Pet parents can make mistakes. Bringing your pet up to be a productive dog citizen isn’t always easy, and doesn’t come easily to every pet parent. Getting a pet to be well-behaved requires a lot of time and focus.
A lot of times, just like parents of human children, dog parents can develop bad habits in the way that they raise their dog, and not even realize it.
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This can lead to some really ‘dog-parenting’ boo-boos.
Let the dog lead: When walking with your dog, don’t let the dog lead. The dog shouldn’t be the alpha in your relationship. When you go for a walk, the dog should walk beside you, not out in front of you. To raise a happy, well-rounded dog, he needs some restrictions.
Inconsistency: Your dog watches everything you do, and your relationship with your dog can be effected by everything you do. So, basically, every interaction with your dog communicates a direction for your dog. The mistakes are made by dog parents when they are not consistent in rewarding behaviors or disciplining the dog. Giving the dog a reward or attention one time means you should do it every time.
Lack of hygiene: Humans,for the most part, try to keep clean. We bathe, we shower and we brush our teeth regular. Having good hygiene habits always goes a long way to keeping humans healthy. Dogs need good hygiene too. TruDog offers many dental products to help with dental health. Check out one product here. Keeping a dog’s teeth clean is key in making sure your dog has clean smelling breath, for health reasons. A dog’s nails should be trimmed regularly – sharp nails can become infected and create hazards to a dog’s well-being.
Not training: A dog, no matter how old they are, can be trained to follow certain behavior patterns. Those behavior patterns can become routines, and those routines can become good habits. Take for example in-house training a dog. Getting on a routine, no matter the weather, of walking your dog at specific times of day to the same spot can lead the dog into good potty habits. The same goes for keeping the dog from scratching up a couch or tearing up cushions. A dog is never too young or too old to learn.
Leaving a dog alone in a car: No matter how quick your errand is, it is not a good idea to leave your dog in the car, especially during the summer. If left alone too long in a car, a dog can suffer severely, and possibly fatally. The same thing can happen during the winter months.
Dogs left outside all the time: Dogs do need to be outdoors. Keeping the dogs outside is OK, but making sure the dog has adequate shelter is important. Even more important is making sure the dog has human contact. Dogs thrive on attention.
Hitting or swatting a dog: Putting your hands on a dog – to punish or discipline isn’t advised. Such negative reinforcement can create the same responses from a dog. Hitting the dog can put a strain on your relationship, and can be a preventative in any training you might hope to accomplish.
‘He is just a dog.’ : Dogs do have feelings. Dogs do have the capacity to love, feel, become depressed and get excited. Just as berating a human can create feelings of defeat and negativity, so can doing the same to a dog. He is not just a dog.
Don’t do regular vet visits: Dogs need regular check-ups and health care. Don’t self-diagnose your dog’s issues – go see a veterinarian.
Crates should be used for discipline: Dogs are going to get jumpy and bark when you don’t want them too. There are effective ways to discipline without being harmful to the dogs. Children are put in time-outs for discipline. That doesn’t work for dogs. Using a kennel as a discipline tactic is not advised. A crate should be a dog’s safe haven – not his punishment place.
In raising your dog to be a productive pet citizen, it is important to make smart choices.