The 7 deadly sins of dog training

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The 7 deadly sins of dog training

Unfortunately, everyone makes small mistakes in dog training, which often only become noticeable later. However, these seven basic rules should always be followed:

1. Short commands instead of constant sound

Your dog is not hard of hearing. If he knows the command, a single call is enough. Any further word is redundant and undermines your authority. If you keep saying “Here!” roar, he is guaranteed not to come. You keep telling him where you are and that you are waiting for him (or even following him?). Better: short commands that are really meant seriously and to which the dog has to learn to react promptly.

2. Word and gesture should not contradict each other in dog training

Your dog interprets your facial expressions, your body language and the emphasis on your words – and combines them. If your posture and gestures do not match, you have lost. Anyone who quivers with anger and whispers “Come here” can wait a long time for their dog. Stand in front of the mirror and take a look at your own posture, facial expressions and gestures when giving commands.

3. Carelessness is taboo in dog training

If you were consistent in the beginning and are now careless because they “can” now, the dog will likely soon be doing nothing at all. The same threatens if you reward every good act with a treat. He will only want to work “against payment”. Consistency is the be-all and end-all here.

4. Multiple commands do not lead to the goal in dog training

The dog is lying down, you step back and keep saying “stay!” As soon as you fall silent, your dog races after you, beaming. Because he has learned: He must not move as long as the command is given … Avoid repeating a command from the start. The dog has to wait until you give the command to resolve the command (such as “Come!”).

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5. Command too early confuses the dog

The dog has moved away when you shout “At your feet!” Maybe he heard it, but now it will only irritate him. “Hopp” commands five meters from the ditch are similarly ineffective. The dog cannot associate the words with their meaning. The right moment is crucial for all commands.

The right timing is the be-all and end-all of dog training. © Christian Mü

6. Praise too late and the dog associates the recognition with the wrong action

A dog wants credit for what he’s done. But it takes time to get the treat out of your pocket. Because of the hectic pace, the dog may get it the moment he begs for it, whimpering. He’ll probably always do the latter now, because that’s what he got the reward for after all. He no longer associates the reward with a past action, but always with the present one.

In situations where things have to be done quickly, it is often better to immediately reward the dog extensively using voice and body language, before digging the treat out of a bag and praising the dog too late.

7. Do not just train in the dog school

Your four-legged friend works perfectly at the dog park, but at home it behaves totally wrong again. These are the reasons:

  • You have practiced too little outside, the dog believes that he only has to obey in the dog school.
  • You are only consistent in the course.
  • You motivate in the course with treats and toys, outside of it you suddenly want to work without it.
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The same applies here: repetitions of the exercise, consistency and the same demands on the dog ultimately lead to the hoped-for goal.