When you make the outstanding decision of working with the puppy training experts at Dog Sense you take the first steps on your journey of instilling the right behavior in your dog or puppy. However, there are some actions you should know not to engage in to prevent holding your puppy back or creating unwanted behaviors despite the puppy training you receive. Here are four of the common mistakes that both new and experienced dog owners can make after bringing their puppy home from training.
You Fail To Reinforce The Puppy’s Training
Dogs are smart animals that are very capable of learn, but the lessons they learn with your dog trainer must be reinforced at home in order for your puppy to really form responsiveness to the puppy training. Like humans, it takes time for a puppy to fully develop a desired behavior, and just like humans, even messing up that behavior 1 out of 6 times can throw off development. That is why it is important to get every member of your household on board with enforcing a desired behavior in order to drive your puppy in its dog training journey. There once was a myth that “puppies don’t start learning until they’re 6 – 12 months”, but the truth is that puppies, much like babies, are always learning and constantly evaluating their surroundings. Your puppy will be exposed to a regular stream of scenarios that cause him to make a “good” or “bad” behavior choices, and it’s up to you to reinforce the good behavior he or she learns at puppy training class. Otherwise, your puppy may be confused with conflicting messages about what’s good and what’s bad.
You Coddle Your Puppy When He’s Scared
When something/someone we love is scared, it’s human nature to want to reassure them that nothing bad will happen. In essence, we begin to coddle that someone/something that we love. Coddling is basically the act of treating something in an overprotective manner. We do it with our children in a variety of scenarios, from “monsters in the closet” to “haircuts don’t actually hurt” without realizing the negative ways it can effect them. Dogs can often be the victim of coddling as well, and if you coddle your puppy when he’s scared (i.e. during a thunderstorm) of something that in reality will not likely harm him, he or she will think that what you are being protective over is always something to be fearful of. If you coddle your puppy when it is scared, it will create stress for your dog and often reinforce it’s fearful behavior. You should instead, take your puppy’s mind off of the thunder by giving him a command and a reward for fulfilling it.
You Can’t Bring Yourself To Use a Crate With Your Puppy
It’s not uncommon for someone to object to the idea of putting a puppy in a crate or a cage during his home training. People often think dogs will be unhappy not having the freedom to roam around whenever and wherever they want. But the reality is that dogs are “den animals” that feel comfortable when sleeping in a covered area, and with a little reinforcement and proper crate training you will no doubt see your puppy take a shine to its new surroundings. Once the bond with its crate is established, you will find that crate training is an excellent method for housetraining your puppy and keeping him out of trouble (soiling the floor, chewing on furniture, overturning trash cans, etc.). Proper crate training for your puppy will also reduce its stress, by giving it a safe, sheltered place to relax and calm itself.
You Scold Your Puppy When He Goes Potty In The House
At Dog Sense, we talk a lot about how dogs “live in the moment”. When a dog performs a negative, or positive, behavior you only have a few seconds to either praise, reward, or correct your dog for its behavior. Doing so too late will lead to your dog not knowing what you are praising or rewarding it for, negatively affecting it on its puppy training journey. Unless you catch him in the act of soiling the carpet, scolding him will be ineffective. In fact, he’ll think you’re scolding him for whatever he’s doing at the moment. The best solution is to reinforce the potty training methods established at Dog Sense, and before you know it your dog will associate the outside, and not the carpet, with his “bathroom area”.
We Help Your Puppy Grow Into a Dog
For almost 20 years, Dog Sense has offered professional dog training and daycare services to residents of Lancaster County. Contact us today to learn more about our full menu of dog-focused programs, and rely on us to help your puppy grow into a well behaved dog.