13 Puppy Training Mistakes That Create Bad Dogs

puppy training

Puppies certainly bring joy into our homes, but they also
provide us with a lot of work; A LOT OF WORK.

After all, a puppy cannot raise himself, just like a child
cannot raise himself.

A puppy would choose “cake for breakfast” every day, too, if
it was his option.

And, just like we send children to school for 12+ years, we also
need to provide our dogs with an education.

The problem is when people get busy and they inadvertently
don’t make the appropriate time to spend training with their
puppy and getting it set up on the right “paw”.

Puppies are wonderful balls of joy and curiosity; but, they can
also be like destructive tornadoes.

Either you harness that energy and naughtiness into training, or
you end up questioning your choice to get a puppy in the first

And, if left long enough, that naughty or fearful puppy can turn
into a full blown intimidating and aggressive dog.

It is critical to devote the small amount of time that it takes
each day to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a good canine

No one gets a puppy intending to drop them off at a shelter to
become just another sad statistic.

So let’s work together and make sure we do this puppy thing,

It isn’t difficult, it just takes some patient and methodical

Here Are 13 Puppy Training Mistakes That Create Bad Dogs: 1.
Dealing With Accidents in the House

The #1 reason puppies and dogs are dropped at the shelter is
because of potty accidents.

Dogs are not born knowing human expectations.

Dogs do not spring from the womb knowing that having accidents
“inside” the house is wrong.

After all, they are typically whelped in a box in someone’s
house; so they are used to going potty inside.

Also, the smaller the dog, the more difficult it is to
satisfactorily potty train.

The majority of small dogs have potty

Yes, the MAJORITY!!!

If a Great Dane puppy poops in the house he is going to have a
hard time getting far enough away from it that it won’t bother

If a Yorkie has an accident behind the couch he can just come
and sit across the room and not be bothered by his accident.

The problem is, that having accidents continually forms a

And, bad
habits are sincerely hard to break

Luckily, we have created a game to help you train your puppy to
tell you that he has has to go outside to use the bathroom.

Let Freedom Ring game cover

Click here to download the next step of the
Let Freedom Ring Game

Just because you have a small dog that is easy to clean up
after, you are doing him a disservice by not actively potty
training him and getting him outside each time, just like the Great
Dane puppy.

I can’t tell you how many small dog owners tell me they
aren’t “bothered” by their dogs having accidents all over the
house… until they decide to get new flooring or their lifestyle
changes and suddenly they expect the dog to just stop. And when he
doesn’t, they drop him at the shelter.

Before you get your puppy, tell yourself that number one, he is
going to have a few accidents until he learns to gain bladder
control (after all we don’t expect babies to be potty trained
straight out of the hospital).

And, tell yourself that potty training is about YOU.

Potty training has very little to do with your puppy until he is
much, much older and you have already solidified good habits.

Thinking that it is up to your
puppy to potty train himself is setting you both up for

Potty training is probably one of the most important things you
will do for your dog!

Be diligent, get him out every 2 hours and keep him with you so
that he doesn’t have accidents and form bad habits.

One day, you will thank me for it!

2. Avoiding the Crate

Crates are soooooooooo important.

Seriously, there aren’t enough “O’s” on the page to
denote how critical I think crates are for the safety of dogs and
their owners, and their owner’s things.

Crates help puppies learn to hold their urine and feces.

If you have a small dog, get a small crate so that, again, he is
learning that having an accident in close proximity is

If you have a large breed puppy, you can get a big crate and
section it off so that he has a smaller space as a puppy; this will
help you with potty training.

Nothing wants to sit in its own urine and feces, unless that is
how it was raised (click here
if you have a dirty puppy)

Crates keep your things safe!

Don’t want your puppy stealing dangerous food, or getting in
the trash when you are away?

Crate him!

Don’t want your puppy to eat your Michael Kors purse or your
computer?puppy training

Crate him!

Eating drywall, sofas, and expensive items are another big
reason that dogs end up in shelters.

Shredding your things is fun for your dog, he is a different
species and he entertains himself in inconvenient ways.

Crates keep everything safe and everyone SANE!

It also ironically takes some stress away from your dog.

Guarding the house and worrying about every single noise can
create fearful and phobic dogs, especially puppies!

I used to pet sit in a mansion and I was always a little

The smaller the space, the more confident I am, and the
same goes for your dog

Won’t your puppy whine or cry?


Of course he will!

But just because a baby cries in his crib, doesn’t mean we
spend every waking moment with him.

Is it difficult to hear them cry?


But they work through it IF YOU MAKE THEM.

