Common Mistakes Every Dog Owner Should Avoid
Whether you are a first time dog owner or someone who has been surrounded by dogs all of your life, mistakes can be made that can affect your dog’s health, personality, your family’s relationship with your dog, and/or how well other people like your dog. Every year, so many dogs are returned to animal shelters, abandoned, or given up for adoption; and for many, it’s due to the fact that bad habits were unknowingly developed from the beginning.
Bringing a dog into your home is a big responsibility, but one that if handled correctly can bring years of fun, companionship and joy.
Face it, we all make mistakes, but maybe with these tips, some mistakes can be avoided with your dog.
Tips to Avoid Common Mistakes:
- Even before the first time your new dog comes home, expectations (rules) should be put into place. These rules should be consistent and followed by everyone in the home:
- Where will Fido sleep?
- Is he/she allowed on the furniture?
- When will he be fed, and should he be fed from the table? (the answer to that should be no, too many different human foods can make your dog very ill)
- When will he get his exercise, whether it’s going for a walk or playtime in the backyard?
- Who will have different responsibilities for his care?
- How will he be allowed to greet visitors to your home?
- If you’re prepared, things will go a lot smoother!
- Take your pup regularly to the vet…
- Make sure vaccinations are kept current.
- Have your dog spayed or neutered.
- Have your dog microchipped, you’ll be so glad you did if he one day turns up missing.
- Practice “good dog hygiene”
- Just like yours, your dog’s teeth need to be regularly cleaned. A clean mouth will help you avoid gum disease, “doggie breath”, and tooth decay.
- Keep his nails clipped…nails that are neglected can cause serious problems for his paws. It’s important to know how to clip his nails for your dog’s safety and comfort. Here’s a short video that will give you some great ideas:
- Have a regularly scheduled time to bath and brush your dog. It will be a much more pleasant experience if you pay attention to such things as:
- Water temperature
- Type of shampoo
- Gentle spray pressure
- Brush his coat 2-3 times a weeks – if there are mats in the hair, they typically cannot be brushed out, so you should take your dog to a professional groomer to get them removed.
- Dry his fur a much as possible
- Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than once a month. If you do it too often, you stand the chance of stripping out his natural oils, causing irritated skin.
- Last, but definitely not least (especially in my mind), enroll your dog in obedience training. This is a great way
- To have him learn good social skills in regard to humans and other dogs.
- Work together with a qualified, positive reinforcement trainer on the use of treats, commands, expectations, and promoting good behaviors.
At Pawsitive Steps Dog Training, our training techniques are based around one simple question:
What do you want and expect from your dog?
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under given circumstances and situations.