Probably any dog owner can tell you that training your dog isn’t always as easy as it seems it should be. Most owners assume that after a few days or sessions of rehearsing commands and actions then the dog should just pick up on basic skills and that should be it. Many owners are surprised to find out that training your dog can take literally months depending on the dog, the owner, and what exactly is being taught. However sometimes there are common mistakes that dog owners make that are causing the process to take much longer and be much more difficult than it needs to be.
For one thing, it’s good to remember that training your dog should be a positive experience for you and your dog. It’s too easy for owners to get caught up in every little “mistake” that a dog makes and concentrates on punishing these mistakes rather than concentrating on rewarding a dog when she obeys or does something right. It’s a very common mistake when training your dog to forget how much dogs crave that attention and approval from the owner and will do just about anything to get it. Concentrating on that, rather than on punishment, is going to be much more effective.
Another common mistake that you may be making when training your dog is thinking that you dog understands a word you’re saying! Too many owners fail to realize that dogs have no memory and no grasp of language except to associate a few words with certain actions. If a dog has made a mess and you start yelling at her, she won’t be able to connect your yelling with her mess. You need to actually catch a dog in the act of doing something wrong in order to properly correct her as she just cannot connect your words now with something she’s done five hours ago or even five minutes ago. Don’t make the mistake when training your dog of getting upset if she doesn’t understand you or continues to make the same mistake if you’re not catching her right then and there. Punishing her after the fact is pointless and ineffective.
And the last mistake you may be making when training your dog is getting excessively angry at her when she doesn’t make the progress you think she should be making. Dogs are not spiteful and don’t do things purposely to make you mad, so if she’s not progressing as you think she should, either your expectations are unreasonable, you are making some other mistakes in training, or it’s time to see a professional trainer. There’s nothing wrong with asking a professional to help with training your dog and a pro may be able to show you some other mistakes you’re making or help to readjust your expectations. Either way, by asking for this help in training your dog you’re sure to not only be more successful but to also have a happier and calmer dog as well.