First-time puppy owners are similar to first-born puppies – they enjoy the new arrival, but are afraid to make mistakes, and may even be a little intimidated by the responsibility they will take. Surely it is a big responsibility, and it is given that you will make mistakes. The key is not to reinvent the wheel.
Dog owners who came before you, have already made almost every possible mistake. So if you understand where they did it wrong, you can avoid common mistakes.
Here are 10 common mistakes of new dog owners:
1Be Ready For Your Dog – Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners
If you are not 100% sure whether you are ready to choose a dog, stop here and wait until you are ready. A puppy is not something you should buy spontaneously. Too many dogs end up in shelters because people have decided that they are not ready for a commitment that lasts ten or more years.
2 Putting Off Training
“I’ll start tomorrow,” you think. Then tomorrow comes and goes, and your puppy grows, and next, you know that you have a wild teenager with many bad habits. The sooner you start obedience training, the better – it’s much easier to nip a problem in the bud than to correct it later.
3Inconsistency – Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners
Train consistently and always use the same commands and hand signals. If you vary the method, your dog will be confused.
Puppies will usually eat pretty much anything you offer them, but treats shouldn’t just be distributed for no reason. It’s best to reserve treats for training sessions – so the puppy combines a treat with good behavior, and you have a strong motivational tool as opposed to something you offer and your puppy expects for no particular reason.
5Bad Socialization – Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners
Puppies are supposed to remain with the litter for the first eight weeks of life – this is the time when they learn how to be a dog. So if you’re thinking about buying a puppy that’s younger than eight weeks, don’t do this. During this time, a responsible breeder will also make sure that the puppies are often handled by humans. Once you bring your puppy home, it is your job to continue the socialization process and ensure that your puppy is exposed to different people and other pets. The more experience your puppy has, the more confident he will be.
6Not Enough Exercise
Puppies and dogs usually have a lot of energy, and even the laziest dog will need daily exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to behavioral problems such as destructiveness and excessive barking.
7Insufficient Mental Stimulation
In addition to moving your dog’s body, it is also important that you train his mind. The training provides mental stimulation, as well as a variety of toys and of course playing with a person.
8Too Much “Alone” Time – Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners
If your puppy is alone for an extended period of time, there is a chance that he will miss both exercise and mental stimulation. He’s also more likely to have accidents at home, and may also develop behavioral problems or separation anxiety.
9Missing “Puppy Protection” At Home
Make your house puppy-proof like you would do it for little children. This means that all detergents are secured and the power cables are out of reach. Also, watch out for puppy safety in the garage – petroleum products and antifreeze can be lethal.
10Punishing For Unwanted Behavior – Common Mistakes of New Dog Owners
It is possible that if you punish your dog for misconduct, he will learn not to do what you punished him for. However, he is more likely to get scared of you. Praise and rewards are always more effective than punishments to educate your dog.
As a new puppy owner, you will make mistakes – this is a normal process. Nobody ever raises a puppy, and when that puppy reaches adulthood, he says, “I did it just right.” But now you know the most common mistakes, and they are the most important. If you avoid them, you are well on your way to having a well-behaved and loving dog.
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