A dog’s environment and experiences affects its behavior more than anything! Unfortunately, behavior problems are the main reason why so many dogs are either euthanized or given up. Some dog owners don’t have the time or simply the resources to figure out their dog’s behavioral issues. One key reason owners may not take the time to figure out their dog’s behavior problems is because they have some underlying misconceptions about why a dog misbehaves. To better understand and handle your dog’s behavior problem, it’s in your best interest to know some common dog myths! Here are some of the most common myths about dog behavior!
MYTH: A new medicine will treat my dog’s behavior/phobia.
FACT: There is no cure-all treatment, all dogs are different and often need individual support for specific issues. It will take some time and patience to correct a specific dog behavior, fear or phobia.
MYTH: I have no time to take my dog to behavior classes.
FACT: Most people think they need to set aside hours a week for dog behavior classes. This is not true! Ask around to find a dog trainer that is best suited to help with your dog’s specific issues.
MYTH: You can’t train your puppy until it’s at least 16 weeks old.
FACT: Puppies go through a crucial socialization period between 3-12 weeks. It is very important your puppy engages in as many positive encounters as possible, to ensure they become a confident and socially polite adult. If they are not well socialized there is a great chance that they will have behavioral concerns.
MYTH: Dogs that live with other dogs don’t need to interact with dogs outside of the house during the socialization period of their development.
FACT: It’s very important your dog meets and interacts with many other dogs, not just the ones they see everyday! Imagine if you only every interacted with one or two people. How do you think you’d react if you met a third person? What if there personality was different? Would you even know how to interact with them?
MYTH: You can’t enroll your puppy in puppy classes if they haven’t got all there shots.
FACT: Puppies are close in age and therefore typically have the same vaccination schedule. This means they will not spread disease among themselves. Also, puppy classes are usually in an area that is easy to clean and sanitize. The risk of a puppy getting sick in a clean puppy class is very slim. It is most important that wherever you take your puppy, accidents are cleaned up and disinfected immediately! also, avoid taking/placing your puppy on the ground in common areas that harbor germs.
MYTH: Dogs with big backyards don’t need walks.
FACT: It is essential for dogs to get out on a walk, even if they have a lot of room outside to play in. Walks not only give dogs the physical exercise they need, but they also offer lots of mental stimulation. Some people may argue that their dog gets enough exercise in their backyard, but if you spend time watching them, take a look to see just how much time they actually spend running and playing. It’s not very much, most likely the majority of the time they lay around. Keeping your dog in the backyard and not walking them will commonly lead to barking and behavioral issues.