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Worst Dog Training Mistakes

The Worst Dog Training Mistakes You Can Make


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So, I was down at the dog park yesterday, just hanging with Al, and Debbie, and Neila, and all my other friends. Over in the corner of the park there was a newbie. And she had a pretty little Sheltie on lead, and was screaming at the top of her lungs, “Roxie, no, bad girl, bad, bad girl!” and yanking on the leash.

I don’t know what it was that Roxie had supposedly done that was so wrong, but what I do know is that her person wasn’t getting it right. The dog looked confused, and everyone else in the park was just looking on in horror.

I’m pretty sure that Roxie’s person didn’t mean to be getting it wrong. No one wants to scare their dog into behaving, but this was clearly someone who just didn’t know the right way to train a dog, and she was making a lot of mistakes.

Bringing Them Up Right

Obviously, you want to raise a good canine citizen. But you’re not born knowing how to do that. And sadly, this is one of the main reasons why really good dogs so often end up in animal shelters. People just don’t know that raising a dog properly means that you have to devote time and energy, and you have to be patient. You can’t get frustrated when your dog acts like a dog.

So, with that in mind, what mistakes could you be making when training your dog? Here are five of the most common.

1. You Send the Wrong Message

Everything that you do with your dog delivers a message. You have to be very careful about what kind of message you are sending, or you could end up reinforcing bad behavior. For instance, if you are house training your dog, and you praise him for peeing outside, what message are you sending? You are saying “Good boy, you peed!” and he is going to have no idea at all why, if he does it in the house, he is being scolded. After all, he peed – wasn’t that what you wanted?

2. You Let Your Dog Walk You

Okay, so you’re going “walkies”. And you let your dog explore. That’s fine, but he needs to know when you want him back with you. He should be walking with you at all times, unless you tell him “Okay,” meaning that he can go where he likes.

Your dog needs boundaries. So when you are working on going for walks, don’t be afraid to offer a gentle tug on the leash to remind him that he ought to be walking beside you, not ahead of you.

Remember: Your dog needs boundaries and manners, so take the time to help him become be a self-confident, balanced individual.

3. You Mistake Your Dog for a Human

Your dog is a dog. You are a human. Remember this. Don’t assume, when training, that your dog is going to reason the way that you do. And always keep in mind that you are the boss, under any and all circumstances.

4. You Let Your Dog Win

Okay, your dog has a toy. And he is hell-bent on keeping it. You want, for whatever reason, to take the toy away. Here is the thing – you do not need a reason. Simply wanting to take that toy away is a good enough reason for you to have it.

You should always be able to take things away from your dog. Sometimes, it is for his safety, and if he’s into something that he shouldn’t have, then it is your job to get it from him.

5. You Punish

Most of the time, your dog has no idea why he is being punished. You don’t want to punish, you want to offer positive reinforcement. Catch him doing something good, and reward him. The only thing that you are ever going to achieve with punishing is to create even worse behaviors, because your dog will be confused and act out. Don’t’ punish bad behavior – reward good behavior.

Keep in mind that if you want your dog to be well-mannered, you can best achieve this by reinforcing good behavior. You do not want to make your dog feel that he is being punished, and that he is a bad dog. It is simply not going to lead to a good outcome.

Do Your Research

You can benefit in a large way from online and print materials that will tell you how to train your dog. There are all sorts of sources out there, and one book I really like is “21 Days to Train Your Dog” by Colin Tennant. This book tells you how to use positive reinforcement and rewards to train your dog. Colin Tennant theorizes that any dog can learn basic obedience using very brief training sessions daily, and I believe that he is right.

The book is available in paperback, and costs just $17.99, which, from my perspective, is a pretty low price when you consider that it could help your dog to become the canine citizen that you want him to be.

The book contains a lot of beautiful photos along with easy to understand text that will help you to train your dog effecively. And even better, it doesn’t just tell you how to go about training your dog, it explains the benefits of the training as well. All you have to do is commit to 21 days, and at the endof that time, you will have a dog that you will be proud to bring out in public.


Colin Tennant’s book will help you to train your dog. You will learn about the mistakes you might make, and how to avoid them. I highly recommend this book for people who are just beginning to train their dogs, and also for people who might need a bit of a refresher course.


About the Author Ash

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