Dog Training Mistake #1: Inconsistency

June 08, 2022 by admin

There’s an old saying that “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.” Many Singapore dog owners may feel as if they are stuck in a loop of failing and trying and failing again as they try to teach their dog specific behaviors. Everyone makes mistakes; and when it comes to dog training in Singapore or anywhere in the world, one of the most insidious errors is inconsistency.

The Scenario

Let’s say that you have been trying to teach your dog to relieve himself only when you are both out on a walk. For a few days, you set your alarm clock at the proper time, get up early, and take a long walk with your pet. During the walk, he has ample time to sniff and explore as well as attend to his personal business.

Then one morning, you hit the “Snooze” button on your alarm clock instead of getting up. Maybe you stayed out too late with friends the night before or read too many chapters in an exciting new book. Whatever the reason, you are exhausted when the alarm goes off, and you opt for an extra half hour of sleep. That little indulgence puts your entire morning schedule out of sync. You may have to hurry to get ready for work or class, and you completely forget about your pet’s needs until he leaves a puddle on the floor.

The Result

Dogs are like children; they need routine and consistency to learn and maintain the behaviors that you require of them. Don’t think for a minute that your dog will understand that it’s the weekend, and that you want to sleep in. If you have been consistent throughout the week, your dog’s bladder will be trained to go at the time of your regular walk. Putting off that walk, even by half an hour or an hour, may result in an accident.

If an accident occurs due to your own oversight, don’t punish or rebuke your dog for the incident. After all, it’s not his fault. Make it your goal to be more consistent with walks going forward. In some cases, your dog may actually be able to hold it and prevent an accident, simply out of his desire to please you. However, if he does hold it on a day when you change the schedule, don’t count on being so lucky the next time. Get back to the schedule and stick to it, for your sanity and the dog’s health.

The Feeding Factor

Another key factor in getting your dog on a potty schedule is the scheduling of mealtimes. Typically, animals need to relieve themselves a short time after eating. Usually, the interval between feeding and potty should be between 15-45 minutes. With time and observation, you’ll become accustomed to your dog’s habits, and you’ll know approximately how long it takes for him to digest his food and require a bathroom break.

The Rule Book

The same idea of consistency holds true for other areas of dog training. Whatever you are trying to teach your pet to do, or not to do, keep the rules consistent. Before you implement a particular rule, think about it. Is it something that is true for all situations? Make sure that the rule holds true in every setting, because your dog will not understand why he can do something in one setting and not another.

The Command

Once you have thought through the purpose and importance of the rule, pick a command word to go with it. Stick with precisely those words each time you require that behavior from your dog. If you tell him “stay” when you want him to remain in one location, just say “stay” every time, not “stay here, boy,” or other variations. Those extra words can confuse your pet.

The Reward

Remember to reward your dog verbally to reinforce his good behavior. Your pet wants to please you, and he will try his best to do what you ask of him. If you show him some consideration and maintain the consistency that he needs, both of you will have a much more pleasant coexistence.