A new puppy is so cute and cuddly, but almost immediately, there are problems. He’s not housebroken, he chews up things, and he knows no commands. Training is oh, so important when it comes to a pet. An animal that doesn’t understand can’t cooperate and a dog that doesn’t cooperate is going to be serious trouble! Not training a dog, or not having him trained by another, is one of the most serious mistakes you can make with your pet. Here are a few others:
Never hit your dog! Many people think a dog won’t learn unless you spank it but that’s the last thing you should ever consider doing! When you hit or otherwise abuse a pet he or she becomes afraid of you and/or aggressive towards yourself or others. Reward dogs for good behavior, and if punishment is needed, place him in his cage for awhile or ban him from the room. If you catch a dog in the act of doing something he shouldn’t it’s okay to scold him. However, if you don’t scold or punish right then, it’s useless. Within a minute the dog will have no idea what you’re upset about.
Another huge mistake dog owners often make is to have one person treat the dog one way and another person treat him differently. For example, if you scold the dog for getting on the couch, then another family member calls him up on it, you’re sending the dog mixed signals. No animal can understand why he’s in trouble one minute, but not the next, when he does the same thing either time. Discuss this issue when you first get the animal and explain to children how important it is that all the members of the family allow or disallow the same things.
Giving a dog a treat for no reason is another mistake. Treats should be used to teach or reward a dog but shouldn’t be handed out for no reason. When you give the dog a treat just because you want to it loses its effect. The dog is more apt to do something for a treat if he doesn’t get one often.
Another mistake pet owners often make is to get slack on keeping up with immunizations and health checks. Heartworms, fleas, ticks and other dog issues can be really serious. Your dog can be very ill before you ever have a clue something is wrong. Take your dog for regular checkups, give monthly pest treatments, and giving him lots of exercise. Avoid the above list of mistakes and you’ll raise a healthy, happy dog that you’ll adore for years!