If you let them out every time they cry or throw a fit, you will
be teaching them to throw bigger, hairier fits the next time.

I only let my puppies out of their crate when they are quiet,
even if it is only a fraction of a second that he is quiet.

Also, I cheat and make sure that my puppy is exhausted when I
scoop his sleepy body up and slide him into his crate.

I want my puppy to be too exhausted to care where he is

Also, and this is a BIG one, I crate them while I am home.

If every time you crate your dog is either at bed time or when
you leave he begins to associate the crate with long periods of
time and your leaving.

Why not get him used to being in his crate for 10 minutes of
shorter so there is no panic.

Also he will get not panic thinking you are leaving him

3. Dealing With Nipping

Nipping is a lack of Impulse Control!

You might have noticed that your puppy doesn’t have hands.

You might also have noticed that your puppy doesn’t speak
English (or whatever your language).

puppy trainingThe way that your puppy is
used to playing is with his teeth.

When he wrestled with his littermates… he used his teeth.

So it is only natural that he comes home nipping and biting and
trying to engage in play with you!

However, due to human rules and regulations, this kind of
behavior is not appropriate and needs to be nipped in the bud

Nothing infuriates me more than an adult dog that grabs people
with their teeth.

Just the other day at the vet clinic I work at a dog came in for
exam and was biting everyone!

I mean he wasn’t drawing blood, but he definitely put his
mouth on his owner, the vet, and me!

This is a serious lack of impulse control and if not curbed
early this dog could be reported for biting.

All it takes is one harsh tooth on the hand of an infant or
toddler and the dog can be deemed dangerous.

Mouthing and nipping isn’t cute.

It shouldn’t be cute whether the puppies are 8 weeks or 8
months old!

It should not be tolerated at all.

My biggest rule at my house is that I NEVER feel teeth!

Biting leads to euthanasia!

Do you have a “Land Shark”? Then, click here
for more help with biting.

4. Handling Chewing

I remember several summers ago when I had step kids in the

I can’t tell you how many of their things were lost that

One dog demolished two “Gameboys”.

I think he liked them because they smelled like the kids; I
mean, they carried those things around with them like they were a
part of their body.

So, yes, my dogs were naughty… but so were the teenage kids
that left them out to be chewed!

There has to be some kind of culpability.

If I leave my computer or Michael Kors glasses sitting out on
the living room end table, while the puppy plays and no one watches
him… I am setting him up for failure.

When I have puppies, I get really good at cleaning up after
myself and putting my things away.

It is crucial to limit the distractions and temptations in order
to keep your puppy safe.

My computer smells like me; I use it all of the time so there is
a high likelihood that a puppy that likes me would want to chew
it.  Chewing a plugged in computer could kill a puppy.

It is up to me to put dangerous things and important things up
and away from puppies. puppy training

It flabbergasts me that people will “baby or toddler proof”
their home… but somehow they think puppies should be hardwired
not to chew or get into our things.

Nothing is farther from the truth.

Actually, puppies eat and swallow things that kill them or
require surgery, quite frequently.

It is crucial to keep an eye on your puppy!

Watching your puppy will help you potty train him faster and it
will keep him from chewing on things that he shouldn’t be putting
his mouth on!

I actually keep my puppies on a tether with me so that if they
grab something they shouldn’t have, I can exchange it for a puppy
appropriate item.

It also prevents my puppy from forming bad habits.

Many puppies steal items and then dash around the house with
them like they are luring you into play with a toy.

Even if you are furious, your puppy is having the time of his

That is why I refuse
to chase a puppy

5. When Snatching Things Is A Problem

Who has ever had a bit of food dangling in their hand, only to
have it snatched out by your dog or another dog?

Almost nothing is more frustrating.

Recently I wrote an article that has an important video:

click here
for more.

Dogs who snatch food and other things that don’t belong to
them have a serious impulse control problem.

I used to have a friend who would let his dog wander fairs, the
dog was notorious for stealing food from people in the crowd.  It
was embarrassing at best.

One of the FIRST and most important things we taught our Service
Dogs in training was that you DO NOT steal food.

They could lie down in a pile of popcorn and have the control
not to eat it.

It is crucial when taking a dog out in public, that the dog not
eat everything that his mouth is near.

Anything else could mean a super sick dog and a one way ticket
out of a business.

Service Dogs aren’t super hero dogs that wear capes….
Service Dogs are just dogs that have been taught impulse control
and exceptional obedience.

The basis of the behavior can be taught to any dog, it just
takes some training.

