Every competent puppy or dog trainer follows clear principles to make their training effective. However, some do not succeed in training their puppy. I will discuss with you the most common mistakes they make when training their puppy.
1. They don’t set themselves up as the leader of the pack.
One successful approach to dog training is based on knowing the instinctual behavior of dogs within a pack. One of the principles the pack adheres to is dominance. The alpha pair are at the top of the hierachy within the pack.
They are the first to eat, they lead the hunt and when they sleep, they take the higher ground.
To be successful in dog training, we put ourselves into position as the leader of the dog pack. It is best to be on a higher level than your puppy to emphasise your dominance. It is also important that before you give your puppy its food that you take a token amount of your own; this is so that he can see you eat first clearly.
A calm and assertive manner is important for successful training. As the pack leader we must not be nervous or indecisive.
2. They don’t take not of the concept of positive reinforcement.
We must clearly understand that we must reinforce wanted behaviors in our dog by giving treats or attention the instant our dog does the behavior. We can associate a verbal command with the behavior as it occurs and give a treat immediately after it.
Negative reinforcement such as shouting at a dog or punishing him in some way is nevertheless giving the dog attention and since he wants attention, the attention can act as a positive reinforcement rather than a negative one. It has been found to be ineffective. What is effective is to ignore the dog when it engages in an unwanted behavior. We may need to physically intervene if we need to stop some destruction going on, but we should keep the same calm manner and not give any more attention than we have to.
3. They make dog obedience training sessions too long.
Sessions should be kept short so that your puppy’s energy and attention are good. Learning works best in short stints. We should make the sessions only ten minutes for young puppies and up to twenty minutes for older ones.
4. They do not appreciate the sheer time and energy required to train a puppy.
Puppy training requires a commitment of time and energy in order to be successful. The owner will need to have great patience and to be persistent. He will also need to be very consistent.
5. They think that training only occurs during an organized training session.
Training actually occurs whenever the puppy is with its owner or with any other person. The owner needs to ensure that everyone who comes into contact with the puppy always behave in a consistent manner i.e. to reinforce positive behaviors and to ignore undesired behaviors.
Try to keep your puppy training sessions fun and enjoyable. They should never become a chore.
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