Are You Unwittingly Setting Your Dog up For Failure?

By June 17 | See Comments

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Are You Unwittingly Setting Your Dog up For Failure?

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Training your dog with a punishment system is centered on making your dog fail. If he does not fail, he cannot be corrected and you cannot teach him what you want to. But in order for it to work, you have to be around him and wait for the exact moment when he fails so that you can pounce on him when he makes a mistake and correct the behavior to a more desired one. If you do not do that, then you miss the opportunity to teach him with your corrections. If you correct him a long time after the incident, then it is just unkind and malicious as you have missed out on the opportunity to teach.

Why set him up to fail?

This is the most important question you have to ask yourself when it comes to such statements. For the most part, pet owners want to teach their dogs and set them up for success and not wait for them to fail or make mistakes. We do not treat our children this way. So why is it that we think that this is the best way to train our canine companions? Imagine if your kids’ elementary school went like this – you just sit around and wait for them to make a mistake so that you can punish them and teach them what not to do.

What ever happened to teaching?

Post failure, teaching is much more important than punishment. If every single student in a class fails the class, is it the students’ problem or the teacher’s problem? The failure has much more to do with the way the class was taught than the students themselves.In some respects, failure does teach you a lot. If you want your dog to “stay”, he must first make the mistake of standing up. However, you can train him to be successful at it if you teach him patience first. If you can make your dog sit down for ten minutes without getting up before you ask him to stay (use a clicker to play the patience game), then you can be confident that he will stay for at least a minute. Knowing that your dog is capable of understanding the principles behind “stay” before you teach him the meaning of it will help him be successful. However, he still has to break the command so that he can learn.Keep in mind that dogs have the mentality of a three year old and do not have the knowledge, life experience and reasoning of adults. Positive reinforcement is the way to go if you want your dog to learn faster without any stress. Always try and teach your dog the skills that will make you happy instead of waiting for him to make a mistake.

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