Training mistakes to avoid

In training their pets, people mostly go wrong with techniques. That apart, inconsistency, tone of voice and indulgences, are major no-nos, says Dr Sonya Kochhar.
Being regular: “Regularity in training is important. Pet parents have to be very patient while training and practice.

Treats aren’t always good: Treats are a good way to start training, but once your dog starts to get the hang of the command, you must start cutting down the treats before it becomes a habit.
Emotion and tone check: Adds Dr Kochhar, “Another very common mistake we make is to not keep our pet’s emotions in check while training. Being focused and having the correct tone is crucial. Training in anger and frustration will leave a negative impact on your pet. One must have a calm mindset and make sure the tone of our voice is non-threatening.”

The right ambience and duration: The duration of the training session is also very important. Parents must ensure the pet is being trained in the right weather conditions, keeping the general well-being of the pet in mind. “Keep the training session short and enjoyable for your pet and you,” advises Dr Kocchar.


Training DON’Ts…

  • Do not do anything your dog perceives as unpleasant when s/he comes to you.
  • Do not nag your dog by repeating commands — nagging teaches him to ignore you.
  • Do not yell at your dog. He’s not deaf. Raising your voice doesn’t improve understanding.
  • Do not confuse your dog with unrealistic, mixed commands.
  • Do not try to suppress behaviours that need an outlet.
  • Do not let training stagnate.
  • Do not lock up your dog or chain him/her outside because you haven’t trained him/her to behave.
  • Do not isolate your dog; he’s a social animal.
  • Do not expect your dog to obey a command you haven’t taught him or her.
  • Do not get too serious in your training. Have patience.
  • Do not reward undesired behaviours.
  • Do not make your dog neurotic by neglecting him.
  • Do not give up when the going gets tough.

— Amrut Sridhara Hiranya, canine behaviourist


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