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Common Dog Training Mistakes

 by jaime on 08 May 2014 |
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Proper training is important for every dog, and in the end the dog owner needs to act as the trainer. Even if you spend money on puppy kindergarten and expensive training classes, you will need to reinforce the lessons the professional trainer teaches your dog. If you fail to provide that reinforcement, your dog will quickly revert to its old ways, and all the money you spent on training will have been wasted.

  

There are some common mistakes that dog owners tend to make when they train their dogs or reinforce the training professionals have provided. Whether you hire an outside trainer or work with your dog on your own, these common blunders could undo all your hard work.

 

Expecting Too Much Too Soon

Expecting too much progress too soon is one of the most common mistakes dog owners make. It's easy to see why so many dog owners make this blunder; we see dogs on TV and in the movies every day, and they always seem to behave perfectly. It is only natural to want your own dog to do the same.

 

Keep in mind, however, that those canine movie and TV stars are the product of years of careful training by professionals. You cannot expect your own dog to master the same tricks or display the same level of competence with part-time training. So cut your dog some slack and give it time. Your dog will master the basics and then move on to more advanced training.
 


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Not Rewarding Your Dog for Trying

Positive reinforcement is the key to success when training your dog. As the owner, you will need to recognize when your dog is trying hard to please you and understand what you want. Rewarding your dog for trying to do what you ask is one of the best ways to get results.

  

Keep an assortment of treats with you as you train your dog, and be ready to provide a reward when your dog understands what you want and attempts to do it. Reward the try, even if the result are not as perfect as you might like. The positive reinforcement you provide will keep your dog motivated and moving forward.
 

Sending Mixed Messages  

This is a big one, especially in big families. Sending mixed messages will derail even the most comprehensive training strategy and could set your dog's progress back weeks or even months.

  

If you want your dog to stop jumping on people, your friends and family are not doing you any favors if they allow the behavior. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve with your dog, and make sure everyone - family members, friends and visitors - knows to enforce the same level of discipline.

  

Avoiding these common mistakes is one of the best ways to keep your dog moving forward in its training. Dogs are pack animals, and they seek strong leadership. As the dog owner, you need to be the pack leader, and that means providing consistency and authority as well as love and affection.

    

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