Thinking you know it all can have harmful consequences in your training.
Educating yourself is important and encouraged but it is easy to make mistakes if you have not been trained by a professional. Sending your dog to a professional trainer not only drastically lessons the chances of training mistakes it can make you and your dogs life much less stressful.
Many owners try to take on the task of training by watching YouTube videos, reading material online or getting advice from friends and family (big mistake). The problem with this is that every dog is different and requires a different approach.
If it is just solely based on positive reinforcement or solely based on punishment please look elsewhere. Very good trainer will use both when appropriate.
The best approach is a balanced approach. A trainer who understands how to use classical conditioning, all quadrants of operant conditioning, understands competing motivators, takes an individualized approach to each dog, gives free education, has many different methods to apply and has good feedback from previous clients or reviews online is the right way to go.
Getting a puppy can be exciting and you may be motivated to do what’s right at first but for most, that eventually fades away. The problem is, your dog needs that motivation and life style for its entire life. You cannot give all of your efforts for only a short period of time. When you get a dog you are now obligated to guide it throughout its entire life.
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes owners make-treating our dogs like human babies. The reality is that dogs are dogs and not children. They have different emotional needs and responses than humans. Some behaviour that dogs can learn from their human owner that has this mindset is sever anxiety and nervousness because the dog never learns how to deal with pressure, aggressive behaviour like biting, lunging and barking and sever fear based behaviour.
Loving your dog is normal, but love without boundaries, love at the wrong times and spoiling your dog can have nasty consequences.
Dogs need to have rules and boundaries. Its easy to show our dogs what we want them to do but we also need to show them what we don’t want them to do to prevent bad habits and behaviour. To ensure rules and boundaries stick make sure everyone who interacts with your dog has the same rules and boundaries and never lets the dog break them. Inconsistency will create inconsistent behaviour.
Unfortunately, most owners think that it is just their dogs who need training. The truth is both dog and owner need to be trained. Owner education is often overlooked and is the missing piece of the puzzle.
At iTK9 we only have educated trainers and staff who have made a career out of working with dogs. We ensure that everyone at our facility has a thorough understanding of dog behaviour and psychology. Our goal is to consciously educate our clients on how to improve the relationship with their dogs and how to live successfully without incident.