MISTAKE #4: EXCESSIVE USE OF THE WORD NO
The truth is that the word NO in a commanding tone makes most people feel uncomfortable, irritated or downright angry. It lacks respect and makes you feel negative.
Dogs can’t tell a person to treat them kindly. Their only defense is to ignore the word if it is used frequently or get as far away as possible.
I remember the words of my behaviorist friend who advised me to treat my dog the way I’d like to be treated. Kindness and patience generate trust, while dominance and use of force creates resistance, fear or even aggression.
A good example is a situation when a dog is jumping up on people. Yelling “Fido NO!” usually creates tension. Contain your dog calmly, using a neutral tone of voice. Put training of difficult tasks aside for later in a setting with minimal distraction or with the help of a positively-minded behaviorist or trainer.
MISTAKE #5: CHOOSING THE WRONG VETERINARIAN
It’s my experience that most of my colleagues are sincere and are there for their patients and clients. However, some veterinarians are unable to separate their responsibility and duty from the idea of financial gains or losses in their practice.
One reason this happens is that it’s extremely hard to run a profitable practice without the sales of drugs, vaccines, surgery and kibble.
Another reason is veterinarians are educated by drug and pet food companies and their reps, who frequently visit clinics to teach the staff how to push their products.
MISTAKE #6: FEEDING PROCESSED FOOD
It’s true some pet foods are made from better than average ingredients, but there are several issues with processed food that may make you rethink your puppy’s diet.
Dry foods like kibble or dehydrated foods put stress on your dog’s kidneys because they draw water from the body and may cause a state of dehydration. The fat in processed food can turn rancid fast and it’s common for pet food to sit in a store or warehouse for several months before it’s sold.
COMMON MISTAKE #7: EXERCISING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH
When it comes to exercise, we should try to get as close to the natural lifestyle of dogs as possible. Ample play and socialization in a safe environment with dogs about the same size and age is ideal. If there is a discrepancy in size and age, rough play or injuries and fights can be very traumatic for your puppy and can be the start of reactivity and fear aggression.
Ball throwing and too much sprinting, slipping and sliding causes injuries. It’s not natural for dogs to go back and forth for 15 or even 30 minutes. Dogs should mainly play, trot and run but sprint only very briefly here and there.