5 Basic dog training mistakes
Responsible dog owners know that it is extremely important to train your dog in order to make sure that you can both live together in a happy, safe, and comfortable environment. Training shouldn't be seen as ordering your dog around but should instead be viewed as teaching your dog to understand you. Remember that evolutionarily speaking, dogs are pack animals, and would be able to communicate with its pack-mates. Alpha dogs would use different postures and actions to command the lower-ranked dogs. This was the natural way that they functioned socially.
In your relationship with your dog, you should establish yourself as the alpha. This way, your dog will want to know what you expect of him, and training is the way to do that.
However, there are some right and wrong ways to train your dog, and unfortunately all too many dog owners are prone to making training mistakes that break the lines of communication between you and your pet.
Among these common mistakes are:
1. Inconsistency – training isn't just something that you do twice a week for a half hour at a time. It is a constant process. Repetition is extremely important, and things must be done the same way, every time. You can't just slack on the training because you're not feeling motivated or your dog is frustrating you. Remind yourself that once your dog learns, you will have created a communication for that action, and then you can simply maintain it instead of working on it from scratch.
2. Impatience – training your dog isn't something that can simply happen all at once. You need to prepare to dedicate yourself to repeating things time and time again – calmly. Although it can be extremely frustrating when your dog doesn't seem to be catching on – or worse, when you're sure that your dog knows what you're asking but is simply refusing – but if you become impatient, then you've lost all hope for success. Remember to take it slow, and do things in manageable steps, instead of overwhelming and frustrating both you and your dog.
3. Working separately instead of as a team – remember that you're working with your dog to achieve something. If you find yourself "arguing" with your dog instead of taking the time and making the effort to allow your dog to learn, then you won't make any progress. Work in a positive direction, instead of a negative one.
4. Keep your mind open – when you're having problems with your dog training as a whole or with a certain command, keep your mind open to new techniques. If you're taking a class and the instructor's method simply isn't getting through to your pooch, try looking online or in books to see if there are alternative teaching styles for the things you want to communicate.
5. Thinking of training as a chore – obedience training can either be frustrating and boring, or it can be a fun time to bond with your dog. Think of it as helping your dog with his homework. Be creative, stay happy and focused, and work together. When your dog does something right, instead of simply saying "good boy" or handing your dog a treat, get creative and keep things fresh. The less monotony, the happier you both will be.
So there you have it! Five basic dog training mistakes which now you can avoid them will ensure that you and your dog have more fun and your training progresses faster and more smoothly than before.