Katie Barton of Colorado on Mistakes to Avoid When Training a Puppy

Katie Barton Colorado

As the owner and operator of KT Dog Services, Katie Barton of Colorado is frequently tasked with training dogs after their owners gave it a go only to experience mixed results. These mixed results often occur due to several common mistakes that dog owners make. Today, Katie Barton of Colorado will share some of the most common mistakes people make when training their puppy, so they can enjoy more success from their training efforts.

The first mistake made by dog owners is training puppies for too long of a period of time. While it is true that professionals will often hold training sessions that last 30-45 minutes at a time, a puppy is more likely to respond to training in quick spurts. A big reason shorter training sessions work more effectively is they allow a dog trainer to reward positive behavior as it naturally occurs. This is where a dog is going to start to understand what their owner is asking of them.

Speaking of time, the timing of providing a treat is extremely important when training. Let’s say that a dog owner is trying to teach their dog to sit. When they get the appropriate action from their pup, it’s important that the dog receives the treat right away. A common mistake people make is celebrating the sit and this causes the dog to jump on them. The owner will then give the puppy a treat. When this occurs, the dog associates the treat as a reward for jumping. In addition to immediately providing a treat or other reward, verbal cues can often work. Vocalizing an affirmation every time a desired action occurs, can slowly start to register with a puppy. Another important note about treats is that treat placement matters. Placing the treat underneath the chin every time will train a puppy that this is where they can expect to be rewarded. This will also help teach them not to jump up for their reward.

Katie Barton of Colorado notes that many well-intentioned dog owners will make the mistake of punishing a positive behavior accidentally. For instance, if a dog owner teaches their dog to head over to them with a call of “come” and every time they do, they are locked in a room or receiving a nail trimming, they will learn to associate coming to their owner with a negative result. Another common accident is rewarding a behavior with a pat on the head. Many dog breeds will actually perceive a pat on the head as a punishment.

Most dog breeds will need to be trained in basic commands like sit, heel, and lay down in a number of different environments. When a puppy is only asked to follow these commands in a home setting, they often won’t respond to these commands out at the park or in a social environment. By introducing a puppy to different scenarios and training commands, a dog will learn to generalize terms and respond appropriately.

Finally, Katie Barton of Colorado always teaches dog owners to remain consistent in their commands. A lot of people training a puppy will change up their verbal cues whether they realize it or not. For instance, come here, come on, let’s go, and here boy, all may mean the same thing to the owner. They do not mean the same thing to the puppy. By staying consistent with verbal cues, it can become much easier to teach a puppy a desired behavior.

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