Today we are going to talk about common dog training mistakes to avoid. Did you know that dogs will behave the way you’ve trained them? Thus, it’ll be essential to provide the perfect training techniques for your dogs. Training a dog in the best way ensures that your dog takes in your instructions and adopts positive or good behaviors. Training a dog should be a beneficial and mutually exciting exercise; any frustration on either party should signify using a wrong technique in training.
It’ll be essential to follow certain techniques to help you achieve positive results while training the dog. To achieve success during this period and after training, you should avoid specific ways of training the dog that may lead to frustration or failure to follow the instructions. We’ve compiled 7 common dog training mistakes to avoid so you can achieve more significant results.
10 Common Dog Training Mistakes to Avoid
1. Unnecessary Punitive Punishment
Most dog owners have always had the belief that punishing the dog harshly is the best way to teach it positive behavior. However, it might not be the solution; instead, it causes more harm to the dog’s behavior. Most animal health experts’ studies reveal that the harsh treatment will affect the dog’s mental well-being and health.
Sometimes the pet might have gone wrong, prompting you to use a harsh punishment method; it’d be best if you avoided the punishment. Avoiding scolding the dog when it has done something wrong will be a huge step to creating a good relationship during the learning process. Showing your pet some love will help to improve your relationship during the learning process.
2. Inconsistency In The Training
Among the seven common dog mistakes to avoid, inconsistency is the most critical to work on. Inconsistency of the training may lead to the failure of achieving your set goal. Inconsistency occurs in various forms, such as your training session’s timing, the commands, and the behaviours you teach the dog. Any alteration on any of the factors will affect the learning process of your dog.
For example, when you alter the behaviors, like teaching your dogs places for having their meals. Most trainers usually train the dogs to have their meals in some designated places but later provide them with snacks in the dining area. It makes it hard to ensure the dog solidifies the behavior you had trained them in earlier. It’s also possible to alter your language to teach the dog, but adding other words might confuse the dog more. Therefore, it’s vital to maintain the behaviour code, speech, and timing of the training sessions.
3. Reinforcing The Negative Behavior
Most dog owners enforce some negative behaviours without noticing them during the training period. The enforcement makes the dog continue with the negative actions as they think the owner likes them. For example, if the dog barks back and you call them to correct the aimless barking, However, upon reaching your place, you scold them away, which makes them confused about the essence of scolding. The dogs might interpret that barking as proper, but the scolding came from it coming closer to you. Thus, they’ll continue with the aimless barking.
Therefore, it’ll be essential to track your pet’s behaviours and ignore some actions to prevent unknowingly reinforcing negative behaviors. Walking to where the dog made a mistake and correcting from there will be a better option than calling the dog at you and scolding it.
4. Avoid Abusing Treats
It’s sometimes effective to incorporate treats into training for your dog. However, it’d be essential to check when providing the dog with the treats, as they might negatively affect its behavior. After exhibiting some good behavior, providing the dog with a treat will enhance the repetition of the deed or behavior.
However, having many treats may cause the pet to develop an unhealthy dependence on the treats. Additionally, the treats might result in excessive weight gain, which isn’t suitable for their health. Therefore, it’s reasonable to reward the dog with a small reward after correctly responding to a particular behavior instead of giving them huge treats frequently.
5. Being Impatient With The Dog or Having Impractical Expectations
It’s common among less experienced dog owners, as they won’t be patient with the dog while teaching it good behaviors. The process of teaching dogs good behaviours takes some time, and you’ve got to repeat some of the steps for them to understand. How many times should I tell the dog about this? After how long will the dog learn to pee in their designated points? These are some of the questions impatient dog owners ask.
It’d be crucial to shelve all the unrealistic expectations from the dogs while training for you to avoid being impatient about the process results. Preferably, it’ll be great to get prepared to administer the instructions to the dog repeatedly for the dog to understand the behavior.
