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Twenty-one of the Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make

Updated on September 15, 2016

Researching this article led me to conclude that dog owners make a lot of mistakes with their pets. Here are twenty-one of them.

Archduchess Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen (1742-1748), painted by Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) in 1776, Oil on canvas
Archduchess Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen (1742-1748), painted by Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) in 1776, Oil on canvas | Source

Ten of the Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make

1. Anthropomorphizing your dog. We give so much love and attention to our canine companions, we forget they are animals. We communicate with them and take care of them as we would our children. In fact, quite a number of us think of them that way and we glow when we are addressed as the mom, dad, grandma, or granddad of our beloved pooch. But alas, they are four-legged creatures with needs that are different from ours. If we fail to remember this, we might miss out on the dog-specific behaviors that will alert us to critical issues.

2. Waiting too long to train your canine. According to the experts, dogs can be trained from as young as eight weeks old. The longer you wait, the more time you are allowing for the development of bad behavior, which can be tough to change.

3. Believing the canine is un-trainable or has behavioral issues. All dogs can be trained or retrained. Older dogs just require more time to correct bad behaviors. Excessive barking, using your carpet as a toilet, being overly rambunctious though difficult can all be changed.

4. Refusing to train the dog professionally. Experts know exactly what to do. A dog without proper training can prove nightmarish, and for the average pet owner, it is tough to provide the training necessary to produce an obedient dog.

5. Giving the dog mixed signals. The rules you set for your precious canine should always be enforced by you and every member of your family or you will be sending mixed signals. If you don’t want Fido on the chair, don’t invite him to sit on it with you because you want to pet or cuddle him, and then scold him later when he jumps on it.

6. Believing the dog is not listening to you. If you are going to correct the behavior of your four-legged buddy, you cannot do so in a playful manner. You have to let the animal know you are serious. Don’t tell doggie to stop barking while petting it.

7. Believing your dog is destructive. There are several things you can do here. First, don’t leave the items you cherish in places your dog can reach. Second, if the dog will be left alone for long periods of time, consider hiring a sitter, or taking it to a pet daycare. Third, you can crate the dog and do so with some training to get it used to the idea.

8. Not dog-proofing your home. There is lots of stuff in and around your home that can harm your pet: medications –yours and his, liquid detergent, bleach, other cleaners and chemicals. They should be kept out of reach.

9. Feeding Fido inappropriately. For optimum health, your dog needs a well-balanced diet.

10. Inconsistent with feeding times, toilet breaks, etc. Believe it or not, chaos is not the best thing for a dog. Order and structure are. It makes them comfortable and happy.

14th century work
14th century work | Source

Eleven More of the Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make

11. Not exercising your dog. Dogs need a good workout, especially if they are left alone for extended periods of time. Eating and lying around all day will cause them to gain weight. Exercise is also a way for them to be rid of repressed energies. A calm dog is a happy dog.

12. Not checking on your dog’s physical well-being often. You should observe doggie for potential changes in behavior such as eating habits, activity level, stress level, physical condition, and bathroom frequency. Changes may indicate ill-health and if caught quickly, could be rectified early.

13. Allowing your dog to roam freely. A leash actually protects your dog from danger or harm and you from being sued if it attacks someone or someone’s pet.

14. The poor dog is kept waiting to urinate or defecate. To avoid coming home to messes, make sure your dog goes before you leave the house, preferably at the same time(s) each day. Or, hire a dog sitter.

15. Encouraging the dog’s anxiety about your leaving home. Experts agree you should simply say Bye and leave instead of cuddling the animal and letting it know that you too are heartbroken to leave it alone.

16. Leaving Fido alone for long periods of time. Experts say leaving your dog by herself for six or more hours is too long. If you are unable to return before then, arrange for someone else to: a family member, a neighbor, a friend.

17. Leaving the dog out of the house for extended periods. It is an animal. It can find lots of ways to get into trouble and harm: finding a hole in the fence to go through, a diseased, decaying animal to play with or sniff, live animals to fight with, disturbing the neighbors with nuisance barking.

18. Purchasing or adopting a dog without forethought. Different breeds have different needs. They are not a one-dog-fits-all. The best dog-human relationships or partnerships are when its personality matches you and/ or your family’s lifestyle, and you are able to support its needs. So, before you buy or adopt that adorable pooch, do your homework. Find out all you can about the breeds that interests you. Research them on the Internet; talk to owners of the particular breed, veterinarians, breeders, and trainers. A purebred dog can have a lot of health issues. And a puppy will have more energy than an older dog.

19. Adopting a shelter dog or purchasing a puppy and expecting its’ behavior to remain the same. In the first instance, once the dog gets comfortable in your home, it will relax and display its real personality, which could be quite different from what you anticipated. That timid pooch can now act quite aggressively. Second, as a dog matures, DNA and the environment will determine its personality.

20. Negligent in updating your dog’s identification tags or microchip. Not much to say here, except current information will make finding you easier and quicker if your faithful companion gets lost.

21. Not getting pet insurance early. It is recommended that you get insurance while your buddy is still a healthy pup. If you wait until it becomes sick, you increase the potential of being denied.

Did you or are you making any of these mistakes? I know I am guilty.

Dog Owner Mistakes

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