Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ is the owner of Above and Beyond Dog Training. As a young girl, Marissa always had a passion for animals. Marissa began her career as a dog trainer after enrolling her dog in training classes, where she learned to love the training process and interactions with other dogs. In the following article, Marissa Corbett explains common dog training mistakes that are commonly made that reinforce bad dog behaviors, how to correct and modify these behaviors, and how to apply these techniques in real-life settings.
Training a dog takes time, patience, and dedication to reinforce good behavior. Unfortunately, many dog owners make the mistake of thinking that the training process is over after just a few weeks or months. Just like people, dogs need constant reminders of the rules and expectations their owners have set for them. Otherwise, they’ll quickly forget what they’ve learned and develop bad habits, says Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ.
By getting angry, failing to reinforce good behaviors, and accidentally reinforcing bad behaviors, dog owners can confuse their pets and undo weeks or even months of training. However, Marissa Corbett explains that by being aware of these common mistakes, pet owners can stay aware and help their young dogs learn new tricks, indoor behavior and get along with other animals. .
Using the wrong tone of voice
When training their dogs, dog owners should remember that their pets cannot understand the intricacies of human language according to Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ. While it’s true that a dog can learn its name and a few dozen words, it can’t tell the difference between a praising sentence and a scolding sentence unless there’s a clear change in tone.
Therefore, trainers must be careful not to accidentally reinforce their dog’s behaviors with a tone of praise unless the dog deserves praise, says Marissa Corbett. Even saying “Oh no, that’s not true” will confuse the dog if it’s said in a happy, upbeat tone. Instead, pet owners should use short, simple commands, like a sharp “no” if the dog isn’t acting right.
Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ recommends developing five clearly distinct tones of voice to help encourage or discourage certain behaviors:
- To rent out – A happy and excited tone of voice that is used to let the dog know that he has done something good.
- Encouragement – A more subdued tone of voice that serves to encourage the dog to continue his behavior.
- Ordered – A firm tone of voice that is used to give the dog a specific instruction, such as “sit”, “stay” or “come”. Marissa Corbett says these command words should be simple 1-2 word instructions.
- Correction – A high-pitched, stern tone of voice that is used to scold the dog for doing something wrong.
- No reward – A bored, disinterested tone of voice that is used when the dog does something that does not deserve a reward.
As the dog learns these distinct tones, it will respond accordingly, regardless of what is actually being said, says Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ.
Harassing, yelling and being frustrated
When a dog doesn’t immediately obey a command, it’s easy for owners to get frustrated. Unfortunately, nagging, yelling and getting angry will only serve to confuse and scare the dog, says Marissa Corbett. Instead of raising their voices, dog owners should try to remain calm and patient. If the dog does not obey the first time, try again. It’s a never-ending process that doesn’t always end at the puppy stage. Older dogs may need this constant reinforcement even as they age.
If the dog still isn’t listening, try using a different tone of voice or using a hand gesture to help get the message across. It’s also important to remember that dogs learn at different speeds, recalls Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ. Some dogs will learn new commands quickly, while others will need more time and repetition. It takes patience, but with a little dedication, any dog can learn new tricks.
Not applying the training to real situations
Many dog owners make the mistake of only working on obedience commands in a controlled environment, like their living room or backyard. While it’s important to train in a safe and familiar place, it’s also essential to take the training in the real world.
Marissa Corbett of Shamong, NJ explains that dogs need to be taught how to behave in a variety of different situations, such as when there are other people or animals around, when there are distractions, or when they are in a new place. The best way to do this is to slowly introduce the dog to new environments, starting with places that aren’t too overwhelming.
For example, a dog owner might choose to reinforce a few basic commands at home and then apply them in a real-life scenario by taking their dog for a walk around the block.
If the dog can respond to commands to sit or stay as the world goes by, then the owner can try taking their pet to a park or on a hike. Over time, the dog will learn to always respond to its owner and behave properly.
Dogs are intelligent creatures that can learn a variety of new tricks and commands. However, they must be properly trained to do so. By being aware of common training mistakes, pet owners can avoid potentially confusing signals and help their dogs learn to sit, stay, come and behave in a variety of different situations.