7 Myths About Dog Training

1. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

This old expression is false. Dogs can learn at any age. While breaking bad habits that an older dog may have acquired can take time, they are still capable of learning new behaviors and can focus better than younger dogs. Our classes are for dogs 10 weeks and older and we’ve successfully trained dogs of all ages.

2. If I train my dog using treats, he will only listen to me when I have treats.

This isn’t true. Done correctly, reward-based training does not make the dog dependent on food rewards forever. In our classes, we teach when and how to move away from treats to other rewards, such as play, petting, praise and privileges.

3. My dog listens to me at home, so I don’t need training.

False. Dogs do not generalize well, meaning that behaviors they practiced at home may not be retained when they’re not at home. Learning and practicing skills in an environment like PetSmart will help teach your dog to listen to you in different settings regardless of distractions.

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4. I can learn to train my dog on YouTube.

No, not really. While the Internet can be helpful with training tips, each individual dog may have a different way and pace of learning. Our accredited Trainers can help find the techniques that work best for you and your dog.

5. Small dogs don’t need training.

False. Small dogs may be easier to manage due to their size but, they still benefit from the mental and physical stimulation of training. Being little can make the world seem scary, so training can also help build confidence.

6. You can’t train a puppy until it’s 6 months old.

Not true. Puppies begin learning at birth and have the ability to learn obedience cues at around 7 to 8 weeks of age. Due to vaccine requirements, puppies must be at least 10 weeks old to attend PetSmart Training classes.

7. Rubbing dog’s noses in their accidents will house train them.

False (and not very nice). This old approach only tells the pup you are mean can’t be trusted, which can cause more house-training issues down the road. Puppies are less likely to go in front of you, hide when they go and may even begin eating their poop to hide the evidence. It can be a frustrating experience, but our Accredited Pet Trainers and potty classes can help you and your dog successfully navigate house training.

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