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Common Dog Training Myths and Mistakes

Myth: Lock Dog in Crate When He's BAD

Putting a dog in the crate after yelling or scolding over an infraction teaches him that Crate = Bad Dog. Then, when you are leaving the house or having guests over and want to put him in the crate, he will assume he has misbehaved. This cycle can cause many behavior problems and even neurosis or anxiety within dogs. Crates should always be a positive experience for your dog. It is his den, his bedroom and he should enjoy being in there.

Myth: Scold Dog After He FINALLY Comes When Called

If you yell or scold your dog for coming to you, regardless of how many times you called him, he will learn to associate getting in trouble when coming to you. Therefore, getting him to come in the future will be more difficult.

Myth: You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Older dogs do experience physiological and neurological changes as they grow older, similar to the human aging process. However, dogs at any stage of their life can learn new tricks though it may take some extra patience.

Myth: Punishment Is Necessary For Every Infraction

Common methods of house training puppies includes rubbing the dog's nose in his potty accidents and scolding him while doing so. Common methods for training the "come here" cue include scolding or even spanking the dog when he does not come to you quickly enough. There are many other "training" methods that include some sort of punishment for the dog if he does not perform as expected. None of them work...Dogs will, quite possibly, learn the proper behavior eventually but it is not through "after the fact" punishment. Not only is this technique useless, dogs learn to associate getting punished with the performing the behavior you are trying to teach.

Myth: Not All Dogs Need To Be Trained

Dogs are pack animals. It is in their instinct to look up to someone for instructions. When no one leads them they are unhappy, unbalanced and become anxious, fearful, aggressive or exhibit other emotional distress behaviors. Proper training is an excellent way to establish and reinforce a pack hierarchy with the owner at the helm. Imagine living a life wherein you had no idea what you were supposed to be doing and no one to tell you right from wrong. People without "training" from their leaders (teachers, parents) do not usually end up happy, well-adjusted and successful. All dogs, large and small, friendly and dominant, need training.

 
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