Trainer reveals the three biggest mistakes puppy owners make and how to avoid them

Young woman kissing puppy outdoors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's no doubt about it — bringing home a puppy for the first time is one of those days in life that's hard to beat. 

Puppies can add so much laughter, affection, and joy to our families, and yet in amongst all the love, there can also be plenty of challenges.

It's not unusual for new pet parents to suffer from the puppy blues during that first year of their little one's life and it's not hard to see why. 

Training a puppy can feel like a rollercoaster with plenty of highs and lows as your young fur friend learns what's expected of them.

According to expert trainer Amelia Steele, puppy parents can easily make a range of mistakes as they too learn what to do.

In a video shared to Instagram, which you can view below, Steele talks you through three of the most common errors she sees in her work and how you can avoid them. Keep reading to find out what they are...

1. Thinking it won't be difficult: "You think that because you've done all the research and you're well prepared, that just because it's difficult for everyone else, doesn't mean it will be difficult for you," Steele says. "You go into it thinking you know what to do, that everything's going to be easy and straightforward but the reality is that it's difficult for everyone. 

"Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, things are not going to go the way you expect and it's really, really important to keep that in mind because you don't want to be disheartened or put off when things don't go the way you thought they would go."

2. Constantly changing tactics: "What tends to happen when you're new to dog training or you're new to raising a dog is you start doing one training method, you have a good idea of what you're going to do and then it doesn't work so you very quickly swap to something else and you just keep chopping and changing what you're doing," says Steele.

"Now, it's really important to be able to problem solve but when you're constantly chopping and changing the messages that you're giving your puppy or your dog this can become very, very confusing and you end up getting stuck and not making much progress."

When training your puppy, stick to one training method at a time and consult a professional trainer if you feel that your chosen method isn't working for you.

3. Taking every piece of advice you hear on the Internet: "Whether it's Facebook groups or social media in general, be very, very careful about the information that you listen to," Steele advises. 

"Remember that anybody can go on the Internet and call themselves a dog trainer. They don't have to have experience or qualifications and you'll get a lot of people that have the attitude of 'well, it worked for me', and that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best thing to do so be very careful who you listen to."

So there you have it. Three of the most common mistakes puppy owners make and how to avoid them.

And remember, welcome a new puppy into your home can be both hugely rewarding and challenging.

If you feel that you and your little one would benefit from some extra support, we recommend reaching out to a qualified trainer. 

Before you do that, check out our guide to how to spot dog trainer red flags to ensure you're working with a reputable professional who uses positive training methods. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.