3 Common Dog Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Only about 8% of dog owners take their dogs to an obedience class. 

That leaves roughly 92% of dog owners trying to train their dogs on their own. Without that professional help, there are quite a few mistakes that you could be making.

It can be overwhelming trying to train your dog on your own. It can feel like you’re making mistake after mistake and that you’ll never successfully train your dog.

But don’t worry, it is doable! In this post, we’re going to go over 3 of the most common dog training mistakes and how to avoid them.

Keep reading to learn more!

Common Dog Training Mistakes

There are many potential mistakes to make when training your dog. These mistakes can make your training less effective and more stressful for both you and your dog. 

By avoiding even these top 3 mistakes, you can make your dog training methods more positive and effective.

Command Nagging

This is potentially the most common dog training mistake. Command nagging is when you are working with your dog and continuously repeat a command, assuming they will follow the command if you say it enough times. 

This is counterproductive to your training and can teach your dog that the command is actually “sit, sit, sit” instead of “sit”.

Avoid making this mistake by only giving a command once. If your dog doesn’t respond the first time, you can come back to the command after a short pause. 

Also, make sure that before you give the command, you have your dog’s attention. If they’re not focused on you yet, get their attention first, and then try the command.

Reinforcing Bad Behavior

Dogs are almost always looking for attention from their owners, and they don’t always care if it is positive or negative. If they’re barking and you call them over to you, this is reinforcing the bad behavior, if only because you’re giving them your attention.

This can also come in the form of letting a crying puppy out of its crate or feeding them from the table when they beg. You are teaching them that if they do this bad behavior, they will be rewarded.

Avoid making this mistake by not giving rewards for your dog’s bad behavior. Do your best to ignore the bad behavior so they can learn that it is not the way to get a reward or attention.

Yelling or Using a Harsh Voice

There’s no way around it, sometimes training is frustrating. You’ve been trying your best to get your dog to understand and follow a command, and they’re just not getting it. So you get frustrated and begin yelling the command and letting your annoyance come through in your voice.

Your dog will pick up on this and it can sometimes make them afraid of you. Dogs that are afraid can then sometimes turn defensive and aggressive. 

It is extra important to remain calm when working on a potentially scary command where they already don’t understand what is going on. For example, training to go through a dog door. Making them more afraid is counterproductive, and mean.

To avoid making this mistake, pay attention to how you’re feeling during your dog training sessions. If you feel yourself becoming angry and frustrated, stop and step away. Take time to cool off and consider how you can change your training technique in order to get a better outcome.

Stop Making These Mistakes Today

It’s easy to make a mistake when training your dog. After reading this, you can now avoid making these common mistakes and make your training more productive.

Have you made any of these common dog training mistakes? Let us know in the comments!

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