Training your dog can take a lot of time, but it's worth it. A dog is more than just a pet. It's your companion through life. Training your dog helps them to get acquainted with the world around them and stop them from misbehaving. If you've ever had to walk a disobedient dog, you know how challenging it can be. To teach your dog obedience needs more than just mental commitment. It requires a regimen that needs to be adhered to. Many owners make mistakes when training their dogs that they aren't even aware of. This article intends to cover a few of the more common mistakes that owners make when training their dogs.
Don't Train Too Generalized A Behavior
Generalizing behaviors can sneak up on you. When you teach your pet to sit in the quiet, controlled sitting room, they learn that this behavior should happen in this place. Generalizing actions has the side effect of making it impossible to replicate that behavior in any location. To ensure that behaviors don't get generalized, you'll need to start slowly introducing distractions into the training area. At first, training in a quiet, isolated spot is a good idea. However, as you progress with the training, you should start introducing more distractions so that your dog is aware of these potential disruptions. These disturbances could come in the form of noises or another dog or person. You can be creative with how you introduce them into your training sessions.
Don't Repeat Commands
Ideally, when you give your dog a command, they are supposed to follow it immediately. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Instead, you may need to repeat yourself a few times. Your pet may take a while to respond to the command and perform the action. This stalling is a learned behavior, and a hard one to break. When your dog ignores an order, it may be because they see it as one they're not comfortable with. Some dogs are merely headstrong, while others refuse to perform certain behaviors. You should only deliver a command once. If your pet refuses to listen to the order, it’s a sign that they should be retrained. Doing so can start with a quiet location alone. Don't be afraid to let them know you're disappointed if they don't listen. As a last-ditch effort, you can deliver the command, then each time they ignore it, move closer while looking the dog in the eye. Eventually, they will comply, and then you praise them.
Don't Rely Too Much on Treats as Rewards
Training your dog does go hand in hand with delivering treats. It's a far more effective method than punishing a dog if he or she disobeys. However, many owners rely on treats too much for rewarding behavioral training. Praise and celebrity should also come as part of the reward for behavioral training. Using food as the primary motivator risks your dog losing focus on the task at hand. Eventually, the tasks become a means to an end. They don't perform the tricks because they're trained to, but because they're hungry or want a treat. Instead, intersperse treats with praise and celebration. Dogs are smart animals, and once they start expecting rewards such as food, they lose their focus on why they're doing tasks.
Don't Make Your Sessions Too Long or Too Short
It typically takes several sessions to get your dog's behavior sorted out. You can't expect your dog to learn a new trick after a single session, no matter how good a trainer you are or how smart the dog is. A typical problem many owners make is trying to force their dogs to learn long after their attention span has become depleted. When you manage to complete a task, end the session with some praise and a treat. Please don't push the session beyond your dog's comfort limit. The other problem is ending a session too soon. If you quit a session before any progress happens, your dog will never learn those new skills. Keep in mind that training ten times for one minute apiece may be more effective than training once for ten minutes.
Don't Get Emotional
Dogs can sense your emotions. That's why, when you get angry or irritated, you might find your pet running over to their safe spot in the house. Try to deliver your training with neutral emotion. Don't be hyperbolic in your behavior, either with your disappointment or your excitement. These emotions can interject into your routine and make it harder for your dog to learn. The best mood for an owner to have while training is calm indifference. If your dog gets something wrong, don't scold them. Just calmly state that that's wrong and withhold a treat. Similarly, if they do something right, calmly praise them and let them know that they succeeded with a treat. This sort of behavioral control will go a long way towards training your dog.
Don't Be Inconsistent
Dogs need to have something constant around them. Inconsistency will throw off their training regimen. Dogs that have microfiber blankets display attachment to them because the dog is sure about their surroundings when wrapped in them. Similarly, as a trainer, your training should be consistent. If you train them extensively one or two days for the week, then leave intermittent time in between sessions, you'll impact your dog's learning capability immensely. Dogs rely on consistency to predict behavior in the people they trust. If your action is inconsistent, it weakens the bond between you and your dog. Trust is essential in training your pup.
Build Your Confidence First
Dogs are natural predators, and if it's one thing that predators sense before everything else, it's fear. If you show a lack of confidence, your dog will exploit it. They'll see where they can gain the advantage over you and use it to their advantage. Dogs didn't become humans' pets by simply obeying masters they saw as weak. But they certainly took advantage of them. Attending a training class with your dog will help to build that confidence between you. They will see you in a room with other dogs, and your bond with them will grow as a result. This shared experience is essential to establish yourself as a confident trainer. Dogs typically don't like to listen to those who show fear.
Don't Be Afraid to Train
While you can make a lot of mistakes as a trainer, you shouldn't be afraid to devote yourself to teaching your dog. A well-trained pup can be a joy to have. Some owners have trained their dogs to such an extent that they can be comfortable letting them roam around within their apartment with company over. However, you should be aware of these common mistakes since they may lead to your dog being harder to teach. Learning takes time. These mistakes could increase how long it takes to get your dog to do what you want them to do.