Having a dog to love is one of the greatest things a human being could ask for. Canines offer such undying companionship and seemingly endless happiness.
But that doesn’t mean that dogs don’t require a healthy heaping of work. You’ve got to put in the time and resources to make your pooch happy. You have to know how to treat her, and you have to know how to train her properly.
A poorly behaved dog is a threat to herself and to others. Even if she means well, she could get herself in a spotty situation if she doesn’t know how to follow commands.
There are right ways to train a dog, and there are wrong ways to train a dog.
You want to make sure you do it the right way the first time around, to avoid having to work twice as hard at a later date to correct the bad behavior.
Scroll through below to see 10 things that you should never do while training your dog.
Did we miss anything from our list? Let us know in the comments, and please SHARE with family and friends who have dogs!
Thumbnail Sources: Flickr / Paul Wordingham, Flickr / Jen DeVere Warner
1. Use A Complex Name
There is a reason that there are some names that tend to be “dog names.” Dogs understand simple names like Buddy, Max, and Spot. Because of this, they are able to comprehend when you are speaking to them much more easily than with names like Fitzgerald or Agatha.
This is not to say that you can’t get creative with a name, just make sure there’s a way to shorten it for training purposes.
2. Be Inconsistent With Rules
Dogs don’t understand rules that apply only some of the time. If you let your pooch sit on the couch with you while you are watching TV but not when you’re cooking dinner, she’ll only get extra confused and sad when you try to scold her for doing the wrong thing.
If you don’t want your dog on the couch, that’s that. Habits learned early are the hardest to break.
3. Show Signs Of Stress
Your dog can sense when you are stressed out, frightened, or tense. Make sure you are relaxed and ready to train at the times you’ve set aside to do so.
Get enough sleep and take some deep breaths, or get your yoga in if you are stressed out. Be ready to enjoy the time you’re spending with your pup!
4. Say It Like You Don't Really Mean It
When you’re giving your dog a command, you really do have to say it like you mean it. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself asking poochie to listen to you over and over again. When this happens, she learns that it’s kind of up to her when and when not to “sit.”
Say the command with authority the first time around, and then every single time.
5. Move Along Too Quickly
Quite possibly the biggest mistake a dog owner can make is to move too quickly for the dog to follow along.
You can’t just get bored and move on to the next thing whenever you feel like it. You must have patience when training a puppy or a dog, or else nothing will stick.
6. Let Too Much Time Pass Between Training Sessions
According to Modern Dog Magazine, you should be keeping your pup on her toes by training both sporadically and on a schedule. In either case, don’t let too much time pass between sessions.
And remember, you can train at any time. When you see an opportunity to practice a command, take it. Tell her to “sit” for her dinner and to “stay” when you go into the next room to grab your phone.
7. Stop At Signs Of Good Behavior
It may be tempting to stop training when you see that her behavior has been consistently good. But you’ve got to continually keep your dog stimulated and willing to learn for both your sakes.
She’ll be happier when she’s using that brain of hers, and the bond between the two of you will only continue to grow stronger.
8. Associate Commands With Time Restraints And Specific Situations
In order to get your dog to trust you, you can’t only use learned commands like “come” when it’s time to leave the dog park or stop playing outside, according to Reader’s Digest. That will make her think that every time she comes, it will be time for the fun to stop. Use the same command to give a treat or to indicate it’s time to commence a walk, not end one.
Similarly, when you let your dog out to do her business, don’t shoo her back inside immediately after. Doing so will discourage her from peeing at the appropriate time in the future because she’ll be afraid that outdoors time will end as soon as she goes. Play a game of fetch afterward instead!
9. Refuse To Try Something New
When you get stuck in the past with how you trained a dog back in the day, you’re closing off your mind to all of the new findings of the dog training world. Stay current with the most popular canine magazines and studies, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
Plus, no two dogs are exactly the same, so it’s quite possible that you’ll have to change up what you’re doing at least a little bit.
10. Discipline Too Far After The Fact
When you yell at your dog for tracking mud in the house or peeing on the carpet hours after she’s done it, she’s not going to make the specific connection. She might think you’re just yelling, or she might think you’re mad at her simply for peeing at all.
You have to scold in the moment and say “no.” In the case of indoor urination, open the door to the backyard while she’s caught in the act. This goes for all other offenses, too, like tearing up a couch or knocking over a lamp.
Did we miss any dog-training mistakes from our list? Let us know in the comments, and please SHARE with family and friends on Facebook!