There are several things we as puppy parents unintentionally do that mess with our dogs’ emotions. No matter how hard we try in our effort to be perfect, some of our human ways can lead to one confused pup. And sending mixed signals to our pups will make them more likely to misbehave. But is it really bad behavior, or just bad communication?
Here are fifteen common puppy-parenting missteps you can easily avoid.
1. “COME HERE NOW!”
How many of you have called to your dog and a wild west standoff ensues? Well, what exactly are you calling them for? We often expect our pups to come even when they know there’s no incentive to do so. Instead, ensure that “come” works every time by rewarding your dog with a puppy party every time they obey this all-important command.
The key-word here is reward. Puppy parties should involve anything your dog finds rewarding–a nice belly rub, a yummy treat, their favorite toy, etc. The key-word here isreward. Unless your dog absolutely, 100 % lives to take a bath, a puppy party should not involve bath-time. They most certainly won’t want to come when called if they’re punished once they get to you.
Never punish your dog for coming when called. Even if your dog is coming back after an hour-long escapade through the neighborhood, they still get a puppy party. Remember to always issue a recall command with a pleasant tone and a smile on your face; no dog wants to come running to an angry tone and a scowling face.
2. Jump Around
Do not allow your dog to jump on guests, period. Even if you have a friend that insists “Oh it’s okay! I’m a dog person!” don’t allow your dog to jump up and greet them. Your pup doesn’t know the difference between a twenty-year-old who is a “dog person” and seventy-five-year-old Grandpa who just had a hip replacement.
If you have a dog that jumps, warn your guest before they come over. Ask your guests to turn away from your dog and ignore them until your pup is sitting quietly. Teach your dog that they get lovin’ when all four paws are on the floor, and not before.
3. Rubbing Their Nose In It
Rewarding your dog for going potty outside is an integral first step to house training. A key part of house training your dog, however, is preventing indoor accidents from happening in the first place. Yelling at your dog, rubbing their nose in their mess, or giving them a spanking doesn’t teach your dog to potty outside—it teaches him to be fearful of you and to have those accidents out of sight. (And come on, you paid good money for those bath rugs.)
While house-training, Tinkling Tucker should always be within sight and constantly monitored. Kennel your dog or puppy while you can’t monitor them, keep them on a leash, or if they are small, have them in your lap while you are on the couch or at the computer. Don’t wait for your dog or puppy to do the potty dance or assume the squat position—set your dog up for success and offer your pup plenty of opportunities to go potty in the right place.
4. Playing Fast And Loose With Leash Rules
Pulling on the leash is inherently rewarding for dogs. Why? Because it gets them where they are going. Don’t allow your dog to strain the leash and drag you from place to place. If your dog is pulling, make like a tree and stand still. Once the leash relaxes and your dog is looking at you, continue your walk.