If you have a new puppy or older dog, you may be excited to start training. Dog training is a rewarding way to bond with your pet when you first bring them home. Both you and your dog will live happier together when you have learned to live in the same habitat as each other. This requires training your dog to understand what your desired behavior is. There are many misconceptions that come with dog training. Distinguishing myths from facts is a crucial part of success with dog training.
1. My dog is too young.
Puppies do not need to reach a certain age before you start training. With that being said, you want to avoid putting your dog in an unsafe or unhealthy environment too young. To go to a facility or around other puppies and dogs, your dog will first need their vaccines.
Before your dog gets their first vaccines, you can still start training from home. Finding a reputable online dog training program can get you starting with training from day 1. Training virtually allows you to have one-on-one sessions with a trainer in the safety of your home.
2. My dog is too old.
No dog is too old to learn the desired behavior that their pet parents want. Training is all about creating a better routine for your pet.
If they are encouraged to go to the bathroom outside instead of in the house, for example, then they will become accustomed to going to the bathroom outside over time. There are plenty of dog training programs that can be helpful for older dogs, depending on what behavior you want to train.
3. You need a shock collar.
Shock collars are not an essential part of training. Some pet parents will use shock collars as part of their training methods. However, pet parents can also use positive reinforcement training with their pet.
Through positive reinforcement training, pet parents encourage desired behavior by rewarding their pet with toys, treats, or affection to teach your dog to understand what you want. When your pet learns that they can benefit from exhibiting desired behavior, they will be inclined to continue over time.
4. Your dog is untrainable.
“My dog is too stubborn to learn.” “My dog cannot focus on training.” There are plenty of reasons why a pet parent may believe that their dog is untrainable.
With training any dog, it takes patience and consistent effort. Some dogs may learn quicker than others. But, that does not mean that your dog is untrainable. Even if it takes longer, the more consistent you are with your efforts, the more it will pay off.
5. I need treats to train my dog.
Some pet parents are wary of giving their dog too many treats. Other dogs may not respond well to treats at all. Treats are not the end-all-be-all of training. It is not essential that you use treats as part of training, although it can be beneficial. For dogs that do not like treats or have allergies to certain ingredients, you can also train using toys or affection as a reward.
For dogs who enjoy treats, there are plenty of training treats on the market that are low calories and will not harm your pet’s diet. Some training treats are even only one or two calories, making it perfect for training sessions that require a lot of rewards.
6. Toys teach aggression.
Another common misconception about dog training is that using toys teaches your dog to be aggressive. Some dogs are tougher chewers than others, and some dogs completely tear apart their toys. This should not deter you from playing with your dog using toys.
Part of training your dog requires you to teach your dog the difference between chewing a toy and biting or chewing other things around your home. Dogs have a naturally tendency to use their mouths, especially as a puppy. Toys can actually be a way to encourage your dog to use them as an outlet for their chewing.
Find a Training Program Suited For Your Pet
There is no one size fits all for training a dog or puppy. Find a program that works best for your pet. Staying consistent with your training, even outside of training sessions, and dispelling the common misconceptions about dog training will lead you and your pet to success and a happy life together.