Let’s be honest, few people take training courses before getting a dog or another pet. So, everything they learn in the process is new to them, hence many mistakes. Unfortunately, there are even those who take in a pet when they have no time to take care of them properly. Some even manage to get a dog while still studying at university, which is not always a good idea.
The thing is, students are not the people that can boast of much free time. A lot of them struggle to meet deadlines without using help from EssayPro.com writers. And after having read this article, you will understand that even without having to write a bunch of essays, it is not easy to have a dog. Yet, it is manageable if you know some secrets, tips, and tricks. And if you are a first-time dog owner, make sure you know them to start on the right foot with your pet!
All Dogs Need Everyday Outdoor Activities
Whether you got yourself a chihuahua or a Central Asian shepherd, you must play with it outside, let it discover the world, and, what is more important, socialise. Just sitting on a bench near your house is not enough.
Your pet should move, run, and jump. In other words, it should discharge after eating all those meals and treats. Otherwise, at best, your four-legged friend will drive you mad by ruining your house and begging for your attention every now and then. At worst, it will get ill and depressed. So, at least one hour of walking and active play is a must every day.
Dogs Do Not Magically Understand People
Some people tend to think that dogs understand everything one may tell them. According to this belief, if you shout at Barney saying, ‘you ruined my favourite shoes, I spent a fortune on them!’ as you come home and see the crime scene, then Barney will:
- get every word of yours
- feel ashamed for ruining exactly these shoes, not the ones you keep forgetting to throw away
- memorise that you have also worked hard to buy those shoes
- feel remorse for upsetting you
- maybe even cook you dinner to apologise
Yet, no one expects the latter, right? No one gets shocked when they find out a dog can’t recite poetry or iron some clothes for them in the morning. Well, the point is, for a dog, all those things are as hard to do as remembering trashing your shoes 30 seconds ago. So, whatever you tell them, they will not analyse your complaints, looking around and trying to get what it is that upsets you.
Neither will they feel shame, which is an abstract thing – and it is biologically impossible for dogs to imagine things, feel regret about past mistakes, or worry about the future. It is about us, people.
So, dogs are not analytical creatures and can’t understand why you are angry with them, but what are those cute eyes and lowered ears about when you express your anger? Those are the signals sent to make peace with you. The rest of the reactions, like hiding from an object you threw at your pet once, are the result of associative flow and fear.
You Are the Protector
Outside, you should be someone your dog can rely on. It is easy to feel like that person at home, but outside, dogs may see a lot of hazards even when there are no such. Your dog may get nervous when seeing an open car or a dog with its tail standing upright. The key is to always keep eye contact with your dog. Every time it looks at you, nod peacefully or say ‘good girl.’
If someone asks to pat your dog, do not just let them do it – your pet should ‘allow’ it. If it is aggressive or avoids that person, do explain that your pet is not in the mood and do not let the person touch it anymore. The same goes for other dogs – some may be too intrusive, so you will need to stand as a ‘shield’ between the stranger and your friend for the latter to feel safe with you.
Any Dog Can Bite Anybody
‘Does it bite?’ – you might hear this question quite often as a dog owner. And the truth is every dog bites. Those are the conditions that differ. For instance, when being snuggled, one will do nothing but submit to fate, the second one will, in panic, try to escape, and the third one will chew on your hand.
The main thing to mind is that normally, dogs warn others that they are about to snap by snarling and showing teeth. If this signal is ignored, any further insisting will not end well.
It Needs Personal Space
As said above, dogs warn you when they are about to bite you. Basically, what they ask for is to back off and respect their personal space. Some dogs may panic and hide when seeing the ‘intruder.’ That is why they need a cage or a dog house where they feel safe. That way, if you, for example, invite a lot of people over for a party, it will not be that stressful for your pet as it will stay in its fortress where no one will touch them.
Also, do not encroach on its personal belongings. Your dog will not trust you if you just take its toys from its bed or take them away to punish them. It is just like living in a dorm with another student – who will fancy someone using their belongings without asking for permission, at least?
Do Not Ever Rail At Your Dog For Potty Problems
When you see your fluffy Diane peeing on the floor or worse, do not make a scene out of it. If it is a puppy, just get down to potty training and laud your small companion every time it does everything right.
If it is a grown-up dog, it might be the case that there is stress or illness, but be sure your dog did not do that from malice – there are still many people who think otherwise. It is not in dogs’ nature to make a mess where they live. Scolding your dog because of not going to the toilet as expected will only add to the stress, not solve the problem.
Consider Not Railing At All
Of course, no one is perfect. Sooner or later, you will get angry and shout at your dog for no strong reason – it might be just a bad day, getting a grade that does not really meet your academic goals, or having a row with someone. In a bad mood, one might get annoyed over any little thing like straining at the leash.
The main point is to let it pass and make peace – breathe in, breathe out, and scratch your fellow’s ears. That should be enough. However, whenever it is possible, do not rail at your dog. There is little to no use for it, and in the end, it is just you and your fellow ending up in a bad mood.
Positive Reinforcement Does Magic
So, if there is no sense in shouting at your dog, trying to make it feel ashamed, and railing at it (unless you caught it in action), how do you make it behave? Well, there are two types of dogs: the first type will do whatever you need them to if you give them a treat, and the second one will do the same for a toy. And the first step is to find out which type your dog belongs to.
The second step is to remember that there is a better effect from praising your four-legged friend – that is called positive reinforcement. And the third step is to train yourself to take note of every time when your pet does something right and actually praise it by giving it a toy or some food. Yes, before training your own dog, you should first train yourself.
These are the eight tips you will find useful if you are a first-time dog owner. Truth be said, some of them will be total news, even for dog owners with experience. So, if you can clearly see that one’s methods of dog parenting are not effective and the person is desperate, share the tips you have just read!