Whether you’re thinking about getting a dog or you’ve already got one, there’s a whole new world of things that you should know and learn if you want to be a good owner for your new four-legged friend.
It doesn’t matter if your dog is big or small, these are 9 things you should absolutely know if you’re a new dog owner.
1. Exercise is important for your dog
Not many people know this, but most of the early-stage problem behavior stems from lack of exercise. If your dog is overflowing with energy, he will start chewing on your shoes and curtains, barking at every little sound and being a general nuisance.
If your dog does any of these things, chances are that you are not exercising him enough.
Running and walking is one of the things your dog enjoys doing the most so plan at least 1 hour of these activities per day. If you can’t find the time to do it yourself, please get a professional dog walker or someone you know to do it for you.
Once your dog is worn out, he will be an angel at home and will love you all the more.
2. Be prepared for emergencies before they happen
Chances are that if you’ve never owned a dog, you don’t know how your local vet clinics work. If something bad happens, you don’t want to be spending time looking for the nearest vet clinic that is open at 3 am.
Research your local vet clinics, note the times when they’re open, what they can and can’t treat and write down addresses and phone numbers in a neat cheat sheet that you can stick to your refrigerator.
That way, if something bad does happen, you’ll be ready to act fast and save time which you may need.
3. Make your living space safe for your dog
Never keep food out in the open, even on cupboards – your dog will get to it even if you think that he won’t. If they want something, don’t underestimate their ability to get it.
Keep your shoes locked away, socks in drawers and any objects your puppy could hurt itself with – as far away as possible. Your puppy will be curious in his new place so every corner and item will be sniffed.
Please research on toxic things to dogs. They cannot eat all human foods like chocolate, grapes, fruits with seed e.g. watermelon seeds, etc.
Please don’t try to “spice” up a bland chicken breast with onions and/or garlic, because that is toxic. Make list of all foods toxic to your dog and stick it to your fridge to be extra safe.
Potty training your dog can be challenging and frustrating, but this tip could help with that.
As a general rule of thumb, you can leave a puppy alone one hour for each month it’s been alive. So if your dog is only 2 months old you shouldn’t go more than 2 hours between taking it out.
5. Think about your dog’s needs
What do you think will happen if you would be stuck in a space with no means to exercise or have mental activities? You would have no walks, no sports, no internet, no Netflix, no phone calls, no video games, no books, or anything else.
All you can do is lay around, sleep all day, and wait for someone to have time to take out outside for a quick walk. Maybe they’ll also have a couple of minutes of conversations or playing with you. How would this make you feel?
This is, in essence, how most dogs live. Plenty of them get very limited activities like playtime, games, puzzle toys, and exercises. Studies show that dogs that don’t receive the mental and physical biological needs can develop behavior problems. Some of these problems can be a lack of focus, hyperactivity, excessive chewing and barking, a lack of impulse control, and more.
What’s even worse, most owners fail to identify these problems and associate them with a lack of exercise and mental activity.
Do your dog a favor and make sure they get all the activities needed for mental and physical health. Make a plan and stick to it, and you’ll have a happier dog that is easier to train.
6. Give your dog plenty of affection and attention
There are some trainers and owners that still believe expressing signs of affection to your dog is not a good thing. The faulty thinking here is that you need to show your superiority and only demonstrate your affection sparingly. Don’t buy into this false premise.
Now we know that the relationship we have with our dog is very important because we need a strong bond if we also want to see eagerness for compliance. A dog that receives the love and attention they need will look forward to spending time with you, and they will comply with the discipline you will ask from them.
This doesn’t mean you should give love and attention at the expense of rules, discipline, and accountability. You have to find a balance.
There are times when you need to be firm, and there are times when you need to be warm.
7. Learn your dog’s habits and behaviors
If someone asks you things about your loved ones, you would probably know more about them than you think. What makes them happy, what makes them fearful, what are the things that make them stressed.
You know what buttons you can push to encourage them to do something good or to stop them from doing something bad. Your dog deserves the same level of thoughtfulness when it comes to learning their behavior.
If you know how your dog reacts when feeling happy, sad, or stressed and what triggers those reactions, you can better anticipate situations and you’ll be able to better comfort and educate them.
But these things should be learned from thoughtful observations, not from guesswork or your biased interpretation. You need to deposit the effort to learn everything you need to know about your furry friend.
Each dog has their own personality and emotional reactions, so they are unique in their way. Even if they are not able to communicate verbally, they can certainly communicate with you with their behavior.
This tip will give you a sense of control, peace of mind, and it will set you apart from the average owner.
Socialization is the act of properly introducing your dog to everything you can. By properly I mean doing it by creating a positive association on each encounter. This doesn’t mean throwing your dog on any situation imaginable, because that can backfire on you.
When it comes to socialization, quality is more important than quantity.
And if possible, do it as your dog is young, because older dogs have a harder time adapting to new things. Some experts estimate that socialization should happen in the first 12 to 16 weeks of life. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it if your dog is older, but you will need more patience with it.
A well-socialized dog is comfortable with familiar places, people, and situations they encounter regularly. That will result in a minimal amount of discomfort and stress when you take your dog somewhere.
If you move from a less crowded area to a more crowded one, your dog might have trouble adjusting to the new environment and the new level of stimulants around them. So make sure that you take your time and slowly adjust your dog to the new place, without putting too much pressure.
9. Train your dog from the start
Not only training your dog is the best way to grow a bond between you two, it seriously makes life that much easier with your dog. Even if you have a small breed, you should train! I can bet that more than once you’ve seen a crazy Chihuahua who’s barking like crazy. Imagine that you could just say “quiet” and the dog stopped barking, just like that.
It’s easy to get angry with your untrained dog, but please do NOT treat your dog in a way that you would not want to be treated. Do not yell, and most importantly do not hit your dog. The only type of contact your hands SHOULD be making with your new pup is for those between the ear deep scratches, belly scratches, etc. You get my gist, only for cuddling and loving the lil pup!
Positive reinforcement is 1000x more valuable than negative. Dog’s only goal is to learn and make you proud of them. If they make a mess on your floor, it’s easy to want to yell at them to make them know they did something wrong; but if the dog feels anxiety because they made you mad, it’s very difficult for them to learn correct behavior.
Positive reinforcement training is the most effective training you can do – the main philosophy is that instead of punishing for bad behavior, you highly praise them when they do something right. This way, they’ll learn the correct behavior much faster and love you for it, not fear you.
If you’re serious about training your puppy, I highly recommend trying out “Brain training for dogs”.
It’s a comprehensive guide with easy to follow exercises that take you through all the training phases starting from house and potty training all the way up to obedience training. This guide will also help you correct problem-behaviors like peeing in house, barking at other dogs and strangers, and more.
You’ll be surprised by how fast your puppy can learn with proper training and guidance!
Click on this link to get a special discount: https://caninelearn.com/Dogtrain