5 Mistakes Dog Parents Make - And How To Correct Them!

5 Mistakes Dog Parents Make - And How To Correct Them!

We are humans! Well, of course, nothing new there. But the point is that as humans we make some mistakes, and we are even allowed to make them. The problem is when they affect our pets, and no one wants to do that, right?

So, we had Poorvaja, a canine trainer, behaviorist, and animal-assisted therapist from the Humans Of Canines, who told us the top common mistakes that we are likely to make as dog-parents. There is a bonus! She also told us how to avoid them and then correct the dog’s behaviour.

Mistake #1: When Your Dog Jumps On People

But that way of greeting is so cute! Well, not when it is a big one, and it greets a petrified neighbour the same way. The problem starts when you enter the house, the dog jumps on you, and you don’t stop it.

What is the dog thinking?

It thinks that this is the best way to greet, since the dog is getting the attention and love. And mind you, it doesn’t know any exception. So, whoever comes to the house will be jumped on, because that’s a sure shot way to get attention.

How to correct it?

When you enter the house, and your dog jumps on you, just look away and ignore it. Don’t pet it till it is on all four paws. It’s as simple as telling them that people will not pay attention when it is jumping. And when a neighbour comes, simply give a “sit” command.

Mistake #2: Chasing Your Dog For The Ball/ Any Other Valuable Object

Imagine this- you are working on your laptop, your dog picks up its toy. You keep working. The next thing you know is that the dog has picked up your favorite shoe. Now it has your attention!

What is the dog thinking?

The dog has concluded that when he picks up the valuables, the human gives it attention, chases it, and plays with it. So yep, that’s what we repeat then! This is a learnt behaviour. 

How to correct it?

Firstly, don’t chase your dog, and don’t turn it into a game. That way, your dog has achieved what it wanted. Instead, pay attention to when the dog picks up the toy, and praise it right then

The second mistake we make is to pull it out of the dog’s mouth. This happens because 1) the dog never learnt to drop the toy, and 2) it never learnt to share it with you. Eventually this leads to possessive aggression of “grr..I won’t give it to you. I’ll run with it”. 

In this case, teach the dog to drop the toy, and also get it into the habit of sharing the toy.

Mistake #3: Punishing Your Dog AFTER They Did Something Wrong

The dog chewed your furniture, you are yelling at it, and the dog is sitting there with a guilty face. 

What is the dog thinking?

Plot twist- It doesn’t care about your furniture, it can’t feel guilty. That face is its reaction to your reaction, because it doesn’t know what to do with it.

Positive and negative attention makes no difference to a puppy. If they are getting any attention, they are okay with it.

How to correct it?

There are two systems in the doggy world- reward and ignorance. So withdrawal of rewards is how you can correct its mistakes, even the toilet accidents, for example. The best way is to catch it in the action, divert it, and then reward it. There is no use punishing afterwards.

Mistake #4: Letting Your Dog Be Off-Leash In Public Without Recall Training

Do you realise, when the dog is off-leash, it can literally find anything interesting and run to it. If it is not trained, no matter how urgently you call, it won’t come back to you.

What is the dog thinking?

“What I have found is way more interesting than my human; who is just calling my name again and again. Nah, I won’t go back.”

How to correct it?

Give them a recall training. Start indoors to begin with. Choose one end of the room to another. Then different rooms. Hide and seek is another good option.

Try to avoid using a treat as a recall. That way you only become a “food dispenser”, as John Rogerson says. And your dog will not come to you when there is no food. Right from the beginning, a good recall can be- Making yourself fun! Change your body language and be more entertaining for them. When the dog starts coming back to you when you call it is when you know that the training is complete.

Even then, let it off-leash only when the environment is safe. In fact, leash time doesn’t bother a dog if it is well bonded with you. If you still want it to be free, you can have a longer leash and let them wander for 5-10 mins.

Mistake #5: Thinking That The Trainer Has To Train Your Dog- Not You

Training is not like entering a classroom, learning some points, coming back and implementing them. It is a way of life. 

Who wouldn’t want a disciplined dog- the one you can take for treks, or who doesn’t get bitten by other dogs because it stays with you. The basic requirement is only this- the dog should listen to the parent at all times.

The trainer can guide you, but ultimately you have to train the dog, because you are the one spending time with your dog. “You got the dog for yourself, not the trainer,” says Poorvaja. If your dog listens to the trainer, it is not necessary that it will listen to you as well. Because it is not used to listening to you.

And when it comes to dog-training, consistency is the key. To achieve it, you can download the sploot app and set up all the reminders for your dog’s training time.