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6 Puppy Training Mistakes To Avoid

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Today is Puppy Day!  Adding a puppy to your family is a lot of fun, but a lot of work, too.  One of the first things to do after your puppy comes home is to begin training.

In order to get the most from training sessions, here are six puppy training mistakes to avoid:

Focus On Negative Behaviors. Owners often wait for a puppy to do something wrong and correct him rather than direct him toward a positive behavior from the beginning. Puppies often like to chew on anything they can reach, so work on directing them to chew on appropriate chew toys instead of only chasing him when he starts chewing on something he shouldn’t.

Giving Mixed Signals. Dog owners often allow puppies to sit with them on the couch or in a chair. That’s fine when the dog is young…and small, but once he starts growing and doesn’t fit as a lap dog any longer, it’s confusing to him if he’s no longer allowed on the furniture. If you’re going to allow your dog on the furniture going forward, teach him as a puppy to only climb up on the furniture when invited.

Incorrect Timing. Often, a dog owner will not correct an inappropriate behavior at the right time. When a puppy exhibits inappropriate behavior, it needs to be corrected immediately. If not done immediately, your puppy will not understand why he’s being reprimanded and will become fearful.

Giving Freebies. A puppy should learn that he needs to work to get rewards. For example, puppies should learn to sit before eating their meal, or before going outside for a walk. Failure to enforce this rule is wasting the good behavior reinforcements. Also, don’t always give the same number of treats for a specific action. Puppies usually learn within a few sessions what they need to do for a reward, so gradually cut back on the number of treats given.

Miscues With Socialization. If your puppy is enrolled in training class, but is cautious or shy, don’t force him to interact. Doing this may cause him to become more fearful. Puppies will often join in given a little time, so allow him to watch the class for a while to help him relax.

Lack of Manners Training. Dog owners may give their puppy treats from the table or counter, but reprimand the dog once he gets bigger and can reach the counter himself. To prevent your dog from getting confused, give treats in a room other than the the kitchen, beginning when he’s a puppy.

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