An accident is an accident is an accident

No matter how conscientious and vigilant you are, your puppy will have an accident. Housetraining accidents may be simple mistakes, or they can be indicative of a physical problem. The key to remember is that, as a general rule, dogs want to be clean.

When Buddy has had an accident in the house, don't call him to you to punish him. It's too late. If you do punish your dog under these circumstances, it won't help your housetraining efforts, and you'll make him wary of wanting to come to you.

A popular misconception is that the dog knows "what he did" because he looks "guilty." Absolutely not so! He has that look because from prior experience he knows that when you happen to come across a mess, you get mad at him. He has learned to associate a mess with your response. He hasn't and can't make the connection between having made the mess in the first place and your anger. Discipline after the fact is the quickest way to undermine the relationship you're trying to build with your dog.

Dogs are smart, but they don't think in terms of cause and effect. When you come home from work and yell at your dog for having an accident in the living room, you aren't encouraging your dog to use his toilet area. All you're doing is letting him know that sometimes you're really nice and sometimes you're really mean. Swatting your dog with a rolled-up newspaper is cruel and only makes him afraid of you and rolled-up newspapers. Rubbing his nose in it is unsanitary and disgusting. Dogs may become housetrained in spite of such antics, but certainly not because of them.

When you come upon an accident, always keep calm. Put your dog out of sight so he can't watch you clean up. Use white vinegar or a stain remover. Don't use any ammonia-based cleaners, because the ammonia doesn't neutralize the odor and the puppy will be attracted to the same spot.

Accidents are just that — accidents. The worst thing you can do is call your dog to you to punish him. Your dog didn't do it on purpose, and most dogs are just as horrified by what happened as you are.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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