Potty Training Praise for Puppies

by Liza Hollis

Puppies are truly adorable---until they make that first mess on your rug. It is important to start potty training your pup from the moment you bring her home to avoid letting your puppy develop bad habits that will be harder to break when she gets older. In order to potty train or "house break" your pup, you have to offer your puppy a little incentive to do good. This means praising your dog when she does well, and denying praise when she has an accident.

Praising with Treats

Treats are a great way to train your dog not to make in the house. Every time your dog succeeds in not having an accident in the house, reward him with positive praise like "Good boy!" or saying his name and then offering him a treat. Be careful not to give treats when your puppy does not obey the no making in the house rule, as this will only enforce negative behaviors. Your dog will love healthy biscuits or a small toy when he does well. He will begin to equate being potty trained with positive enforcement.

Praising with Affection

Never underestimate the power of touch on your canine little buddy. Letting your puppy know with a good, hearty rub on the head, behind the ears, or on the belly will let your dog know that you love her and are proud that she is doing so well in her potty training efforts. Simply taking your dog for a walk is a great way to enforce the house breaking rules while giving your dog special time and affection. While rubbing your dog, reward her with positive affirmations said in a kind voice. This will help her feel reassured and loved.

Praising with Special Time

The only thing your dog loves more than treats and belly rubs is special time with you. If your dog does well, take him for a special walk. Or, take him to a nearby dog-friendly park for some special bonding time spent playing fetch, throwing a Frisbee, going for a run or just people watching. This special time spent with your dog will not only let your puppy know that he has done well and you are proud of him, but it will help you to develop a special bond with your dog that will make him feel loved and desired.

Denying Praise after Accidents

Avoid at all costs "disciplining" your dog when she makes a mistake by hitting her with rolled up newspaper or rubbing her nose in it, especially if the incident occurred while you were away. Your dog will not remember the mistake she made and will be very hurt that you are punishing her for something that she does not even remember. Hitting your dog in any form is animal abuse and should therefore be avoided. Simply putting your dog in her kennel, or denying her treats and attention should be enough to let your dog know that you are disappointed. Remember, your pet is still a baby and needs a little extra care. Be understanding in the training process to build a healthy relationship with your puppy.

About the Author

Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.