When you finally get your furry best friend and you start a new phase in life as a pet parent, it is easy to overlook the obligatory training that has to start as soon as you both get home. We know, they are so adorable, and you are both excited, but the cute thing can easily turn into a bad habit. Check this list and, if you recognize yourself in some of these, don’t worry! Everything can be corrected by consistent training.
Accidents do happen, and unfortunately, pet theft is not impossible to happen, especially if you have a small, naïve puppy. As your family addition, your pet should have the means to be properly introduced. A microchip with your information is the safest option to ensure the recognition of the dog as yours on any given occasion. Many people forget to update the data once the chip has been implemented, but please, along with a yearly check-up, update the chip if there were any changes to your number or address.
Vet check if no prior to adoption ASAP
Whether you bought, adopted, or brought your pup from the streets, it is a must that you check about their vet appointments or take them to one fast. The reason is simple if they didn’t get their shots they could easily get parvovirus, a virus that quickly starves and kills dogs of each age group. Additionally, your freshly picked up dog most likely has parasites like fleas and different intestinal parasites, or even ticks. All three mentioned parasites can transfer even worse diseases, so don’t skip this step.
Late start and inconsistency with training
When you just got the dog you want to give them time to adjust, but are you letting them do whatever? This way you are already creating behaviour that you might not like in just a few months. Rules are meant to help your family to have a structure and function without issues. Start with simple commands and leash manners, and both you and your dog might just get interested in complex commands like a dog agility course.
A dog that is running away is usually bored
There can be many reasons behind a runaway dog: they smelled a mating partner, they got spooked by a firework, or they were simply bored. A smart dog can learn how to open doors, windows, and gates pretty quickly, so you definitely should pet-proof your home with a professional locksmith. If something funny happens, like locking you out of your car, you can get the locksmith to help you there as well. The point is, your dog easily gets bored, whatever breed he is. Do not hesitate to give your furry child an array of toys and games so that they wouldn’t even think about mischief.
Not giving them enough socialization
A dog that behaves at home and on a leash should be properly socialized. This is achieved by socialization from the start. If your family has a furry member, they will be the first step in socializing your new little friend. While practising walking on a leash you will meet your neighbours, and their dogs, or many, many humans and their dog companions in a local dog park.
Give your dog the opportunity to say ‘hello’ to everyone they meet, let them get the attention and the boundaries with strangers. Other dogs should first approach them in the park, and you should let them off-leash there only when you and them feel safe doing so. Early socialization will give you the emotionally balanced dog that you can trust.
Never letting them off-leash
The leash was mentioned in this article already a few times. The importance of a leash is great, being that it serves your dog as proof that you are the pack leader and to ensure their safety outside. The leash is a great tool to put yourself in the role of the leader. Or the dog parent, whatever title you prefer. But some breeds actually require long and hard physical activity off-leash and if not, they can become frustrated or bored from the lack of activity. Choose the breed that fits your lifestyle.
Expecting all your pets to get along from day one
If you already have a pet, each new pet is a stressor for them. Although some don’t mind new furry family addition, you should understand your actions and introduce them slowly. A small puppy might be interested in everything and everyone, but that most likely will not be the case for your older pup, especially if they are used to being the only dog. There are also some dogs that just won’t tolerate other dogs, as well as cats that might be the same type. Introduce step by step, giving each space and time to adjust to smells, presence, and temperament.
Feeding your dog off your plate
It is hard to resist the legendary ‘puppy eyes’ (even though each dog has them). You will likely think – “oh, just this once” and give them a chunk of meat, a bit of mac and cheese, or something else nice smelling. Even though a lot of the vegetables and fruits are dog safe, some are toxic, as well as most of the spices. Human meals are not food that dogs can eat without consequences, so be persistent and do not share meals with your dog.
Relying on dog treats too much
Whenever you were checking online videos, guides, and even after consulting a professional dog trainer, you have certainly got the advice to use treats for training and learning. This can easily backfire, making your dog being conditioned only by food and nothing else. In time, it will even result in health issues, like obesity or kidney issues. You could try a clicker or your voice as a condition when training. Your dog should be listening to you, and not become obsessed with food.
Don’t forget about their needs
Every living creature has its needs, and we, as well as our pets, have an emotional need to have a family, a pack of our own, communication, and cooperation with other people or animals. You have already heard about Hachiko, Lessy, or other magnificent dogs that had their own character. And your furry friend has its own. Whatever its tiny character is, you are their everything. Don’t forget about them. Their lives, much shorter than ours, go by fast and each day you spent away is longer for them. Love them and enjoy your time with them, their little angel wings hide between their fur, and their love heals.