It’s difficult enough raising a child, but teaching a dog how to behave properly can sometimes be even more difficult. Here are the 10 major mistakes that dog owners make.
Impulse buying – Buying a dog on a spur-of-the-moment emotion or whim is the first mistake that many dog owners make. It’s easy to be swayed by that cuddly, fluffy “doggie in the window”. Reading up on dog breeds and behaviors is a good way to start. Talks with your neighborhood vet and other dog owners will help you make the right choice for the dog to buy.
Inconsistency – Conflicting rules will confuse the dog and lead to erratic behavior. When you set the rules, make sure that everyone in your home knows what’s allowed and what’s not. This way, the dog doesn’t get a pat on the head from one person and scolded by another for doing the same thing.
Spoiling the dog – Not disciplining the dog for bad behavior, feeding it too many treats and letting it do whatever it wants is not the way to raise your dog properly. Without the proper controls and restrictions, you’ll wind up killing your dog with kindness and have the canine equivalent of a spoiled brat.
Expecting too much – Like humans, some dogs have more talent than others and are more easily trained. It’s important to get to know your dog’s limitations and to have the patience to teach him until he knows what he has to do.
Not enough training – Some dogs are left to “learn on their own”. Owners who don’t have the skills or the time to train a dog should send him to obedience school where he can learn proper behavior and become a welcome part of the household.
Not enough exercise – Dogs often do not get the minimum amount of exercise they need. Taking the dog for a regular walk around the block or a romp on the lawn is a good way to help the dog work out its excess energy.
Lack of social interaction – Not having enough time with humans or other dogs can have a negative effect on a dog’s behavior. When a dog has to spend too much time alone, get a friend to drop by or hire a dog walker to help keep the dog happy.
Treating the dog as human – The dog is a dog, not a human being. Trying to treat a dog like a human being can lead to some mistakes like refusing to neuter a dog or breeding a bitch for the wrong reasons. Another mistake is not disciplining a dog because you “feel sorry” for it, assuming that the dog knows what it did wrong.
Excessive punishment – Hitting a dog in anger is not a proper way of disciplining the pet. Focus on rewards for good behavior more than on punishments and look for proper training methods to correct improper behavior.
Lack of supervision – Dogs and children have a natural attraction for each other. However, dogs should always be supervised when there are children around in order to prevent accidents.
Contributed by Mel Hogan. Mel is an animal lover, blogger and travel writer who works from home. Someone else’s home that is – thanks to house sitting. He writes for the house sitting website MindaHome