7 Training Mistakes All Pup Parents Make. And How To Avoid Them

13/8/2016

Anybody who owns a dog will know how important it is that he behavesand follows your orders.But it's not always easy. In fact, sometimes we end up reinforcing the wrong kind of behaviour, which will only make him worse.To make your life (and your dog training) that little bit easier, we've put together a list of the most common mistakes people make when training their dog, and how you can stop making them yourself.

1. Focusing on the negative

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To successfully train your dog, you need to establish a good balance. This means focusing on the positive things he does, and not just punishing the negative. Studies have shown that basing your training around punishment will actually result in further behavioural problems.Try and reinforce his good qualities by rewarding him for desired behaviour. Your pup will then feel more inclined to carry on doing these things, resulting in a better-behaved dog.

2. Avoiding fear issues

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Some of the most frequent behavioural issues result from fear, though not many parents know it. Watch out to see if your dog's ears are pinned back, if the hair is raised on his back, or if he is cowering, hiding or tucking his tail behind him.Unfortunately, this may turn into aggression later on in life, so it's important that you address it early. Dogs won't get over things alone, according to "The Pooch Coach" Beverly Ulbrich:

You need to help your dog get over any fears and build their confidence around new objects or environments so they are no longer reactive. 

You can help him by recognising his efforts and praising him for them. Whatever you do, don't let him hide behind you or pick him up, as this will reinforce the negative behaviour.

3. Leaving food lying around

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Be extra careful with leaving food lying about. Because if your dog has taken food from the table or counter once, he is much more likely to do it again.It's especially important as some of these food products can be dangerous, or even fatal to your pup.Teach him that it's not okay to eat off the table, andduring training, make sure you don't leave out food which he could easily get at. And especially do not feed him your dinner when you're eating.

4. Training him for too long

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Putting your dog through long and rigorous training sessions isn't beneficial for anyone. Your dog will get bored and so will you! Neither of you will be paying proper attention, and the training just won't be effective.Think instead of training in shorter bursts of about 10 minutes so that you are both at the top of your game.

5. Ignoring his chewing habits

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If your pup chews on a lot of things, there will most likely bea reason for it. He probably needs more exercise or something to distract him from this behaviour, or even something else to chew on.Ulbrich says "You have to look into the anxiety that's causing them to chew" and redirect this away from your beloved shoes and rugs.

6. Punishing him for obeying

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Are you in fact discouraging your pooch from obeying you? You might not think so, but if you are telling him to "come" and then putting his leash on, or putting him in the bath, your dog might believe he is being punished.Instead, start by training him indoors to come and reward him for this behaviour. Praise him as he approaches so he knows he's doing well and that obeying commands can be fun!Do not try to use this command outside until he is confident with it indoors.

7. Neglecting the leash

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It's important to make sure that you are in charge of the leash. So start walking him on a leash early on in his life so he gets used to it and doesn't become confused later on in life.To avoid him pulling on his leash, keep him on a short one and make sure he is focused on you the whole time.By avoiding these common mistakes, you'll have a better behaved pup in the longterm! If you're going to train him, you need to at least do it properly.