5 Dog Training Myths Exposed
There is so much misinformation out there about dog training that it can be difficult to know what
information you can actually trust. Some training techniques are not at all recommended and the last
thing you want as a dog owner is to discover that you have been doing more harm than good. With
that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most common dog training myths and the truth behind
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You Can Only Train a Puppy, Not an Older Dog
This is what I like to call the 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks' myth! A large number of dog
owners seem to think that once their dog gets to a certain age there is no point in training it if they
have not done so already. This is completely untrue! You most certainly can teach an old dog new
tricks because dogs are not set in their ways like we human beings are! In an ideal world, the
younger you can start dog training the better, but you can still effectively train an older dog it just
takes a little perseverance! Dogs actually thrive on learning new things and starting obedience
training with an older dog might even give it a new lease of life!
Positive Reinforcement Only Works With Small or Willing Dogs
Positive Reinforcement is very much the most gentle and humane method of dog training, but some
owners seem to think that it will only work with smaller breeds, willing learners and non-aggressive
dogs and that big or aggressive dogs need a firmer hand. This is not true. Did you know that
Positive Reinforcement is actually the same technique used by Sea World to Train their Killer
Whales? Mammals don't get much bigger than that! Animals have a natural instinct to seek out
things that reward them, so regardless on the breed of dog you own, Positive Reinforcement can be
the most effective way to train them into the behaviours you desire.
Dogs Are Pack Animals and Should Be Trained Accordingly
This is perhaps one of the most common misconception when it comes to dog training. It is true that
dogs are descendants of wolves, but that does not necessarily mean that they behave live wolves.
After all, we were once apes, but most of us do not go around throwing faeces at each other and
grooming for fleas! The 'dominance method' is one of those training techniques that just refuses to
go away. The truth is that pack hierarchy can only exist within the same species and dogs are smart
enough to know that we are not bigger, more dominant dogs so trying to force them to believe this
Dogs Should Not be Allowed to Sleep in Your Bed
This is something that is thrown around a lot. People think that allowing a dog to sleep in your bed,
get on the furniture or sit in your lap is going to cause behavioural issues. This is not the case at all.
It all comes down to your own personal preference. If you want to snuggle up to your dog at night
then that is your choice. You will not be encouraging any undesirable behaviours. The problem
comes with allowing your dog to get into your bed if you would really rather he didn't!
Playing Tug Will Encourage Aggression
Lots of people seem to think that playing tug of war with your dog is going to encourage
aggression, especially if you let them win. However this is simply not the case. Studies have
actually been conducted into just that. Dr John Bradshaw
successfully demonstrated that when a
dog was repeatedly allowed to win at tug of war it just wanted to play more!
These are some of the most common myths surrounding dog training. It just goes to show what you
think you know may not be accurate, so do spend some time researching training techniques from
Brian Stephenson loves all animals, if it has four legs he is probably a fan!
Brian is a contributor to various blogs and online publications where he shares his experience and love for our 4 legged friends.