5 Common Dog Training Mistakes

Posted by Sally Gutteridge on 4th Apr 2020

Dog behaviour and proper understanding is important, isn’t it? Yet sometimes no matter how hard we try we can get in a muddle, usually this is due to making some common dog training mistakes.

Let's take a look at how we can get it right by avoiding the top five common dog training mistakes, shown here.

Poor Training Methods

Scientists have been busy over the last 20 years, learning how the canine species is best taught. The have dispelled many myths and introduces some superb dog training tools that make for easy teaching and learning between dog and human. Even with all of this learning there are still many professional trainers that teach dog owners bad methods. So when in turn those methods are used on dogs they can be confusing, worrying and ineffective.

A dog owner needs to learn everything from good timing, to psychology of the dog to really be a good coach to their best friend.

Overlooking Breed Type and Individuality

Dogs are individuals. They are a mix of their genetic background, learning experiences and personality. Many dog training mistakes are caused by seeing, treating and training all dogs in the same way. Each animal is as individual as each human, therefore to try to teach a terrier in the same way as a Labrador is doomed to either fail or make life very difficult indeed.

Not Being Clear

You will probably hear a lot of talk of leadership when you investigate dog training. True leadership is kind and patient yet also fair, clear and honest. If a dog has no idea what we want, then how can we expect him to behave in the way that we expect? Many people forget this and the dog is accused of being out of control, when really, he is only doing what he has learned on his own with a lack of careful coaching.

Not Being Consistent

Consistency is one of the most important things to embrace during dog training. The dog that is coached sometimes, yet at others not, will never learn how to behave. People often don’t realise that when they are inconsistent in their teachings the dog is learning from that, as much as he does when they are carrying out planned training sessions.

Not Varying The Training Environment

A common dog training mistake is believing that if a dog can carry out a learned act in one environment then he should be able to do the same act on command wherever he is, this is not the case. When a dog learns something new in one environment the entire situation is part of the learning experience. Teaching the command in varying environments will ensure the dog actually knows his new command in every area that it is asked of him. This is a method called proofing, or sometimes referred to as learning in context.

Each of the above points are common dog training mistakes that can be easily rectified with careful learning. Dog training can be easy if approached properly and with the right ethos. So why not start as you mean to go on and learn the right way.

K9active have a selection of great dog training products that can help during your training activities


Sally Gutteridge has been a full time educational writer since 2015 holding a variation of certifications. Qualifications include a Diploma in Life Coaching accredited by the CMA. A Dog Grooming Diploma earned at Oxford College and is a full graduate of the SNHS.

As a former professional Dog Trainer with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps she is now a qualified, accredited animal behaviourist with the ABTC through full membership of the organisation Into dogs. Sally is also a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Graduate and award winner from The Writers Bureau.

Through the Organisation Canine Principles, Sally along with a fantastic team, provides reputable Continuation of Professional Development for all canine professionals.

Canine Principles only teaches the most up to date, positive, scientific canine awareness.