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Common Training Mistakes

Common Training Mistakes

Training plays a huge role in determining what kind of life you and your dog are going to share. There are many training methods to choose from there’s no one right way. Whatever method you choose both you and your dog will make mistakes and that’s ok.

There’s a lot of information about dog training available. We looked at 7 articles from dog trainers, dog behaviourists, and vets and came up with this list of the 6 common mistakes people make during training. If you can avoid these 6 mistakes you will not only successfully train your dog, you and your pup will build a lasting, loving friendship.

Important: choose a training method that works best for your pup. Dogs are individuals and what works well for your friend’s dog may not work for yours even if they are the same breed.

Your Behaviour

The way you behave while training your dog will affect how well your dog learns. Avoid these mistakes:

1) Having a bad attitude and negative demeanor:

  • Try this instead:
    • Remember, dogs are pack animals – you must fill the leadership role if you want your dog to behave. Be the leader – have a positive attitude but a calm demeanor
    • Remember to be emotionally stable – don’t get too happy when your pup does well or too angry when she doesn’t listen
    • Be calm, cool, collected, and patient

2) Training with inconsistency causing confusion:

  • Try this instead:
    • Stick with your chosen training method and try not to mix in random elements from other methods
    • Use the same word for a command. Avoid switching between 2 different words for the same thing – the command is either “sit” or “sit down” not both
    • Always apply the same rules – your dog is either always allowed to jump up on you or she isn’t; the rule should be the same whether you’re wearing a dress or yoga pants
    • Your dog is not a person, remember to treat you dog like a dog not a child – avoid assigning human emotions and thought processes to him

3) Sessions are too long or too short:

  • Try this instead:
    • Make sure sessions aren’t so long that your pup becomes bored and begins to ignore you
    • Training sessions should not be so short that your pup doesn’t learn anything
    • Training session length depends on your pup’s attention span and ability to learn
    • Remember to end training sessions on a success that follows in praise and reward
    • Remember, training is a lifelong activity that needs to be practiced every day, not just on weekends

4) Focusing on negative behaviour:

  • Try this instead:
    • Positive reinforcement tends to work better than negative reinforcement
    • Dogs see attention as a reward, remember that by reacting to an undesired behaviour your may actually be reinforcing it
    • Negative reinforcement and correcting a behaviour are not the same thing
    • Reinforcement is only effective when it occurs immediately after an action – rewarding your dog for completing a command 5 minutes after he completed it has no effect on future behaviour

5) Relying on too many treats:

  • Try this instead:
    • Don’t depend on treats – use a mix of different rewards include verbal praise and affection in your reward system
    • You can use anything your dog loves as a reward but that means you will have to control your dog’s access to it – it isn’t a reward if she can have it whenever she wants
    • Slowly wean your pup off treat based rewards to praise, a favourite toy, some play time, or something else he loves

6) Having unrealistic expectations:

  • Try this instead:
    • Make sure to set reasonable training goals that your pup can reach – don’t become discouraged if your pup doesn’t become the world’s best behaved dog over night

There’s a lot of research on the subject of dog training. If you’d like to read more you can check out the articles we use to write this blog:

  1. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/08/16/6-dog-training-mistakes.aspx
  2. http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/are-you-making-these-10-training-mistakes/29092
  3. http://www.canadianliving.com/life/pets/6_common_mistakes_pet_owners_can_avoid.php
  4. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/10_5/features/Positive_Dog_Training_15931-1.html
  5. http://www.dogfathertraining.co.uk/articles-and-tips/4-dog-training-mistakes-to-avoid-like-the-plague
  6. http://www.pawnation.com/2012/05/31/10-dog-training-mistakes-to-avoid/
  7. http://www.alphapaws.com/common-training-mistakes-that-can-be-avoided-with-dog-obedience-lessons/

Share with Us

If you have any training tips please share! Post your comments and pictures on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo

Pit Bull Education

Pit Bulls

Pit bulls have a bad rep – a lot of people think of them as violent, unpredictable animals.  But it wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that Pit Bulls started to become public enemy number one.  Through the 20th century the Pit Bull was a popular family dog.  There were few, if any stories of Put Bulls attacking people; attacks were blamed on poor ownership, not on the breed.

What Changed

In an article for Cesar’s Way Jon Bastian talks about the history of the Pit Bull.  His article also pins points the 1980’s as when things changed for the breed.  You can read his article here.  In the 1980’s there were 3 major things that changed the way people think about Pit Bulls:

  1. A high profile Pit Bull attack that caused the death of a 2 years old boy – the dog was guarding a marijuana crop
  2. An increase in the use of Pit Bulls as guard and attack dogs – especially for organized crime
  3. Dog fighting became popular again and Pit Bulls were the dog of choice

By the 1990’s Pit Bull bans were common in the United States.

The Truth

The American Society for the Protection of Animals says that just because a breed is bred with certain traits doesn’t mean that each individual will display all these traits.  Behaviour develops through a complex process that includes environment, interaction, experience, genetics and even diet. Dogs are individuals regardless of their breed.  Responsible pet ownership is the only way to make sure that people and pets can live together.

Pit Bull Awareness Day

Pit Bull Awareness Day was created to educate people about the stereotypes and realities about Pit Bulls.

FREE

Do you have a Pit Bull?  The first 5 people to post a pic of their pup on doo-n-go’s Facebook page  will get a free 3 roll pack of doo-n-go.  Post must be before 11:55pm on Oct. 31, 2014, for more information about this promo contact us at [email protected].

Links

For more information about Pit Bull Awareness Day check: http://www.nationalpitbullawarenessday.org/ ASPCA Position Statement on Pit Bulls: https://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-pit-bulls

https://dearcanine.com/pitbulls-attack-their-owners/

Agility – Fun for you and your Furry Friend

Are you looking for an awesome way to bond with your dog and get some exercise?  Agility training could be for you.

What is Agility?

Agility is a training sport.  You train your dog to run an obstacle course that includes jumps, tunnels, weave poles, dog walks, teeter-totters, and others obstacles.  You race against time while trying to complete the obstacles as accurately as possible.

There are different events for all levels of experience.  Agility is a great way to get outside for some fun and exercise with your favorite, furry canine and other dog lovers!

Benefits

Exercise: Dogs get bored – they need things to do just like people.  Many pet behaviourists and veterinarians agree that dogs need plenty of exercise – both mentally and physically.  Training your dog for Agility helps keep your dog’s mind and body in shape.  You will also get some great exercise while running through the course with your pooch. 

Bonding: Agility is a great way to bond with your dog.  Through the training your dog will rely on your commands for guidance through the course.  It’s a great way to improve communication with your dog and ensure your dog is well trained.

Behaviour: Just like people, dogs behave better when they are entertained – when they have places to go, things to do, and dogs to see.  Dogs that take part in Agility are less likely to have behavioural and health problems.  Problems like chewing, digging, barking, and hyperactivity are far less common in Agility dogs than dogs that don’t get enough socialization and exercise. 

For dogs who might be timid or fearful Agility helps build confidence and trust.  Confidence and trust go a long way toward helping your dog overcome fearful and timid behaviour.  

Before you Start

·         Look up agility clubs in your area

·         Make sure your dog meets the qualifications – such as age

·         Make sure your dog is in good health – vaccines and checkups are up to date

·         Check out for more information on local clubs www.akc.org/dog_shows_trials/agility/links.cfm#gettingstarted in the US

If you’re looking for a fun, rewarding, and unique activity you can do with your pup make sure you look into Agility!

Are you in Agility?  We want to hear from you!  Go to https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo and share your experiences and tips with us J

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