Perfect Puppy Training Book – Chapter 4 – Housetraining (Part 3)
Chapter 4 – Housetraining (Part 3)
How to Deal With Setbacks
Your goal is to get your puppy to potty outside each and every time. But there are bound to be times when your puppy has accidents in the house. It’s important to deal with these correctly so that you don’t create further training problems.
Old-fashioned training used to recommend rubbing a puppy’s nose in the mess or even spanking her. However, these methods do not teach a puppy to potty outside. Instead, they can teach her to be afraid of her owner. These old-fashioned techniques also can cause aggression in puppies because they simply don’t understand why their owners are so upset. Peeing and pooping are natural puppy body functions. When you overreact to something your puppy has to do, she may react aggressively to defend herself.
If you find an accident in the house, and you did not catch your puppy performing the action, then there’s nothing you can do but clean it up (puppies can’t remember what they have done for a span longer than around 5 minutes). Think about what went wrong. Did you or your family not supervise your puppy adequately? Does she need more frequent potty breaks? Did you veer from the routine feeding or daily schedule? Just find the mistake and fix it, then continue with your training.
However, if you do catch your dog having an accident, use your voice to interrupt the behavior with a sharp “No!” That’s all you need. Immediately leash your puppy and take her outside, following your regular housetraining program. Be sure to praise her if she finishes pottying outside. Your goal is to make things very clear; you’re upset when she potty’s inside, but you’re thrilled when she potty’s outside. When you bring her back inside, don’t yell at her again. Remember, timing is important when training your puppy. If you yell at her when she comes back inside, she could think that you’re upset with her for coming into the house. Even though you’re still upset that she had an accident in the house, her puppy attention span has long since moved on to other things.
When you clean up any accidents in the house, be sure to use a pet enzymatic cleaner. If you use vinegar or regular carpet cleaners, you won’t be able to smell your puppy’s mess, but she still can. Using a proper cleaner will help to prevent her from coming back to the same spot again and again.
It’s typical for a puppy to have accidents during housetraining. She’ll do fine for a couple weeks, and you’ll think you’re set, and then you’ll find a puddle somewhere. Your puppy is young, and you’re both learning the program, so be patient. If you stick to the program, you’ll have a housetrained adult dog for life.
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