Getting acquainted with different training techniques is a must for every dog owner. Training your dogs can improve their performance, helping them to grow as better canine companions. Unfortunately, many owners do not invest their time in molding the capabilities of their beloved pets. This deed is unfortunate for dogs since their full potentials are strained.
Most of these mistakes are harmless to the dogs, yet they may slow down the training process, causing further frustration from the side of the pet owner. I have listed six of the most common training mistakes pet owners do with their pet dogs.
1. Training your dog for too long
Dogs have an average attention span of around five minutes, so training your dog for a long time will only bore him. Puppies, in particular, have a shorter attention span because of the energy they spend in a matter of minutes. This means that giving your pup an hour-long training would be a lot for him to take in. Hence, a daily five to ten-minute training is recommended.
See to it that if your dog has shown an improvement with whatever kind of training you are giving to him, it is time to reward him and call it a day.
2. Not Training Your Dog Enough
Most of the time, repetition is the key when training your dogs. The frequency of your training will most likely affect the performance and capabilities of your pets. Many of us, however, tend to think that our dogs have great superpowers — that they are capable of learning a new routine in a short matter of time. Many dogs, when taught how to sit and stand, would obey after a few classes. Without further reinforcement, however, your dog would most likely forget such acts.
Help your dog establish a routine by regularly repeating the behaviors that you wish to let him learn several times a day. Allow yourself to be spontaneous, calling him to “stand,” or “sit” at the most uncertain moment. Furthermore, let your dog learn new tricks every once in a while, but do not forget to revisit the skills which he has already learned.
3. Giving your dog too many treats
Treats are essential in the training process of your dog but relying too much on them would only cause you frustration later on. Rewarding your dog with treats may only be necessary during the early part of your training process. If your dog has learned a new skill, slowly replace treats with praise, play, or rewards such as petting.
It should be noted that providing your dog with treats in a frequent manner will only slow down the training process. Your dog will then begin expecting rewards coming from you. If you fail to give him one, he might not behave well at all.
4. Being Inconsistent
Setting a consistent way of training is crucial to dogs. Dogs are more likely to conform to trainers who have established a rule on things. On the other hand, being inconsistent with the way you handle your dog will only confuse him. This will make it more difficult for him to adjust to your rules.
For instance, you have started training your dog to not enter your room. Yet, you sometimes bring him into your room to sleep. The next time he goes into your room and you scold him, your puppy will only end up muddled, unable to predict what you really wanted him to do.
When you set rules, always try your best to stick to them.
5. Repeating Your Commands
Repeating commands is one of the most common mistakes that pet owners do with their dogs. When you say a command like “sit,” once and they don’t respond, you end up repeating such command over and over again. You may end up frustrated, wondering why your dog just won’t sit. This may be caused by an unprecedented distraction, or your dog just got confused. But basically, your dog not responding to your command may be due to bad technique.
Instead of constantly nagging your dog with an endless set of cues, try several training practices. Make it fun, and provide rewards and praise to your dog. The tip is to say the command only once. If he doesn’t respond, try to teach him the trick again.
6. Correction-based training
Most pet owners believe that positive reinforcement yields better outcomes than harsh punishment. Your pet dog may most likely perform better during the training process when provided with a positive environment, with reinforcements and praise. On the other hand, providing your dog with a correction-based training will only slow down the training process. Such training involves yelling, hitting, and jerking of the leash, among others. Consistent punishment will only make your dog fearful. Furthermore, he may develop a hostile behavior which can be dangerous to you and other people. Your dog may also lose respect towards you when subjected to a harsh discipline.
Combining positive reinforcement with harsh discipline may be worse for your dogs than doing just the latter. It can cause confusion to your dog, making him uninterested to you, and unwilling to subject himself when you call for him. He ends up not able to predict whether he will be rewarded or punished. Hence, you should learn to practice positive reinforcement, especially to your best canine friend.
As pet owners, it is only proper to understand the proper ways of training our dogs. We should take these mistakes seriously and try our best to avoid them to ensure the best for our pets. Our dogs deserve the best in the world, and it’s only our duty to provide them such.