Fix the 5 most common dog training mistakesLearn how your pet-rearing techniques may actually be backfiring. Dogbehaviourist Tamar Geller shares some new teaching methodsToday showUpdated: 11:22 a.m. ET March 17, 2006Training your dog has a lot to do with understanding how they think.Dog behaviourist Tamar Geller offers insight into your dog's mind andshares some training tips.Dog training mistakes are really human mistakes. Don't be sosurprised! Many dog owners make mistakes unbeknownst to them — dueto bad advice, reading something somewhere, because that's how theydid it with the family dog when they were growing up, or even asthe behaviour they're not even aware they're doing. Then frustration setsin when puppies "have accidents" in the house, or grown dogs won'tcome when called or jump on people for attention, but these and otherproblems are not the fault of the dog. Regardless of which specificthe dog training program you choose to adopt, here are a few commonpitfalls that, if avoided, will make the training process far moreeffective, enjoyable and fun for both of you!Calling your dog and then, when he comes to you, "punishing" him ordoing something he doesn't like. Your dog is having tons of fun inthe dog park — you call and he comes to you — and you reward hisbehaviour by putting him on a leash and taking him home. Or he's inthe yard having fun, you call him to come in and when he does, youstart to clean his ears, cut his nails or brush his teeth. Is it anywonder your dog no longer comes when called?While your dog is having fun playing, periodically call him to you,give him "refreshments" and then say, "Go play!" Remember that in theteaching phase, you're building trust with your dog. By doing this afew times, your dog will learn to love to come to you when he hearshis name and won't be worried that the fun is ending.Sticking your dog's nose in his messes to correct hishousebreaking "mistakes." Bad move. You don't actually have a problemwith your dog "going," you just have a problem with the location.Sticking his nose in it or hitting him with a rolled-up newspaperwill only confuse your dog and may actually teach him to hide hisbodily functions from you — soon you'll find his "presents" in thecloset or behind the couch. Or you may find that he will not go tothe bathroom in front of you, even when it's the right location. Oryour dog may drink his urine or eat his excrement (coprophagia) fromfear of your reaction.Never correct a dog eliminating in the wrong place after the fact.Correct them only if you catch them in the act, and not by hittingthem, but by yelling NO! or OUTSIDE!, and immediately taking your dogout. Once outside, stay with him to praise the heck out of him fordoing it there.Ignoring bad behaviours such as jumping, chewing and aggression,thinking your dog will "grow out of it." The longer your dog isallowed to continue inappropriate behaviour, the more certain he willbecome that it is acceptable. Jumping, chewing and aggression are notstages of a dog's development, but unacceptable behaviour. Teach yourdog that this is unwanted behaviour by teaching him what to doinstead.Hitting your dog or using the pain in the learning process. Personally,I'm against using intimidating training techniques. Prong and chokecollars are even outlawed in some places, such as Rome and Torino,Italy. Today we have products available to keep dogs from pulling onthe leash, not to mention years of research about modifying behaviourby positive and negative reinforcement through humane methods thatdon't involve pain — such as the Sporn and Gentle Leader products —that there's simply no need to use "Spanish Inquisition" methods onour best friends!Taking your dog back in the house immediately after he eliminates.Your dog takes forever to go to the bathroom — he takes as much timeas he can to find just the right spot and read all the p-mail in theneighbourhood. Why? Because the minute he eliminates, his time outsideis all over and you hustle him back into the house. So in order tostay outside longer, he simply delays going to the bathroom.The solution? Teach your dog to go to the bathroom on cue and, oncehe does, reward him by starting the walk then!