Avoid the 3 critical training mistakes that create disobedience in dogs
The biggest mistake dog owners make is to hold off on training. The longer you wait, the more your dog will resist correction of disobedient behavior. A common misconception is that you shouldn’t start training a pup until he is at least six months old. But almost all experienced dog trainers suggest that a pup can be as young as eight weeks when training begins. When you start training early, your dog still hasn’t acquired any bad habits repeatedly getting away with begging, pulling, barking, biting, etc. Therefore he will learn quicker, with less resistance.
The second dog training mistake is negative reinforcement. If you keep this up, don’t be surprised if you see a serious aggression problem developing in your dog over time. So what is negative reinforcement? It means punishing bad behaviors rather than reinforcing good ones. It means harsh tones, scruff shakes, and the use of tools like electric collars to get your dog to comply.
The key to proper training is to use basic commands in combination with loads of positive reinforcements like treats, praise and toys. Have some patience and avoid harsh punishment at all costs. Using this approach, you’ll be amazed at how well your dog responds and remembers the commands. It’s also a good idea to socialize your dog while he is still a pup. If you expose him to other dogs at an early age, he’ll be much more stable as an adult and will show fewer tendencies to act up against other dogs and people. Puppy daycare, in this respect, can work wonders.
The third biggest training mistake is not establishing leadership. The best way to show your dog that you are the leader is by controlling activities that are important to him, like eating, sleeping, playing, and social contact. Control these activities and you will control your dog.
Take playing for example. It’s a mistake to let the dog control any game you’re playing, having you run around like a fool. This will make him think that he’s higher in the pack than you. Instead, whenever you’re in the middle of a game, stop it, and have your dog perform a simple command. Once that’s done, continue the game. This way you’re sending the message that you are in control of the activities.
You can do the same thing at feeding time. Have your dog do a short ‘Sit!’ or ‘Stay!’ before he gets the food. Message: You’re in charge. As for social contact, make sure you spend time handling your dog. You want him to get used to you handling his paws, tail, ears, or any body part that you please. If he resists, spend some time teaching him this is okay. You’re the pack leader and he needs to know it.