Essential Rules Every Dog Owner Must Live By
Thanks for stopping by Train That Pooch!
Train That Pooch was birthed from my relationship with my own 5-pound Yorkie, Bella.
When I got Bella, I made the mistake that many new dog owners make – I was SO excited that I neglected one of THE biggest things EVERY dog owner must do.
What is this ONE BIG thing?
Well, it just happens to be the name of this site – Train That Pooch!
If you just got your pup, then you are in a great place, but if you are currently in a place where I was at with an out of control pooch, then not to worry.
This site is for YOU!
Now, before you move on to all of the other information here, we’d like you to start with a few things in mind.
In fact, we call them the Essential Rules Every Dog Owner Must Live By.
Here they are:
Rule #1: Remember That They Are Dogs
Sure sounds silly doesn’t it?
Yes, they are dogs, but often times we find ourselves treating them like humans, which is where many of us miss the boat unfortunately.
How many times has your dog…
- Done something you didn’t want them to do
- Did not behave in a way that you wanted them to
- Started barking for no apparent reason
And how many times did you in turn…
- Scold them like a human
- Yell at them to change
- Get upset because they didn’t do what you wanted them to
It sounds REALLY silly, but if we just remember that they are dogs and that we need to treat and train them as such, then our lives will get MUCH easier.
There’s nothing wrong with treating them like they are family – they are after all.
There’s nothing wrong with treating them like they are one of our closest and best friends…because they are.
What we do humbly suggest is to remember that they are dogs, so when it comes to training and behavior modification, then they MUST be treated that way.
In remembering that they are dogs, we must also remember that sometimes they will act, well, like a dog.
Don’t get too bent out of shape if your dog starts barking.
In our human lives if someone were to start yelling for no reason, or if we didn’t understand THE reason, we’d wonder what the heck was going on and react accordingly.
Your Dog is A Dog and like a dog will exhibit some dog-like behaviors.
Was that too many “dogs” in one sentence? It sure felt like it. It’s to help hammer home this one rule though.
If your Dog starts barking, don’t get upset; try to figure out why. Your dog may be warning you of someone who is approaching you; your dog may be trying to protect you or may sense something else amiss.
This is one of those areas we can help you with. Take a look at our article on How To Stop Dog Barking.
Keep Rule #1 in mind and you will be off to a great start.
Rule #2: In Some Ways They Are Like Children
Okay, now that we’ve started off with that rule, here’s another, while you are remembering that they are dogs, also keep in mind that in some ways they are like children.
Wait, you just said they are dogs!
Yeah, we know.
Hey, we never said training a dog was going to be easy! We will say that it IS rewarding though.
So, remember: In Some Ways They Are Like Children.
What do we mean by this?
Well, when you get a newborn puppy they aren’t ALWAYS going to be up to running around and playing – they are newborns.
If you expected a newborn baby to always be up for you to play with, cuddle and shower affection over, then people would say you were unrealistic.
As puppies are like children, and really like baby dogs, then you MUST treat them that way.
What does that look like?
Your newborn puppy will need to rest AND need to sleep…like A LOT.
Be prepared if you just got a new puppy to ensure that they are getting the rest that they require.
It’s not uncommon for a puppy to sleep for long hours and for most of the day.
Wondering how long?
Take a look at this article on How Long Puppies Sleep.
Keep in mind that they are like children.
As you start to keep this in mind, remember that they will need to eat AND if they are not eating enough or when they are hungry, then they will start to get fussy just like a baby.
Also remember that as children, they will be mischievous at times, and will need more guidance and training.
Don’t expect them to get it right away. While some puppies and dogs just might, there will be some extent of training that will need to be done.
Staying on it, keeping with the training and staying consistent is key. Which takes us nicely into the next point.
Rule #3: Consistency Is Key
If you have ever taught in a classroom of kids or teenagers, then you know just how important this rule is.
As with anything or with any behavior you would like done on a consistent basis, then consistency IS key.
When you think about it logically it makes total sense.
If you walked into a classroom and your teacher said that you couldn’t chew gum in class and would be given a punishment each time, then you would take this to heart.
Now, imagine if someone else in your class was chewing gum and didn’t get punished? What would you think?
That’s right, most would think – “Well, that person is doing it so I’ll do it too!”
Now, imagine if you started chewing gum and weren’t punished for it?
Would you keep doing it?
Sure you would!
Now, what if you only got punished once in a great while, would you keep on doing it?
It’s the same with dogs. If we don’t modify the behavior and become consistent in the training then it WILL be difficult for them to perform the behavior.
