Cruel House Training Tactics Are Out

If you bring home a puppy, be prepared to deal with accidents during the potty training phase. It’s shocking the way people use abusive tactics to stop a puppy from doing what comes naturally.

Puppies are no more prepared to be instantly potty trained than human infants are. A period of development needs to be reached before the puppy is ready to follow your requests and commands.


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The puppy desperately wants to please you and doesn’t understand why he’s being punished. The old views of punishment as a means of potty training are as outdated for dogs as they are for children. It simply doesn’t work.

Rubbing a puppy’s nose in the feces isn’t a good approach. The dog only sees you as a tormentor and doesn’t understand what you do want instead. There is a very real risk of serious illness to the puppy after getting a nose full of E-coli bacteria. If you’re unhappy with the cost of having your rug cleaned, wait until you see the vet bill from an illness you caused!

Another type of fear-based potty training is to swat the dog with a rolled up newspaper after rubbing his nose in the feces. If the puppy could speak, he would say, “What makes you think I’m going to potty on newspaper in the kitchen after you hit me with it? I don’t want anything to do with newspaper!” Hitting a puppy with rolled up newspaper merely teaches him to fear newspaper.

You simply have to accept that a puppy will make mistakes. Sometimes, you’re responsible for those mistakes. When you arrive home late or sleep in rather than taking the puppy outside, what you do expect him to do?

Don’t punish the puppy because you changed the schedule. If you want to get the puppy accustomed to a morning and afternoon walking regimen, then you have to be consistent. You also have to respond when the puppy shows signs of discomfort, irritation or other means of trying to get your attention.

If he needs to g out, be fair. Don’t you have days when your potty breaks are more frequent and sudden? What if you had an intense need to potty but your boss demanded that you sit though an hour-long meeting?

Be careful when training a puppy that you teach positive skills rather than instill fear at how mean you are. Too often the dog owner’s frustration simply teaches a puppy to stay away. If a dog becomes mean, chances are he learned it from a mean spirited owner.

A puppy’s world is playful, enthusiastic and adventure-filled. Sometimes chasing down that rubber ball is so intense that he forgets about going to the potty until his little bladder can’t wait any longer and there’s an accident. It wasn’t on purpose, so be careful how you respond. A puppy with a broken spirit learns to watch for an open door to run away and never return.