7 common and avoidable mistakes owners make when house training their puppies

7 common and avoidable mistakes owners make when house training their puppies

Education & Training

House training or toilet training a puppy can be a long, drawn-out process, and there will inevitably be some accidents and mistakes along the way. Some dogs pick up house training much faster than others, but although teaching a puppy to go outside to the toilet is a simple process, it’s often not completely straightforward.

There are a number of common mistakes that many dog owners make at some point. 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!

Knowing what these common house training mistakes are can help you avoid making them in the first place – or repeating them in the future.

This article shares seven common mistakes many owners make when house training their puppies. Read on to learn more.

Expecting a puppy to understand where the door is

Dogs that are house trained generally know to go to the appropriate door and ‘ask’ to go out when they need to toilet. However, if this door is not close by and in sight of a puppy most of the time it will take them longer to learn to make an association with the door and going out.

Not accounting for the pup’s young age

The younger the puppy, the smaller their bladder and the lower their level of control over it. So, unless you’re monitoring them constantly, don’t be surprised if there are occasional accidents.

Missing your puppy’s cues

Watch your puppy to learn what their body language looks like when they are about to toilet. Some may turn around and sniff, some just ‘stop’. It’s far better to get it wrong and think they need to go when they don’t than the other way round! 

As they get a little older, they may learn to paw at a door, whine, or even come and find you. So be aware of all the possible cues your dog is giving you, so you don’t miss them.

Lack of consistency

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 which will set back their learning. Consistency is key.

Waiting too long to respond

Something most dog owners have been guilty of at least once is being vaguely aware that the dog is asking to go out and thinking ‘just a moment’ while they finish off whatever they were doing.

However, even pausing for just 30 seconds can be long enough for an accident to happen. 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!

Overlooking a health issue

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, especially if they seem to be toileting excessively, go to the vet for a check-up to be sure there isn’t a medical issue.



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