Dog training has evolved into science based techniques over the last few years. Even so, some common behavior myths are still persistent. We will tackle 5 common myths that many people still believe when it comes to training their pooch.
1. Old dogs can’t learn new tricks.
False. Dogs of all ages can learn new
behaviors, especially when being trained through positive reinforcement. The absolute best opportunity to teach new behaviors is when the dog is very young, under 16 weeks of age. This is because they are in what’s called an “imprinting stage” and what is taught to them during this time “sticks”. While you want to focus on proper training while a new puppy is young, all is not lost if you adopt an older dog or delay in getting your dog trained. Older dogs that were not properly housebroken as puppies can still be trained properly at an older age. As long as the dog is healthy physically, capable of learning a new behavior and is properly motivated, it is possible to train the dog. For senior, dogs the only consideration may be the physicality of the behavior. The dog may not be able to perform agility, or jump up into the back of a truck, but can learn basic obedience commands.
2. Rub your dog’s nose in the mess when your dog has a potty accident.
False. Dogs don’t make the connection when you rub their nose in their mess after the incident has occurred. Dogs have about a 2 second window of time to make associations between a behavior and a consequence, whether good or bad. To rub the dog’s nose in it after the fact means nothing to the dog. It only teaches them that humans are unpredictable. Often time dogs start going potty is discreet locations, like behind the couch due to owners using this antiquated training practice. Instead, consult with a professional dog trainer or visit our website www.itsadogsworld.biz for the proper techniques to housebreak your dog.
3. A dog shouldn’t sleep with you, or she’ll think she’s the boss and will misbehave.
False (well, at least partly false). The answer to this really lies in the current relationship that you have with your dog and if you have any other behavioral problems with your dog. If your dog is obedient and you are not having any major behavioral issues like aggression, then allowing your dog to sleep with you is fine. However, if your dog is displaying aggression towards you like if your dog growls at you while eating its food or chewing on
a tasty bone then you should hire a professional dog trainer to help you establish good leadership with your dog. This may mean keeping your dog off furniture and the bed while re-establishing good boundaries. But, in general, for the average pooch sleeping in bed with their human does not cause
any adverse behavioral effects.
4. All dogs love being around other dogs.
False. Not all dogs are social butterflies. All dogs have different play styles. Some are very aggressive and rambunctious when they play and others just don’t play
at all. Its best to learn your dog’s play style and then focus on finding situations that match it. You can consult with a professional dog trainer like our trainers at It’s A Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc to help you understand what your dog’s play style is like. Set up play dates with select friends whose dogs can play well together. Breeding can play a big role in their sociability, as well as positive or negative experiences with other dogs can affect their willingness to play with others. Not all dogs enjoy frolicking at the dog park being swarmed by dozens of strange dogs. Know your dog’s preferences and don’t force him to play with other dogs. For some dogs just going on a long walk with
their human companion is the best thing in the world to them.
5. Using treats for training is bribery, and the dog won’t do the behavior later if you don’t give her a treat.
False. It’s A Dog’s World K-9 Academy, Inc. has helped thousands of dog owners change their dogs behavior in the long term by using to treats to teach a new behavior. Just as humans need motivation (like being paid to show up to work every day); dogs need motivation to perform a behavior. With that being said, there is good and bad ways to train a dog with treats. Using treats to train your dog should be used by a trainer that is well versed in the science in training animals. Ultimately, a dog is weaned off the food reward very quickly (within 50 reps or the dog shows fluency in the behavior) and then only rewarded randomly, or for the very best behaviors. This
system is like winning the jackpot in a slot machine so they never know when the payout will come. This system keeps them motivated.