If you are wondering, “Why am I having a hard time potty training my puppy?” - we promise you are not alone! Potty training going wrong is a common issue with pet parents, but we are here to help. We’ll be covering the 5 common puppy potty training mistakes and how to fix them. So you can get back on track and save those floors!
To properly potty train a puppy takes time, dedication and a little know-how. So if you think your potty training is going wrong - don’t panic. Below are some common problems you might be facing that are easy to fix.
Here's our rundown of the top 5 examples of what not to do when potty training a puppy. Turn these around and you can reclaim your floors for good!
1.) It takes longer than you think
Why is my potty trained puppy having accidents? The most common answer is...they’re probably not trained yet.
It’s easy to get super complacent and overconfident after a few clean days. You might assume that you are a wee wizard and that your pup has it all figured out, but 9 times out of 10 it takes longer than we think to fully potty train a puppy. It can take 6 months, or sometimes longer, to fully cement the concept.
Once you’ve had at least several accident-free months, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re pretty much there. How to fix potty training regression? It can be perfectly normal for regression to happen. After all, if we slack off on our duties our puppies will too. So go back to basics and set the foundations again. Your puppy will remember fairly quickly this time too, so it should be smooth sailing from there.
2.) You aren’t keeping watch
Puppies can be slippery little things. One minute they are there, the next they’ve found your favorite pair of sneakers to relieve themselves in. It only takes a second for a puppy to find something interesting to chew on, or somewhere to go potty that they shouldn’t!
It’s super important to keep your supervision tight, even as your puppy starts to get the hang of things. This way, you are more likely to be able to pick up on your puppy’s particular potty cues too. Behaviors like being distracted, sniffing and circling (and of course the squat!) are some signs to look for.
If you do need to keep your focus elsewhere for a little while, a crate or playpen can be extremely useful. Give your pup a safe place to chill out momentarily or for short periods while you apply your brain power elsewhere. Line the bottom with some Potty Buddy pads and you can focus without any floor-anxiety either!
3.) You aren't paying up
Puppies are kind of like little gangsters, they want you to pay up…On a serious note, forgetting to praise your pup (either with treats or fuss) or phasing praise out too soon is one of the biggest causes of potty training regression.
So keep the value of rewards high until you are totally sure they’ve got the idea, and then start a very slow phase-out. If you need to take a step back, pay up! Make it easy for your puppy to know exactly what you want from them by showing them the goods when they do it.
4.) Waiting too long between potty breaks
Bladder control in puppies takes time to develop. You wouldn’t expect to hold it for longer than is comfortable, so make sure you aren’t doing that to your pup. Having a regression? Revert back to 20-30 minute potty breaks. It might seem excessive, but it will set them up to learn quickly, preventing them from failing at the task at hand. Once they have the idea, remember that when fully trained a puppy can still only probably hold it for about three hours maximum, unless they are in a very deep sleep or are sleeping through the night.
If you need to be able to leave your dog for longer, or can’t get access to the outdoors that often, then a Potty Buddy is for you. Great for placing in crates or at convenient spots around the house, our pads make those much needed potty trips clean, easy and accessible no matter what.
5.) Bringing negative vibes
Even when they don’t look like puppies, young dogs are still learning about the world around them. Sometimes things are harder for them to grasp than we might like, but it’s important to remember that behavioral issues are our fault, not theirs.
Had a mess? Take a deep breath. Smile, and just resolve to try again.
Try and avoid any negative associations with potty training, as this could lead to more accidents if anything! Anxious or uncertain dogs are more likely to be confused than capable, so try and stay positive. Focus on making the process easy for your dog to get right, and reward them when they do.
We’ve all been through these top 5, including pinching the bridge of our nose after the third carpet stain this week…(deep breaths!)
But we promise, with the above tips, you can get through your potty training and come out the other side with floors intact and a very good dog who knows the ropes. We believe in you!
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