10 Common Dog Training Mistakes

Waiting Too Long to Start Training No matter his age, training should start as soon as your dog arrives home. Do not wait for your dog to get old and develop bad habits. Dog training is different from behavior management. Dog training aims to change your dog's behavior, and teach you how to use specific phrases.

Not Training Enough You can't just do training once and then forget about it. Regular training is key to getting the best results for your dog, regardless of whether he masters a particular action or cue. You should pick one thing you want to focus on and have short, productive training sessions at the least twice a week. You can find new ways to teach your dog but you should also revisit the basics.

Taking a "One-Size-Fits-All" Approach Do not read one book about dog training. You may conclude that this is all you need. Talking to someone who is knowledgeable about dogs is a good idea. Although there are many dog training methods and programs that work, no two dogs are the same. Sometimes, you will need to get advice from multiple sources to create your own training program.

Inconsistency Dog training at every level requires consistent responses. You can confuse your dog if you're inconsistent with training. Inadvertently reinforcing undesirable behaviors can also be a problem.

Impatience Dog training is a slow process. Each dog learns at their own pace. Do not get frustrated or stressed out if your dog isn’t understanding something. Your dog will become frustrated and stressed, which will only make matters worse.

Harsh Discipline Modern dog trainers are unanimous in their belief that punishment is not effective for dog training. Positive dog training is more effective because dogs are more likely than ever to be rewarded for their efforts. Mild aversives, such as a spray bottle or a penny container, can be useful in certain situations but do not cause harm. Other things could create dangerous situations.

Getting the Timing Wrong If you don't communicate with your dog in a way that he understands, your dog will not know that he did something right. Positive reinforcement and timing are key. To mark desired behaviors, many trainers recommend using a clicker (or a brief word like "yes") or other short words (like "yes").

Reinforcing the Wrong Behavior Inadvertent reinforcement of undesirable behaviors is one of the biggest mistakes in dog training. It may be difficult to see it as reinforcement or reward. You might comfort your dog when it's scared, let him into the house immediately if he barks or give him a harsh talking-to if he does not behave.

Calling Your Dog to You for Something Unpleasant If you knew that you would get into trouble, be yelled on, or experience other unpleasant things, would you choose to go to someone? You wouldn't and neither would your dog. You are effectively punishing your dog for coming to you when he does something unfavorable.

Failing to Proof Behavior To prove a behavior, you need to do it in various settings and with different distractions. This is an essential step in dog training. Your dog will learn to sit in your living area once he has learned that "put your bottom on the floor in the living space."