Are you training your puppy? If so, you’re starting off your relationship with your furry buddy on the right foot! Training your puppy at an early age helps them learn about the rules and behaviors you expect from them. At the same time, you spend more time with your new fur-baby, strengthening the bond between the both of you.
While training is relatively straightforward, you can encounter some mishaps that can slow down your puppy’s training progress. Here are 5 common mistakes puppy parents make during puppy training.
1. Waiting too long to train
Regardless of your puppy’s age, you should begin training as soon as they arrive home. Waiting too long to begin training can bring your puppy to develop bad habits that are hard to break. If your puppy is very young, you can still teach them basic house rules and commands, such as “sit,” “lay down,” “come” and “stay.”
Remember to continue training your puppy as they grow older and mature. Over time, your puppy will grow accustomed to their training routine and love you unconditionally. Once this strong bond is formed, you can start other advanced training, like agility tricks.
2. Inconsistent training
Inconsistent puppy training only works to confuse your fur-baby. You may even accidentally reinforce bad puppy behaviors that can stay with them until adulthood.
Let’s say you don’t want your puppy begging around the dinner table while you eat. If you give in by letting your puppy have a few scraps of food, they will associate begging as a good habit and will repeat the behavior in the future. They may become confused when you’re not giving them food every time they beg for it.
Whether your puppy begs or gives you those irresistible puppy eyes, you should always remain firm and assertive. Eventually, with enough consistency, your puppy will learn what behaviors you expect from them.
3. Harsh training methods
Using punishment as a form of puppy training won’t get you very far—just ask any modern dog trainer! In some cases, puppies do respond to specific puppy sprays or penny cans, and neither causes them any harm.
However, when you use harsh disciplining methods, like yelling, scolding, or hitting, you can cause your puppy to become aggressive or fearful towards you. These qualities can follow your puppy into their adulthood, which can put you and others in danger. You may also accidentally hurt your puppy.
Most puppies prefer getting praises and treats for their good behavior and we recommend taking advantage of it. By using positive reinforcement to train your puppy, you can build a much stronger bond with them and earn their respect (and vice versa!).
4. Using the same training approach
It’s pretty easy to fall into the same training methods with your puppy. Every puppy is unique with their own personality and likes. Because of this, they may or may not respond to your training approach.
With the various dog training styles available, we recommend trying out the different training tips you’ve received to develop your own training approach with your puppy. Try out a few training methods and see what sticks the most. You can then merge two separate training styles to create a fully engaging training session that progresses your puppy’s learning.
5. Not enough puppy training
Like consistency, you should regularly have training sessions with your puppy. Training isn’t an activity that’s done once or overnight—it requires lots of time and patience. You should choose one trick or command and work on it for short training sessions until your puppy has mastered it. You can find other commands and tricks to teach your puppy but you should always review old commands.
In fact, even when your puppy has fully learned every basic and advanced command and trick in the book, their training should never end. Ongoing training sessions keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated. Training, if done right, is also lots of fun and can act as a way to keep your friendship with your furry friend strong.
Training sessions should be a fun bonding experience between you and your beautiful puppy. If you’re a new puppy parent, and you run into a mishap, don’t panic! As your puppy ages, you will continue to learn more about them and what training approaches work for them. Just remember to stay calm, patient, and change up your routine for the best training that helps your puppy progress!
Having trouble leash training your puppy? Check out our blog, How to Leash Train Your Puppy for our tips on how you can leash train your furry friend!