Taking care of a dog is a lot of work - and there is room for error! Take note of these common mistakes to make sure you are on the right track with training, raising, and loving your pup.
1. You must always follow any rules you make for your dog. You also need to make sure friends and family follow the same rules. Otherwise, your dog will not know what rules are true.
2. Thinking your pup will “grow out” of bad habits. Dogs do not mature in the same way humans do. Behaviors left unaddressed will generally stay with your dog for life.
3. Not providing socialization. Socializing a dog cannot be emphasized enough. Positive experiences with other dogs and humans will make them more friendly in the long run.
4. Not demonstrating dominance. Your pup must know who is in charge. One way of ensuring this is during walks. Do not let them lead you. Keep them at your side will prevent them from feeling like the leader.
5. Your dog is not a human! Don’t treat her like one. Dogs don’t care about presents and toys as much as you think. They need to run around much more than people do. Do your research and treat your dog like one.
6. Not using a crate. Many new dog owners feel bad when using a crate, as humans see it as inhumane. However, dogs are naturally den-dwellers. They feel safe there to sleep, and will keep them from causing problems at night. It’s a win-win!
7. Not using positive reinforcement. Focusing on negative behavior and punishments will actually introduce more problems than it solves. Reward your pup for doing well!
8. Feeding human food. Once a puppy learns that she can eat the same food as people, it will be very difficult to stop her from begging at the table.
9. Not spaying or neutering. Most people know this by now, but you MUST spay or neuter your dog. The world doesn’t need more stray dogs.
Want to learn more about training your pup? Take a look at our blog to see the 7 Best Dog Training books that will guide you through every step of the training process.