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10 common dog training mistakes

Bijgewerkt op: 21 okt. 2020

Are you getting a new puppy and want to start training the right way? Or are you already training your dog? It's important to train your dog to build a stronger bond and keep them mentally engaged. There are however certain mistakes that tend to show up with various dog owners.

These are 10 of the most common dog training mistakes:

  1. Not rewarding behaviour On many occasions I see dog owners not rewarding their dogs for good or even great behaviour. Either they don't notice it, don't have any treats with them or simply don't feel like it. If I ask them why they didn't reward their dog, sometimes I get the answer 'He knows that's what he needs to do', or 'He only does it because he wants a treat'. It is of the utmost importance to reward every behaviour you want to enforce in your dog. It might be the case your dog is working for your treats at the moment, but he needs the feedback. This can be phased out once the behaviour becomes natural, but give this some time. Some people do complement their dog with their voice, but not every dog gets the right feedback from this. If your voice isn't linked to a reward in the dog's mind, it's just you talking. Some owners even find excuses not to reward their dog. It took him 4 calls to come back to me or he did all the previous exercises wrong, so he doens't get the reward. But especially in these cases, you should reward your dog for the one thing he did right. This way he'll have a reason to do it right immediatly next time.

  2. Bad timing Timing is key in dog training. Your dog will link the reward to the latest behaviour he showed. So if you ask your dog to sit and a milisecond before you reward him, he stands up because he sees you reaching for your treats, you are in fact rewarding the standing up because he sees you taking a treat. Because of this, some people prefer clicker training. In my opinion, rewarding with your voice can have the exact same effect as long as you time it right. By saying 'yes' or 'good boy' after the behaviour, you buy yourself some time to give the treat. In the first training sessions however, make sure to have your treats in your hand already. This makes you able to give them faster.

  3. Not generalizing Dogs are bad at generalizing. Because of this, often people will tell you he does know how to 'sit' on command, he's just not willing to do it outside the house. Though it may seem strange for humans, this is very common in dog training. For your dog to be able to listen to you everywhere, you should train in as much places as possible. By training this way, he'll be able to understand that the command means the same no matter in which environment he is.

  4. Waiting too long before starting 'It's just a puppy, I'll start training him when he gets a little older'. People sometimes put off training their dog because he's too young. However, as they say: 'What's learned in the cradle is taken to the tomb'. Teaching your puppy when he's young builds a solid foundation to continue training. You should not put any pressure on your puppy, but some positive training sessions early on (I take a few minutes multiple times a day) can give you a headstart in bonding with your new compagnion.

  5. Not being consistent One of the most common dog training mistakes is not being consistent. Most often, people aren't even aware of them not being consistent. But picture this: When you greet your puppy in the morning, you might be very enthusiastic and when he puts his paws on your leg, you greet him with a pet on the back. When you get home after a day of work however, you don't