According to the data gathered from a National Pet Owners Survey in 2021, around 63.4 million households in the US own at least one dog. From that massive number, it can be assumed that when vets and dog behavior specialists claim a dog parenting technique to be incorrect, there’s a fair amount of research gathered over the years supporting it.
Following are the most commonplace mistakes committed by dog owners.
1. Adopting On a Whim
Contrary to how it’s portrayed in the media, you don’t just identify with a dog after taking a walk around the numerous cages inside a shelter.
The amount of attention a dog requires is determined by two things: breed and past experience. Some pooches demand more of your time because of their genetic makeup, whereas others may need you around more often due to a past trauma.
You don’t want to end up with a reason to abandon your dog, so here’s something to think about before entering pupper parenthood:
- Do you want an aggressive lapdog, like a chihuahua, or a giant goofball, say a Samoyed? They all have distinct dispositions, so you might want to think long and hard before finding a compatible one.
- How old is too old? Older dogs need more physical activity, therefore, more time.
- Are you a hermit? If the answer’s yes, get a dog that will not want to leave your pad after its puppy crate training.
- How much time can you spare? If not much, shop for a healthy pupper. However, if you’ve got loads of time, we recommend investing it in rehabilitating a sick, older, or traumatized soul.
- Do you have all house members’ approval?
2. Forgoing Dog Socialization Training
Your dog needs to socialize right from puppyhood. Socialization is something that helps a scared animal feel comfortable in its surroundings. Plus, you get to spend a lot of time with your tiny fellas—utilize it to build trust and allow them to allow you to get closer.
It’s also dangerous for other people to be around an apprehensive canine because apprehension could lead to aggression.
We recommend arranging playdates with a fellow pawrent, although you could always go at it alone. Take your dog out for physical activity beyond “nature” walks if you know what we mean. Only a few hours most days a week will do. It’ll help it get accustomed to its surroundings and the individuals that are a part of it.
3. Punishing Instead of Rewarding
Punishing when the deed’s already done is counterproductive in the case of dogs because they don’t feel guilt. Their minds aren’t complex enough to compute if their parent’s mad at them because they only think in terms of what’s good.
Therefore, if you reward them for a good habit, they’ll repeat it for the reward and belly rubs they’ll get after. However, if you punish them for bad behavior, it’ll only create mistrust because they won’t make the connection between their misbehavior and your disciplinary action.
If they act in an unacceptable manner, just ignore it, and they should stop. If they don’t, we suggest getting professional help.
4. Overfeeding and Under-exercising
Plan your pet’s meals down to the last treat, or you won’t realize it when the calorie count gets out of hand. Take them for walks afterward as they easily turn into couch potatoes if you let them be.
Failing to set a routine with meals and physical activity might illicit undesirable behavior. There’s also the matter of putting them through weight loss in a controlled environment after becoming certifiably obese.
5. Being Unpredictable
No matter its breed, your pooch is a creature of habit, and that’s something you have to get used to. If you keep odd hours, we recommend hiring a private dog trainer to take on its obedience training.
Inconsistency in session and meal times has a direct impact on a dog’s body language. It stops trusting you and every other human, becomes aggressive, and does not respond to single-word or syllable commands.
6. Relaxing House Rules
No matter how adorable your golden retriever, you have to grind your teeth and be stern when it comes to house rules. You must not give in to those sad eyes when it whines about being let into bed.
This may sound innocent, but it directly correlates to quirks like jumping, pawing at the floorboards and upholstery, and going inside the house. Unless it’s got an incontinence issue, your pet should let you know when it wants to take a leak.
7. Letting them Be On Their Own
We said it before, and we’ll say it again: dogs are creatures of habit. No matter how much they like being alone initially, you have to keep trying to get them to come out of their hiding place. If you don’t, they’ll become loners and bark at strangers that come within two feet of them.
Moreover, dogs are pack animals, meaning your efforts will bear fruit sooner or later. You just have to be patient and keep at it until nature takes over.
8. Leaving Your Kid Alone with the Dog
When introducing your kids to your dog, stick around for the first couple of times they’re in the same room. Canines can be afraid of new people—particularly people close to you—because they don’t like sharing.
On the other hand, your child could unintentionally do something that might make your dog more nervous than it already is.
For the sake of both their safety, don’t leave a room occupied by your pet and your child because things can potentially go south real fast.
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