Dog training is indeed not an easy task. It takes a lot of time, effort, patience, and perseverance to conduct consistent and effective training sessions. “To err is human,” they say, and not everyone is perfect, anyway. Sometimes, dog trainers unconsciously make mistakes in dog training. Are you guilty of committing training mistakes? Know these common training mistakes, and try to avoid doing them next time. By knowing and understanding these, you are a few steps better in successfully training your dog.
- Long training time. Teaching dogs new tricks and behaviors is a process and really takes time. They key is understanding that it really takes several sessions for a dog to learn new tricks and behaviors. One-time-big-time training and long training sessions are not ideal for the dog may get bored, tired, and/or irritable, and may not anymore participate and pay attention. Remember those straight hours of Chemistry classes that drained you? The same happens to a dog, they get drained after hours of continuous training.
- The right thing at the wrong time. Every interaction with the dog sends a message. Sometimes, dog owners unintentionally send the wrong message. For instance, giving attention and affection when the dog is doing an undesirable behavior can reinforce that behavior, thus increasing the likelihood it will continue to engage in that undesirable behavior.
- Inconsistent methods. In line with the previously mentioned, inconsistency do not lead to successful training and may cause a more desirable behavior. Dogs pay more attention to patterns, thus it is crucial to be consistent throughout all training sessions. Varying training methods too much, especially during the start of the training, diminishes the ability of dogs to learn more efficiently.
- Not enough practice after successful training. Most dog owners do not follow up or practice behaviors and tricks learned after successful training. Some dog owners are probably guilty of training then forgetting. A few months after the dog has finished training but do not practice what was learned, dog owners get frustrated when it does not perform what was previously learned. Just like us, human beings, dogs get rusty on learned skills and tricks when not practiced for a long time.
- Too many treats, not enough praise. Treats are great reinforcements for training but too much of it, and forgetting to add praise, may be detrimental to the training process. In training, too much treats, and neglecting praise, can sometimes work against dog training. Sudden withdrawal or even just absences of treats may lead to the dog not performing an already learned behavior or trick.
- Buy whatever is “in.” Getting whatever accessories or training aids that are trending for dogs, without even thoroughly researching about it, may endanger the safety and well-being of your dogs. For instance, when buying anti bark collars for dogs, it is extremely important to make sure that the bark collar purchased is appropriate for the dog. Not all bark collars are for dogs; in choosing the best and most suitable bark collar for a dog, certain dog characteristics must be taken into utmost consideration.
Every responsible dog owner wants the best and the most successful training for their dogs. Some dog owners may be guilty of committing these mistakes in training mistakes. The first step is knowing these mistakes, recognizing them, and then doing something about them in order to not commit them again.