Training a dog is hard work, but it’s so important to your pup’s future well-being. There are a lot of dos and don’ts floating around out there, but a lot of them are flat-out wrong. There are certain times and ways you should punish your dog, but there are some circumstances you’ve probably been treating wrong the whole time.
Here are 15 things you’re doing wrong when training your adorable pooch.
1. Don’t expect them to come if you’re not going to reward them.
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While it’s nice to think that dogs will come every time we call, it’s important to remember that they still need a little incentive. Make sure that even after a simple command like “come!” is obeyed, you give them a good scruff on the head and tell them they did a good job!
Even if you’ve been calling them for an hour after they escaped, be nice when they come. If you punish them, they won’t be inclined to come again.
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2. NEVER let your dog jump on guests.
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Even if they say it’s alright, don’t allow this behavior. If you do, your dog will learn that it’s okay, and they could hurt a small child or an elderly person that comes into your home. Tell your guests to ignore them until they’ve calmed down before paying attention again.
3. Don’t yell at your pup when they tinkle inside.
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This will only cause them to fear you, and to make those mistakes when you’re not looking and in hidden places. Instead, give your potty-training pup plenty of opportunities to go outside, and keep him crated or in your sightline while you’re at home.
4. If your pup pulls on their leash, stand still.
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If you show them that tugging you along gets them to where they’re going faster, they’ll never learn how to walk on a loose leash. If you have to, walk the other way if they keep pulling, and be sure to reward them when they are being a good pup.
5. Teach your pup that potty time is for going to the potty.
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Don’t let the fun-filled rolling around in the grass and sniffing everything in existence begin until the deed is done. Watching your pup play around when you just want to sleep will get old real fast.
6. Never use the kennel as punishment.
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If you don’t want WWIII every time you try to get your dog in his kennel, never use it as a punishment. Make the kennel a happy place full of treats and toys and good times.
7. Give your yappy dog the silent treatment.
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Talking back to or scolding your dog will only prolong the conversation. If you stop talking to them, they’re more likely to stop talking to you.
8. Don’t give in to puppy dog eyes.
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If you feed him once, he WILL remember. So don’t do it. Teach your pup that it’s better to be far away from the table during mealtime by giving him treats in his kennel or his bed. You can always give him people food scraps later, just not at the table.
9. Same goes for table manners.
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That is, not-jumping-on-the-table manners. Once they learn it’s alright, they’ll keep doing it. Remind your kids (and yourself) not to leave scraps lying around to entice Fido onto surfaces.
10. Playtime is key!
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Don’t deprive your pup of playtime. If you do, they’ll make their own, and you will not be happy about it.
11. Bribery — it’s bad.
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Your dog won’t ever behave if he’s only responding to treats. There’s a difference between the early stages of training and using a lure, and a flat-out bribe. Make sure your pup is listening to you and not the treats.
12. Chew toy training never ends.
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Your pup has an instinctual need to chew, and, unfortunately, you’re going to have to keep reminding them what is alright to chew on and what isn’t. Some tips: give him treats when you give him his toy so he’ll learn that chew time is also treat time. You can also put chew toys on a rotating schedule, so that old toys become new and exciting again.
13. Nipping isn’t cute.
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Once a pup learns that nipping is alright, she’ll keep doing it. Then when she becomes older, it can become dangerous. Make sure to teach your dog when they’re young that nipping isn’t okay by saying, “OUCH!” and walking away when it happens.
14. Growling is good.
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When your dog growls, he’s telling you he feels threatened. Instead of punishing him for letting you know he’s upset, simply remove him from the situation to diffuse the tension.
15. Don’t yell if your pup pees in the presence of a stranger.
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When a pooch wants to let someone know they’re not a threat, he or she might submissively urinate. If you yell, scold, or punish them, it will make matters worse. If your pup is prone to this behavior, let everyone know that they should be ignored ’til everyone’s calmed down.
(source Bark Post)
Now you’re totally equipped to train a perfectly well-behaved pup! Remember that understanding behavior is a big part of making sure your dog is happy within your family.