When you get a puppy, you typically have the best of intentions, but puppy training is hard. That inevitably leads people to make some fairly large puppy training mistakes.
If you are about to start training your puppy, take a look at some far too common mistakes and try not to make them yourself.
- Not Being Consistent
If you go back and forth with training, your dog simply will not understand. You need to be consistent from day to day. This can be hard at times because some days you might just not want to put in the effort, but try. It will pay huge dividends.
- Using The Crate As Punishment
If you choose to crate train, you should use it responsibly. It should be a safe place for your new puppy to nap, to sleep at night and to stay in while you are away. It should not be a punishment.
- Trying Too Much At Once
Work on one lesson at a time with your puppy. They can only learn so much at one time and if you overwhelm them, they will likely get frustrated and not pick up anything.
- Thinking Bad Behavior Is Cute
Things like nibbling and jumping up on guests might seem cute now, but it won’t be in the future. This is especially true if you have a dog that will get quite large like a German Shepherd puppy. What might be cute at 10 pounds is certainly not as cute at 70 pounds.
- Using Negative Reinforcement
You want to keep things positive. Award the good and then correct the bad behavior. Yelling at, hitting and scolding your dog might get you some of the results you like, but it will be at a cost. It will likely get you a timid and often aggressive pet.
- Getting Angry At Your Pet
Your pet likely wants to do what you want them to, the just need time to understand what that is. Remember that you are essentially dealing with a toddler. It will take time for them to mature and it will take repetition for your lessons to stick.
- Not Being The Alpha
Your dog should look to you and you alone for leadership. Be the alpha. That means being the only one who trains them or gives them commands at first. You should also be the one giving them the majority of attention and love.
- Waiting Too Long To Train
You should start puppy training just as soon as possible. This, of course, does not mean that you should immediately start training your dog to jump through hoops, but you can start small. Potty training and basic commands like sit and stay can start immediately.
- Thinking Your Dog Is Done
They know stay, sit and maybe even roll over. This is likely all that many pet owners want, but even if your goals are low, you need to be consistent. Your dog will regress, especially at around age one or two. This means that you need to reinforce your training over the years.
- Being Too Impatient
It will take time for your dog to be trained, you can not expect for them to pick it up in days or even weeks. Be patient and consistent and they will get there.