Common Puppy Housebreaking Mistakes

Puppy housebreaking is a task which requires patience, diligence and dedication. Housebreaking can seem repetitive and annoying because a puppy does not always initially understand what you are trying to teach him. This can wear your patience thin; especially when you feel like you have done the same thing over and over again for the past week. However, being dedicated and patient can help you avoid some of the most common puppy housebreaking mistakes.

Avoid Using Puppy Pads

Puppy pads are a terrible invention that should be avoided whenever possible. The goal behind housebreaking is to teach your puppy that the outside yard is the place to defecate; and inside the home is not.

The first few months of life are when a puppy will pick up most of his habits and carry them on for life. This is why housebreaking needs to be introduced as soon as possible. Puppies do not learn by circumstance, they learn by repetition. Wherever you teach them to go is inevitably where they will learn to go.

Hence, puppy pads are one of the most common housebreaking mistakes. The initial idea behind puppy pads is to have a place to carry your puppy when you catch them in the act of defecating on the living room floor. However, keep in mind that this will be a learned behavior that your puppy will carry on for life.

It is always better to make the trip outside, then to take the shortcut of using puppy pads.

Inconsistency in Schedule

The most important thing you can do during housebreaking is to be consistent. Create a schedule and stick to it. While things can get hectic at work and around the house, you have to maintain the schedule or your goal can be lost.

A schedule helps to train your puppy to know when it is okay to defecate. His body will begin working at holding in what it needs to until he is allowed to go outside. However, neglecting the schedule can send mixed messages. Your puppy will be confused by how long he is supposed to hold in his bowels, and will eventually let them go.

Punishment during Training

It is never a good idea to punish your puppy during the housebreaking process. It must be kept in mind that your puppy does not understand what you are saying to him. You are simply trying to convey the message by actions and repetition.

Punishment only conveys to your puppy that his action was wrong. It will be interpreted as though the act of defecating was wrong, or the act of defecating in front of you is wrong. This, in turn, can have a poor effect on the goal you are trying to accomplish: housebreaking.

At that point, you will have a puppy that will begin hiding in places around the house to relieve himself, fearing that if he notifies you he will be in trouble. This is most definitely not the message you want to send while housebreaking.