Educating our pets requires knowledge and patience. Otherwise, we can harm their well-being and health and generate fears and phobias.
Educating a dog well is essential if we want to maintain a good coexistence. However, whether it is the first time we have a pet at home or if we have already had others, it is frequent that we make mistakes in their education. Probably, we are not aware of them and, mostly, they are due to the deep love we feel for our pet. However, we must not forget that we must set limits and not humanize them, since it can have an impact on their well-being.
The first few days do count.
Even if we think otherwise, a puppy is not too small to educate him. From the first day we must teach him “rules to guarantee a good coexistence. For example, not to get on the bed if we do not want to, not to bother us if we are eating, etc. Then, we can start educating him to urinate on a soaker and, when he can go outside, to do it outside,” says Alfons Pallars, trainer and ethologist.
Humanize our pets.
It is very harmful to them and, generally, the germ of future fears, phobias or separation anxiety. “When we treat them as if they were babies, we overprotect them or pamper them more than they should, especially when they are puppies, we do not allow them to evolve and prevent the imprint from developing properly.” This is a phase that usually occurs between the third and eighth week of life. It is essential for the puppy to know the environment, his peers, learn to relate, interact and find his place. If it does not develop properly, animals can become fearful and aggressive.
Frequent mistakes in your pet’s education
Another common mistake we can make is not being consistent. The education of a dog or cat requires patience and repetition, since in this way it will learn a certain behavior and avoid others that may harm coexistence or health. For example, “a dog, whatever breed it is, is not born knowing how to walk well on the leash. We must teach him to walk with us, not to cross, or not to pull it etc; since their natural tendency will be to pull to sniff or browse.
Punishment, yelling, or overreactions can generate fears and affect the bond between owner and pet. Before reprimanding their behavior, try to practice obedience orders and reward their successes (positive reinforcement). Another common mistake related to punishment is getting angry with your animal after a bad deed. “If we punish or yell at him after he has eaten something, the animal will not know why we are angry, since he does not associate his action with our reaction. The ideal is to anticipate and reinforce orders such as ‘no’, ‘loose’, ‘still’. A trick: we can leave pieces of food on the ground in a place where we control it and, when it goes to eat it, give the order.
Allow it to bite.
During the game, our pet can get excited and bite us. We cannot allow it. In fact, if we observe animal behavior while they are playing, we will see that, if one hurts his partner; he will complain and interrupt the game. This is the same thing we must do; that is, to make him notice that he has hurt us and to stop playing with him, but never to use violence to punish him.
Say goodbye as if it were the last day.
This is another mistake that many dog owners make and that has to do with our tendency to humanize them. Farewells should be short and firm, as well as greetings when we return home. Otherwise, we are also exposing our animal to stress and separation anxiety.
Replicate our hygiene measures.
A cat does not need to be bathed unless it is very dirty for some specific reason. And we should not bathe the dog more than once a month. On the other hand, it is not necessary that we cut their hair in summer because of the heat. Hair, as long as it does not have knots, is an insulator from cold or heat.
Thinking they’re not cold.
Some dogs, especially the smallest ones, can be cold. In addition, they are used to living with heating inside the houses, so nothing happens if we put a coat on them when they leave to avoid sudden changes in temperature. We can also use a raincoat when it rains if it is more comfortable for us not to dry them later. It is difficult for them to catch a cold from the rain because the hair protects them, but if they have short hair and are cold, it can weaken their immune system and be more prone to infections, in the same way that it can happen to us.