Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes: A Guide for New Dog Owners

charlotte dog training play training tips Jun 11, 2024
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Welcoming a furry friend into your home is an exciting and rewarding experience. From those adorable puppy dog eyes to the wagging tail that greets you at the door, having a dog by your side can bring immense joy and companionship into your life. However, being a new dog owner also comes with challenges and responsibilities.

In this guide, we'll explore five common mistakes that many new dog owners make and provide valuable insights on how to avoid them. Whether you're preparing to bring home your first puppy or have recently welcomed a rescue dog into your family, understanding these pitfalls can help you navigate the journey of pet ownership with confidence and success.

1. Underestimating the Importance of Play

Some new dog owners underestimate the importance of teaching play. Most owners expect their new dog to instinctually understand the rules of the game or they don't realize that play is more complex than just grabbing a toy and throwing it out. Games played with dogs, like human sports, need established rules, boundaries and fair penalties. Play teaches your dog to practice restraint and impulse control in a fun way. This sets a stronger foundation for a well-behaved and obedient dog. Our course "Raising Your Dog The KeenDog Way" has numerous training modules that go over how to develop your dog's play through various games. You can use code KEENDOGFAMILY for 20% off!

2. Inadequate Socialization

Dogs need exposure to diverse environments, people, and other animals to develop proper social skills. Failure to socialize a dog properly can lead to fear, aggression, or anxiety issues later on. Proper socialization is key to a well-adjusted and happy canine companion. It is also important to note that socialization doesn't mean meeting every dog and person you encounter. It mostly means taking your dog out to various places to get them exposed at an early age to varying sights and stimuli. If you are concerned about your pup not being fully vaccinated, we highly recommend listening to The Canine Paradigm episode 57: "It's Me, Isn't It?"

3. Neglecting Exercise Needs

Many new dog owners overlook the importance of regular exercise for their furry companions. Dogs require physical activity to maintain their health, prevent obesity, and release excess energy. A lack of exercise can lead to behavioral problems, health issues, and behavior issues. Remember, mental stimulation is equally as important as physical exercise.

4. Improper Diet and Nutrition

Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your dog's overall health and well-being. Some new owners may unknowingly feed their dogs inappropriate foods or overfeed them, leading to obesity or nutritional deficiencies. Consult with your breeder, rescue group, or vet to ensure you're feeding your dog a diet that meets their specific needs.

5. Not Addressing Behavioral Issues Sooner

We often overlook undesirable behavior in puppies because it's cute or funny when they’re little. It could be your dog hiding behind you and barking, getting a little feisty during food time, or even playing the "catch me if you can" game in the backyard. There is a balance between being firm but fair. You need to give your new dog a little grace, but ignoring or even reinforcing behavior only leads to bigger issues later. Remember, your dog should enhance your life, not hinder it.

Save yourself some time and money by seeking training help early on through resources like our YouTube channel, our online courses or in-person training packages. Everyone deserves a KeenDog – a dog who is eager to please and work with you, not for you. By addressing behavior issues sooner rather than later, you can pave the way to a harmonious and fulfilling relationship with your four-legged friend.



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