5 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Should Avoid in Training
Are you ready to start dog training? If you're feeling overwhelmed and puzzled, you’re not alone. Figuring out which dog training method is ideal for your pet can be a daunting task for any fur parent. Many pet owners find themselves doing everything possible to train their dogs but are not getting the desired results.
Before you turn in the proverbial towel, know this. There is no such thing as a universal dog training technique. There are numerous dog training methods available. Not all of them will work for your pet.
To ensure successful dog training, it helps to understand your training methods. You may have chosen a good regimen, but you may also be making mistakes without realizing it. To ensure that your dog gets the most balanced training possible, learn what not to do beforehand. This will save you time, allowing you and your furry companion to train more effectively and thus bond more happily.
What dog training mistakes are you making?
5 Big Training No-Nos
1. Training Inconsistently
Dogs are creatures of habit. They are easier to train if they know what to expect. Consistency in your rules and rewards is critical. Dogs quickly learn what to anticipate from their owners if they realize that every rule and incentive has been established beforehand.
Consistency makes training a lot easier, so be diligent. Without proper reinforcement, your pet may not understand why some activities get rewarded while others do not. This could result in unpredictable behavior, making training much more difficult.
2. Using the Same Approach
Some owners believe that a strategy for another dog will also work for theirs. This isn’t always true. Different dogs or breeds may react to different requests, environments, and people differently. Most Labradors, for example, are friendly and can handle large groups of humans or dogs. If you tried this with a Husky or Chow Chow, you might be surprised how stubborn they can get most times. The best thing to do is create a dog training method based on personality, size, age, energy, breed, and background.
3. Giving More Affection and Less Direction
Your dog's ability to learn may be hindered by excessive emotion. Maintaining a calm approach when training your dog is essential. When you train your dog using force, anger, or frustration, you'll intimidate them and make them apprehensive of training sessions.
This isn't to say you shouldn't be happy when a request is fulfilled or disappointed when your dog refuses to follow commands. Similarly, praise them softly, smile, and continue instead of erupting into loud cheers when they accomplish anything right. They’ll pick up and mirror this laid-back attitude over time.
4. Treat Reliance
We all know it. Treats are an excellent way to start a behavior or reinforce it regularly. However, overindulging in goodies can backfire. Reliance on treats can be imprinted in the dog's head to the point where the desired behavior is jeopardized, and attention from the owner is lost.
Substitute treats with praises, play, or whatever else your dog enjoys once he's learned the behavior. Consider that a surprise treats honors hard work, whereas repeated treats slow down performance and focus.
5. Constant Command Repetition
This is seen frequently, especially among beginner dog owners with difficult dogs. You might teach them a trick such as “stay.” They may fail to respond due to distractions, poor technique, or uncertainty. A common mistake is to keep repeating the command frequently until your dog halfheartedly sits. Stalling becomes a learned behavior that is difficult to break.
Ask only once! If your pet ignores you, go back to the basics and re-teach. Avoid making the error of asking several times or making the behavior seem drab.
How Can You Positively Reinforce Your Dog’s Behavior?
1. Establish a trusting relationship with your dog.
Without trust, no relationship can last. When pets refuse to obey, they frequently endanger themselves. Being a good pet parent requires forming strong ties with your dog.
How do you earn that kind of bond between you and your dog?
- Pet massages - Dog massage has numerous physical and psychological advantages for your dog, and it only takes a few minutes to perform at home. It enhances your dog's health and well-being and makes them feel fantastic!
- Give your dog space - Giving your dog his own space is easy to achieve. They simply need a quiet place to feel relaxed and at home. Choose a location that is out of the way but still allows them to view what’s happening in the area, such as a corner of the living room. Also, make the area welcoming and dog-proof.
- Pay attention to what your dog has to express - An uneasy and tense dog is frequently upset because no one pays attention to him. Figure out why he says, "I can't." Perhaps something about the setting is frightening. Maybe he didn't hear you, or he's not feeling well. Your continuous commands may go unnoticed if your dog is distracted.
Consistency and patience are essential for positive reinforcement. When your dog disobeys a command, it can be highly frustrating. You may be tempted to express your frustration or anger. Note that dogs sense gestures far better than they understand words, so you should express and project positively.
When you're frustrated, breathe and relax. Understand your dog is doing their best or trying to. Begin over with a cheerful demeanor. Your dog will notice this and anticipate what you have already planned to do next.
4. Use an e-collar.
Utilizing a dog training collar together with positive reinforcement dog training may seem contradictory, given that e-collars have been stigmatized since their first release.
Contrary to popular belief, most modern remote training collar brands, such as Dogtra or E-Collar Technologies, do not shock your dog. Instead, they use stimulation such as a beeping noise, vibration, or static pulse, to get your dog's attention. The stimulation has the added benefit of working even if your dog is far from you.
Many dog training collars have long-range, making them ideal for off-leash training or sporting activities. Professional dog trainers have long utilized dog training collars to reinforce positive behaviors in dogs while teaching them to unlearn undesirable behaviors.
The following are some of the best e-collars for dogs that can help you with balanced dog training:
The Dogtra 1900S is a reliable and long-lasting remote training collar for medium to large dog breeds. This high-output e-collar is a must-have tool for pet obedience, hunting, competition trials, and K9 work and is recommended for both serious amateurs and professional trainers.
The EZ-900 Easy Educator can take on even the most challenging behavioral difficulties. This fantastic trainer is packed with unique features, is humane and effective, and can be customized to accommodate dogs of various sizes and temperaments, including the deaf and hard of hearing.
The ET-300 Mini Educator dog collar has a stimulation level for everyone. It features a compact, ergonomic remote ideal for one-handed operation and small hands. The waterproof, easy-to-clean bio thane collar is comfortable. This is one of the best shock collars for small dogs but the collar strap can also be easily cut to fit bigger breeds. The Mini Educator e-collar comes in yellow, black, and Educator Zen 300 design.
The Dogtra CUE remote trainer is the latest addition to the Dogtra e-collar lineup. Currently only available through Amazon, this 400-yard collar has a 400-yard range, 24 levels of static stimulation, vibration, and a carabiner-design remote transmitter. The receiver is convertible for a vertical or horizontal fit, making it flexible for any dog size.
5. Consult a professional.
Getting assistance from a professional trainer is the most effective way to teach your dog the right behavior. Professional dog trainers know how to deal with any dog, regardless of temperament. Apart from that, engaging a professional dog trainer has numerous advantages for you, your dog, and your relationship.
Dog training may require a lot of patience and effort. Make it easier for you and your dog by first making sure you learn the right techniques and use the proper tools. Then, training can be rewarding and fun for both of you.