5 Problems to Avoid While Owning a Dog
Owning a dog can be a huge commitment. Not only do they require a lot of time and attention, but a dog depends on you being the responsible party in this newly forged relationship. The quicker you accept this increase in responsibility, the easier it will be for you to avoid any emerging problems along the way. If you’ve just gotten a dog for the first time, here are five problems to avoid while owning a dog.
Without establishing some form of regular obedience into your dog’s life, you will be setting yourself up for a dog owner’s worse nightmare. Being that a dog is a pack animal, it is always looking for ways to take control of the situation and be the dominant member of this new relationship. It is your primary responsibility as a dog owner to never allow that to happen, both for your safety and for your ability to ensure that everything with your experience of owning a dog runs smoothly. A secret few dog owners know is that virtually all problems you will face with your dog stem from whether or not you took the time to train your pup to be obedient or not. Consequently, it is a smart dog owner who enrolls their dog in obedience classes, reads up on the subject to obtain a fuller insight into how to better communicate with your dog and learns proper techniques for laying down the rules you expect your dog to obey.
While you may not have thought this through before getting a dog, you must be aware that your dog has daily exercise needs. In fact, savvy dog owners live by the motto that a tired dog is a good dog. In other words, when your dog’s exercise needs are being met, this tends to reduce the chances of your dog seeking to entertain itself in other mischievous ways. Additionally, proper exercise also wards off some health problems for you and your dog down the road.
Whoever controls the food is going to be in control of the dog. If you allow your dog to eat anything he wants—any time he wants—then you are setting yourself up for an endless array of behavioral problems. By only feeding your dog its meals and treats in a controlled way, you are telling him that his access to food is solely dependent on your providing it with this basic need, which makes food and treats the single most important point of leverage you have and should use to control your dog’s behavior. Failure to understand how a dog thinks about food can lead to issues of food aggression or food anxiety with your dog that should be avoided whenever possible. One technique that is key is to get into a habit of feeding your dog at the same time every day to help prevent your dog from becoming unruly in your home. Always remember, treats and meals are better appreciated by your dog when they are earned by a show of good behavior from your dog, not when the dog is allowed access to food any time it wants.
It is only natural for a dog to want to chew on things. The moment you turn your back, there is no end to the damage your dog will do to the things laying around your house or apartment. While it is not practical to spray bitter or spicy hot flavors on every item you own to discourage the chewing habit—an approach that does not always resolve the problem–you must still take measures to save your possessions from the chewing habits of an unruly dog. One way to keep your belongings out of your dog’s mouth is to crate your dog to restrict his access and prevent turning all your possessions into chew toys. Furthermore, chewing problems are a matter of obedience training like any other behavioral issue, and using the proper praise and correction techniques will help to orient your dog to not chew on everything in sight.
Obey the Leash Law
There are always dog owners who imagine that the leash law does not apply to them. As a result, these owners have little to no way of preventing their dog from running out into traffic and causing accidents. In our modern era, the unsuspecting dog owners are often unaware that they are the ones who are fully liable for the damages in such situations. Another common problem dog owners face by not obeying the leash law is when their dog chases after another person and bites them: a situation that is entirely avoidable when a dog is leashed up and properly handled by their owner. Again, by just obeying the leash law, the vast majority of these dog owners could easily avoid a dog bite lawsuit and keep their dog and others safe in the process.
As you can see, owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Your dog utterly depends on you to provide him with his basic needs and to bring structure into his life. Anything less leads to an endless array of behavioral problems that could spell trouble for you and your dog. Since you want to be an enlightened dog owner, you will take action to ensure that your dog is obedient, healthy and safe, with you as the respected Alpha of their pack which is overseeing the situation.
“5 Problems to Avoid While Owning a Dog”
GUEST AUTHOR: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write about women’s interests and the home niches. She lives in Arizona with her husband, three beautiful daughters and a spunky Jack Russell Terrier who makes life interesting.
OTHER ARTICLES BY DIXIE:
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- Animal Allergies: 5 Helpful Things Pet Owners Should Know
- Pregnant Cat? 5 Ways to Make Her Feel More Comfortable
- 5 Tips on Training Your Dog Not to Bite
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