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Common mistakes first time dog owners make.

Updated on August 6, 2011
Rottweiler puppy.
Rottweiler puppy.

#1. Using household cleaners to clean up potty accidents.

As wonderful as Pinesole smells, it does not get rid of the urine smell for the advanced nose of a dog. This makes housetraining a little bit more difficult, as puppies can detect the smell in the room, and will keep going back to the same spot "to do their business".

Consider instead using Enzymes type of cleaner (example: Nature's Miracle). It won't mask the stink with a fresh orange scent, instead, it will rid the smell of the accident for your pup's nose.

#2. Purchasing well-advertised dog food, without doing any research before choosing the brand.

Dogs are carnivores, which means their diet must be based on meat. If you take the time to read the packaging information on most commonly advertised dog foods, you will be informed that many of the brands will have grains as a #1 component. Does that sound right to you? Didn't think so.

Consider one of the less advertised brands, that have meat as their main ingredient: Canidae or Blue Buffalo are the two examples of much better choices for your dog.

#3. Using retractable leash. One thing you don't want your dog to learn is pulling on the leash. The thing is, retractable leashes only work if the dog pulls! So, one could assume, that this leash was invented to train the dog that in order to walk where they want - they must pull on the leash, and drag their owner along.

Consider getting a 6 ft leather leash for your daily walks. If you need something longer to practice recall, or stays, you should purchase a 30 ft leash.

#4. Purchasing a pup from a pet store or a back-yard-breeder. There is more written on this topic than I can add. Do your research before choosing a reputable breeder - go to shows, ask questions, and only purchase pups from breeders who are asking YOU questions about your own ability to provide a high quality of life for one of their puppies. Always consider adopting.

#5. Not signing up for training classes. Just because you can teach your dog to sit, does not mean that you don't need to take classes with your pup. This is especially important for large, working breeds. In classes you learn how to connect with your dog in stressful environment, it allows your dog to work through specific issues under a helpful supervision of an instructor.

Consider taking more than one class, set a goal - do you want to train your dog to be a therapy pooch, that visits local nursing homes and hospitals? Do you want your dog to be trained in one of the fun sports, like agility?

#6. Overusing the crate. Crate is just a training tool, it should not be the answer to all of your problems. Raising a puppy is hard work, as is keeping them safe, trained, and well-exercised. If you are planning to use a crate as a babysitter 16 hours a day (8 hours at night + 8 hours during the day), you are not ready for having a dog.

Consider signing up your pup for a doggy daycare. Yes, it is costly, and it is a bill that can be as high as $300 a month. At the same time, it will provide your pup with socializing opportunities, and will allow them to interact wi

#7. Worrying about the pup loving only you, and wanting the pup listening just to one person. This results in keeping the dog away from affection shown by others members of the family and guests. Which in turn brings about poorly socialized adult dog that is either fearful or aggressive towards strangers. If you give your dog your time and affection, they will not question where loyalty should lie.

Consider taking up a dog sport available in your area and go on daily walks with your pup, in order to strengthen and develop a bond between you and your dog. Never underestimate the importance of socializing your puppy properly.

#8. Purchasing raw-hide treats. These are simply not worth the risk. Raw hide is known to cause painful and costly internal damage to dogs.

Consider buying bully sticks or raw marrow bones to keep your puppy busy and happy (just don't overdo it with marrow bones, the fat can cause upset stomach in some dogs).


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    • Solaras profile image


      5 years ago

      Hi Bukarella - Great hub. I totally agree with your ban on flexi-leads. I'd add that they give the dog walker very little control over the dog in traffic situations too. If a dog sees a squirrel or something else of interest, it can easily dart in front of an oncoming car before the owner realizes what is happening.

    • sonia05 profile image


      7 years ago from india

      very interesting and useful hub. Thank you for sharing. voted up useful

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      Hi dober, thanks for stopping by!

      I do stand by my points, though. From point of view of biological hierarchy, according to Scientific Classification of Animals, dogs belong in the Carnivore order, which means regardless of what they can tolerate and benefit from otherwise, their main diet should be based on meat. Their teeth structure is just an example of how they were built to benefit from meat infused diet, not grain infused diet. Therefore, if we choose to purchase food for them, we need to make sure that main ingredients in that said food is meat.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree with all except the first one. Dogs are actually omnivores like humans. They would develop health problems on only protein for a prolonged period.

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      I can relate to your point of view more than you can imagine. :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes, that is why I said training is an ongoing process throughout the entire life of the dog. Just because our dog may be great on recall for the first six onths for example...doesn't mean he will ALWAYS be great. With age comes times when they challenge us, challenge the world..try new things, find themselves in new and different environments and training must always be a part of daily life. I just hate to see a dog that can do a dozen tricks that are cute, but who can't be walked on a lead without dragging the person, or who can't behave in the home. That's all I meant by that portion of my comment

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      Jenn~n~Luke, unfortunately, I have to agree with what you have to add. The only thing is, I do feel it's important to train with your dog all the time, and tricks are just another way to bond, but I completely agree that recall, heel and stay, as well as probably leave it and down should take priority over "roll over"s and "paw"s.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great post. I'd just like to add a few things that come to mind for me if you don't mind :)

      ~not researching the right breed of dog for your family and lifestyle before buying/adopting. So many people make this mistake, and it's one of the reasons we see so many dogs being rehomed when they reach six to twelve months..when the reality of what the individual breed needs in terms of excersise, stimulation, health issues,kicks in. Every person should be COMPLETELY honest with themselves about what their lifestyle is REALL like, rather than the one they "think" they will be able to change to once the dog comes home. Often times..what we say we will do, is not what we DO do.

      ~Rushing training. IE: Not understanding your individual pup, what motivates him or her, which training methods will gain results. Not being patient. Training takes time, patience, and most of all, consistency. When we show even the smallest bit of frustration or annoyance wit our pup..we set back the whole process ten steps. Always keep cool, calm and collected, keep training sessions short, fun and engaging. Know when your dog has had enough and end sessions before it becomes more of a chore than an enjoyable interaction between you and your pup.

      ~Training TRICKS instead of behaviors first. BIG mistake. Dogs do not NEED to learn how to give paw, roll over or play dead. They DO need to have good recall, and a good "stay". Behaviors that are important for safety and basic manners are the first and most important things to teach our pup. No one cares if your pup can give paw for instance, if everytime he sees someone, he's running and jumping at them. Nor are you going to be impressed with his rolling over when he is on the way out into traffic and refuses to come back when called. COME, STAY, OFF, HEEL on lead, should all be the first things taught to a pup. All of these things, need to be constantly reinforced throughout the dogs life. Not just for the first few months.

      ~Very common mistake new pup owners allowing behaviors that seem cute from a little fluffball, but are dangerous or rude when they grow into adults. If you don't want the adult dog doing it...don't allow it in the pup. Be sure to set clear rules and guidlines for your pup from day one, and STICK WITH THEM.

      There are many more lol...but I'll leave it at that.

    • Bukarella profile imageAUTHOR

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      carredsal, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I always hope people do their research before getting a dog.

    • carredsal profile image


      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Some great techniques! thanks...


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