3 Biggest Challenges of Dog Training

As a therapy dog trainer, I’ve come across various challenges that new dog owners often face. Training a dog requires patience, consistency, and understanding. Here are the top three challenges you might encounter and some advice on how to overcome them.

1. Ignoring Your Dog When They Behave Badly

One of the toughest aspects of dog training is learning when to ignore bad behavior. It’s natural to react when your dog is acting out, but sometimes, this reaction can reinforce negative behaviors.

What you can do:

  • Stay calm and avoid giving attention (like scolding or eye contact) during undesirable behaviors.
  • Reward good behavior immediately to reinforce positive actions.

2. Getting Everyone in Your Family Involved in Training

Consistency is key in dog training, and this can be challenging when multiple family members are involved. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding commands, rewards, and behavior expectations.

What you can do:

  • Hold a family meeting to discuss and agree on training methods and rules.
  • Involve all family members in training sessions to ensure consistency.

3. Trying to Train for Too Long in One Sitting

Dogs, especially puppies, have short attention spans. Training for too long in one session can lead to frustration for both you and your dog.

What you can do:

  • Keep training sessions short, about 5-10 minutes for puppies and slightly longer for adult dogs.
  • Focus on one command or behavior per session to avoid overwhelming your dog.


Remember, training a dog is a journey, not a destination. Each dog is unique and may require different approaches. Be patient, stay positive, and celebrate the small victories along the way. With time and consistent effort, you’ll build a strong bond and a well-behaved canine companion.


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