How to Avoid Dog Training Mistakes
Do you have a new dog in your home that you’re ready to train?
You’ve observed the behaviors of many dogs, and with their behaviors, there are things you really like, but there are also things you really don’t want your dog to do. So how do you avoid some of the pitfalls of training mistakes?
Let’s face it, we’re human and they are dogs, there are bound to be mistakes on both sides along the way, but the fact that you are trying means you’re on the way to raising a good canine friend.
Avoid these typical training mistakes:
- Beginning at the beginning...don’t wait too long to begin training your pup. Your dog is smart, and wants to please you, there is no time like the present to begin. The longer you wait, the more bad habits he/she has time to develop. Certainly there are things that may be too advanced for a young dog, but you’ll definitely want to begin using basic commands and house training.
- A wonderful way to get started is to enroll your pup in a socializing class.
- Don’t stop, and don’t let down. Just because your dog has reached a certain age or level of behavior, doesn’t mean training time is over. Training should continue as your dog progresses in age. Like all good habits, without continued practice, desireable dog behaviors can be forgotten. Plus, there are so many things she can learn and get better at, and in addition, continued training is a great way for the two of you to bond.
- If you have successfully trained other dogs, don’t assume that what worked for one, works for all. Just like people, dogs have different personalities and needs, and will respond differently to different styles. Just remember to exercise patience as the learning process moves forward.
- Be consistent! When your dog behaves either properly or poorly, make sure your response is consistent as to how you want her to behave – otherwise you are sending mixed signals and Fido is getting confused.
- One example would be begging…obviously you don’t want your pup to beg, so whenever begging begins, and it will, be consistent, never give in “just this once”…she will consider whatever she has begged for and received as a reward, and the begging will continue.
- As I mentioned in #3, be patient. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a well behaved dog. If you lose patience and get frustrated with your dog, she will also become frustrated and possibly stressed.
- Punishing your dog is not an effective training method. Certainly you can use gentle disciplines such as a spray bottle or a firm word to remind her of inappropriate behavior. But wouldn’t you respond better to a reward, a favorite treat, praise or loving touch better than hitting, yelling or jerking the collar? Rewarding for good behavior not only reinforces the good behavior, but always trumps harsh discipline.
- Positive reinforcement, whether it’s a treat or praise, should occur immediately after the desired behavior has occurred. Otherwise, you have lost the moment…it is a missed opportunity.
What do you want from your dog?
If you are looking for a proven professional who can guide you to address puppy raising and house training, settling a new rescue dog into your home or overcoming separation anxiety or aggression issues you’ve come to the right place.
I’m Gayle Ballinger and I am fiercely committed to guiding family pet owners everywhere to achieve a fun, trusting relationship with your pets so you can enjoy the type of unique relationship you originally dreamed of when you first considered adopting a companion animal.
My training techniques are based around one simple question:
What do you want and expect from your dog?
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are, under given circumstances and situations.