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hey guys, so I was thinking about writing a series of "new dog owner" posts and this one naturally came to mind. So I figured, what better way to come up with a good list of 10 then to ask df.com.

So what are some of the worst mistakes new dog owners make?
 

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Just from watching people with their dogs outside, everyone seems to assume dogs understand full English sentences. "Why do you keep pulling!? Stop right now! I said stop!"... meanwhile they just walk where ever the dog pulls them to.

Rewarding with either negative or positive attention for jumping on you or other people, instead of ignoring until they have all paws on the floor.

Feeding from the table, then getting mad that they are begging for food all the time.

Where will you be posting the list?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just from watching people with their dogs outside, everyone seems to assume dogs understand full English sentences. "Why do you keep pulling!? Stop right now! I said stop!"... meanwhile they just walk where ever the dog pulls them to.

Rewarding with either negative or positive attention for jumping on you or other people, instead of ignoring until they have all paws on the floor.

Feeding from the table, then getting mad that they are begging for food all the time.

Where will you be posting the list?

Good stuff! I'll be posting it on my blog(link in sig). I can't think of 10 things right now though :p so prolly not for a few days until I can get a good list + how not to make the mistakes written


edit: After I thought about it, there's no good reason why I can't post the list/how to avoid em here as well, especially considering how much ive learned from df.com, only makes sense to give back :)
 

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I would say one of the big ones is definitely allowing a new dog (esp puppy) to do things in the first few months that they don't want them to continue doing--jumping, chewing things, stealing things, etc. You need to teach the dog how they should behave from the first day, or at least reinforce it.

Another big one is not socializing their dog to other people, places and animals, and then having a reactive dog and/or one with fear issues.

Also, not training their dogs until there are problems, or not doing obedience training at all.
 

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I would add being lazy with housebreaking and then being upset/frustrated when their dog (no longer a puppy) is having accidents.

My goal is zero accidents. I know there will be some, but I don't want them practicing that behavior. I aim for outside single every time. I feel like if pup has an accident it was my fault (not being vigilant enough, waiting too long, etc.)

I have always been able to house break my pups quickly and reliably, but it takes a lot of work, and I think some people just aren't diligent about it.
 

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Getting an inappropriate breed/dog or picking a breed/dog based off of looks or trends.

Not exercising the dog enough then getting frustrated because the dog is hyper.

Taking the dog to the dog park and thinking they can just sit back and relax and not worry about supervising their dog on play.(this sadly happens a lot at our local dog park)

That's all I can think of right now that hasn't already been mentioned.
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Getting an inappropriate breed/dog or picking a breed/dog based off of looks or trends.
THIS!!!! You have to put this on the list for sure. There's a reason there's so many Huskies, ACDs and adolescent Labs and Pit Bulls in shelters.
 

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Housebreaking, not being consistent also rubbing their nose in the accidents.

Getting mad when your puppy/dog doesn't respond to the word 'no' or other words. Hello, your dog doesn't speak English.

Alpha anything. The alpha theory has been debunked and your dog is not trying to constantly one up you and be the 'boss'.
 
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Housebreaking, not being consistent also rubbing their nose in the accidents.

Getting mad when your puppy/dog doesn't respond to the word 'no' or other words. Hello, your dog doesn't speak English.

Alpha anything. The alpha theory has been debunked and your dog is not trying to constantly one up you and be the 'boss'.
Please include "Alpha Anything".... this one is way too common it hurts.
 

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This one I am completely guilty of unfortunately- not socializing your puppy soon enough/near enough! I don't know how common it is but I would definitely say it is a big mistake.
 

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The biggest mistakes I see are potty training mistakes.

