8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Training Your Dog

Making Training Sessions Too Long

Keep training effective by using multiple micro-sessions (30-90 seconds each) instead of long ones, maintaining your dog s attention and enthusiasm without overwhelming them.

Delivering Treats Too Slowly

Give treats immediately after the desired behavior or use a clicker/marker to precisely indicate the correct action, ensuring your dog associates the reward with the right behavior.

Misplacing Treat Delivery

Offer treats in the correct position, like on the same side for heeling, to keep your dog in the right spot and prevent them from shifting or getting out of position.

Punishing Desirable Behavior

Avoid linking positive actions like responding to cues with negative outcomes, such as grooming or vet visits, to prevent your dog from associating commands with unpleasant experiences.

Reinforcing Unwanted Behavior

Be cautious not to reward behaviors like pulling on the leash or jumping by letting them succeed in their goal or giving them attention, which encourages these actions.

Failing to Teach a Dog to Generalize

Train your dog to understand commands in various environments and distractions, ensuring they can perform consistently, whether at home, in the park, or around visitors.

Using Only Treats as Reinforcement

Diversify rewards beyond treats, including praise, petting, toys, or playtime, to keep your dog motivated and responsive without becoming overly dependent on food.

Being Inconsistent with Cues

Maintain clear and consistent verbal and physical cues to avoid confusing your dog, ensuring they understand and reliably respond to the same command every time.