Trouble Training your Dog?  You May Have Fallen for One of these MythsTeaching basic good manners can make living with a dog happier and easier for everyone in the family. 

To be successful, you need to know the right things to do. 

And with so many myths and misconceptions circulating in our digital world, new pet parents are often confused. What's more, misinformation can lead to behavioral issues down the road -- something our trainers are often called in to help correct. 

Here are five of the most common misconceptions we encounter when we meet with dogs and their parents:

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 just a 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 is key. 

Whether it's learning basic obedience skills or mastering advanced tricks, most dogs enjoy the process of training because they are spending time with you. 

You can learn more about our Manners training program here or by calling 800-818-3647.