When I ran puppy classes, almost 3/4 people in every class had issues with accidents in the house. They were either: 1)not taking the dog out enough, 2) not confining it to a certain area before it is reliably housebroken, 3) rubbing the dog's nose in the accident. I would add these to your list, but the most important would be: make sure you keep your puppy in a small area (single room/sectioned off area) unless they have just successfully gone potty outside. When I potty train a puppy, I only allow them to leave my kitchen when they have used the bathroom in the yard, and then they are allowed to stay out and play until their next potty break. If they do not go outside, they go back in the kitchen until they do go in the grass later. Obviously they also get treats and tons of praise to go along with expanded play time privileges!

Other common mistakes I have seen: being lazy with socialization, not practicing handling (touching paws, spreading toes, looking in ears, poking with a pen to simulate shots), not practicing obedience between classes.

Finally, anyone who gets a puppy and attempts to do ANY "alpha dog"/"dominace" style work. I have had a couple people come in and ask me if they need to dominant their puppy and it makes me die inside. Positive reinforcement from day one creates a happy, well rounded, easy going pup!!!
 

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Expecting too much of a puppy as far as housebreaking and training in general. I think socializing a puppy is a good thing but it has to be the right kind. I don't want my puppy to think that every dog or person he sees he has to run up to and play with. I think all dog owners should take their puppies to at least one session of dog obedience whether they know how to train at home or not.
 

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Giving a puppy, or new dog, too much freedom in the house before it's trained. I see way to many people get a puppy or dog then turn it loose in the house while they go watch T.V., play on the computer, go shopping, etc. They then look around and act shocked that somethings destroyed or there's a potty accident on the floor.

Getting training tips from nearly any popular T.V. trainer.

Not taking grooming needs of long haired breeds into consideration before getting one. I've seen more then one long haired dog become a matted mess due to the owner not keeping up with grooming.
 
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Giving dogs too much freedom for sure. And not keeping the house picked up. I have a friend who is always mad at her puppy for having an accident or chewing something up, but she gives him free rein of the house and barely watches him, so why on earth is she surprised??
 

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Not being aware of their dog's comfort and things that can be hazardous.

I met a gal who was in her mid-20s once, who brought her small dog into our furniture store. (all of our furniture was in another area so we didn't mind people bringing pets into the front part of the store) - she was holding onto the dog, even though the dog had a leash and collar on. Anyway, she said she just got this puppy a few months prior and it was her first dog ever.

I asked to pet the dog and she asked if I wanted to hold it, and I said yes.

First thing I figured out...was she never loosened the collar as the puppy grew...it was so tight!.

I mentioned this to her and she was kind of horrified that she didn't notice...but then also when I unbuckle the collar to loosen it, I ran my fingers around the inside of it...to find it was a cheap collar...the flashy studs on the outside the collar - the 'rivets' on the backside of those studs, were not covered with any other material and they were sharp and scratchy, one even rubbed a sore into the pup's neck. I pointed that out to the gal too.

I kind of wonder what else that puppy had to endure as it's owner made her way through the learning curve of being a more attentive dog owner. At least the gal seemed to welcome those two things I pointed out about the collar and acted like she was going to go get another collar and be more aware of it getting tight if her dog grew more or ever gained some weight.

I've also known even long time dog owners who've left their dogs in cars on warm days...not realizing how hot it gets in a car...and even if it's not 'killer hot'...it's not comfortable for the dog...and if that's the case, maybe they should have just left their dog home for that shopping trip.

Getting a dog is like having a kid...new owners need to look around and see what's in their home/garage that is a potential problem for dogs...especially puppies - and learn things like antifreeze drips from a car can kill a pet...etc...
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Stormy
 
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Not preparing in advance for financial costs that come up.

Bringing un-vaccinated puppies to dog parks.

Carrying puppies everywhere...they're dogs! Let them walk!!

Letting them do whatever they want when they're little because "it's cute".

Picking their dogs up in the dog park when they don't need saving (obviously, if there's a dangerous situation and you can pick them up and leave safely, that's ok but don't just pick them up every time you get a little bit nervous - they need to learn to socialize).
 

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Waiting to train the dog until it is older/bigger etc. Puppies are sponges - train them!
 
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