7 Common Mistakes When Training Dogs

Training dogs is not an easy matter and if you're a first-time pet owner it's easy to make common mistakes. Check out our list of common mistakes and you'll see the benefits!
7 Common Mistakes When Training Dogs

Last update: 24 January, 2019

Training dogs isn’t an easy task. This is especially true with first-time dog owners, and they often make common mistakes that make the training far more difficult. It may even create problems between the owner and the animal.

Mistakes when training dogs

Every responsible and loving pet owner wants to make sure that their dog is well-trained. They want him to listen to them and to be able to interact properly with other dogs. If you’re a first-time pet owner, or you already have a dog but aren’t sure how to properly train him, make sure you don’t make the following mistakes when training him.

1. Not socializing him

Socialization is a key component in our pet’s emotional development. In fact, from the time they’re born, they have to go through a process known as imprinting. This entails being around their mother and siblings for a certain amount of time, to ensure that they grow up to be healthy both mentally and emotionally.

And, once you bring your puppy home, you have to continue with this socialization process. Introduce him to your friends, relatives and other dogs that you see in the park or on the street. A socialized dog is a mentally healthy dog, and it also means he’ll be easier to train. 

2. Not using positive reinforcement

A man training his dog.

Positive reinforcement is the process of rewarding your pet’s good behavior, and it’s directly related to teaching him certain commands. Keep in mind that teaching your pet a new command is very draining for him. However, if you don’t reward his progress then he won’t want to keep working. He won’t see the benefits of the training.

3. Ignoring poor behavior

Many dog owners, especially new ones, ignore their dog’s bad behavior because they don’t want to upset him. The truth is, though, that dogs really do need discipline. However, by no means should you shout at him or use physical punishment.

You absolutely have to teach your dog what’s good and what’s bad. Be firm, but affectionate at the same time. Your facial expression should show that you’re trying to teach him something. This will help him understand that his behavior wasn’t good enough.

4. Not being consistent

If you’re trying to show him a command, you have to keep in mind that he won’t understand it right away. This can be discouraging and you may be tempted to stop the training. However, if you do this, you could actually make his behavior even worse.

Another problem might be that you teach your dog in one way, while another member of the family does the opposite. This will result in your dog doing whatever he wants. Make sure that everyone agrees to teach him the same things, and in the same way.

5. Not understanding him

One of the best ways to train your dog correctly is to understand his body language. It’s a good idea to read up on the subject, because it’s hard to know how your dog is feeling if you can’t understand his body language.

By understanding him better, you’ll know if he’s feeling nervous, restless or happy. This will also help you know if it’s a good time to teach him something, if he’s enjoying the lesson or if he’s too exhausted to keep going.

6. Humanizing him

Training dogs to eat the correct food.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when training dogs is to humanize them. That basically means to treat them like people. Not only will this get in the way of their training, but it’s also a form of abuse that will nullify your pet’s personality.

Don’t overprotect him or treat him like a baby. You do, of course, have to take care of him and treat him with love and respect, but don’t overdo it.

7. Not making sure he gets enough exercise

Exercise not only keeps your dog physically fit, but it also helps with his mental health. A well-balanced and healthy dog is able to learn more easily. Keep in mind how much exercise your dog needs and make sure he gets his daily dose so that you can both reach your goals.

As you can see, training dogs is a lot easier when you know what you should avoid. Use these tips and you’ll see how well his training will go!

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The contents of My Animals are written for informational purposes. They can't replace the diagnosis, advice, or treatment from a professional. In the case of any doubt, it's best to consult a trusted specialist.