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2750 N. Stiles Road, Ludington, MI

Ten Common Mistakes About Dog Training

There is a lot of information on the internet about dog training. Some of it is really good and some of it is really bad. But the fact that you want to train your dog is great! So today we are going to look at ten common mistakes people make when training their dogs.

1) Waiting Too Long To Start Training – we often get asked at what age a puppy is ready for training. In all honesty that should begin the day you bring your new dog/puppy home. You don’t want to have your dog develop bad habits. As far as basic obedience classes we tell all clients that as soon as their dog is fully vaccinated it is ready for some training.

2) Not Training Enough – Training is not something you do one time and then never do again. We tell all of our clients that training should be a daily exercise. You will get the best results if you train your dog regularly, even once he has mastered an action or cue. Your dog is never truly finished training. Continued training can help keep your dog’s skills sharp and training sessions are fun for your dog and a great way for the two of you to bond.

3) A One Size Fits All Approach – There are many successful dog training styles and programs out there, but no two dogs are exactly alike. Sometimes you need to take advice from several sources and use all the information to develop your own training program. Over the years we have read and studied many different training programs and have developed what we feel is the correct method and sequence for basic obedience training. We also send every client home with a reading list of dog training books that we highly recommend.

4) Inconsistency – When you are inconsistent in training, you confuse your dog. You may also find yourself accidentally reinforcing undesired behaviors. For example, if you have a rule that your dog is not allowed on the couch and you find yourself making the occasional exception and letting him up there for one reason or another but then you turn around and get mad at him for being on the couch, he won’t understand why it’s allowed one moment and not the next. Also, don’t reward your dog if he sort of does a command. If you tell him “place” and he only puts two feet on the dog bed don’t reward him. Get all four feet in place and then reward him.

5) Impatience – Dog training takes time, and each dog learns at a different pace. Try not to get stressed out or frustrated because your dog isn’t catching on to something. This will only make things worse because your dog will likely become stressed out or frustrated. Remember to keep your dog training sessions shorts. We tell all clients that they can have a well trained dog by spending 15 minutes a day working on training.

6) Harsh Discipline – Most dog trainers today believe that using punishment in dog training is not very effective. In general, dogs are more likely to perform for rewards via positive dog training. While you have to correct the bad behavior you also need to reward the good behavior. We advise our clients to use a “high value” treat when training their dogs.

7) Getting The Timing Correct – Your dog won’t know he has done something right unless you tell him in a way he can understand. Positive reinforcement and timing is very important. We recommend using a short word (like “good”) to mark desired behaviors. Then, immediately follow up with a reward to be sure it’s associated with the word. Make sure this all happens very quickly (within a second or two). If the reward comes a few seconds too late, your dog may associate the award with another action. Positive reinforcement is especially important during early training when you are trying to get your dog to connect actions to cue words. Once the dog begins to learn the command you can space out the timing of the reward to lengthen the behavior.

😎 Reinforcing The Wrong Behavior – One of the most common mistakes made in dog training is accidentally reinforcing undesired behaviors. You may not even think of it as rewarding or reinforcement. Some examples include comforting your dog when he’s frightened, letting him in the house right away when he barks, or even giving him a stern talking-to when he misbehaves. Dogs are social creatures who seek our attention. Giving attention of any kind can tell your dog that his current behavior is good and should continue.

9) Calling Your Dog To You For Something Unpleasant – Having a strong recall is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. Every time you call your dog to you in order to do something unpleasant, you are essentially punishing him for returning to you. Eventually, it will discourage your dog from coming when called. If you have to do something your dog won’t like (such as a bath or a nail trim), simply go and get him instead of calling him.

10) Failing To Proof Behaviors – Proofing a behavior means to practice it in different settings with various distractions. So many people forget about this essential part of the dog training process. Once your dog has learned a command at home or in a group lesson it’s important to reinforce this learning in other settings. We recommend to our clients that they take their dogs other places such as Tractor Supply, Home Depot, Lowes etc and work on their basic commands in these distracting settings. This will really help fine-tune your dog’s reactions to your commands.

If you have an interest in learning more about or Basic Obedience Training or our Advanced Off-Leash Training Classes give us a call at 231-845-0550. And remember we are always here for all of your dog boarding needs. #ludingtondogtraining#dogtraining#dogboarding#welltraineddog

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