Dog training has come a long way over the years and many of the “methods” we learned 20 years ago not only do not apply, but are actually making things worse. Still, in this well-connected digital world we live in, it can be quite difficult to determine what really works. Especially when there are so many types of dog training (behavioral, obedience and agility) to choose from. To help, here are a few myths we can all agree on to be entirely untrue.
- You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. This myth is so wrong, yet it still comes up in everyday conversation. It’s even wrong when used for people and while we don’t need to get into a philosophical debate as to whether or not people can change, we do know dogs CAN! One example (or 48) to consider is the story of Michael Vick’s Dogs. These dogs were bred to fight. After being rescued, several groups worked with these dogs and all but one changed, some so significantly they earned the Canine Good Citizen certificate. So it just goes to show that “if the dog is mentally and physically capable of learning, you CAN teach an old dog, new tricks!”
- When your dog has an accident, rub their nose in it. How many people learned this when growing up? The only thing this does is cause your dog to fear you and hide where they pee/poo. Dogs won’t pee/poo where they sleep, other than that the world is a potty. It’s your job to teach them differently.
- Never play tug of war. You can play Tug of War with rules: 1) Do not allow the dog to get aggressive, 2) You start the game, end the game, and have a drop it command if your dog gets too intense, 3) This game is rated-R and should be played by adults only. You need to be in control the whole time, and that requires strength. Your 6-year old son may not be able to provide the strength needed to control the situation.
To really get to the root of whatever issue you’re dealing with, it’s always a good idea to seek the opinion of a professional. Talk with your veterinarian and reach out to us, we would be happy to help.
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