Most Common Mistakes when training Dogs
You probably know that dog training can be done in a variety of ways. However, most methods used in this activity nowadays have in common one key-word: positive reinforcement as the most efficient way of training dogs. Indeed, statistics show that almost all of those successful training systems are based on positive reinforcement.
But no matter what training program you chose, you are likely to commit one or more of the most common errors. You should read this information in order to avoid them, because these three serious mistakes will make training sessions tiring and ineffective.
The first one consists in the lack of constancy. As you know, regular practice and repetition is the main condition for learning. For instance, after performing successfully a certain command, the dog receives a reward; it will expect to receive exactly the same reward after accomplishing exactly the same action. This is the way your dog understands the reward approach and this is how it learns.
But if you reward it sometimes and fail to do that other times before the dog gets the chance to learn, it will get confused. So the key to success lies in remaining consistent and not interrupting training sessions for long periods of time.
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The Basics of Dog Socialization
Dogs must be well socialized from a very early age if they are to accept humans, the domestic environment in which they live and other dogs and animals without any kinds of problem behavior occurring.
Dogs are social creatures. Different breeds of dog enjoy the company of people and other animals to different extents, but all like to live their lives in a pack with others, whether human or canine. If denied social contact, they can become badly behaved or depressed. An under socialized dog can be difficult to live with, handle and control, and should be properly socialized for the safety and contentment of all concerned.
Dogs need to be taught to behave well around all humans. Examples of these include the following:
• Wheelchair users, people with walking sticks or crutches and the elderly.
• Babies, toddlers, timid people and people who are not comfortable around dogs.
• Energetic and noisy children and adults.
• Joggers, cyclists, rollerblades, skateboarders and people pushing prams.
• People with beards, unusual hairstyles, spectacles, headgear, uniforms or umbrellas.
Many dogs have a particular problem with delivery people, because of territorial aggression (a form of fear aggression).
Delivery people come to his territory, where he is most confident, and then, from the dog’s point of view, go as soon as they are barked at, so the barking has worked.
How long does it take to train a Dog
Doing too much in one session will overtax a dog both mentally and physically, and he will end up thoroughly confused. Aim to do one exercise – interspersed with play sessions for light relief – until you have perfected it; then move on to the next task. Keep daily training sessions short and fun: 10-15 minutes of concentrated training per hour is the maximum most dogs can cope with. Puppies do not have a prolonged attention span. Three 10-minute training sessions a day are better than one 30-minute session. Always finish on a good note, so that both you and your dog will justifiably feel pleased with, and good about, yourselves.
Keep a diary, so that you can see how progress is going, and note down areas of Particular achievement or difficulty, so that you can work on those exercises that your dog finds trickier than others. Above all, stay calm, be patient and make training fun.
All dogs are different
Some dogs learn things faster than others. Large breeds tend to mature more slowly, so you sometimes need to be extra patient with them. Small dogs, on the other hand, can be too clever for their own good and you will have to be on your toes. Bear in mind that working breeds, while intelligent, have an inbred instinct to chase and retrieve, guard or herd, or all three, and require disciplined handling and training to get the very best from them. Such dogs tend to thrive on agility training and training ‘tasks’, such as retrieving items for you or scent-tracking items. Making training a ‘game’ is the key to success in all cases.