5 Mistakes to Avoid When Bringing a Dog into the Family
Many homeowners decide it would be fun to have a dog, only to dump him a few months later because he simply doesn’t fit into their lifestyle, and with more than 1,000 dogs a year in Australia taken in by dog rescue facilities, you really do need to be sure that getting a dog is the right decision. Here are some of the most common mistakes that people make when introducing a dog into their living space.
- Choosing the Wrong Breed – This is an easy thing to do, especially if you bring a small puppy into your life and do not realise just how big and demanding he will become. You can usually tell how big a puppy will grow by looking at his paws (big dogs have unusually large paws when small), and by doing some online research into the breed, you should be well-prepared for anything.
- Lack of Exercise – This is the main cause of bad behaviour with a dog, and the bigger the dog, the more exercise he needs. If you are not one for country walks and enjoying the great outdoors, you would be advised to opt for a small breed, as they need less exercise. When a dog has the right amount of exercise, he will sleep a lot, especially after a long session, and his behaviour will not be negatively impacted. There are companies that offer Australian pet insurance, which will cover a portion of your vet bills, plus any emergency surgery he might need.
- Little or No Training – A puppy is like a very young child, in as much as he does not understand correct behaviour, rather it has to be taught in the right way. Inconsistent behaviour on the part of the owner will just confuse the dog, and you should avoid using any physical punishment, as this tells the dog it is OK to be aggressive. Dogs are incredibly good at sensing a human’s emotions, and a scowl is all it takes to make him understand that you are not happy with him. You can use both affection and chewy treats as a motivator when training, and remember to keep your behaviour on a consistent level at all times.
- Not Prepared to Make Sacrifices – If you think that having a dog means you can make him fit in with your lifestyle, think again, because there are sacrifices that you have to make. You might not feel like taking him out for his morning walk, yet you must, and there will be times when you have to change your plans to fit with your pet. Dogs can be very demanding, and if you think this might be a problem, choose a breed that is low maintenance and always remember that things like exercise cannot be overlooked, even for a small breed.
- Getting a Dog for the Wrong Reasons – If you are thinking it might be fun to take him out now and then, think again, as owning a dog comes with many responsibilities.
If you are well-prepared and fully understand the level of commitment, your new four-legged family member will bring you much pleasure and enjoyment for many years to come.