People often say that you can’t teach an older dog new tricks all the time. It doesn’t matter if you hear it repeatedly. You can teach an old dog new tricks.
As a dog trainer, you should have all the information you need to successfully train your dog.
However, common misconceptions can make it difficult to train your dog and even cause problems in your relationship with him.
Let me clear the air by dispelling some common myths about dog training so you can provide all the information you need for your dog to become a faithful listener.
MYTH: I can only incentivise my dog by giving him treats.
FACT: Treats are a tool that can be used to motivate your training, but not the primary motivation.
You reinforce to your dog that they will be rewarded for their good behavior by giving them treats or other rewards.
Is there anything wrong with that?
Although treats are fine for training your dog, I do not recommend using them as the only method of getting him to listen.
It’s not a long-term solution.
Dogs that are trained to accept treats will likely only listen when they have them.
What happens if you arrive at the dog park and discover that your beloved pup has forgotten their treats? Because they don’t have an incentive to listen, they will be more likely run away and misbehave.
A healthy relationship is the best way to get your dog listening.
A solid relationship begins when you gain the trust of your dog. They will look up to you for guidance and not just treats.
You must be the doggy parent that your dog respects and looks up to. Dogs who believe they are the leader or have the responsibility of protecting you can cause many behavioral problems.
A positive training experience is built upon trust and communication. You need more than treats.
This is the topic I tackled in my recent blog on positive reinforcement. You can read it to find out more about training with treats, and how it can hinder your ability to achieve your training goals.
MYTH: Basic command training (sit/stay, come/go, etc. My dog knows enough to be able to sit, stay, come, etc.
FACT: Basic commands training won’t help your dog build a rapport with you that will allow them to listen when it really matters.
Dog obedience goes beyond getting your dog “sit” and “stay”.
It’s knowing your dog will follow your lead in EVERY SITUATION and turn to you for direction.
It doesn’t matter if other dogs or children are around, or if a new scent stimulates their senses.
You need to be able to trust your dog will listen when you call.
If you don’t establish a strong relationship with your dog they will believe they are in control.
…and they believe they are in control, you have lost control.
Here’s an example scenario.
Dogs can sense a change in smell. This is not unusual, as we all know how powerful dogs’ sense of smell are. If your dog doesn’t have a strong sense of smell, and you don’t know where they belong in your family hierarchy, they will run away to search for it.
They could run into traffic if they’re close to a busy street or go on a hike. No amount of treats or yelling will get them back to you if they don’t believe they need to (or know how to).
They could end up in dangerous situations.
But, once you have a strong relationship with your dog, your dog will listen to what you say, even if it is a new smell.
Dogs should be able to understand commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come”. Your training doesn’t stop there.
In a blog post, I wrote about how having a good relationship with your dog can help improve your dog’s obedience. You can check it out right now
MYTH: CBD Oil can be used to get my dog to listen and settle.
FACT: CBD Oil can be used to train your dog. It is not the only AID.
You have a fiesty dog? It can be difficult to get a stubborn dog to calm down.
CBD Oil is a wonderful training aid but it should not be the only option.
It only works if your dog is under the effects of CBD Oil. It’s over soon, and you’re back to square 1.
It’s not a treatment for dogs who are anxious or naughty.
It can help calm your dog while you train and build your relationship. It has also been shown to be beneficial for arthritis and achy joints. It’s a smart idea to speak to your vet if your dog has difficulty moving.
One product that I highly recommend is…
Doggy Dan’s CBD dog treats with ‘Angel Oil’ CBD
It’s my product so I can be certain it contains the best ingredients. This makes it the best-quality CBD product.
**One thing that I would like to point out is that CBD oil supplements contain zero THC, so your dog won’t feel high from the products. **
Find out more about Doggy Dan’s Angel Oil dog treats
MYTH: My dog must have dominance. This is just like how dogs fight to establish their hierarchy within the pack.
FACT: Dog training should not be done in a way that is abusive or forceful.
I believe in gentle and kind training methods for dogs. Your relationship with your dog will be strengthened if you create a positive environment for your dog to learn and thrive.
You are not only inflicting suffering by using fear-based training methods, but you can also damage your relationship with your dog.
Your dog will learn to fear you and this can cause a breakdown in trust between you. This can lead to your dog experiencing a lot of stress and even aggression.
What happens if you’re not there to discipline your dog? The perceived threat to their dog is gone, and the naughty behavior will return. Forceful training won’t work long-term.
Because if you’re not there or the “tool”, you use, all you’ve ever taught your dog about dogs goes out of the window.
Find out why I disapprove of fear-based, forceful training
It is important that you get to know your dog.
Kindness and gentleness are the foundation for a strong, positive and fun friendship.
MYTH: Dog training doesn’t require a long-term commitment. It’s okay to stop training once your dog is listening.
FACT: Dog training can be a lifetime practice that will help you build a healthy and happy relationship with your dog. There is no set end date.
It’s not a one-and done approach to training your dog.
It is something that must be nurtured and strengthened over time.
You become a parent for life. As your children grow, you’re constantly improving your relationship with your children and teaching them new skills.
This is also true if you are a pet parent. You must reinforce the lessons you have taught your pet every day. It is not enough to train your dog for one month. It is important to continue working with your dog and show them that you are the boss.
Dogs are animals. They are driven by their primal brains. We need to provide them with good leadership, guidance and consistency.
You can’t turn it on or off.
Dog ownership is a way to live, so it’s important that you are consistent in your communication with your dog.
Never stop learning and growing with others!
I hope you’re now more aware of some common misconceptions regarding dog training.
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Doggy Dan Debunks 5 Common Dog Training Myths. The Online Dog Trainer.