Training, when carried out in the right way, can help to keep your pet well-behaved, mentally and physically healthy and stimulated and can even encourage bonding between dog and owner. However, it is possible to over train your dog, and this can lead to all sorts of harmful consequences for both you and your beloved pooch.
Here are a few things to consider when training your pet:
What age are they?
Young dogs have much shorter attention spans and will not cope well with long and intense training sessions. Owners who tend to over train their pups don’t have the patience to deal with their normal puppy behaviour or are simply so excited about having a puppy that they want to train them to perfection, instantly.
While an over trained pup may be obedient, they might be acting in such a manner out of fear and often do so begrudgingly, instead of being eager to please and behaving well to make their owner proud.
When it comes to senior dogs, while it’s entirely possible that you can teach an old dog new tricks, they may not be physically up to the challenge, and you should pay attention to any soreness or stiffness in their joints.
Young pups and senior dogs will require the most patience from you when you’re training them, so, try not to push them too hard.
What is your dogs’ ability?
Depending upon what breed your pet is, they will likely have a set of natural tendencies and behaviours that they display, and if you train your pet too much, you may force them to behave in a manner that goes against their natural abilities. Putting too much stress and pressure on your dog when training them can be psychologically damaging and cause them to become anxious and nervous.
Are you overwhelming your pet?
Try to focus your attention on one or two tasks at a time when training your dog, to avoid overwhelming them with too many new things to learn. Get one task down pat before moving on to another and ensure that you both have a long enough break between training sessions.
Are you training for too long?
In the same way as humans, dogs get bored when forced to repeatedly train for one thing for too long, and when they become bored, they get distracted and start making errors. This can lead to the dog being punished, which in turn, creates even more distractions and can quickly become a cycle where the poor pooch has little to no hope of getting it right and learning anything.
When you see a positive result from your training session, stop and reward your dog before starting any more training. This should keep your dog from becoming bored, restless and agitated, which is not a conducive state for learning new tasks.
A well-behaved pet dog can be a joy, but be careful not to push your dog too much when training them otherwise you may quickly reach the point where your efforts are wasted, and both you and your dog become frustrated.