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Errors in dog training

Most dog owners sincerely want to train their dog well. But an almost equal number will underestimate the time and effort it takes to do so. The result is frequently a common set of mistakes that can be, with more or less effort, avoided.

People tend to treat their dog like little kids. Despite the fact that an ordinary adult dog has a mental capacity comparable to a 2 year old child, you can find more differences that things in common. It is surprising to see how dogs can interpret our language. But they really can't understand our language. They are not capable of understanding cause and result the way humans do.

The outcome many times is a dog that appears to ignore you, which is very annoying for the dog owner. Normally they are hearing you, but they just don't understand what your are trying to communicate. To you it might be clear, because they even have shown the behavior before, so it appears that they are just plain stubborn.

But they aren't really playing with you. They might be distracted, or they just don't remember yesterday's exercise. It is important for you to know that there are many explanations for your dogs behavior.

So please have patience. Most dogs need a lot of repetition before they truly dominate a command. You have to train them in different settings. For some dogs you might need many, many months of training before they finally come every time you call him.

Being patient means controlling your anger and when your dog doesn't obey you. It is easy to punish your dog as a means of correction, but I really wouldn't recommend physical punishment for dog training. When you hit your dog you will only get a dog that fears you, not a dog that wants to please you with his behavior. You should try to establish trust between you and your dog.

Dogs will more likely follow an owner that they trust. They will show a desired behavior sooner when they know there will be a reward. When a dog is afraid of you he will only show the wanted behavior when you are close. Dogs don't reason like people. You can hit him, but he will not really learn anything. I strongly advise against hitting your dog, because apart from cruel it's plain counter productive.

So, I now present you with some tips on how NOT to train your dog:

  • Forget that your dog has a nature different from yours. Talk to him like he was human.
  • Think that dogs are capable of relating and understanding cause and result over time.
  • Become angry and impatient when he doesn't listen to you. Whenever he doesn't behave as you expect give him a punishment.

Don't train your dog making these 3 classic mistakes or you'll reap the reward of a maladjusted dog. Be prepared to change YOUR behavior first, before you try to change the dog behavior.

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