When you bring a new pet home, a lot goes into getting it settled. From buying the right food, toys, and bedding to adjusting your pup to your regular lifestyle, the transition can be just as difficult as it is exciting. However, no matter how careful you are with these steps, there’s always the opportunity to make a few mistakes along the way—especially if this is your first time owning a dog. These are some of the most common mistakes new dog owners make and how to avoid them yourself in the weeks to come.
Failing To Research Your Specific Breed
There isn’t just one type of dog. Though most puppies have the same developmental cycle, their temperaments and fundamental needs can vary depending on their specific breed. Unfortunately, many new dog owners fail to take this into account when buying their pets. Some breeds require more activity, while others must have a role to perform. Failing to meet these needs can lead to an unhappy and even destructive pet, so make sure you know all you can about your chosen breed before bringing it home.
Not Establishing House Rules
Forgetting to establish house rules for your pup is also a common mistake new dog owners make. Dogs, especially puppies, need a set of guidelines to follow if they’re going to mesh well with your home and family. These restrictions ensure that they behave appropriately in certain situations and aren’t causing unnecessary damage to your property. Not setting rules now can make it harder to correct bad habits later in your dog’s life.
Waiting Too Long To Start Training
It’s another common error to wait to start their official obedience training. The best age to start your pup’s training is around the time it becomes adoptable, between seven and eight weeks old. Puppies are the most malleable during this period, so if you put it off, you’ll find that it progressively becomes harder to teach your dog certain commands and behaviors.
Forgetting To Socialize Your Dog
Another mistake to avoid when raising your dog is not socializing it. Dogs are sociable animals by nature, but they aren’t always super friendly right away. Your puppy might be afraid of people or other dogs at first, making it difficult for you to be around strangers with it. By socializing it from an early age, though, you’ll help it learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of. This sets the stage for a happier, more rounded life as it ages.