Common Myths Make Successful Dog Training Harder

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Expert from Canine Company debunks five of the top misconceptions about dog training

A well-trained dog is a happy dog.

Good manners make life with a dog happier and easier for everyone in the family.

Teaching basic good manners makes living with a dog happier and easier for everyone in the family. But success at training requires the right knowledge of what to do.

“It’s difficult for new pet parents to figure out how to train because there are so many myths and misconceptions circulating in our digital world,” says Heather Corum, a professional trainer for over 20 years who trains the trainers at Canine Company. "Unfortunately, misinformation can lead to behavioral issues down the road – something our trainers are often called in to help correct.”

Five of the most common misconceptions they encounter are:

Myth 1: A puppy must be at least six months old to be trained.
Fact: A puppy starts learning the moment he joins the household, and it is essential that puppy parents take advantage of every opportunity to teach. “Don’t let your puppy develop problem behaviors, because he won’t outgrow them. Be patient and consistent.”

Myth 2: Crating is mean.
Fact: Dogs are den animals who instinctively seek a safe, quiet place when tired or stressed. “The crate serves that purpose -- as long as it is never used for punishment, which undermines its usefulness as a safe space.”

Myth 3: If you train with food, your dog won’t obey without it.
Fact: Behaviors that are rewarded with food, praise or pets are more likely to be repeated. “Find what motivates your dog and use it as a tool to help him become addicted to training.”

Myth 4: My dog knows he did something wrong, because he looks guilty.
Fact: That “guilty” look is a just learned response. “Dogs read our angry or upset body language and respond to appease us. We interpret it as guilt, but they have no idea they did something wrong. “

Myth 5: You can’t train an older dog
Fact: Dogs continue to learn their entire lives. The biggest issue with older dogs is helping them “unlearn” unwanted behaviors. With any dog at any age, patience and consistency are key.

Whether it’s learning basic obedience skills or mastering advanced tricks, most dogs enjoy the process of training, says Corum. “Training time is time they are spending with you, which is the best reward.”

Find more training advice in the Training section of Canine Company’s Speak, Good Blog or by calling 800-818-3647.

About Canine Company
Born of a family’s love for dogs, Canine Company has been helping families keep their dogs and cats healthy, safe and happy for 35 years. The company serves pet parents across New England, New York and New Jersey with the Invisible Fence® brand systems, Manners dog obedience training, and mobile grooming and pet sitting in select markets. Its charitable Canine Love™ campaign supports pet rescue groups and donates pet oxygen masks to first responders. For more information, visit

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Debra Bennetts
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