Having a dog is both a privilege and a responsibility. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the puppy dog eyes and kisses, as a pet owner, it’s your job to make sure you do the right things to ensure the health of your furry friend! However, it can be difficult to know exactly what to do to ensure that you are able to enjoy the benefits of being the owner to a happy and healthy pup. That said, it all starts with you! Here’s what you need to know about the top 5 habits of an effective dog owner.
1. Train Proactively
When you’re trying to introduce your dog to new, desirable habits such as staying quiet until you wake up and going to the bathroom in the correct place, it’s important to show your dog what you want them to do as well as react strongly to poor behavior. For example, when you’re coming in from a walk, waiting outside until your dog goes to the bathroom instead of going straight inside will help your dog form a natural, dependable rhythm.
2. Keep the End Goal in Mind
If you want your dog to stop barking whenever the mailman goes by, remember that they’re just reacting to an environmental stimulus and—unless you give them another option—that’s what they’re built to do! Instead, think along the lines of, “I want them to play or sit quietly when the mailman is here”—and train towards that, instead of simply reacting negatively when they bark.
3. Prioritize Perspective
If your dog has some less than desirable behaviors but is still safe, healthy, and non-dangerous towards other dogs and humans, then give them a little grace (especially if they’re puppies!).
4. Give Yourself and Your Dog Mutual Benefits
If you want your dog to do something, give your dog a benefit in return. Think beyond treating them every time they sit: if they’ve been great during a walk, reward them with snuggles and an extra-special dinner.
5. Understand First, Be Understood Second
Poor dog behavior is usually a result of fear, confusion, and anxiety on your dog’s part. If they’re acting out, they’re not happy! Seek to comfort and understand your dog if they’re misbehaving. When they learn they can trust you, they’ll start to shape up their errant ways and respond more to proactive training.
Sign up for Dog Training
It’s difficult to know if you are always doing the best for your dog to ensure that they are well-behaved and healthy. That said, getting some assistance from an expert can make all the difference! At Canine College, we offer a variety of dog training classes to teach your dog essential commands, behaviors and skills. We’ll also give you tips on how to help your puppy continue to learn at home. Get in contact with us today to learn more and sign up!