A. The puppy must be disciplined as soon as the mistake has been made, when the incident is still fresh. Reprimands made for accidents that happened some time ago are futile at best, and harmful if done improperly. If you catch the puppy as he is making the mess, or is about to make a mess, discipline him in a firm way without being too severe by using startle techniques that will cause him to immediately stop what he is doing. A strongly voiced "No" or "Stop", a sudden loud noise to catch his attention, or taking hold of the scruff of the neck are all good ways of turning the puppy's attention from what he is doing and toward you.
Follow all of these actions by immediately taking the puppy outside to finish relieving himself and reinforce the "good" behavior (going outside) with rewards such as patting, verbal praise, and/or training treats.
DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.
IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training.
Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD.
User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions.
petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.
Your account has been reactivated.