Dog training is very important, but we often make mistakes because we are unaware of the error of our ways. Most of the times, these mistakes are not critical, but they do tend to slow down the process of the dog’s training. This causes frustration for the owner and confuses the pet greatly. Here are some mistakes commonly made in dog training, and how you can avoid them.
You are Training for Too Long
You might think that training your dog for too long will produce better results, but that is not always how it works. Your dog might get bored especially if it is a young pup. You might start getting tired yourself and not pay attention to how the dog is behaving. Long sessions can be tiresome for both the owners and dogs. Short, fun, and fully engaged sessions are more effective because you can retain the dog’s attention better during this time.
You are Not Practicing Regularly
People often get sluggish after giving the dog the initial training. But if it important to continue training, otherwise the dog’s behavior will be impacted. Just like you get rusty over time if you haven’t done something in a long while, dogs become slow in their skills too. That is why it is important to practice regularly with your dog. As I saw trainer Ted Summers post, “Maintenance training is a myth, the dog’s training is advancing or decaying.”
You are Training at the Same Area
People often make the mistake of training their dogs at the same place, for example, their homes. Then they get confused when the dog behaves miserably at the park or in town. Many do not understand that dogs do not generalize easily, so you should try training them at different spots, so they can understand their commands better in a wide variety of environments. If you watch my training videos, you will see I am constantly in different areas with the same dog.
You are Not Proactive
Dog training takes time, technique and stamina. You need to be patient, and remain consistent to have a well behaved dog. People often lack insight and only react to the situation. Instead, you need to remain proactive, and train your dog regularly, to instill those good habits in your pet. As I say, “there is NO replacement for repetition.” Also, be proactive in training the dog for situations that you know they will find themselves in (distracted by other dogs, distracted by people, noises, objects, etc). It’s better to work on these things in a training environment so they are much easier to deal with in a real world environment. I always try to train the dogs for harder scenarios than they will actually deal with in a real world environment.
Always Give the Dog 100%
Remember, the dog you are training does not care what you have going on in your life (a break-up, tired, stressed, etc). As I tell my trainers, “You chose to train the dog, the dog did not choose to work with you; therefore, YOU owe the dog everything and they owe you nothing.” Always make a conscious effort to be motivated, up-beat, and fun! If you find yourself (or the dog) getting frustrated, it’s time to take a break! Give the dog 100%!
You are Not Consistent
Consistency is KEY! There is no replacement for consistency. If you give the dog a command, it is imperative that you follow through 100% of the time. If the dog believes there is a loop-hole in your training system, they will certainly find it. If I tell the dog down, and they break the command five times, I will put them back six times. Only letting them up when “I” give them the release word. If you are training inconsistently, you should expect inconsistent results.
The Three Things It Takes To Make A Dog Amazing
In the words of a good friend of mine, mentor, and legendary trainer, George Hickox, “There are three things every dogs needs in order to be a champion: good genetics, good nutrition, and good training.” Depending on where you got your dog you cannot always control the dog’s genetics; however, you can control the other two! Look at your dog like a person; ensure your dog’s nutrition, hydration, and health is placed very high on your priority list! Having the ability to control two of the three most important things is huge! Do not take them lightly.
Apply What Training Works Best For the Dog In Front of You
A lot of people forget that the most important dog in the world is the one that’s right in front of them! Adjust your training, style, and methodology to whatever works best for the dog that is in front of you!
Ask, Ask, and Ask!
Lastly, if you are ever unsure about a specific dog, behavior, or issue, ASK! Our world is filled with incredibly knowledgeable trainers, ask one or two of them for their advice! I am fortunate enough to have an entire contacts list filled with some of the best trainers in the country, I pick their brains every chance I get! Remember, it’s better to actually have the knowledge than it is to act like you do. When you learn, you become a better trainer and in turn, your dogs become better! It’s a win for you and it’s a win for the dog (the biggest win).