While training your dog is a rewarding experience for both of you, there may be common problems you aren't aware of. To help you identify and correct common dog training mistakes, Russell's K9 Academy in Orlando, FL, has created this guide.
1. How to Adopt the Right Mindset
Having the right mindset is critical for successful training sessions. Practicing patience, remaining positive, and encouraging your dog will help build the trust between the two of you and make the training experience even more rewarding.
It takes time for dogs to learn and develop their confidence. But having a mindset that focuses on continuous learning and improvement increases the positive aspects of training and makes the process meaningful for you and your dog.
Above all else, adopting the right mindset means prioritizing positive reinforcement training techniques that reward good behaviors instead of punishing bad ones and encourage consistent effort.
2. Avoid Inconsistency
If you want to take training seriously, you should ensure you're setting aside the time and space to be consistent. This doesn't mean only training with your dog on occasion or only once in a while — it means incorporating small training tasks into your daily routine.
That way, you and your dog continue growing on a daily basis, and your dog becomes more familiar with good behaviors and cues. Even if you have a hectic schedule, just a few moments each day can help. Use food time or daily walks as opportunities for short-training sessions, and over time, positive behaviors will be reinforced. In fact, multiple short training sessions are often better than long ones!
3. Keep Training Sessions Short
Your daily training sessions shouldn't last for hours on end. The most effective training sessions are short and should last anywhere from 90 seconds to 10 or 15 minutes — not 20 to 30 minutes.
Not only would it be challenging for many dog owners to practice hours of training with their dogs each day, but dogs themselves (especially younger ones) are easily distracted and can get bored from long, drawn-out training sessions.
So, it's actually far better for both of you to keep daily sessions short!
4. Punishing Desirable Behavior
Did you know that you could be punishing desirable behaviors without realizing it? "Positive punishment" is a term for unknowingly punishing your dog for good behavior, and it's a far more common problem than you might think.
The tricky part about positive reinforcement is understanding what your dog thinks of as being positive in the first place. At the same time, you might believe that treats, pets, and praise are all positive rewards for a dog; how you deliver these rewards and when is essential for using positive reinforcement correctly.
For example, let's say you call your dog to you, and they come. The dog has listened to you and done what you wanted them to — good behavior that deserves a reward to be reinforced. But let's say that instead of offering a treat or praise, you instead "reward" them with something they dislike, such as a bath or nail clipping.
You may have accidentally taught them that coming to you isn't good behavior! Keep this in mind during your training, and always follow good behaviors with positive rewards.
Start You and Your Dog's Training Journey with Russell's K9 Academy in Daytona Beach, FL; Servicing Central Florida
Ready to teach your dog good behaviors that build their confidence? At Russell's K9 Academy, we prioritize helping you and your dog build trust and tackle common behavioral problems like excessive barking, destructive behaviors, and more.
Give us a call today to enroll you and your companion in our dog training program.