And we have created a game to help stop your puppy from
snatching things from your hands.

stop snatching cover

Click here to download the next step of
the Stop Snatching Things From My Hand Game

But wouldn’t you rather have a dog that you can take to a
family BBQ rather than a dog that has to be locked away every time
someone has a toy or a bit of food the dog wants?

6. Puppy Is Demanding

I hate being demanded to do something.

I mean, I get it, when I am at work sometimes things are time

But, I still like to be asked nicely.

And, the fun thing about work is that there is a handsome pay
off when my check comes.

I DETEST when my dog demands something!

Heck, I work for my paycheck so that I can afford dog food and
veterinary care… I certainly don’t want my dog up in my face
demanding that I do ANYTHING for him/her.

puppy trainingI don’t want you barking
when you want me to fill your bowl.

I don’t want you to bark when you want me to throw your

And, I don’t want you hiding your toys around the house and
then barking to get my attention.

I currently pet sit a lovely, although difficult, dog that
can’t really be watched by anyone but me; he constantly drops his
toys out of his reach so that he can constantly bark so that I will
get up with him.

It drives me batty.

Sometimes I just put him outside, because I can’t in good
conscious throw it while he demands I spring into action.

By allowing your dog to demand that you do anything for him, you
are allowing him to be in charge.

And, allowing your dog to be in charge is a recipe for

After all, you should have the higher mental aptitude and be
capable of doing the things he needs when he needs them.

If he demands something from you… give him the opposite.

If he learns that demanding = what he doesn’t want, he will
stop demanding!

7. Handling The Jumping Problem

Jumping is complicated.

It is natural for a dog or a puppy to want to jump on his

Puppies, especially, jump because they are so low to the ground
and they want to be closer to us.

If we think this is cute and pick them up or pet them and reward
them, we are conditioning them that the behavior is good.

You go from having a 10 pound jumper to a 150 pound jumper.

And, unbeknownst to your dog, he doesn’t understand that he
has put on 140 pounds.

If you think about it, it is unfair to have different
expectations as a puppy to adult, after you have trained him to do
things that you later decide you don’t want!

The safe bet is to teach your puppy to keep all 4 of his paws on
the ground, if he wants to be petted and interacted with.

So one of the first simple games you can teach is the Step Away

Here’s a little video that shows you the first steps for how
to train your dog this game:

To Learn
More About The Course Mentioned In This Video Click Here

The same goes with meeting new people, if the puppy is wild and
jumping, he hasn’t earned the privilege of meeting people.

Don’t let him get in the habit
of jumping up
!  Nip that in the bud early.

And if you haven’t done so already, click here to download
The Step
Away Game Cheat Sheet,
so you can start transforming your
puppy’s ability to control his jumping impulses today.

8. Not Controlling Barking

Make a choice, and make it early on.

Either you will accept barking and think that it is cute, or you
will curb it right away.

So often, puppy owners laugh and carry on when their puppies
bark at the door bell on TV or protect them from falling leaves in
fall; and then, after a few months, they find this behavior they
once thought was cute deplorable.

Now the dog barks at everything (of course) and the people are
at their wits end.

I suggest that you never show your dog that you think it is
funny or reward the behavior.

Again, the best thing to do is to nip this
barking behavior
in the bud, early.

And for a helpful video on how to stop your dog’s barking,
check out this fun game we created:

To Learn
More About The Course Mentioned In This Video Click Here

Honestly, I like being in charge of my dog’s voice.

I like telling my dog when to bark and when to be quiet.

This allows him to use his instinct for barking but also

gives me control
when I don’t want to know when each leaf
lets go of the tree out front.

We have created a game to help teach your puppy to stop

Quiet Command Cover

Click here to download the next step of the “Quiet
Command” Game Cheat Sheet
, so you can start controlling your
dog’s impulses to bark today.

9. Dealing With Fearful Behaviors

All puppies go through fear stages, usually between 8-11 weeks
and a second fear period between 6-14 months.

It is critical to acknowledge and prepare for these.

It is also crucial not to lock your puppy away or think you were
blessed with the one puppy that will not have any issues.

Most puppies have some struggles. puppy training

But if you are prepared you can meet these stages with
well-behaved humans and other dogs that you know and trust and
teach your puppy that life is full of wonderful things.

DO NOT take your dog to a dog park or a daycare where they may
be abused and that abuse may stick for life.

Also do not

If they show fear, don’t coo to them, NEVER say “it’s
okay, it’s okay”; you are reinforcing and solidifying the
feeling of fear.

Instead, ignore it, or laugh it off and show the dog he is

I like letting the dog conquer his fears so that he gains
confidence on his own.


Source: FS – TheDogTrainingSecret
13 Puppy Training Mistakes That Create Bad Dogs