The 5 Mistakes ALL Dog Owners Make
Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted. With millions of dog owners around the country you’d think that raising a pet is common sense. Furthermore, with a little research you will quickly discover that humans have no idea how dogs view the world. Although we all love our pets, dog owners tend to make critical mistakes that eventually lead to obedience and health problems. Here is a list of the top five mistakes all dog owners make that can be easily avoided.
1) Not Enough Stimulation
Let’s be honest, all dogs spend most of their lives indoors with only a couple of hours to enjoy the sunshine. We tend to glorify the idea of sitting home all day, watching Netflix or even cuddling without four- legged friend. Dog owners make the critical mistake of viewing their pet as a human family member. We buy them treats and comfortable beds but the thing that the dog needs is proper stimulation. Understand that our furry friends are wild animals that just happen to like humans. They thrive on chasing squirrels or running after that tennis ball. Notice how your pet reacts when it hears the squeaker function in a toy. They get excited because the squeaker simulates an animal dying. You should take your dog outside on a regular basis and truly stretch their legs.
Here is what you can do to stimulate your pet:
- The Dog Park – Dog parks are the easiest and best way to get your dog’s blood flowing. You don’t even have to do anything! Not only will your dog get to chase his or her little friends, but they will get socialized and drastically reduce aggression. Dog parks are popping up like Starbucks so you should have no problems finding one. Read our Dog Park Survival Guide to make your first time a great experience.
- Play Fetch – The old game of fetch is a great way to bond with your pet. You can use the ball as a reward system while training them new tricks. To truly maximize your fetch game you should look into ChuchIt Classic Launchers. You can throw farther, faster, & never bend down to pick up a slobbery ball again.
- Chew Toys – It’s imperative that you invest in quality chew toys for your dog. Do you find yourself coming home to destroyed furniture? The Bacon Flavored Wishbone will keep them busy for hours. You have to make sure that the toy is durable and nontoxic. Pet stores are littered with products that contain industrial waste to keep cost down.
2) Improper Feeding
The biggest fail that dog owners face is feeding. Millions of dogs die at an early age or develop health problems due to poor diet. Find food that is an all-natural, grain free canine diet with all recipes starting with meat as the first ingredient. These brands like Orijen will cost more, but its a small price to pay when you realize how big vet bills can become. Some human food can actually kill them so don’t fall for the puppy eyes. Leaving a full bowl of food all day can lead to serious obesity problems and obedience issues. Animals see us as a leader because we control the food source. To learn how to properly feed your pet and establish your self as the alpha check out – Are You The Alpha When Feeding Your Pet?
3) “What You See Is What You Get”
Often people go to the shelter or pick out a puppy, assuming the personality they see right there and then is the dog they will have for life. We’ve all seen the dog that walks their owner instead of the other way around. Most dogs develop some kind of unwanted habit but the real problem is the owner. Generally speaking, dogs do not grow out of bad behaviors. In fact, left to their own devices they will get worse. Remember, these behaviors are only considered bad by us – your dog is self-rewarded by digging up the flowers, chasing the cat, and barking at the mailman. He’s not going to stop unless you give him a reason to through reinforcement. For some alien reason people think that dogs are the way they are just because.
4) Calling Out The Puppy’s Name To Correct Bad Behavior
If we had a dollar for every time this happened…. It’s bad enough to never correct bad behavior but to use your dog’s name while it’s happening can be worse. We all remember back in our youth years when adults would yell our names in an angry tone after misbehaving. Dogs can’t understand our language so they pick up on words or phrases and connect it with an experience. For example the reason why your dog sits when you tell him or her to sit, is because they got a treat for doing it. Many new dog owners make the mistake of calling out their dog’s name when it is misbehaving, as an approach to correcting the bad behavior and getting the young pup’s attention. However, when this is done it only teaches the dog to begin associating the sound of its name with being corrected for bad behavior.
Why is this bad?
- You could be petting your dog or engaging in play but every time you say their name, the animal will think its misbehaving.
- Training will become extremely difficult and only cause confusion.
This really glues all these bad habits together. You must be consistent with everything that you do. If you want your dog to never jump on the couch NEVER! let them on the couch. So many people allow bad behaviors for one occasion here and there and later find themselves trying to fix the problem again. Feed your dog on a regular feeding schedule and train basic commands. You don’t need to send them back into boot camp but you can have the dog sit or lay down just before you throw that ball or put down the food bowl. Having a well-trained dog makes life so much easier and it will save you embarrassment on the street. Stay consistent with everything as much as you can.
Now that you know the top 5 mistakes that dog owners make, you can maximize training results and eliminate bad habits. Humans have a difficult time understanding dog behavior. We simply think that some dogs are nice and some are not so nice. The reality is simple; those obedient, well behaved pets you see are the ones that understand boundaries. Like people, if you raise an animal, giving them what they want when they want, chances are they will do what they want when they want. Always love your pet and understand that they have needs too.
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