A little knowledge goes a long way.

This is for all the little critters out there we call our pets. Not just a pet, but a loved member of the family, and they love us unconditionally, too. And while you may love your pet it can be hard doing what’s right for them. I find it really hard to see my puppy staring at me while I munch on cookies or fruit and not feel tempted to give her some, but I want to make sure she knows that I’m the alpha and while fruit is good for dogs (as long as there’s no seeds or stems.) I never give her any while she begs and I’ll save a little piece for her after I’m done and have her do a simple command I taught her then she may gingerly take it from my hand.

I love my dog as if she were my own baby. And she is almost 9 years old now and I made many mistakes with her while I was young and I’d like to share them because I did some bad things so hopefully other animal lovers will see that this is no way to train your beloved pet.

The worst is spanking. I was still a preteen when she was a puppy and when she did something naughty, I spanked her on her butt. That was the worst thing I could have done because I made her fear me. Even now, years later, if I raise my hand she will squint her eyes and fold her tail between her legs. (Which I raise my hand up to hush her by holding my hand up, not out to threaten to spank her.) I can’t even say how awful that makes me feel now, enough to bring me to tears. Now I know that instead of spanking her I use my voice. Yelling is also a bad thing to do if your dog barks, because when you yell while he/she barks, your dog perceives that as alerting him/her as if you were doing the equivalent as barking with him/her. So while you are scolding your dog for barking, your dog sees it as though you’re barking with him/her.

So instead, one simple slightly loud tone will do to get your dog’s attention then follow-up with a stern voice just like you would with any child. If your dog ignores you, it is probably because he/she does not understand this yet. It takes time, especially with training an older dog or trying to change your own punishing strategy for your dog. If your dog still ignores you, it is time to put your dog in a “time out” spot that’s away from other people. After a minute you can let your dog out, if your dog goes to bark again, use your stern voice again and put him/her back in the time out spot for another minute. Eventually, you dog will realize, “oh, hey, every time I do something bad, I get put here, I better stop so I don’t have to be here.” So, dogs are very social and will not like being away from you or other people and this is a great way to teach your dog learn many things.

I do that now with my dog. She knows that when I use my stern voice to say “go get in the corner” she goes straight to the corner in the kitchen and pouts. After a minute, I call her and she comes with her tail wagging. So she knows she did wrong but I don’t have to spank her to make her see that. This way, we are both more happy.

If you spank your dog, (not even hard) you will be able to see the shame and embarrassment on your dog. I noticed it last time I tapped her butt, (it was playfully, but she thought I was serious) and she pouted for a while, it was plain to see, I had embarrassed her for what she thought was spanking.

I felt bad because we always play like that and it was just a misunderstanding. Dog’s are great at understanding human tones and when I told her how sorry I was, her face lit back up and came to me with her tail wagging then rolled over for me to rub her belly.

Learning to better understand how your dog understands you, you will build a greater relationship with your pet.

Now, here’s some other things I’d like to share while on the subject.

If you want to get a pet. ALWAYS do your research. It is very important. Now, not just on the breed of animal, but where you get it from. Most pet stores get their adorable animals from Puppy Mills. You’ve probably heard of them or even know what they are, but if not, here’s a summary.

A puppy mill is mostly an outside farm, if you will, that confine dogs in cages with minimum to no shelter for all their lives, using them only for breeding then killing them after they can no longer produce puppies. They only breed for profit, they use the cheapest food and never take them to a vet. They breed constantly without any regard to inbreeding or genetic disorders to the puppies, then they send the puppies to be sold in pet stores, a lot of puppies die before they even get to the pet store.

Some are more legit than others but I find it best to not take the chance and either find a legit breeder that can provide all of the important information and/or show the papers or save an animal from the shelter.

Now, most people want their pets as babies to better train them, but you can find a pet just as good and loving at the shelter. All pets at the shelter have to pass a test before being suitable for adoption, so all you have to do is ask to have one on one time to find the connection for the animal you want and you can learn your animal’s behavior rather quickly during the first impression. Shy animals may need time to open up but it doesn’t really mean the animal has bad habits like guarding or aggression. Personally, I think the animals should have more foster care if they’re too shy, which is a great way you to help out with animals in need, by the way.

