Having trained thousands of dogs of all ages, breeds and
sizes, I talk to many dog owners about the issues they are facing with their
dogs. In many cases, the issues are the same – jumping, barking, aggression,
leash pulling, and biting. The approach I use to fix these issues are often very
different from owner to owner, but many of the dog owners are making mistakes
that are similar.
5 Worst Mistakes Dog Owners Make
- They try
and speak English to the dog. I was never good at a second language. I sat
through many Spanish lessons in school, but I was never able to catch on. Dogs
don’t communicate with their Mom, littermates and other dogs using English.
Instead, they use guttural sounds (barking, growling, whining) and body
language to communicate. A dog’s first language is “dog language” and his
second is “human language”. Therefore, when you start to barrage your puppy
with “sit” and “stay” commands, he has no idea what you are saying. Eventually
he can learn the sound of certain spoken words and relate them to actions, but
this will take awhile. Bark Busters on the other hand, teaches you how to speak
dog immediately, so your puppy or dog understands what you are saying.
- They don’t
lead. Dogs have a natural tendency to lead. If you don’t assume the role of
“Big Dog”, they will. In most cases, the dog is in charge of the house and the
dog owner is following his rules. This is not the right hierarchy. Dog owners
need to establish themselves as the “leader of the pack” so the dog fits into
his lifestyle, not the other way around. You accomplish this through consistent
- They give
inconsistent messages. How many times have you told your dog NOT to beg
food at the dinner table, only to sneak him a few morsels? Or not to get on the furniture, but when he
snuggles up next to you, you don’t object? Dogs have no concept of right and
wrong. They do not have the ability to reason. So, when you are inconsistent in
applying the rules, your dog gets confused.
forget about praise. There is NEVER a reason to hit or abuse a dog. Nor are
shock or prong collars necessary to get him to do what you want. Your tone of
voice alone will tell your dog whether you are happy. Equally important as
telling your dog what he has done wrong is to tell him what he has done right.
If your dog follows your command, his actions should be met with some heartfelt
pats, praise and atta boys.
are too young to learn. Many of my puppy clients are wary their dog is too
young to learn. In fact, this is the perfect time to start laying the
foundation. Yes, puppies will grow out of certain behaviors, but puppyhood is
the perfect time to teach him right from wrong. Puppies are like a blank canvas
and they are looking to you to educate them.
As a Bark Busters dog trainer, my job is to educate YOU – the dog owner. I will spend most of my time teaching YOU the simple and effective ways to train your dog. Call me at 203-903-9994 or send me an email to set up an appointment today.