Dog training mistakes are easy to make as there are so many things to remember so learning about the most common dog training mistakes early can stop you from making those same mistakes.
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As a canine behaviorist i’ve had the Privilege of working with thousands of Dogs and their owners and as a canine Behaviorist most of my job is Specializing in when things go wrong but What that means is that i get to see the Reasons why things go wrong when they do So in today’s video i want to talk about One of the biggest mistakes i see people Make time and time and time again that Lead to a wide variety of problem Behaviors that once they set in and then Really difficult to fix but we’re going To help make sure that you don’t make Those same mistakes at home now before i Go into detail of what the mistake is i Think it’s first of all really important I give you some examples Of what it looks like and then when We’ve looked at some of those examples When we talked about some of those Examples i’ll then break down exactly What the mistake is and how you can Avoid it so the first example let’s cast Our mind to is the idea of you being Able to take your dog to the pub it’s a Dream for many dog owners and it’s Something that i personally enjoy doing With my dogs as well however how many Times have you been down to the pub and Seen this exact situation somebody’s sat Chilling in the beer garden they’re Having a drink they’re having a good Time with their friends and family and
They’ve got their dog with them and Another dog comes in and their dog Starts barking starts lunging at the end Of the lead and the dog owner decides to Pull the dog close to them probably Applying lots of tension and pressure on The lead and let’s use the imaginary dog Fred in this example and it’s okay fred It’s okay calm down fred oh no problem Fred sorry about that he’s not he’s Doesn’t usually do this fred it’s okay No problem fred relax good fred relax Calm down good How many times have you seen that exact Situation or situations like it now We’re going to talk about a little bit Later on the exact mistake that is baked Into that example That is cripplingly damaging to you And your dog’s success but before we Look at that let’s look at another Example to really hammer home this Message it’s 4th of july for my friends In america or maybe it’s fireworks night Here in the uk and the fireworks are Going off and they’re exploding their New dog doesn’t like it and they start To cry or whimper and you bring them to You you let them sit on your lap and You’re stroking them going it’s okay It’s okay don’t worry it’s okay Panic don’t panic relax it’s okay it’s Just fireworks and we’re stroking the Dogs why the dogs are getting crazy
Anxious fearful and scared of those Fireworks i’m sure you’ve all seen or Heard of exactly that so let’s look at Another example how many times have you Heard i’ve seen or maybe owned the dog That every time somebody comes to your Door or walks past the front window down The street they’re at the window barking Barking barking and you have to tell Them oh it’s okay come here come here It’s just a postman oh don’t be silly Come here oh you like oh call me a puppy It’s just the postman How many times have you seen that Happening over and over and over again Another classic example of this cardinal Mistake That people make accidentally they’re Coming from the right place yet it’s Setting them and their dogs up for huge Amounts of failure so you might have Been able to guess by now what it is That we’re going to be talking about but I think it’s important that we look at It in a little bit more detail and that Is the concept that i call the mistake Of Reinforcement versus reassurance now as Humans our human nature is to always Reassure the people of things that we Care about when we can see that they’re In any kind of distress upset or Displaying any kind of negative Behaviors especially if we believe those
Behaviors may be stemming from anxiety Or fear we want to help the people know That everything’s okay we want to help Them understand that they don’t need to Be worried that they don’t need to be Fearful the problem is is that we cannot Reassure dogs because dogs are not Humans they do not understand our Language let alone our communication Psychology so in all three of those Examples we just talked about where the Owners may believe that they’re trying To reassure the dog and to help them Understand that they don’t need to be Worried they don’t need to be fearful They don’t need to be anxious what They’re actually doing is reinforcing Those behaviors and reinforcing those Behaviors is the basics of dog training They’re tapping into something called Positive reinforcement one of the Quadrants of operant conditioning and When the dog is displaying a behavior What we believe to be reassurance is Actually rewarding that behavior by Providing praise attention physical Touch strokes what we’re actually doing Is reinforcing that behavior so what That actually means is that when the dog Is next in that situation they’re going To repeat that behavior and not just Repeat the behavior that behavior will Happen quicker and it will most likely Happen in a more severe fashion so the
Reactivity becomes worse the barking Becomes worse the howling and the crying Becomes worse the pacing becomes worse These negative behaviors that we think We’re reassuring we’re actually Reinforcing and creating the problem to Be even worse but what can we do about It well that’s exactly what we’re now Going to talk about we’re going to go Back to those same examples and discuss What you should do instead how do we Avoid making that mistake when you’re Going down to the pub and you want your Dog just to chill and relax well my Solution there is obviously we never Want to accidentally reinforce that Behavior when we are thinking that we’re Reassuring the behavior but something Like this is perfect we teach our dogs a Down and either a stay or what we call An implied stay so while we’re at the Pub we can put our dogs into a down Command and while they’re in a down Command they know that until we tell Them otherwise they have to stay in that Down command and we start inside under Low distraction and we build that up Gradually and gradually increasing the Distractions till we get to a point Where we can be in a pub garden and even If multiple dogs walk right past us they Understand that they have to remain in Their downstate and when they do then we Come in and we reward and we reinforce
This behavior with praise with treats And with physical touch or giving them Access to toys or whatever your dog Loves there’s going to be tons of Opportunities to give them tons of Reward but we need to flip the script And instead of accidentally reinforcing The bad behavior we reinforce the Desirable one instead so let’s go back To our firework example and i can tell You that my working line labrador uncle Sully here used to also be terrified of Fireworks what we did instead was as Soon as the fireworks started going off We did this we go for pack heel walks Why the fireworks are going off above us And i reinforce That we must stay in a nice loose lead Heel we walk he follows my guidance and Direction he looks up to me as his Loving leader and if i stay calm he Stays calm when he stays calm while the Fireworks are going off i pay and i Reward him i praise him i tell him that He’s a good boy and that reinforces Being calm while there’s fireworks going On and by repeating that process over And over again we actually taught sully To be excited about fireworks it means We’re gonna get to go out and do his Favorite thing Which is walking with me going on a pack Migration With me so let’s go back to our example
Of the dogs that are barking every time Someone comes to the door or walks past The front window what can we do to flip The script on that problem and not Accidentally reinforce the bad behavior When we’re thinking we’re reassuring it But actually Get them to display the right behavior And then reinforce that one instead well For this for me it’s really simple you Teach your dog a great place day so when Somebody comes to the door you can say Place and they hop onto their bed or Their place board and you ask them to Stay and they stay there until told Otherwise you’re giving them a job and When they complete that job well we Reinforce we praise and we reward that Behavior instead now don’t get me wrong There can be a lot to that they can be a Lot to get in that right and we’re going To have tons of videos on this channel And got videos already on this channel Teaching you how you can do that exact Thing so i hope you enjoyed that video Guys i hope you found it useful if you Did give it a thumbs up subscribe if You’re new to the channel we make videos Like this every single week to help Ensure that you have the dream canine Companion you’ve always wanted [Music] You