Common Dog Training Mistakes : Training your dog isn’t easy and can become stressful when things don’t go as planned. You’re giving your pup commands, but they don’t seem to want to listen. This is a common scenario among dog owners.
Understanding common dog training mistakes will make having a well-behaved dog easier. Here’s what you should know!
1. Don’t Reinforce Unwanted Behavior
Avoid letting your dog’s behavior slide. If they’re not following commands, don’t praise them.
For example, if you’re taking them for a walk, and they’re tugging on the leash, don’t let this slide. You’re reinforcing unwanted behavior and letting them know what they are doing is okay.
The next time they’re pulling on the leash to catch up with that squirrel or cat, let them know you’re in charge by pulling them back and telling them “no”. When zero instruction is given, you can’t expect them to understand what’s expected.
If you own a dog considered to be among the most dangerous dog breeds, you must ensure they’re well-behaved whenever you take them for walks. This tip will help.
2. Don’t Make Training Sessions Too Long
When it comes to dog training, several short training sessions are better than one long session. Your pup is bound to get tired and sessions that are too long could have a negative effect.
By short sessions, we don’t mean 20 minutes. We’re talking shorter (sessions that are 30 to 90 seconds long).
This may surprise you as most training classes are 45 to 60 minutes long. Training centers do this since it’s unlikely pet owners will travel to the dog training center several times per day. This is why dog instructors encourage pet owners to work on commands outside of class.
3. Don’t Deliver Treats Too Slowly
You need to make sure your dog knows what it’s being praised for. Let’s say you ask them to come to you. They may come to you and sit down. If you give them a treat after they sit, they may think they’re receiving the treat for sitting and not for coming to you. Therefore, you want to make sure you give them the treat as soon as they’ve completed the desired command.
Two ways to solve this type of problem involve timing:
- Deliver the treat immediately after the behavior is completed.
- Say the word “yes” at the same moment your dog does what you want.
4. Don’t Punish Desirable Behavior
A common mistake pet owners make is to punish desirable behavior.
For example, if you call your dog over and then trim their nails (which most don’t like), you’re punishing them for desirable behavior. This is referred to as “positive punishment.”
Any time the consequence of a behavior is something your dog doesn’t like, he is less likely to do it again.
Instead, you can give your dog a treat each time they come over before trimming their nails. This will let them know they’ve been rewarded with a treat, not with the nail trimming.
5. Don’t Fail To Teach Them To Generalize
You may ask yourself, “Why isn’t my dog listening to instructions? I know they know.” It can be something as simple as sitting, lying, or staying.
Even though your dog can do these behaviors, they’re not always taught to do them in a fully fluent, general area. Your dog can respond to a cue in a familiar environment but may not be able to do so in other locations or situations.
This could result from many reasons, like being distracted or not feeling comfortable.
These are all common training mistakes that’ll make training more challenging for both you and your dog. The good news is that you can make a huge difference in your dog’s behavior and training by adjusting a few things.
The relationship between the two of you will improve, and that’s the best possible outcome!