Dog Training Tips: What Not to Do

 

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You may think that you’re doing things right with your dog’s training, but your dog’s reactions and performance say otherwise. It’s likely that there is a gap between what you’re trying to achieve and the signals that your canine is reading. Here are some don’ts that you want to avoid while training.

Too many treats

Treats are no doubt an important part of the training drill, but give your pet too many treats and you will be shifting the focus off the desired action or behavior and onto the treats instead. The result is that the dog develops a fixation toward the treat rather than picking up the behavior. Use treats sparingly, and preferably in the initial days when you are training your pet. You can also use it from time to time when you are reinforcing or sharpening the behavior. Otherwise, you want to gradually swap treats with a positive response and praise, as your pet masters the behavior or skill. Your dog will automatically try harder while training when you respond positively to the progress.

Be authoritative and calm

Dogs can easily smell fear and lack of confidence, and it takes small absent-minded cues for them to decide who’s the boss. It could even be something as simple as your dog barking at you while you’re eating at the table. If you respond to the bark by handing some food, then you’ve automatically handed the reigns of authority to your dog, as you’re taking commands from your dog now. They do not bark at their pack leaders while they’re eating, and if they’re barking at you, then you need to calmly turn this habit around. Notice how we said calmly; yes, being calm is extremely important during these training and disciplining sessions. Too many energetic screams and squeals, anger or force, and your dog will get intimidated. They won’t be able to channel their energy to focus. A calm indifferent attitude with an authoritative tone will calm your pet, and they will be ready to listen to you.
Inconsistent responses and techniques

Dogs look for consistency in their trainers. If you respond differently each time, then he/she will not be able to predict your reactions, due to which they may continue a stubborn habit that you are trying to break. So if you are setting down rules for your dog, make sure you are consistent when you are implementing them or telling your dog to not do otherwise. For instance, if you are correcting your dog when it chews on shoes or other objects, then you want to do it consistently. You do not want to let them go easy on some days, just because, as this will break their trust in the trainer. Same goes with training techniques, consistency is key. You cannot show a certain level of patience one day, and a different level the next, then it will leave your dog confused.

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