When you read articles about training dogs, they usually tell you how you should do it; in other words, techniques that work. But what about techniques that don’t work, things that you shouldn’t do?
Here are a few practices to avoid:
Repeating commands too often.
This usually happens when you have an owner inexperienced at training and a dog who is, shall we say, a slow learner. The owner, for example, has taught the dog to sit. He issues the command, “Sit,” but because of a distraction or confusion on the part of the dog, the animal does not respond. So, the owner simply repeats the command six or seven times until the dog finally lowers itself a little.
If the owner does this continually, it then becomes learned behavior by the dog. Don’t repeat commands. If the dog does not obey on the first command, it could be because you have not properly taught the action, the dog is distracted or even defiant. Take the dog to a quiet place, and give the command one more time. If you still get no response, teach the behavior you expect again.
Adorable! Needs lots of training!
When you train, you do it for too long, or not long enough.
Many behaviors are learned over time, not all at once. It usually takes a number of training sessions to teach a dog a new behavior. So, during a training session, if you get some positive result to a command, you should stop. If you continue, you may just bore or frustrate your dog. By the same token, you should not end a session until you do see some type of positive result, even if it is only an attempt by the dog to perform the behavior.
You give too many treats.
Treats should be given when you are teaching a dog a new behavior, and then only randomly after that, and not too often. You should then reward the dog with praise, or maybe some play time with a favorite toy. If you give treats all of the time, the dog comes to expect them and will only respond to treats. The focus becomes the food, not the behavior. Random reward is the best way to reinforce behavior, and so treats should be given randomly.
Speaking of treats, reward your pet anytime you’re away with a day or an overnight stay at Barney’s Ranch: your dog will love our 8,000-square-foot dog run. He or she can enjoy the company of other dogs as much as you want! Call us at 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.