Dog trainer Jacob Morgan, from Yorkshire Canine Academy, shares the three common mistakes new dog owners make when they get a puppy – including the one thing you should avoid doing in the park
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
It can be very daunting and exhausting when you get a dog for the first time.
From walking, feeding and playing to teaching them basic commands, puppy parenthood is a lot of work.
But knowing some of the pesky common mistakes many new owners make can save you a lot of frustration.
Dog trainer, Jacob Morgan, founder of the Yorkshire Canine Academy, shares three common mistakes made by pet parents – with the top one being letting them off the lead too early.
Jacob said: “Puppies can lure us into a false sense of security as their natural instinct is to follow us wherever we go, so many owners let puppies off a lead on walks.
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“But things can take a turn at around six months of age when they develop more confidence and want to go off and explore.
“This is why we’d recommend keeping them on a long line.
“You can let it out and take it in as you need to, but it will ensure you have full control of where your pup goes and what it encounters, helping you to keep practicing their recall technique in much more of a safe environment.”
The second common mistake regularly made by dog owners is choosing the wrong breed for their lifestyle.
Jacob explained: “So many people buy breeds and don’t fulfill their natural instincts, and this causes behavioral problems later down the line.
“Collies need a focus just like they would on a farm, Huskies need to run and Labradors need to retrieve, it’s in their DNA.
“Making sure you can dedicate the time every day to meeting those needs by substituting those typical roles of that breed is so important.
“If you can’t make that commitment, let go of your dream breed and be prepared to choose one that will be happy with you.”
The third error owners often make is not socializing and exposing their puppies to enough people and environments at a young age.
Jacob said: “Between eight and 16 weeks is a key developmental time for your puppy and as owners it’s our job to show them all sorts of experiences, environments and people they may encounter in the future.
“This helps to avoid them feeling anxious or unsure if they were to be exposed to this situation for the first time when they are older.
“Try to get out and about with your puppy as much as you can during this time to get them used to different sounds, smells and textures.
“If you’re walking them in a busy town you’re probably going to get lots of people trying to stroke them, so this is a great opportunity to reinforce your training to help your puppy focus on you instead of all these distractions.
“Vets typically recommend waiting a week after second vaccinations before going out, so you can always take them out in a carrier or areas away from other dogs before this.”
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