There is a reason why professional dog training services such as Lupa K9 exist — dog training can be an art, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, there are actually a lot of mistakes that can be made. While I make my living training dogs in the San Francisco area, one of the secondary goals of my training sessions is to help owners learn how to train dogs themselves, so that the dog can have a lifetime of good training and responsible stewardship.

There are a lot of dog training mistakes that are easy to make if you’re not experienced. Here are some of them — make sure you avoid these behaviors, whether you’re handling a young puppy or an old grizzled dog!

Depending Too Much On Treats

It’s hard to argue the efficacy of treats in dog training. They are highly effective training tools, especially early on, and they will always have a time and place. However, one trap that many dog owners fall into is using them is relying on them exclusively as a means to reward good behavior. Praising them, giving them toys, and showing them love is a better long-term way to reward them. If you use too many treats, you may end up with a dog who doesn’t obey unless you’ve got food.

Assuming That Dog Training is “One Size Fits All”

Just because a training technique worked for one dog doesn’t mean it will work for the next. And if you’ve read a dog training book, it doesn’t mean you’re the bona fide expert on training. All dogs learn differently depending on their breed, age, and other specific circumstances, such as the bond they share with their owner. At Lupa K9, considering the unique needs of every single dog is part of my holistic dog training approach.

Being Inconsistent

In the thousands of years that humans have been companions to dogs, there’s one thing that’s always been clear — they respond to pattern-based reward systems. If you reward a dog enough times after they’ve done a specific action, they will recognize the pattern and be motivated to do it more. The same goes with disciplining bad behavior, though great care must be taken to ensure that this is done properly and wholesomely. But if you’re not consistent, it’s much harder for the dog to recognize a pattern. Though they might pick up on it some point, it could take much longer, if it even happens at all.

Not Consulting With Professionals

When somebody adopts a dog, they’re taking on a huge responsibility. Dogs require a tremendous amount of care and attention, and they’re not the kind of pet where you should just rely on instinct to raise them up. Consulting with a professional dog trainer can make all the difference in the world, even if it’s just for one session. At Lupa K9, it is my goal to provide holistic dog training sessions to anyone who needs it in San Francisco and the surrounding regions. Dog training sessions are not only helpful for the dogs, they’re also a boon to the owners who can learn productive and effective ways to teach their canine companion.

Are you ready to receive quality training for your dog? Contact Lupa K9 today!