The Most Common Lockdown Dog Training Mistakes
3. Avoiding everyday environments
Dog training and owning a dog for the first time is a momentous thing these days. Owning a dog is not taken lightly anymore and new owners are now more than ever, falling into the mindset of the “dog-parent”. New dog owners are hell-bent on ensuing their pet gets the best life possible and the concrete commitment of a loving home for their lifetime.
However, this mentality can be accompanied by a huge amount of pressure. With the modern research and knowledge we have on rearing dogs successfully, (and a majority of the British population racing out to get a dog of their own) we find ourselves frozen stiff by the fear of what could go wrong in our dog training journey.
One common mistake made by new dog parents, is avoiding situations that make them nervous. If you feel uncomfortable meeting other dogs, practicing recall or travelling in the car – it’s time to face your fear head-on. Our dogs absorb our feelings, and if you feel nervous, they could start to mimic or draw on your energy. Fight the fear with short, positive experiences for both of you (in a controlled and safe environment). If you’re not sure how to progress, get in touch with us for guided help and support in facing your fears.
2. Socialising too late (or not enough)
Puppies have unique socialisation windows that are short. A huge amount of brain development happens between the ages of 4-14 weeks old and half of that will be solely with your breeder. Aiming to give puppies a number of interactions and play dates with new dogs of all ages, breeds and backgrounds will help shape them into a balanced adult dog.
Socialisation is also about getting them used to situations that will be part of their everyday life. Traffic, grooming, children, crowds, face masks etc.
Puppies will continue to learn a lot about the world beyond the age of 14 weeks old. By this point, you may find your puppy has really settled in at home (which can be where owners forget to make an effort to include lots of new experiences). Puppies need to socialise frequently for at least the first year of their lives to really get to grips with dog manners. This means meeting dogs outside of your home, not just your current dogs.
If your puppy is “good” with other dogs at 14-20 weeks, don’t assume their social skills are polished. They will need more to become truly skilled in play. This is where a dog sitter or walker can be worth their weight in gold. A little bit everyday will equate in a superb temperament.
1. Lack of exercise
It’s probably the main cause of 90% of behavioural issues I see.
I alter exercise schedules for practically all of the dogs who join me for training. Either the dog has too little exercise, or their schedule is in the wrong order. We often think to ourselves, “well I want to drain my dog’s energy or the day, so I will take them for a walk first thing in the morning.” For some breeds, this walk only adds to overwhelm an already wired mind.
If you’re struggling with morning lead pulling or totally hyperactive behaviour, this video is for you. Episode 1 of “dog training at home” is all about how to shape a better mental and physical exercise regime to fit around your schedule and your dog’s capabilities. Do it right for 7 days and you’ll find it makes your walks much more enjoyable!
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