6. Being Too Repetitive
While training your dog, it’ll be good to repeat some of the instructions several times for the dog to understand them. However, too much repetition tends to be harmful to the dog’s behaviour. The dog might lose interest in the behaviours you’re teaching it if you do the same things repeatedly over a long period of time.
The loss of attention is attributed to the short attention span of most animals in the dog family. Therefore, it’ll be essential to have shorter training sessions on different behaviours. If your dog is not responding to the instructions you’re providing, then switch to another instruction or behaviour training.
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7. Starting The Training At A Later Stage
For a dog to adapt to your instructions and the behaviours you want, it’s always good to start the training immediately after you interact. It may be a puppy or a full-grown dog, but it’d be great to start the process as soon as possible. However, waiting a few months or weeks before teaching the dog won’t bear fruit.
The dogs will have adapted some weird behaviours that will be hard to change. For example, if the dog is eating from any point, it’ll be hard to teach them to eat at designated locations only. Therefore, it’s good to avoid starting to train the dog later after the meeting.
8. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Dog training is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each dog is unique, with its own personality, learning pace, and quirks. Expecting your pet to immediately understand and obey commands or to behave perfectly after just a few training sessions can lead to disappointment. Not only that, but setting the bar too high too quickly can be counterproductive, leading to both the dog and owner feeling frustrated.
It’s essential to remember that dog training is a continuous journey. Like humans, dogs have good and bad days. What might seem like a step backward could just be a minor setback in an overall positive trajectory. Furthermore, each breed (and individual dog) has its own strengths and challenges. For instance, while a Border Collie might excel in obedience and agility, asking a Bulldog to achieve the same feats with the same ease might not be realistic.
Instead of setting the stage for failure, set achievable milestones for your dog. Celebrate the small victories along the way. This not only boosts your dog’s confidence but strengthens the bond between pet and owner. By understanding and respecting your dog’s individual capabilities and limitations, you can ensure that the training process is both productive and enjoyable for all involved.
9. Not Involving the Entire Household
Consistency is the cornerstone of effective dog training. However, this consistency can quickly erode if everyone in the household isn’t on the same page regarding training methods, commands, and behavioral expectations. Imagine the confusion a dog might feel if one family member allows them on the sofa while another scolds them for it. Or if one person uses the command “down” to make them lie down, but another uses the same command to get them off the furniture.
When multiple individuals interact with a dog without a unified approach, it creates an environment of mixed signals. This inconsistency can prolong the training process, foster undesirable behaviors, and, in some cases, even stress the dog as they try to understand their role and what’s expected of them.
To circumvent this issue, it’s imperative to involve all household members in the training process. Have a family meeting to discuss and decide on specific commands, house rules, and training techniques. Ensure everyone understands the importance of consistency and is committed to reinforcing the same behaviors. This united approach not only makes training more efficient but also provides a cohesive and predictable environment for your dog, fostering trust and understanding.
10. Skipping Basic Commands
In the excitement of training a new dog, especially if it’s a young, eager-to-learn puppy, owners sometimes jump straight to teaching fun or advanced tricks. They might prioritize commands like “play dead,” “spin,” or “speak” over fundamental ones like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” While these entertaining tricks are delightful and can impress friends and family, neglecting the basics can lead to challenges in everyday situations.
Basic commands serve as the foundation of dog training. They are not only essential for safety but also for establishing a bond of trust and understanding between the dog and the owner. For instance, a strong recall command (“come”) can be a lifesaver in a dangerous situation, while “stay” can prevent a dog from dashing out an open door or gate.
Furthermore, mastering basic commands often makes it easier to teach advanced tricks and behaviors. These fundamental commands help in instilling discipline, patience, and focus in a dog, qualities that are invaluable during further training.
If having a positive and successful relationship with your dog is your primary goal, it’ll be good to have the proper training techniques to teach your dog the appropriate behaviors. The training is beneficial for creating a rewarding and bonding experience with your pet. However, there are some mistakes that you can make while training the dog that become costly and negatively affect your pet’s behavior. The above are the seven common dog training mistakes to avoid when training your dog.
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