Owning a dog is a fantastic experience, especially if it is your first time. However, on occasion, many new owners want to spoil and please their prize pooch as much as possible, and this can lead to some bad dog habits. So if you want your puppy to grow into a healthy well behaved dog, avoid these common mistakes.


1. Don’t wait until your puppy is a little older to start training

Many people leave it far too late before they actually start training their puppy, and they then wonder why they have a rebellious dog on their hands. The fact is that you should begin training and giving your dog structure from day one, not six months, not a year, but from day one. Many dogs need guidelines to become a healthy balanced dogs. Without instructions, your puppy will start developing some very bad habits.


2. He’s not Fat He’s just Big Boned

Obesity is becoming a huge problem not just for humans but for dogs too. Everyone wants to treat their pooch, and that’s fine, but there is a fine line between giving treats and overfeeding.  Treats are a great way to get your dog into new training habits, but once they understand your commands, reward them with praise, play, or a toy, so they don’t expect a treat each time. You’ll be surprised how happy they will be to receive a tennis ball for doing something right, and their little tail will be wagging away frantically.


3. Not giving enough Physical and Mental Exercise

Every dog needs exercise, and this means a daily walk, no matter the weather. However, certain breeds may need more exercise than others. Something else that is overlooked is a mental exercise. Playing fetch is a simple activity to focus your dog’s mental attention. Also, Kong does a great range of toys for mental stimulation. If you want to test your pooch a little more, a game of hiding and seek can be great fun for the whole family.


3. Leaving a Dog with Children

You occasionally hear horror stories of children or babies being bitten by the family pet. These upsetting stories were probably not an attack but more an act of playfulness, where a puppy has got carried away. Young children also tend to poke or hit dogs with no harm meant, but this can provoke a bite. So always supervise any play or activities between your children and your dog (up to the age where they can play responsibly with your dog), and never leave a child alone with a dog.


5. Not researching the breed enough

One of the most common mistakes new dog owners make is they don’t do enough research into a dog breed before heading to a breeder or re-homing center. They ultimately end up owning a dog that doesn’t suit their home, living arrangements, or lifestyle. There is a wide variety of breeds, sizes, and temperaments to consider, so before you buy or adopt a dog, have a good think about your house size, children, allergies, other household pets. Also, look closely at general traits. Although all dogs are different, you can get a good idea of health and temperament by looking at the characteristics of the breed. 


6. Spoiling the Dog

Giving your dog prime cuts of meat, giving them food from your plate, or letting them sleep in your bed is one of the worst dog habits you can create and will lead to a seriously spoilt pooch. A spoilt dog is a difficult dog. You will find you’ll have a fussy eater, a dog that snatches food from your plate and will have difficulty sleeping. Throw a jealous, aggressive, or nervy dog into that mix, and you have a recipe for disaster. The easiest way to avoid this is to stop it before it even starts. Otherwise, you will seriously regret it.


7. Not grooming enough

Regular grooming is a necessity for every dog. No matter what size or breed, pretty much every dog will need some kind of grooming at some point. Some breeds require more grooming than others; also, some breeds may need to go to a professional for a regular groom. Your dog must be groomed to avoid health issues and skin problems, and it will also help you bond with your dog.


8. Not properly socializing the dog

A puppy that has not been appropriately socialized by four months can grow into a shy, fearful adult dog. To properly socialize your puppy, you need to gradually introduce them to new experiences and reward them with a positive tone ‘good boy/girl’, a pat on the head, or a treat. However, if your puppy appears frightened of any experience, calmly leave the scene without reacting or making a fuss.

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