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Confessions of a Pet Parent. Training Gone Wrong.

Every pet parent has made a mistake or two while trying to raise their pets. Sometimes as pet parents we don’t even realize that our training methods are doing more harm than good. Let me tell you about our story and the mistakes I have made training my Cane Corso.

Firstly, let’s talk a little bit about Cane Corsos - they are a large breed mastiff. They are very intelligent, loyal and eager to please however they are also very assertive and have an independent mind. They are not a pushover dog by any means.

That being said, it’s clear that as a Cane Corso owner, the rules must be clear and concise. There’s no in between, there’s no ‘only this one time’. If you allow it, your Cane Corso will end up being the boss.

I knew all of these things but I still ended up making mistakes with my training approach.

Mistake Number 1 - Inconsistency

One of the first rules that I laid down was NO DOG ON THE BED. Previous to owning a Cane Corso, I owned two bully breeds, who were large and slept in my bed EVERY night. I was consistent with the no dog on beds rule but my husband couldn’t resist the opportunity to snuggle with our new puppy on the bed. Big fail! One of us was NOT allowing the puppy on the bed but the other was - which in turn we were being 100 percent inconsistent in our training.

As you can see by my mistake, it’s very important that everyone in your household is being consistent and following all the same rules when it comes to training your pets. Bottom line - be consistent every single time.

Mistake Number 2 - Being Overly Emotional

Training my Cane Corso was not an easy task. If anything, it was a roller coaster. We would curb one thing and all of a sudden another issue would appear. We went through severe bitting, separation anxiety and reactivity. I was a mess - I was letting my emotions and frustration spill over into our training sessions. My demeanour was not calm as it should be when working with dogs. I was causing more anxiety in my dog by being frustrated and angry than I was at curbing her problems in the first place.

Dog training is not an easy feat. It’s hard and yes you will become frustrated and yes you may be angry but when you start feeling this way don’t continue with the training. Take a break, regain your focus and start again once you’re calm. Keeping a level head will help you properly communicate what you expect from your dog.

Thankfully, I was able to learn from my mistakes and correct them before things got worse. Look at it this way - It’s not the mistakes that we make that matter. It’s how we deal with them, learn from them and grow from them.

What kind of mistakes have you made raising your pets? I’d love to hear your stories. Let us know in the comment section below!

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