The Five Most Common Ways Dog Owners Ruin Their Dogs
Are You Guilty of Any of These Mistakes?
While training your dog may take lots of patience, consistency and time, ruining your dog can just take a moment, often with the end result of undoing a good part of the hard work you have invested in your dog. While the term ''ruining'' is a bit extreme, you can really do a lot of damage in little time if you refrain from following some basic guidelines fundamental for the integrity of the relationship with your dog.
Five Ways to Ruin Your Dog
Practice these behaviors and very likely you will end up with a dog with problems that may require lots of work to undo the damage. At times, depending on your dog and the amount of damage you have done, the help of a dog trainer or dog behavior specialist may be required to help your dog overcome the issues you have caused.
• Using Aversive Training
Dog training in the recent decades, has undergone major changes when it comes shaping behaviors. While years ago, dogs were trained using coercive methods, today trainers are more oriented towards positive reinforcement. This because trainers have come to the conclusion that rewards motivate dogs more and increase the level in which the dog bonds with the owner. Mutual respect and an eagerness to please are the key to 21st century training.
Using strong corrections, physically punishing the dog, and using aversive training tools, on the other hand, shut down the dog and cause him to associate discomfort and pain with the owner. This causes lack of trust and a dog that works to avoid the pain rather than collaboration and respect. A lot of work may be necessary to undue the harm of harsh training methods and allow the dog to bloom.
• Spoiling the Dog
At the other end of the spectrum, is the opposite problem of mistreating your dog: spoiling it. Spoiling a dog encompasses a variety of actions you may voluntarily or involuntarily commit. Feeding the dog table scraps, allowing him on the bed and furniture, permitting the dog to lead the way on walks, petting him anytime he asks for it, and generally, letting him get away with unwanted behaviors can easily ruin the best dog in a short time frame.
Owners must come to realize that sometimes the best to show love towards their dog is to actually treat him as a dog. Respect pack structure and do not let him rule the home, establish yourself as the benevolent leader, control resources and be your dog's guide on walks. This is the recipe for a dogs that respects you and knows his place in the pack.
• Under Exercising the Dog
All dogs require some level of exercise to some extent. If you fail to provide exercise and mental stimulation to your dog you will likely have many problems. These problems may affect both the physical and mental status of your dog. Boredom indeed, is one of the primary causes of behavioral problems in dogs and often owners do not realize why their dog is ''acting up'' lately.
This especially applies to working dogs that have been bred to have a job. You can easily ruin a working dog breed by fialing to exercise it enough. The end results? Frustration, anxiety, over reactivity, hyper activity, tension and stress are a few examples. And do not be surprised if your dog starts chewing your furniture or break out in a sudden skin problem that your veterinarian attributes to his food.
• Neglecting the Dog
All dogs require some basic care and if you are unable to provide it, you will fail your dog. Dogs require food, veterinary care, toys, training tools, grooming, and much more to lead a decent life. If you cannot provide for this you are better off not adopting a dog. Often people adopt dogs and do not realize how much work they are and how much they may end up costing. This may ultimately ruin a dog which may likely end up being surrendered to a shelter.
• Keeping the Dog Outdoors
Dogs are pack animals that thrive when they are with their owners. Forgetting your dog out all day in the yard, or worse, chaining him up, will ruin your dog. It is surprising how many dog owners do not realize the importance of this. Often dog owners complaint about their dog barking and pacing all day long in the yard when the solution to their dog's problems are right in front of them!
Bringing a dog into the home means making it live happy. The dog will no longer have a reason bark, because now the family has finally understood that his barking was caused by feeling lonely and being separated from his pack. Now that all is clear, the dog behaves much better and is even willing to follow some rules he never had before.
As seen, there are many ways to ruin your dog. Make sure not to incur in any of these errors and you will likely have a lovely dog that is eager to be with you and please you. Remember to love your dog for being a dog and providing him with all the basics to keep him happy. Your dog will thank you by providing you with the unbiased unconditional love this special species is so known for.
The original ''Dog Whisper'' Paul Owens
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