There is a wide spectrum of dog owner types out there ranging from good to bad. If you aspire to be a good dog owner and truly value your furry companion, here are a few things you should never do.
Never Leave Your Dog In The Car Alone
In the warmer months a car essentially becomes a greenhouse. Even if you think you are going to be in the store for just a second, be careful because dogs can become overheated and sick, or worse. In the winter months, your car is still not a great place to leave your dog either because it is cold, and your dogs comfort and health are at just as much risk. When confined to small spaces for a duration, your dog can also become anxious.
If nothing else, consider the consequences for yourself, and your car. If you leave your dog in the car and someone else in the parking lot takes it upon themselves to do what you should have done, they wont be opening it with keys. You are risking legal action, as well as having to repair your window.
You wouldn’t leave your infant child in the car alone, and your dog should not be any different. They are powerless to open the door, turn the car on to adjust climate control, and you cannot always guarantee that you will not be in line longer than you thought etc.
Never Make Your Dog Live Outside Year Round
You may think that since dogs were once wild animals, and roamed the earth long before the first house was built that they were meant for the outside. Some dogs have the heavy coats to keep them warm outdoors even in the colder months, and that may be fine for wolves and wild dogs but many of the dogs bred today are not equipped for life on their own. Domestication has made dogs dependent on humans for companionship, food, water, and more. If your dog is always outside and receive no attention, they will likely resort to destructive behavior, and attempt escape. A wild dog or wolf is accustomed to freely roaming, and a dog in a cage in your back yard, even with a lead is likely to become bored.
Never Strike Your Dog
Striking your dog with your hand, foot or another object will always do more harm than good. It will hurt your dog, as well as your relationship with your dog. Hitting your dog can cause a slew of mental problems as they do not always understand why it is happening. They can begin to fear you and other people, and even react aggressively in kind if they fell insecure. If you make the argument that hitting your dog to protect a family member from getting bitten is okay, then it would be best to take a step back and see why they were hurting a human being to begin with. If you have not given them adequate training, or the person was mistreating your dog then the dog is clearly not at fault. Making sure your dog is adequately trained and taken care of is your responsibility.
Never Berate Your Dog
If your dog digs up the yard, searches the trashcan for treats, or uses the living room floor for a bathroom, you may feel the rage boil up inside of you and decide to give your dog a speech. This complex string of words may seem simple enough to you, and may make you feel better, but it will only confuse your dog and cause stress. If your dog is behaving in a frustrating way, the best response is to seek out an experienced dog trainer in Pittsburgh to eliminate these behaviors, and show you the proper commands and responses to keep them at bay for good.
Never Reinforce Bad Habits (Even If They Are Funny)
If your dog is behaving poorly whether it is mistaking your friends for a mate, jumping on the couch, or growling at a statue, responding to these behaviors by petting them, or laughing at the behavior can show them that they get attention for behaving this way. Talk to an experienced dog trainer like Spitze K9 to help your dog receive proper training to get rid of bad habits. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two yourself!
Never Self Diagnose and Treat Your Dog
You may read an article about why your dog is behaving a certain way, or why their bodily functions are different than normal and assume that you can save some money by doing what the article says. You may even find that some human medicine you already have can be used in doses fit for a dog, and choose to go that route. You may be right in a given scenario, but is it worth the risk? Unless you have been told directly by an experienced, qualified veterinarian to do something in a specific scenario, there can be multiple reasons why your dog is behaving a certain way, and treating based on a faulty home diagnosis is always a possibility, and why we encourage regular vet visits.
Never Give Your Dog Alcohol
If your dog has a small drop of wine the you accidently spilled, likely this will not be a reason to rush them to the ER. However some dog owners notice that their dogs like the sweet taste of alcohol and in a moment of alcohol fueled lack of inhibition of their own, they will permit them to drink, maybe even make a joke that in dog years they are 21, and then later on their dog has diarrhea, is vomiting, or worse. Some drink mixers contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs in minuscule amounts.
Never Give Up On Dog Training
If you have taken your dog to training classes, and they haven’t worked, or the results don’t last, then you may need to try a different trainer, or do a better job yourself at consistency after the training session is over. Two years of bad behavior will not be undone in a two week training session if you are not willing to continue in the manner instructed by your trainer afterwards. If you were not given homework by your trainer, then you should find a new one. A good dog trainer will set the owner and the dog up for success and give them the tools to continue training at home.
Never Forget to Give Them Their Own Space
Your dog may be by your side 24/7 and that may work for both of you but since dogs are territorial in nature it is good for them to have a space set aside where they can go to be away from it all and not get messed with.
Don’t Skip Dog Training!
If your dog is new to the family, or bad behaviors do not pose a problem, you may be tempted to skip or postpone getting them trained. Even the most well behaved dogs expect leadership from their owners, and if they do not receive it they may decide to take charge on their own. Contact Spitze K9 to set your best friend up for success, and have a better relationship with your dog in the years to come! Call us today to find out about our training programs! We offer in home training, board and train programs and more!
Antonio has taken care of dogs since his youth and has worked with law enforcement agencies to train dogs in the US and Internationally as well as countless other pet dogs since he started Spitze K9.
He has been an established dog expert for years.