As an owner of several pets, Gary Pascual knows the different emotions experienced by a new dog owner. It’s a time of utter excitement – and maybe a little bit of terror. The good news is that no dog owner is alone, and countless people have gone through the experience of becoming a first time pet owner. Today, Gary Pascual will offer his advice, so people can spend more time petting their new loved one and less time stressed out over the experience.
- Set the Ground Rules Early
Dogs appreciate routine, but they adapt to routines early. If a dog owner does not reprimand a dog for jumping when they are a puppy, it can lead to years of jumping up and down. In order to teach a dog not to jump, celebrate them and show attention when all four paws are on the ground. If they jump, ignore them or admonish them right away. As soon as the paws reach the ground again, it’s time to celebrate. Dogs want their owners to be happy, and that’s one of the many reasons Gary Pascual loves dogs so much.
- Socialize Early
It’s a good idea to introduce a puppy to other dogs and other people rather quickly. Most dogs who get nervous around others were never socialized from an early age. Other than a dog being nervous around people or other dogs, they can also act out when they aren’t used to others. No dog owner wants their pet to show aggression or bark excessively at others. Gary Pascual recommends inviting friends over and taking a dog for regular walks.
- Reward Proper Bathroom Behavior
When a dog takes care of their personal business outside as their owner wants them to, the best thing a person can do is reward that behavior with attention or a little treat. Gary Pascual always found that petting for number 1 and treats for number 2 taught a dog rather quickly that they should only be relieving themselves outside. There will be accidents early on. Yes, a dog should be admonished when they relieve themselves indoors, but it is important to only reprimand that behavior exactly when it happens. Yelling at an animal when a bathroom mistake is found is not ideal, because a dog will not understand that they are being yelled at for something that happened some time ago.
- The Crate Should Be a Safe Space
One of the most common mistakes amongst new dog owners is that they send their puppy to their crates when they do something wrong. The crate should be a safe space that a puppy feels comfortable sleeping in. One of the reasons crate training is so pivotal is that a dog will usually hold it overnight as they don’t want to soil where they sleep. By punishing a dog with a crate, they will no longer want to head their at night. By making the crate a safe space, a dog will remain calm down the road should they ever need to be placed in a crate for a short amount of time.
- Stay Consistent
Sometimes, people are a little bit more lenient with their pet on a weekend than they would be in the middle of a stressful work day. A puppy will not understand the difference between the days. When their trainer is not consistent in their rewards or their admonishments, the dog can revert to past bad behaviors. For instance, a lot of dog owners will allow their dogs on the couch some days but not all the time. This is very confusing to a pup. It’s better to establish that the couch is off-limits. This is usually the toughest when an old couch is switched out for new furniture as a dog doesn’t understand the change in rules.
Finally, Gary Pascual recommends that all dog owners stay positive. Having a pet should be one of the most joyous relationships in a person’s life. Dogs will take on the personality of the owner. By staying upbeat and remaining consistent with both rewards and punishments, any dog owner can enjoy smooth sailing with their puppies.