Anyway, there are “small town” puppy mills too, where people can do it in their own back yards. Always ask to see the parents of the animal you want and ask as many questions about them as possible. Make sure you do not find any hair loss, eye infection and making sure the parent(s) have a good, healthy weight, not over-weight or under-weight.

Also, if you get a young pet, there’s a lot of training you can do to be sure you give your pet the best well-rounded personality you can. While young, introduce them to as many other people and animals as possible to get them well socialized. As well as children and make sure that the child can treat the animal with as much respect as you want your pet to share with others. Giving baths and clipping their nails often will get them use to it and to vet visits. Act like you’re checking your animals teeth, picking up a paw like they do during the vet, and run your hands from the top of their head all the way to the tip of their tail, on their belly and down all their legs to their paws and acting like your checking their eyes are a great thing also.

Always reward your pet for doing good things too. But do not over do it or it will have less meaning to your pet. There’s many tips that can help you teach your pet too. I’ll just copy and paste some from a good website I found.

If your dog is aggressive to you, it is vital for the success of the program that you avoid confrontation. If the dog is continually put into situations in which it feels the need to defend itself, aggression becomes a learned behavior.If your dog attempts to guard a rawhide chew and you back away, what does the dog learn? It’s learned that aggression works. If it wants you to back off, all it has to do is growl. — If your dog guards these things, simply remove them from its diet all together.

Alpha isn’t who screams the loudest, it’s who holds the resources. If your dog has food in its bowl all the time, it feels in control. You must be the one to offer food (the bowl coming from your hand) when and only when the dog sits. If you ask for a sit and the dog doesn’t comply, you can give a ‘no-reward mark’ and walk away. The dog must wait for the next schedules feeding time for another chance. (A no-reward mark is not a command. It is a word that lets your dog know it’s chosen the wrong option and the human is leaving the area. I use, too bad.)

If your dog comes up while you are on the couch and climbs into your lap wanting attention, who is the king and who is the throne? If this happens, simply stand up to get the dog off of you and then ask for a sit (dog needs to be on the floor at this point!). If the dog sits, you can pet it. Now you have just controlled the situation, not the dog.

Over praising a dog makes the praise uneventful. It is not appreciated. If you control and ration all praise and attention, your dog views you as more authoritative. — By spoiling a dog, you do it no favors.

The dog should not be allowed to get on the bed or couch unless you ask. High places are a way dominant dogs gain control. Dogs (like people and other mammals) feel more authoritative when on a higher level.

If you dog is barking in your face for attention, give the no-reward mark and walk away. After a few minutes of silence from the dog, ask it to come to you and sit. Then you can give attention.

Remember, fair is fair and your dog can have as much love and attention as it earns.

This way of interacting with your dog isn’t cruel nor is it too much for you to ask. This is all about mutual respect. Never ask your dog to do something you wouldn’t do. You have to work, pay taxes and drive the speed limit and your dog needs rules as well. If you give a human child everything for free, you’re setting them up for failure. They won’t learn valuable lessons needed for interacting with their world. Nothing in life is free. Children feel loved and safe when rules and structure are given to them. Dogs are no different. Each time you want to spoil your dog, think about their mental well-being first. Instant gratification does not equal a confident and happy individual. Work and a true purpose in life is what it’s all about. If they feel needed and useful, they feel confident and content and isn’t that what we all want out of life?

Those are great tips and I hope this blog taught you something new for your beloved friend, if not, you are already a great pet owner! I hope this can help you with any bad habits with you or your pet.

Remember, there really aren’t many bad dogs or owners for that matter, it’s all about understanding and knowing what is best for your best friend.

Thank you for taking the time to read this very long post! Next one about animals will be for cats or something since this was mostly aimed at dog owners lol. Good day, friends!

3 thoughts on “A little knowledge goes a long way.

  1. This is a very good post. I’m sorry to see that it hasn’t garnered more attention. There’s a lot of good information here and it’s very well written.

      • You’re welcome. That’s a great attitude to have. :)

        Oh and I meant to mention before…
        I know it can be hard to admit mistakes sometimes, but the fact that you’re using what you’ve learned from your mistakes to help others with their pets is wonderful. I’ve made some of the same mistakes with my pets in the past, so I know exactly how you feel with your pup.

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