5 Worst Fails In Dog Training

5 Worst Fails In Dog Training

Do you want to discover which are the worst fails in dog training? These are the most common dog training mistakes. Are you committing them?

FAQ: Which Are The 5 Worst Fails In Dog Training?

Training a puppy is not easy, but making mistakes is. Learn how to avoid the 5 worst fails in dog training, which are:

  1. Unintentionally reinforcing negative behaviors.
  2. Reward dependency.
  3. Feeling guilt if you do not reward your dog.
  4. Poor timing. 
  5. Lack of constancy.


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Top 5 Worst Fails In Dog Training Explained With Examples

Ok, now you know what the worst fails in dog training are, but what is each one about? We tell you everything below.

1. Unintentionally reinforcing negative behavior

A touch or kind word may be all it takes to make an inappropriate behavior stick around.

Why Is Negative Behavior Reinforced?

Dogs are like children, and therefore you must guide them so that they know what is right and what is wrong.

Petting your dog after a negative behavior means to him that you approve of what he just did.

Example Of Unintentional Reinforcement Of Negative Behavior

Suppose you are walking with your dog. A friend sees you and comes over to greet you.

Your dog jumps when your friend approaches. Instead of preventing or correcting the behavior, your friend pets your dog on the head. And you don't act to correct the behavior.

What Is The Result Of Unintentionally Reinforcing Your Dog's Negative Behavior?

Your dog understands that what he is doing is okay, and he will continue to do it.

Following the example above, he will try harder and harder to jump up at acquaintances. This can be dangerous if you have a large breed dog or if your furry friend jumps on a child.

Is It Possible To Correct This Mistake?

YES! To do this, you must resume training.


  1. Use a cue for the desired behavior.
  2. Reward your dog when he behaves as you want.
  3. Do not pet your dog if he does not act correctly.
  4. Practice, practice and keep practicing until it behaves properly.

2. Reward Dependency

The use of prizes is common during training. Although it is not bad that you have treats with you to be able to cope with imponderable situations, you should not depend on them. 

Why Is It Bad To Depend On Rewards?

Think about it: if you don't withdraw the treat at some point, your dog will always need it to carry out any action.

This can affect his weight, his dental health and, in addition, your pocket.

Example Of Reward Dependency

You have taught your four-legged friend to sit, wait and lie down using a treat. However, your dog only obeys your commands if you show him a treat (and then give it to him, of course).

What Is The Result Of Reward Dependency?

You only get obedience from your dog if you reward him. This causes your furry friend to consume many more calories than he needs each day.

Can This Mistake Be Corrected?

YES! To do this, you must make the use of treats fade little by little:

  1. Use the treat to train behavior; for example, "sit".
  2. When your dog understands the "sit" command, start making the treat disappear.
  3. Ask your dog to sit. If he doesn't, accompany the command with light pressure on your haunches until he sits.
  4. Repeat the process until your dog learns that "sit" means to sit.
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3. Feeling Guilt If You Do Not Reward Your Dog

Dog training's mistakes and how to correct them

Some of us feel guilty when we make the treat disappear as a reward for behavior. And this is a mistake!

Why Shouldn't You Feel Guilty Of Not Rewarding Your Dog For Good Behavior?

If you continue to reward your dog, a reward dependency will be generated (like the one we have already seen).

Remember: the use of treats is positive to teach your dog and as a moderate and punctual reward. You should not continually reward your dog.

Or do you get continually rewarded at home or work every time you do something right?

Example Of Feeling Guilty If You Do Not Reward Your Dog

Your dog is well-trained and answers cues correctly: knows how to sit, lie down, does not jump on visitors and walks well on a leash. However, every time you tell a cue, you feel that you are doing something wrong by not rewarding their behavior.

After a couple of cues well answered by your four-legged friend, you give him a treat.

What Is The Result Of Feeling Guilty If You Do Not Reward Your Dog?

In the medium term, this can lead to reward dependency.

Is It Possible To Correct This Mistake?

YES! And it is one of the most easily correctable because it only concerns you.

  1. Stop feeling guilty.
  2. Your dog is educated thanks to your efforts.
  3. You don't need prizes to be, just see you happy.
  4. Take advantage of the time with him instead of worrying about rewards.

4. Poor Timing

The consequences of canine actions must be immediate to the action. Otherwise, you fall into one of the worst fails in dog training: poor timing.

Why Is Poor Timing Bad?

Researchers have concluded that dogs have something similar to episodic memory. However, the more time passes between two situations, the more trouble they have in recalling the action.

For this reason, the consequence of negative behavior should be immediate. By this, we mean within 2 seconds of it.

Yes, there is no point in berating your dog for pooping on the carpet when you were at work.

Example Of Poor Timing

While you're at work, your dog tears up those cute pillows you bought to decorate your couch. When you return home, you find a graveyard of cloth and feathers all over the living room.

Your reaction? You yell, grab your dog and put his nose against the feathers so that he "understands" that he has done wrong.

The time elapsed between your dog's negative action and the consequence is too long and, surely, your dog will not understand what he has done wrong.

On the other hand, yelling and rubbing his nose is never a good option for positive canine education.

What Is The Result Of Poor Timing?

Your dog doesn't understand why you are angry. He lives a horrible moment and so do you. Negative behavior is not modified.

Is It Possible To Avoid This Error?


  1. Apply consequences happens as close as possible to the instant the behavior happens.

5. Lack Of Constancy

Training your puppy can be very tiring. It is possible that at some point you will be tempted to abandon the training.

Why Is Lack Of Constancy Negative?

Dogs, just like people, need perseverance and time to learn.

Abandoning training is the worst thing you can do because your furry friend will forget everything they learned. If you need help, go to a professional dog trainer, but don't give up on training.

Lack Of Consistency Example

When walking with your puppy, he does not stop pulling on the leash. You try to correct his behavior with cues and treats that work for a few seconds, until another dog appears, a car, a ball or something that arouses your dog's curiosity.

You feel frustrated and instead of positively correcting their behavior, you tug hard on the leash, get angry and think if after all it wouldn't be easier to buy a choke collar.

What Is The Result Of Lack Of Consistency?

Your dog unlearns everything he has learned.

Is It Possible To Correct This Mistake?


  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Remember why you have chosen positive dog training. It takes time, effort, and patience, but it's worth it.
  3. Do not give up.
  4. If you need it, ask for help from a family member, a friend or, of course, a canine behavior specialist.

These are the 5 worst fails in dog training. Are you committing any of them? We hope not. And if this is your case, now you know how to correct your mistake.


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