Training your dog is an enduring experience, requiring patience from you and discipline from your dog. We all make mistakes, but when you’re training your dog, there are common mistakes that can make the process harder than it already is. We’re going to tell you about five common mistakes that every owner may do that leads to bad behaviors.
Not Practicing Enough
If you don’t practice enough, your dog’s performance will suffer. For some, they take obedience classes, and it goes well. The dog learns, and everyone’s happy. Except, as the days go by, you forget to continually practice with your dog, wondering why it won’t respond to certain commands. Just like how we can get rusty with certain skills or learning material, your dog can too. Don’t make the mistake of not practicing for a few minutes a day until it becomes natural.
Nagging Your Commands
In hindsight, it may sound great. Keep repeating your commands, and your dog will listen. Except, your dog will start to take those nagging commands and expect it to be the whole command. For example, telling your dog to sit. If it doesn’t the first time, and you keep saying “sit,” your dog will look for you saying “sit” multiple times before it actually sits. What you should do is say the command once, and if your dog doesn’t respond, either wait or do it again in a different setting.
Positive reinforcement works unless you mix it with correction-based training. Be careful to not accidentally combine the two, as it can become a confusing atmosphere for your dog. This will cause your dog to act out or not at all, as it won’t know if it’s about to be rewarded, or punished.
The clicker is a great tool to train your dog. However, if you use the clicker and don’t reward the dog, the click will lose its value. Also, if you use the clicker more than once too quickly, the dog will be confused as to what the clicker is marking.
Training Only in One Place
Teaching your dog to sit, come, handshake, etc., is excellent in your home setting. Except, if you only do it at home, your dog may not respond to “sit” at the dog park or “come.” It’s essential to keep training your dog in any place, so the commands stick.
Training your dog is a bonding experience, and avoiding common training mistakes that may create bad behaviors will be beneficial for everyone. If you are having difficulty, consult with a professional to assist in training your dog. At Canine College, we offer private lessons and group training sessions to teach your dog basic obedience commands, skills, and beyond. Contact us today to learn more!