Common Dog Training Mistakes First-Time Owners Tend to Make


Many people, especially pet owners, will agree that training plays a vital role in the dog’s development and ability to interact with its environment safely and happily. According to Vet Voice, dog training is an important aspect of pet ownership in modern society. The consequence of not training your dog or making mistakes in their training can result in preventable and severe behavioral problems in dogs that threaten their well-being and safety and cause their owners frustration and annoyance. It is easy to make training mistakes even if you are a conscious, responsible, and caring dog owner. Some common training mistakes to need to avoid while training your dog:

Not Starting to Train Promptly

You should start training your dog right from the moment you bring it home because if you wait for it to grow up, it can develop bad habits you may never be able to correct. The goal of training is to mold your dog’s behavior and teach your dog to respond appropriately to specific commands. Even though young puppies might not be in a position to learn advanced behaviors, they can start learning the basic commands and become house-trained. You will form a stronger bond with your dog over time, and it will also mature, making it possible for it to learn more advanced instructions. Also check out dealing with troublesome behavior in my pet dog as well.

Inadequate Training

For effective dog training, you need to ensure it is adequate and consistent because you cannot expect your dog to quickly learn to do something and remember it for a lifetime. You will get the best results by selecting one thing to teach and conducting short sessions at least two or three times every week till it performs consistently. To make the sessions interesting, you can find new things to teach but not introduce too many simultaneously to prevent your dog from becoming confused. You may also need to keep revisiting the things you have taught earlier as the training progresses to ensure your dog does not forget them. You will do well to keep in mind that training never ends. By keeping training your dog, you can hone its skills honed and forge stronger bonds. Ask a professional if you need to learn more about

Adopting the Same Training across Different Dogs

There are many different ways of training dogs, so you should not refer to one online guide or assume what has worked well for a friend’s dog will work equally well for yours. It is because there are many different and successful dog training programs and also because no two dogs are identical. It can be better for you to try things out and see for yourself what works best for your dog. If you are considering enrolling your dog at a professional training school, you need to find out how well it is adjusting there and if it is enjoying the learning process. The trick is not to try doing too many different things simultaneously and give up fast. You must be patient and watch out to prevent your dog from becoming bored or stubborn.

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Not Adopting a Consistent Approach

Successful training depends on your adopting a consistent approach to every aspect of shaping your dog’s behavior. If you are not careful, you can confuse your dog and reinforce undesirable behaviors. For example, if you have a rule of not allowing your dog on your bed, you should not ever make an exception. If you allow the dog on the bed sometimes when you want and then shout at it when you do not want, you will confuse it and make it unhappy. You must never allow your dog to beg for food from you or others in your family. If you allow it, it will soon become a habit, which you may find endearing but is not good for health and many social occasions where other people are present. Keeping your dog consistently on one side is important if you want to know how to train your puppy to walk on a leash. Another example of inconsistent training is rewarding it after it has done something you have commanded and then rewarding it before it has done what you want. Such inconsistencies will only confuse your dog and result in unpredictable behavior.

Being Impatient

Every dog has its learning pace, and it can take a lot of time to achieve the desired results. If you become frustrated or stressed out because your dog cannot pick up even simple things, it will only worsen matters because your dog will recognize these symptoms and become stressed out. If you find your dog struggling to master something, you must find the reason. It could very well be that the training session has gone on for too long, and the dog is tired and cannot concentrate or is finding the thing too complicated, and you could benefit by breaking it down into smaller steps. If your dog performs after you repeat the command several times and still gets a reward, it will assume that it is okay to wait till you repeat the command several times. Rather, if your dog does not obey after you instruct, you should wait and start from the beginning to ensure your dog does not confuse the signals. If you or your dog find enthusiasm in short supply, it is better to wind things up with some commands you know the dog can follow to end things on a positive note.

Punishing Your Dog

Once upon a time, most people thought the only way to train a dog well was to use strict discipline, and dogs would learn fast if you punished them hard for not performing. However, the view has swung diametrically opposite, and now most trainers agree that the best way of training a dog is by encouraging it by using incentives. While you should never yell, hit, or stare aggressively at your dog because they might provoke your dog to be equally or more aggressive, you can use disciplinary actions like a spray bottle. Any violence on your part can cause the dog to become afraid of you and also cause physical and mental damage. The concept of asserting dominance over your dog is outdated, as is the notion of the owner becoming the pack leader. The best way to train your dog is to learn how to win your dog’s respect and make the training sessions fun.

Not Getting the Timing Right

You must make your dog understand when he has done something right. The ideal way of doing it is to use positive reinforcement and correct timing. Many experience trainers recommend using a short word like, ‘Yes” or a clicker to mark desirable behavior. After using the clicker or saying ‘Yes”, you should quickly follow up with a reward. You need to be quick about it because if you delay the dog may well associate it with some other action. Positive reinforcement is a vital part of early training because it helps the dog to connect cue words to specific actions. The practice works equally well for curbing undesirable activities. If you choose to use an aversive to discourage unwanted behavior, you should use it immediately after the inappropriate action by the dog. For example, if the dog is peeing in the house, you need to tell it quickly during the act that it is not something it should be doing. If you deal out the punishment after it is through, it may not associate the rebuke or punishment with the undesirable act.

Supporting Undesirable Behavior

One typical dog training mistake that often you may not even notice is accidentally reinforcing undesirable behaviors. Many dog owners may not even know the action to be undesirable. For example, you may think it to be okay to comfort your dog when it is frightened or let him inside immediately if it barks, however, the dog may interpret it as you being pleased with its behavior, and it should do it whenever it likes. Because some dogs think it is better to get some attention than none, they will try to beg for attention, jump, or whine. The best way to deal with this kind of behavior is not to pay any attention till it stops. However, not paying attention if your dog is chewing the furniture is not a good idea. It can be better to distract him with a healthy activity like training exercises or playing with a toy.


Proper training of your dog has so many benefits that it is worthwhile learning how to do it correctly. When you train your dog well without making mistakes, you make it easier for your dog to negotiate its environment safely. Proper training also means greater safety for your home and belongings and teaches your dog to be respectful and courteous to you and your family. A well-trained dog is a great source of delight and reduces points of friction that can elevate your and the dog’s stress levels. Correct training ensures you can take your dog out in public, confident it will socialize well and interact safely with others. Moreover, training helps to build a strong bond between you and your dog.

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