The perils of potty training your puppy

We’ve written a few blogs on how to toilet train a puppy but we thought we’d take a different approach this time and look at the mistakes some people often make.

25th January 2019

When potty training your puppy you might find yourself reading a lot of blogs, books and articles with lots of different tips and tricks on what you should do. It might end up a little confusing with different writers providing different information.

Common mistakes when potty training a puppy

It’s never easy to housebreak a puppy and at times it can be quite challenging, especially with everything else that’s going on in our lives.

We often forget that puppies need us to show them the right and wrong way of doing things and without our guidance, we can’t expect them to behave the way we want them to.

Never leave your puppy unattended while training

It’s a good idea to book some time off when you’re planning to kickstart the toilet training. If that’s not possible then it’s important to make sure you’re actively engaged with your dog when you’re at home.

This means making sure you’re on the lookout for any clues and cues that your dog needs a toilet. If they’re napping beside you on the sofa then you can relax but once they’re back up again you need to be on alert. A number one or two can strike at any point and if you’re distracted then it’s not your puppy’s fault that they used the carpet as a toilet.

Keep to your food schedule, no excuses

Morning, afternoon and evening feeding will work better than an all-day-buffet. This is because you’ll get a more definite bowel and bladder routine (yep, it’s a thing!) and you’ll soon learn how soon after a meal your pup will need to be let outside.

If you leave a bowl of food out for your pup to nibble on throughout the day then they will need relieve themselves at completely unpredictable times, which is not ideal.

Always reward your puppy for good behaviour

This is important in everything you do with your puppy, from teaching them new tricks to potty training. Rewarding your puppy for good behaviour will encourage your dog to carry on the good work.

You will be able to buy bite-sized treats at your local supermarket or pet shop which are perfect for training.


Never punish your puppy for making mistakes

This is the most important point, one we couldn’t emphasise enough. You should never, ever, punish your dog for making mistakes. This includes:

  • No yelling after an accident
  • No pushing their nose into their mess

Positive reinforcement, praise and patience are key to successfully potty training your puppy and before you know it your dog will be going outside for their business. Stock up on the reward treats and, above all, be kind.


We need to train our puppies as they don’t yet have the understanding, skills or judgement to be independent or self-sufficient - this lack of experience can result in unfortunate outcomes. Puppy insurance can help you to cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your puppy gets injured or falls ill, helping you to provide security for your young explorer when they need it most.

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