TOP 13 Mistakes to Avoid When Training Dogs
Dog's owners' typical mistakes
No Goal — No Results
If you don't know what you want from a dog, how can it know what you expect from it? At first, you are satisfied that the pet is waddling, and you even reward it for doing so. Then you decide that it has to sit straight. This behavior of the owners leads to the fact that the dog has to retrain constantly.
Hurrying up Destroys Training
Many dog owners do not pay enough attention to their pet's skill development. If the dog has successfully completed your command several times, it doesn't mean that it's time to move on to practicing new skills. The sooner you move on to mastering the next command, the higher the chance that your pet will quickly forget the previous one.
Frequent Shifts Between Apps for Training
In the same way, it is with different dog handlers, dog training apps may suggest different steps and training approaches that may not combine well with each other.
Consistency in Actions
Today you allow pulling the leash, tomorrow you get irritated when your dog pulls; yesterday you praised your pet for the execution of commands, today you have forgotten to do it. If you have chosen a certain line of behavior, stick to it at all times.
‘No’ to Inconsistency
Learn how to build a 'command-stimulus-action-reward' chain correctly in the article "Successful training: 4 steps you shouldn't skip."
It’s the Dog’s Fault
“It is stubborn”, “It behaves to spite on me”, “It behaves stupidly”, “This breed can't be trained” — often the owner sees the dog as a problem instead of understanding their own impact.
I Don’t Understand You
The dog wags its tail — it is happy and wants to play, licks its lips — wants to eat or drink. That's right, but wagging the tail can also be a sign of aggression, and licking can show that the dog is nervous. And even the fact that your pet is yawning does not mean that it wants to sleep. Most likely, the pet is scared or worried.
You can find more information about this in the article “Your Dog's Body Language”.
Everything Has Its Time
Sometimes when you come home, you can find a puddle near the door. You get angry and punish the dog, although this puddle is already several hours old. Such punishment is not only ineffective but can also ruin your relationship with your dog.
The dog successfully completes the command, but the owner doesn't praise it. As the result, you reward it for the next action it performs but not the one you want to consolidate.
Is Repetition Really the Mother of Learning?
If you say a command, don't repeat it over and over again. Wait for the dog to perform the desired action. The constant repetition of the command will lead to situations when your pet doesn't execute after the first time the command is given.
The dog doesn't understand words but understands emotions. Therefore, praise it heartily and with a sense of delight, so that it understands that you are proud of how it behaves.
Consistency in Words
Sit, sit down, please sit — for you, it means the same thing, but for the dog it is another reason to get confused. Try to make your commands sound the same at all times, and remember to pronounce them loudly, clearly, and with the same intonation.
Dog and Bad Mood Are Incompatible
If you are tired or not feeling well, it is better to postpone any activities with your pet. In this state, your attention will be focused not on the actions of your dog but on your bad mood. Moreover, you may start getting annoyed with the dog, and as a result, you will take it out on it, rolling back in training or completely ruining the relationship.
It often happens that there is no agreement between family members on how to take care of and train the dog. One struggles with the dog's habit to beg for food, the other feeds from the table; you train the dog not to pull the leash, whereas your relatives chase when it pulls. To avoid this, try to achieve a unified line of behavior with your pet in the family.
With the right approach to dog training, over time, idyllic pictures of walking and playing together will become your reality. The main thing is to be patient, set clear goals for yourself and your pet, and, of course, love it. Your pet will definitely reciprocate your feelings.