There is no love quite like puppy love. That little bundle of fur with the soulful eyes can do no wrong until suddenly that baby isn’t so little anymore, but a gangly teenager that gets into mischief at every turn. These changes are sometimes difficult to anticipate even for experienced dog owners as different dogs exhibit different combinations of behaviors. Most dog owners are surprised to learn the degree to which they themselves have contributed to their dog’s misbehavior. See if you perhaps have unknowingly made some of these mistakes.
Acting as If Your Dog Is Human
Many dogs are so intuitive that their owners can be forgiven for thinking that they’re four-legged people. However, dogs operate according to an entirely different set of rules from their human counterparts. They live fully in the moment and are a product of their genetics as well as conditioning. The act of attributing human characteristics to one’s dog is called anthropomorphism, and nearly everybody does it to some degree. Nevertheless, it helps predispose a canine-human relationship for success when the human remembers that the dog is in fact, a pack animal, and behaves accordingly.
Not Setting or Keeping Appropriate Rules
Take some time while your pup is still young and consider the type of dog you’d like him to be as an adult. Then, start shaping him to become that dog. Although puppies have short attention spans, they have a prodigious capacity for learning and can be taught even complex chains of behavior at a young age. Consult with a professional dog training firm like Go Anywhere Dog puppy training if you are a novice trainer or are unsure of the behaviors you’d like your adult dog to exhibit. A good general rule to follow is this: If you don’t want your adult dog to get on your furniture or jump up on your guests, then don’t permit it in your puppy.
Failing to Give Your Dog Enough Exercise
Dogs need plenty of appropriate exercise, and just because they have a fenced yard doesn’t mean that they exercise in it. It is the responsibility of the dog’s person to create regular opportunities for the dog to be active. Dogs enjoy walking, running, hiking, and swimming as much as people do and receive the same health benefits from being active. By teaching your dog to retrieve a thrown object, such as a ball, stick, or disc, even people with physical limitations can see to it that their dog gets the exercise it needs. With exercise, common behavior problems often disappear or become easier to solve.
Forgetting to Provide a Safe Space and a Schedule
Two additional provisions that will go a long way towards ameliorating any behavior problems before they start are a safe space, aka crate, and a schedule. Every dog should have a place to which he can retreat when the activities of the family become overwhelming. Knowing what to expect, aka being fed and walked at the same times each day, not only helps keep the dog’s digestive system regular but also helps him to know what comes next, and therefore, what is expected of him.
Every dog is different, but their needs are basically the same. By taking the time to attend to your dog’s needs you will end up with a well-trained, well-behaved dog that you can take with you anywhere without concern for what he might do. Provide your puppy with what he needs to become a good dog and you’ll have a dog of whom you can be proud.