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Are You Making These Five Training Mistakes?

You know your dog inside out – and maybe you’ve been doing regular dog training sessions for a long time. You probably think your techniques and behaviours are error-free.

But that’s where you might be wrong.

As humans, we are all capable of getting stuck in a rut with our training and letting bad habits creep in that we barely even notice.

With a new year upon us, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your training and see where you could make improvements.

Step one? Ask yourself if you’re making any of these five common training mistakes…

1. Relying too much on treats

Handing out a tasty treat is a great way to reinforce a good behaviour – but it is possible to rely on food too much. By giving out

Dog with nose in Clamtreats too often during training, you can encourage a dog to become so food-obsessed that they struggle to concentrate on other commands.

If you do have a dog that is mostly motivated by food, we recommend using a dog training toy like our Food Bag or The Clam which combines getting a treat with a fun game. Using these toys can be a helpful way of gradually persuading your dog to be motivated by toys, as well as food.

2. Being reactive not proactive

If you are trying to iron out a bad behaviour, such as chewing for example, you might tend to wait until the bad behaviour has occurred before dealing with it. A more effective technique is to anticipate when the behaviour might occur and intercept before it does, perhaps with a distracting and engaging dog toy.

3. Being inconsistent

Like young children, consistency is key when it comes to successful dog training. Your dog needs to know that you are in charge and that your reactions and behaviours don’t vary from day to day, depending on what mood you’re in. By setting rules and sticking to them, your dog will learn much faster and more effectively.

4. Not training regularly enough

For a dog to understand something, it has to be repeated many times. Training sessions should be short but frequent for the best results. It’s not possible to cram a week’s worth of training into one very long session. This will only result in you and your dog becoming frustrated. Aim for one 5 to 15 minute long session every day, if you can. You can also reinforce the commands you work on during training at regularly intervals throughout a normal day.

5. Not challenging your dog enough

For a dog to remain engaged with training, it has to be continually challenged and motivated. So, without being overly ambitious, once your dog has mastered a certain behaviour, move on fairly quickly to developing it further or adding in a new component. Again, dog training toys – particularly our range made with real sheepskin and rabbit fur – can be a really good motivator if your training routine has become a bit boring and you want something to reinvigorate it.

What training mistakes are you guilty of making? Come and let us know your thoughts over on our Facebook page.

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