Puppy Potty Training Mistakes

Please Don’t Make These Mistakes Potty Training Your Puppy!

Puppy Potty Training Mistakes


It is entirely possible to not have a single accident when potty training your puppy.

When we found Sammy 9 years ago at 8 weeks of age neither Leila or I personally had had a puppy in a long long time. So it was an adjustment to our lifestyle.

So, of course, I took what I teach my clients and we followed the pattern. Sammy never had an accident in the house as a puppy and to this day at 9 years of age, he’s never soiled in the house.

Now most of you won’t believe me when I say that and here’s why.
You don’t understand how to set your puppy up to succeed. Instead you make numerous mistakes and actually are inadvertently teaching your puppy to potty in the house.

In this video I’m going to explain two mistakes you’re making, and how to easily fix those 2 mistakes so you can set your puppy up to succeed at being potty trained.

Now there is a lot more you can learn about successfully potty training your puppy.

I want you to go read this article for lots more help.

If you have more questions, just put them in the comments and be as specific as you can so it not only helps me answer you better, but helps other with the same issues.  See you there!

Thanks for letting me share my puppy training knowledge with you.  Don’t be a stranger. 

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog



Control Puppy Biting in 3 Easy Steps

Control Puppy Biting in 3 Easy Steps

For lots of new puppy owners, the relentless puppy biting and putting razor sharp teeth on skin, comes as a surprise.

Control Puppy Biting in 3 Easy Steps

It can be extremely stressful and a test of your sanity!

It may also spark thoughts like:  “my last puppy didn’t bite like this” or even scarier “is my puppy aggressive?”

Control It Without Stress

Sometimes puppy biting can get out of control. They bite everything from table legs to your legs, fingers and toes. If this is your puppy you need to learn how to control your puppy biting without the stress. Are you prepared?

First What Not to Do

Stop all of the following immediately:

Chase games: These games activate a puppy’s prey drive which includes running, chasing, biting and chewing. Playing fetch is a much better game for all family members to play with your new puppy.

Rough play/wrestling: These interactions teach puppies how to play with humans and puppies use their mouths to grab and hold.

The thing is, puppy biting is normal puppy activity. That’s how they interact with their litter mates and learn a very important lesson: bite inhibition or more simply put, don’t bite human skin.

Tug-of-war games: Until you have control of your puppy’s biting, it’s best not to play tug for now. It’s actually a good way to burn predatory energy BUT tug-of-war must have strict rules.  We talk about that in another article.

Now, Let’s Simplify and Learn to Control Puppy Biting

Don’t you agree that having a plan for your puppy biting lowers your stress already? I certainly do! The rest is simply repetitive work by you and your other family members.

Just Three Areas to Work On

Okay, here are the three areas to focus on when learning how to control puppy biting without stress:

  1. Properly control your puppy to prevent excessive biting until you are ready to train.
  2. Obedience train your puppy to come, sit, down, drop it, and,
  3. Have a good, controlled training exercise to train NO BITE with your puppy every day with all family members until you achieve the goal you desire.

 Proper Control Breaks Down into 3 Areas:

  1. Containment: Use crates, exercise pens or gates to contain your puppy when you can’t train or supervise your puppy. Too many people leave their puppy out for too long of a time and they get into trouble with biting.
  2. Puppy proofing and prevention: Keep things you don’t want chewed on out of reach, and keep your puppy on a leash. When you can’t eyes-on, hands-on supervise or he gets too crazy – crate your puppy.
  3. Redirects: When your puppy is out on leash, ALWAYS have appropriate redirects. What’s a redirect?

These are things like stuffed Kong toys, sterilized beef shank bones, Nylabones, stuffy toys or chew toys.

Be prepared to intercede and give him a toy before he starts to bite on you—praise for accepting an appropriate toy; otherwise you’ll have to say, “Ouch!” and redirect to a toy.

Your timing is light years too late in “dog time” to be effective. Timing is everything. Catch him when he is thinking it – not when he is actually doing it.

Obedience Train Your Puppy

I can’t say enough about starting obedience training sooner than later. We started training our Lab, Sammy, at 8 weeks of age. Now at over 8 years of age, Sammy’s “default behavior” is good manners.

