Have you ever winced when your dog misbehaves at the dog park? While owning a perfectly trained dog is ideal, getting to that point is not always easy. But the fact that you are determined to train your dog means you are on the right path. Don’t allow minor or common dog training mistakes to deter you.
Let’s look at some of the most common dog training mistakes people make and what you can do to mitigate them.
Not being patient
Training a dog takes time, and every dog learns at his or her pace. Don’t get frustrated or stressed because your dog is taking too long to catch on to something. Not only will that make matters worse, but the dog will most likely also become stressed.
If the dog struggles to master something, you need to consider whether this might be a good time for that specific training. Perhaps you have extended the session for too long. It’s good to keep the session short (10-15) minutes and always end positively.
Alternatively, break down the training sessions into smaller parts, each done separately.
Not correcting or rewarding Immediately
Dogs are not blessed with the same sense of time as human beings. Negative or positive behavior must be recognized immediately; otherwise, you will only be confusing the animal.
If the dog does something naughty, and first you decide to go and answer the ringing phone or doorbell, then come inside ten minutes later and scold him, the animal won’t know why he is getting punished.
Inadvertently encouraging bad habits
If you pet or touch a dog that jumps, you reward the action, teaching him that jumping for attention has a reward. Similarly, if you give in to the dinner table begging, you are making begging a habit.
Encouraging the dog to bark at strangers or cats and then punishing that same behavior later in life when he chases your new kitten or barks at the postman makes no sense.
Failing to establish a routine
Dogs love routine. When they know times to play, walk, eat, and sleep, it creates a confidence level that builds healthy anticipation and minimizes stress. Dogs are very clever animals and quickly pick up on many signals. Some might not be that important—leading to confusion and problems later in training.
When training puppies, it’s essential to set a reliable schedule for playing, walking, and feeding. Whatever routine you set, try and stick to it as that inspires confidence in your puppy. It also makes the transition into adulthood much easy.
Not recognizing when your dog is anxious or scared
Learn to spot signs of fatigue, anxiety, or fear in your dog and immediately stop the training session. Flattened ears, licking lips, and cowering with the tail between the legs are more common dog signs that he is anxious or scared.
Avoid dog training mistakes
Finally, never train a dog when you are in a bad mood or tired. Human patience tends to wear thin when tired or grumpy, and you are more likely to get mad at the dog for not getting things right on the first attempt. To train your dog professionally, you can learn skills by joining dog trainer courses available online. These lessons are very helpful in communicating with your pet.