Even though you can teach a dog almost anything (if you have the know-how), despite our best efforts and countless trips to training classes, some dogs still struggle with simple commands such as ” sit” or “stay”.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has revealed five of the most common training mistakes to avoid, which in turn could lead to bad habits. These missteps can impact whether or not you succeed in training them.
1. Not practicing between classes
A class or training session once a week is not enough to get your dog well trained. Practicing what you both learned in class when you’re home and on the go is especially important.
The AKC says, “Be sure to train every day, but for short periods of time. Dogs have a human toddler mentality, and just like toddlers, their attention spans can be short. For most puppies, you’ll have better success with 5- to 10-minute sessions.” And don’t forget to have the right treats and supplies at home to get the job done.
2. Throbbing Cue
The “nagging signal” occurs when owners repeat an instruction or command, such as “lie down”, “sit” or “turn over”, over and over again, even if their dog isn’t listening. It is a negative action.
You may have said the word “come” and when your dog doesn’t obey, you keep repeating it.
“Pretty soon your dog won’t pay attention until you say the word five or six times. By repeating the signal, you’ve taught your dog that he doesn’t have to respond right away – and your signal is now ‘come come come.’ It is imperative to say the signal only once,” according to the AKC.
3. Meaningless repetition
This brings us to our next training mistake. If your dog doesn’t understand an instruction, you should try a different technique instead of trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
The AKC recommends “If you keep trying the same training method, but your dog doesn’t pick up the signal – STOP! Evaluate your pet’s responses and come up with a new plan.”
4. Use negative cues
Using positive situations, rather than summoning your furry friend for something they don’t like, like a bath, is another great tip when teaching them cues.
So take the bath as an example. If you call your dog and he comes and you continue to bathe him, when you call him to “come” the next day, he may hesitate. Or maybe your pup isn’t responding to your call at all. When you start training, you should avoid using a cue that relates to something they don’t like as much as possible.
5. Training when you or your dog are frustrated
Even if you instill productive role models in your dog, training should still be a fun bonding experience between pet and owner.
Attempting to work out when you or they are in the mood or feeling frustrated will be somewhat counterproductive and even lead them to think that working out is a negative activity.
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