Besides creating mental fatigue, there are too many benefits not to train your puppy to come, sit, down and drop it. You will be glad you did. Above all, obedience commands teach your dog this important rule: You must always give (sit) before you receive anything. That would include food, treats, access to the couch and love and affection, just to mention a few.


A Good Controlled Training Exercise for No Bite!

Here’s what’s going to make the difference in your puppy.

I have a controlled training exercise you must do with your puppy every day. All family members should take this seriously and do your daily practice.

The cool part is that during this exercise, your puppy is under control so he can’t chase you. With parental supervision, this makes it safe for age-appropriate children to do this exercise.

I’ve made a special video to show you exactly what to do every day with all family members. Watch, learn, teach your puppy and most importantly don’t get stressed.

 Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients.  Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make it work with your family and puppy.  He gives you the ability to get the same great behavior from your puppy.

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Would you jump at the chance to have a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day?

Do you realize that if you did the training work with your puppy, you’d most likely avoid dog behavior problems associated with a dog that grew up with no structure.

Doing at least 15 minutes a day of puppy training will keep you from wondering, “What could I have done differently with my dog when he was a puppy that could have made him a better dog?”

Well Trained Puppy in 15 Minutes a Day

Just simply take 15 minutes a day

Having a well trained puppy in 15 minutes a day isn’t difficult at all. Most seasoned dog trainers would agree that the earlier you begin your training with a puppy, the stronger the training foundation is that will provide you with that better mannered dog in their adult years.     

This now brings us to the question, “How soon can I start training with my new puppy to avoid potential dog problems?”

Puppies can be trained at any age – even 8 weeks. That’s when we started training Sammy, our black lab mix.

Good manners are his default behaviors.

Using reward-based training methods is a great way to start

It’s best to use a reward-based training method and, if you can condition your puppy to a clicker that’s even better. There are a number of benefits to “clicker training” for your puppy.

  • The clicker provides a consistent sound to your puppy no matter who uses it. Remember, consistency and repetition is needed in good puppy training.
  • Unlike your voice, the clicker is a sharp, crisp non emotional sound that provides your puppy with a special and unique way to identify behaviors he performs (like sits and downs) that produces a food treat. For example, when your puppy sits, click then treat.

Follow these basic rules to keep the fun in training your puppy:

  • Be consistent in your obedience training.  Obedience train on simple commands like:  come, sit and down three times daily for no longer than 2 minutes and do it the same way every single time.  
  • It doesn’t really take much time out of your schedule.  Setting aside 2 minutes three times daily is a great start.  Puppies have a short attention span and will tire and get bored quickly. That’s why we keep it short.
  • Never, ever punish your puppy in any way, shape or form.  If your puppy does not obey a command simply say wrong in a neutral tone of voice and start again. It’s really that simple.
  • Keep your expectations in line with reality. Do not expect a young, 8 week old puppy to be able to hold a sit or a down for more than a few seconds.  
  • Be consistent with your command each time.  Pick one word and stick to it.  Speaking in sentences or multiple words will not be as easy for your new puppy to learn. One behavior – one command word.
  • Begin to train around relevant distractions. For example, if you always have a house full of kids, begin training your puppy around kids once he’s learned to obey his commands only with you.
  • For those of you that do not want to use a clicker, simply use your voice by saying, “Yes!” or “Good!” followed by a food treat when your puppy performs a command.

There is a lot to learn in training a puppy

If done correctly, it can be a process filled with fun – and obedience. This begins to set that strong foundation you will need to rely on when your new puppy becomes an adult dog.

The one message to take away is “consistently” set aside time every single day as described above to work your puppy.

These are just some of the basics that will help you get started on the right foot with your puppy.  Puppies are very smart and learn quickly, especially when they are taught from an early age.

Thanks for letting me share my dog training knowledge with you.   Don’t be a stranger.  Feel free to comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.   

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

If you’re stuck with puppy problems like jumping, biting, nipping, house soiling then head on over to Nose to Tail Puppy Training for easy solutions to getting a well trained puppy.

Jim Burwell, Houston dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 9000 clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad.  Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog.