5 Common Mistakes Dog Owners Make

It's an exciting time when there's a new puppy in the house. It takes some time to get used to one another and it's often not the first instinct to start training the puppy. Common sense takes you a long way, but you might want to consider these five Most Common Mistakes people make with their new dog. 

Avoid these and you'll have a happy well-behaved puppy that trusts you.

1. Saying "no"

With puppies we often find ourselves saying no to everything and after a while the word loses its meaning to the dog. 
  • Use more distracting than saying "no": show them what they can do. Especially when it comes to young dogs that have a strong urge to chew on things, it's good to have a toy or a bone nearby and use them to distract the doggo from ruining your favourite heels.
  • When you say "no" always conclude, giving up will have the same effect as repeating and the word won't be a negative anymore.
  • And don't use "no" with the dog's name or as a synonym for their name, you wouldn't want to be called "No" either, would you? 

2. Backing Bad Behaviour

We often reinforce bad behaviour unknowingly. Puppies are adorable and know how to use those puppy-eyes, they might be confused and are often impatient. But those are not good reasons to bend the boundaries. Consistency decreases stress and builds trust and respect towards the owner.
  • So don't give them food, open the door et cetera, when they bark or give them attention when they make noise, pee on the floor or chew on shoes. 

3. Delaying Training

It's a well-meant idea that the puppy has to get used to their new family and settle in before the training starts. But did you know your puppy learns more new things during the first 12 weeks of their life than during the rest of their life combined. So may want to reconsider starting to train your puppy as soon as they come home. Of course they need time and patience after they can be expected to act a certain way, but you want to start guiding them towards that right away. Check 5 Life Skills to Teach your puppy and 5 Simple Commands, that will go a long way! 

4. Being Protective

The world around can seem terrifying when you have a tiny puppy to take care of but often our natural protective instincts will cause more harm than good.
  • Picking up your puppy when they face new things or situations that may scare them makes the puppy fearful and unsociable. 
  • You don't want to console your dog when faced with fireworks or other loud sounds. That will make them more anxious because they'll think something must be wrong for you to show fear and console them. 

5. Punishing Too Late

Your dog may look ashamed when you come home to a destroyed pile of shoes or a half eaten roast but they are only reacting to your rebuking gestures. Don't punish your dog if you don't catch them in the act. If the bad behaviour takes place when you are not there, you can test the dog for example by going to the other room with food left on the table and sneaking up on them to rebuke. 

  • Punishing has to happen together with the behaviour or they won't get it
  • You don't want to punish your pup for potty training accidents, or they might start seeking attention by repeating the behaviour. Just ignore the accident, clean it up quickly and reward them when they go outside. 
  • Best ways to punish a dog is to: distract with a loud noise such as a yell or a clap, back the "no" with quickly ignoring them, time-out, vinegar/water squirt bottle, briefly grabbing their fur from the neck if you catch them right in the act, pushing a puppy on their side as a sign of dominance,

Keep these five tips and mistakes in mind, don't be too hard on you or your puppy and you'll do great!

Happy Training from Woolly Wolf! 


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