup, just to ensure that they’re in good health and there’s not an underlying problem making it difficult for your dog to wait to toilet, or that is causing them to toilet in the house.
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