These are 5 things most dog trainers don't do.
Tense meeting on leash

5 Things Dog Trainers Don’t Do

Dog training advice is all over the map. While there are many contradictory beliefs about methodology and best practices regarding behavior management for dogs, here are 5 things dog trainers don’t do. 

Dog trainers avoid dog parks

The only dog parks most dog trainers will use are empty ones. We know that dog parks are havens for inappropriate behavior (canine and human) and disease. Nasty right? need I go on – those two things right there are enough to convince most that their dogs do not need to visit a dog park. But here’s more detail, in case you’re on the fence about dog parks.

Dog trainers don’t use retractable leashes

Dog Trainers don’t free feed

Not only do dog trainers typically avoid leaving food down all day (free feeding) we rarely feed out of bowls.  Adding food to enrichment toys and for training rewards is a much better use of food resources. This helps keep our dogs stimulated, encouraging calmer behavior later. Other reasons trainers don’t free feed include:

Dog trainers don’t recommend getting littermates

If one puppy is good, two puppies are great, right? Not quite. While is seems intuitive that getting two pups with keep each other company and be a time saving idea, in reality that can end up being one of the worst things dog owners do.

Raising littermates is harder than raising one puppy for sure and one puppy is hard enough in my opinion.  On top of that it’s harder because everything you do with one puppy you has to be done separately with the second one, at least if you’re planning to have two well-adjusted adult dogs.  Instead of doing these things with the two pups together, you have to do each of these things with each puppy, separately.

Why separately?

Because doing these things together leads the puppies to become dependent on each other. The more the pups depend on each other, the less they depend on and pay attention to you.

Housetraining

If you are raising two pups, you will need to teach house training separately. That is double the work right out the gates.

We don’t always meet other dogs on leash

This is one of my favorites which I often practice and suggest with pups learning manners on leash. Each dog and dog owner is an influencer. Walking up to another dog on leash can elicit arousal or fear from either dog. Leashed dog greetings often lead to misunderstanding and frustration since leashed restrict our dogs natural body language. This is especially true if the owners tighten up their leashes. 

Many dogs aren’t looking to make friends with everyone they see and for the other ones, it can be overwhelming because of leash restrictions. I suggest using most stranger dogs as training practice to keep your dog’s attention on you.  You can do this by feeding your dog a series of delicious treats when they see new dogs on a walk.  You can pull over and let others pass as you keep feeding. This will eventually condition your dog to look to you when dogs appear. 

So, I apologize in advance for not meeting your dog.  It’s not personal it’s just my dog. I wan’t the best behavior from them. We can meet if the conditions are right. 

I hope that gives you some insight on how a dog trainer might think in a few different aspects.

We already know how hard getting and maintaining reliable behavior from out dogs is and we have busy lives too so we might be less inclined to take silly chances to “socialize” our dogs when the chances for a positive interaction are unpredictable. The integrity of our dogs’ behavior is something that we work hard to maintain and we have simply seen too many unneeded negative consequences from making these simple mistakes.

Big thanks to the Whole dog Journal and Laurie luck who we used as a reference for this article.

Their perspective is greatly appreciated.  

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