Mistakes to Avoid When Training your Dog

Mistakes to Avoid When Training Your Dog

While we do dog training at North Paws Ranch, It’s helps greatly for dogs to be trained before coming to doggy daycare.  With proper training, dogs can gain the best advantage of doggy daycare, which is getting along with other dogs and burning off energy!  At boarding kennels, your pooch will be around many other dogs of all different personalities.  Training will help prevent accidental fighting or other various accidents.

Putting off training

Training should start from the moment your dog comes home with you, regardless of his age. Don’t wait until he grows older and develops bad behavior. Remember: dog training is not the same as behavior management. The goal is to shape your dog’s behavior & personality and teach your dog’s how to respond to specific commands. This will also help grow a deeper bond with your dog. He will mature and get used to the routine. Then, you can move onto the fun part; dog tricks!

Training for too long

Training sessions should end when a new goal is reached. If you get ambitious and push your dog to continue training after the goal is reached, he will become tired and unmotivated for the next session. Or your pooch will become overloaded with new information and won’t be able to retain what he’s learned. Training is a process, and it isn’t a short one.

Relying on treats

We know it’s tempting to reward your pooch with a treat whenever he gets something right but it’s not a good habit to fall into. They’re great if your pup is motivated by food but be sure to vary your rewards with praise, toys, or play. Relying on treats may cause your dog to only perform your desired behaviors when you have food with you. It’s unlikely that you’re always going to be walking around with a pocket full of treats, so make sure your pooch can respond to other rewards.

Reading up on one method of training 

The worst thing to do is just reading one dog training book and expecting to be all set. Dog training isn’t a one-size-fits-all task, and every dog is different. Sometimes you need to take advice from a number of sources and use the information to build your own training program. Keep trying out different things with your dog and see what works the best. You might even want to sign up for a training program. Don’t give up too quickly, it’s a slow but rewarding process. Don’t be afraid to change your techniques if they’re not working out at first.

Harsh discipline

Most dog trainers know that using punishment in training is not the most effective. Most dogs are more likely to perform better for rewards. Harsh discipline involves actions such as shouting, hitting, alpha rolls, staring down, grabbing the scruff of the neck, and leash jerking. These actions can have a few consequences such as

  • causing your dog to become fearful
  • provoking an aggressive reaction from your dog that can put you and other people in danger
  • they may even cause physical harm to your dog

Do some research on how to fully earn your dog’s respect and the training process should be a fun way to bond with your dog, not a bullying session.

Being unclear with your commands


Don’t be fooled, dogs are smart but that being said; they’re not mind readers. If they don’t understand what you’re saying, they’re not going to respond. Keeping this in mind, make sure to keep your commands clear. The best way to ensure this is to choose commands that are short easy to differentiate between.

Calling your dog for punishment


Every time you call your dog to you in order to do something unpleasant, you are essentially punishing them for returning to you. In the long run, it’ll discourage your dog from coming when called because they will associate it with bad things. If you do need to punish them or get them to do something unpleasant (like have a bath), simply go and get your dog instead of calling them. If you are angry about something, make sure you calm yourself down before issuing any kind of command to your dog. Keep in mind that your dog will learn nothing from being punished or yelled at after the undesirable behavior occurs.

Clicking too often

Clicker training is pretty popular at the moment and works if used correctly. But make sure you learn how to use it properly before starting. Dogs are supposed to associate clicking with a reward, and if you stop rewarding your dog, the clicker becomes meaningless. If you click too much while your dog is doing something,  Your pooch likely get confused over what behavior you’re rewarding. Communication is key when it comes to clicking.

Leaving out proofing behaviors 

This is an essential part of the dog training process – and a lot of people forget about it! Proofing a behavior means to try practicing commands in different settings with various distractions. Once you’ve taught your dog how to sit in the living room, to them this means to only sit in the living room, nowhere else. When you’re in the yard or at a park, sitting means nothing to them. You should always start training in a quiet, controlled setting. Then move to different settings with each session, gradually increasing the number of distractions.

Saying “No” before your dog’s name

It’s not good to say no before your dog’s name as you don’t want to associate anything negative with his name. Anytime your dog hears it’s name it should come running to you. However, if you’re always associating “No” along with your dog’s name, he will become hesitant when they hear thier name and will be confused.

Not using a crate because you think it’s cruel 

Crates aren’t cruel. Dogs are den animals who feel comfortable when they’re sleeping in a covered area. Dogs feel calm and safe in the security of a den. With some training, your dog will learn to love his crate. Crate training is great for house training and it will also keep your puppy from making any trouble such as, “chewing, raiding trash cans, digging, and soiling floors).

When it comes to dog training, North Paws Ranch is here to help when it comes to training!  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We know it can be hard to know what’s right or wrong, especially if you’re a new dog owner but we hope this blog post has given you a sense of direction.

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