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Dog training isn't as easy as it may seem, as I'm sure you probably know. It comes with patience, ups, downs, and many mistakes, especially when starting out. So never be too hard on yourself. The fact that you're training your champs means you are on the right path. You may be only starting out and still trying to get a grip on things. A couple of mistakes here and there are common, and just part of the learning process. On the other hand, you may be already well experienced when training your champs but still find yourself making some minor mishaps. Don't worry, what we have today will be helpful no matter what training stage you are in with your champs. These common dog training errors can help you spot out things you may not have known and help you avoid them.
We've all probably had an experience when our champs don't respond to cues immediately, especially when they are just learning the ropes. Before you know it, you can easily find yourself in a loop of voicing prompts only to be left feeling like you are talking to yourself - not to mention getting all worked up. But when it comes to your pooches, repeating commands is something you want to avoid. While it may seem small at first, repeating commands has a physiological effect on your pets. You begin teaching your dogs, "hey, I don't have to immediately respond to all these calls, so I’ll take my sweet old time." The cheekiness only starts. To avoid this mistake, you only want to voice out cues once, but only when you have your dog's full attention.
Negatively Associating Cues
Once your champ begins responding to cues and taught behaviours, the thrill can often get to our heads, thinking they will adhere to prompts every time. Hate to break the bad news, but that isn't the case, especially if you begin using cues to things they don't like, which brings me to another common mistake that dog owners can fall into making. And that is, initially associating cues to what your dogs’ view negatively, like taking a wash or nail trimming. Unknowingly, you can begin making them reluctant or even refuse to reply to your cues completely. The early stages of dog training are the honeymoon phase, so you'll want to keep it as pleasurable as possible for your stars.
Failing to reinforce cues
Frequent practice makes perfect. Well not perfect, but when it comes to training dogs, it makes a world of difference in making cues stick better. So what does frequent practice mean? It means repeating prompts to your champs’ multiple times in a day. It doesn't have to be a full-on lecture, just a quick reinforcement to refresh your dog's mind to what they've learned. A common mistake dog parents make, is having long training sessions with lengthy intervals between one and the next. This only makes your life harder. Without reinforcement, even the sharpest pups can end up forgetting all you taught them. What you want to do is to chop up your training session into shorter (10-15minutes), more engaging, and manageable spells to help your stars better remember teachings.
Knowing when to stop
Occasionally, no matter how hard you try, things simply won't budge. You might find yourself in a position where your dog isn't responding to your teachings at all. It's as if your voice goes through one ear and comes right out the other. At a time like this, perhaps it's time to go back to the drawing board and rethink alternative ways to approach the training process. Remember, different dogs respond best to diverse methods, so you'll need to find one that works well with your champ. But you might be thinking, "but I'm all out of ideas". Not to worry, here's where a dog trainer will be your friend. Consulting with a dog trainer is always a good idea when having issues in dog training as they can quickly point out errors you may have been making and guide you on the way forward in a better training experience with and for your dogs.
Inconsistency with training
When it comes to teaching behaviors and instilling cues, it's always important to keep things consistent with dogs. For example, if you make a rule that your dog shouldn't do something in your home, but find yourself on occasion allowing exceptions, you might end up confusing them as to what is right and what is wrong. Another common form of inconsistency comes from rewarding your furry friends for doing things only partially correct. Slowly by slowly, your dogs begin thinking things that aren't entirely correct are well, correct. And we don't want to leave such ambiguity, so it's essential to keep things as black and white as can be when training your dogs - no exceptions.