Dogs are really our best friends, but we often mistreat them even without knowing it. Pups are always there for us and can even protect us from danger, but we often forget they’re persons too (they are!), so we must be careful with how we communicate with them. Here are 12 bad things you do to your dog unintentionally.
Use the same commands to reward and punish
First of all, you should never punish your dog. Most of the time, they don’t know what they did wrong, and you’re just mean. On the other side, if you say “come here,” you should only use it to reward your dog, not grounding it.
You hold the leash too tight
This is common knowledge. Still, many dog owners use the leash to roughly pull their dog into submission. Dogs like leashes since they mean they’re going out to play; if you make the leash an object of torture, your dog won’t trust you anymore.
Giving in to your dog’s begging
You know your dog better than anyone, and you know when it is asking for something reasonable. If it’s not, then you shouldn’t give in. If your dog wants a piece of your steak, it’s probably because you’ve given it some before.
Bribing your dog
Rewarding your dog for doing something right is totally okay but bribing it for things that it should do just because isn’t, for example, for taking a bath. Your dog shouldn’t expect a treat for behaving when you have guests or for not pooping inside the house, unless, of course, if it’s part of its training.
You leave your dog tied for a long time
A leash is just for walking your dog, and it’s for its own safety. Dogs aren’t meant to be kept chained or tied to a tree in your backyard. Train your dog instead and let it walk around unleashed in the areas where you want it to be.
You don’t walk your dog enough
Sometimes even a daily walk is not enough for energetic dogs. And walking them should be more than taking them out to poo. Exercise your dog, and while you’re at it, exercise yourself. Don’t just let it pull you around, play with it!
Petting your dog’s head
Dogs get nervous when they don’t see your hands, so they don’t know what you’re trying to do when petting them in the back of the head. And if you’re sometimes mean to your dog, their anxiety is even worse. Don’t complain if your best friend growls at you the next time you try to pet it.
Leaving your dog alone in the car
Dogs don’t sweat, so they are susceptible to heat strokes, and cars can warm up pretty fast. No, cracking a window slightly open is not good enough. Either you take your dog with you, or you leave it at home; just don’t make it wait in the car.
Punishing your dog for growling
Growling might sound scary, but it’s a dog’s way of communicating with other dogs. Growling doesn’t necessarily lead to fighting and punishing a dog for doing it is a traumatic experience. Let your dog growl, but don’t let it loose.
Punishing your dog for your mistakes
If you left roast chicken on the counter and the dog eats it, then it’s your fault. If the dog poops inside the house because you left it locked up for eight hours, it’s your fault, too. Dogs behave like dogs; can you behave like a responsible human?
Ignoring your dog
Yes, dogs can be pretty irritating, especially when they want something, but ignoring them won’t make them shut up or stop jumping. See what your dog needs and see what you can do to make it right. Dogs know when they’re being ignored, and they feel bad about it just like we do.
Making the dog’s bed or kennel its punishing spot.
Dogs should feel safe at their designated sleeping places, and they don’t understand why you punish them by sending them to ‘their room.’ Time-outs don’t work with dogs; they just make things worse!
Your Dog Needs You to Do Better
Having a dog is a huge responsibility and a full-time job. There are no bad dogs but bad owners, which means you should train yourself to be better. Really, learning how to take care of your dog is the best way to improve your relationship with it.