You’ve finally bought a pup, and you’re excited about becoming a pet parent that you can’t wait to start training the new furry addition to the family. The problem with training dogs is that many dog owners often make so many mistakes and end up raising a dog that doesn’t perform their desired behaviors.
Here are five common mistakes you should avoid when teaching your pup new behaviors and tricks.
Correction-based training instead of positive reinforcement
For some dog owners, they focus on correcting their dogs when they do wrong and act indifferent when they get it right. This can cause a lot of problem for your pup when you repeatedly correct your dog by punishing him as there are chances that he may develop some problematic behavior. Yelling at your dog or starving him may trigger aggression and make it difficult to train him. Instead, learn to distract your pup when you notice he’s about to do something he’s not supposed to do and then reinforce his good behavior by rewarding him with treats.
Training for too long
Dogs have a shorter attention span compared to humans, and it’s advisable to keep the training sessions brief. Your dog may lose interest in the training if it goes on for too long and may refuse to want to train anymore. Other times, your pup may have an information overload and experience difficulty recalling what you’ve been trying to teach him. Dogs learn better when the training sessions are brief and simple.
Training your pup in one place
Except you plan to keep your pup indoors all through his lifetime, it’s recommended to train him in different places. Dogs that are trained in one place (especially in the house) have the tendency of misbehaving once they get outside. Training your dog in different place aids your dog to develop a behavior that’s consistent no matter where he is or what is going on around him. It will help your dog to be comfortable both indoors and outdoors and also get him used to distractions.
Relying on treats
Treats can be wonderful motivators, and many dog owners tend to rely solely on them. It could make your dog behave well only when he sees you with a treat which is improper as there will be moments you won’t have treats with you. You want to have a pup that performs your desired behaviors at all times even when you don’t have a handful of dog food because he can associate your praise to rewards. Too many treats can make your dog add on plenty of weight which may lead to health issues in the future.
Not adjusting for your dog’s personality
Just like humans, all dogs have their individual personalities which mean they don’t respond to every method of training the same way. Some breeds respond better to play as a method of training while some are better motivated by food. In the same vein, some breeds have a natural inclination to please while others are just plain stubborn. It’s important to understand what works for your pup to make learning easy for him.
Sometimes, a pup might become stubborn during training, refusing to obey simple commands. People new to dog training tend to repeat the commands over and over again and by so doing create a pattern where the dog refuses to obey. For instance, repeating the “Sit” command severally might get the dog to finally sit, but there’s a good chance that the dog might acquire stalling as a learned behavior.