Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Training Your Dog

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Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Training Your Dog

by Ashley D Bigham

There are many different way and views on training your dog. However, the number one thing all of the methods have in common (for the most part, give or take a few) is positive reinforcement. You will attain the best results (without your dog fearing you ? there?s negative reinforcement for you) by doing something pleasurable when your dog does something right. If you punish your dog for bad behavior, how does he know what good behavior is? You can correct a dog without being mean, stopping bad, while praising heartily for good. You?re dog wants to please you by nature, and if by pleasing you he gets something special, all the better for both of you.

Positive reinforcement alone will not carry all of your training. Training a dog takes a lot of hard work and effort, and new trainers should be wary of falling into areas that will hinder training. To be efficient with everything new you teach your dog, you should avoid being inconsistent or becoming impatient. If these pitfalls can be avoided, you will have a much more pleasurable experience with your dog.

Inconsistency is one of the quickest ways for training to fail, and one of the easiest for dog owners to fall into. The point of training is to instill in your dog?s mind a cause and effect scenario for various behaviors and situations. If the dog does this, you respond this way. And only this way. Dogs thrive on predictability, not on haphazard reactions. If you correct a dog one day then let the behavior slide the next, you just took a step backwards. You?ll have to work doubly hard to make sure the cause and effect you want gets engrained in the dog?s mind. Every slip up is counter productive, teaching the dog he can get away with it sometimes, but not others. Randomness is not a good teacher.

There is quite a bit of frustration in training a dog. You need to realize that concepts that seem easy to you might cause a dog to stumble for a long while until entirely grasped. Our world runs on immediate results with every product and service designed to be the quickest possible for our convenience. We think a response should be anticipated and speedy. Dog training is the antithesis of this. It is sometimes painfully slow and your dog will make mistakes along the way. Be patient with him; eventually he?ll get it right. Impatience can lead to inconsistency; you may stop a lesson short or try to find a shortcut that doesn?t exist because you?re frustrated. A patient owner sees the training for what it is: an extended process that?s going to take time.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you make the training process easier by avoiding counter activity. Results will follow and your training sessions will become less of a chore and more of an interaction between dog and human, a fun partnership. Use training as an excuse to build a relationship with your dog. You need his respect and attention if you?re going to teach him anything and get him to turn out long term results.

Ashley writes on how to train your dog better and more efficiently. You can learn more by visiting Dog Training.

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