10 Mistakes Puppy Owners Make and How to Prevent Them (Part 2)

Annoying Dog Behaviors, Before You Buy A Puppy, Blog


Now that you have your new puppy you'll want to make sure you're teaching the right skills first and you set up good training habits and routines. The more consistent you are the faster your puppy will learn! It's easy to make mistakes after you bring your new puppy home, after all, your excitement and those adorable puppy eyes can lead you down the wrong path. Check out these common mistake many puppy owners make and set you and your puppy up for years of success together.

1.Using Pee Pads to Potty Train

You'll be eager to potty train your puppy, after all, it's probably the first thing you'll teach your puppy but don't make the mistake of using pee pads to potty train your pup. The downside to using pee pads is that you are teaching your puppy to “go” inside. It can be very difficult to teach your puppy later on that you only want them to go to the bathroom outside. Instead, train your puppy to give you a reliable signal that they have to go potty, like the “potty bell” system.

2.Giving Your Puppy Bedding in Their Crate

You'll want to start using a crate with your puppy to keep them safe while you are away at work. A common mistake many new puppy owners make is putting a bed in the crate. Giving bedding in the crate may encourage a puppy to go potty on the bedding and then push it off to the side, without having to sleep in their own mess. Bedding can also pose as a choking hazard if your puppy becomes bored and decides to chew on it.

3.Being Inconsistent with the Rules

Your puppy doesn't know what the rules of your home are until you teach them. Having different rules from situation to situation can be very confusing to a puppy. Think about people that praise and pet a puppy when they come home from work while their puppy is jumping on them, but then discouraging the puppy from jumping on guests. The puppy may learn that it is the guest, instead of the jumping, that gets them in trouble. Sit down with the members of your household to come up with a list of rules that you will all consistently follow.

4.Giving Meals Away For Free

Did you know that mealtime is a perfect time to train? Many newbie puppy owners don't realize they can use mealtime as training time. Every piece of kibble your puppy eats from a bowl is a missed opportunity to train! If dogs are getting food without putting in any effort, why would they want to work for it at another time? Teach your puppy that all good things come from you and that nothing is for free. Check out more about the “nothing in life is free” policy here on our other blog titled “Nothing In Life Is Free” Dog Training.

5.Poor Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to training your puppy. Dogs live very much in the moment. Your puppy can be chewing on a shoe, and then five seconds later sitting politely in front of you. Try to remember to capture behaviors the second they are happening, whether that is with an interruption or a reward! If you try to correct your dog for something they did 5 minutes ago your puppy will not understand what they are getting in trouble for. The same holds true when you reward your puppy. Reward your puppy the instant they do the right behavior and they will quickly catch on that this makes you happy!

Make sure to check out part 1 of this blog and discover 5 additional tips to help you transform your puppy into a dream dog.


What mistakes on this list surprised you the most, go ahead and put your answers in the comments below.


Michele Lennon

About the trainer 

Michele Lennon

After spending 20 years helping families with their dogs face to face as a professional dog trainer, Michele realized that so much of what she knows could be shared with families everywhere - in a way that actually works. People sometimes think their dog is just SUPER difficult because the advice they’ve gotten was incomplete, confusing or just wrong. So she set out to help. Michele loves training dogs because of the impact that it has on the families she gets to help.  The peace and joy they get from being able to enjoy their dog LISTENING. Besides teaching classes, helping private clients and running seminars, Michele is also a foodie and fantasizes about being a food critic or secret shopper for restaurants.  Talk to her about food and your instant best friends.

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