5 Worst Mistakes Most Dog Owners Make

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 communication.
  • 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.
  • They 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.
  • Puppies 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.

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