If you enforce the rules only some of the time, don’t be surprised or upset if they don’t do it all the time.
Check out our article on The Online Dog Trainer, it is the place that helped us take control and train Bella.
Rule #4: Train Early And Train Often
Consistency is extremely crucial.
If you are a new owner of a puppy, then training early is extremely crucial as well. If you have had your dog for a while, you can still get the behavior you want out of them.
However, DON’T neglect just how important it is to train early on if you are in that position to do so.
There are many things that you can do to ensure that you have the most absolute well-behaved puppy.
If you are the proud owner of a beautiful new pup, then you will want to read our New Puppy Tips article.
One of the things that you may find with a new puppy is their tendency to bite things AND people. If you don’t get this in check and train them to stop the behavior, then you may end up with an aggressive dog on your hands.
As training is the idea that drives this site, we think that we should spend some time discussing it more here as one of our rules. Here’s a look at other important training areas.
House Training A Puppy
You can’t get away from it.
If you have a new puppy or a dog that is not house-trained, then you will need to get this done. Well, unless you enjoy the smells and random soiling.
This is not as difficult as it may sound, BUT it will take some work, some patience and some consistency.
Maybe not just some, probably a lot more, but hey they are worth it!
Some of the things to keep in mind are consistency (there’s that word again!), a regular schedule and their own bathroom area.
Check out our article on How to Potty Train your New Family Member.
There are tons of resources out there to help you House Train A Puppy, but here are some from a few well-known resources the we feel are a must read:
Crate Training A Puppy
You may think this is an area you can overlook.
Can we give you ONE bit of advice? DO NOT.
Even if you don’t plan on having your dog in their crate too often, trust us when we say that you WILL want to get them trained.
Those few times when you will need to them to get into a crate, you will be thanking us.
Here are just a few scenarios…
- You are about to have company over, and one of your guests is afraid of dogs. You know that having your dog in the same room will cause some anxiety. Having them get into their crates in another room and stay there will be a lifesaver.
- You need to take your dog to the Vet, BUT you need to transport them. When they willingly get into the crate, it will make traveling to the Vet that much easier.
- You are a heavy sleeper and want to ensure that your puppy is not running wild through your home while you are asleep or eating and tearing things up. If they are crate trained then you will rest easy at night knowing that they are doing the same in their crate.
Here are some Tips On How To Crate Train Your New Puppy.
Below are some great resources on Crate Training that deserve a mention:
Importance Of Vet Checks
Are you a vet?
Okay, all joking aside, it’s important that you have your puppy on a regular schedule of checkups.
If anything, at least you know that they will be getting the proper care and shots that are necessary to keep them happy, healthy and living a long life with you.
There may be things that you are unaware of or some things that you may not think are important, that actually are.
There are also some things that are time sensitive that should you ignore could cause your puppy some bigger problems later on down the road.
Get them in as soon as possible, to see a vet and also on a regular schedule of checkups, to make sure that they are as healthy as possible.
Rule #5: Don’t Jump To Conclusions
It’s funny how sometimes we jump to conclusions too quickly.
When we see our dogs or puppies display a behavior that we are not all too keen about, sometimes we don’t want to share it with others or ask.
This is especially true if we are new puppy owners.
Here’s the thing, if your dog is doing something that you think is weird, chances are that they aren’t. It just may be something that is common among puppies, and really, among dogs in general.
What kinds of things, you may ask?
Well, for starters, one of the things that dogs or your puppy may do is eat their own poop.
They aren’t weird – remember rule #1?
If your dog is eating their poop, then you may want to read our article on Tips To Help Cure Your Puppy From Eating Poop.
Another thing that may happen is you may find your dog shaking for no reason at all. Don’t jump to the conclusion that there is something weird or funny going on with your dog.
There may be a reason behind it. It could be cold, there may have been a siren wailing nearby or your puppy may be scared.
There may be some other things going on, or it could just be a sign of excitement or joy. Here’s a great read on why your dog may be shaking.
If someone recently told you that your dog licking your face could pass on worms to you, don’t freak out yet!
Yes, there is that possibility, but you need to learn more about it before you think your dog may have given you something. Take a look at this read on our site about your dog’s saliva and passing worms.
Rule #6: Love Your Dog
This is a rule?
You bet it is.
Your dog may frustrate you. In fact they will.
Remember rules #1 and #2?
Yeah, they probably will cause you some grief, but they joy they bring far outweighs it.
You will probably find that they know when you are sick, when you are down and when you need a hug.
You will often find that when you just need someone to hang out with that they will be there.
When you feel like there aren’t any good and loyal friends out there any longer, just turn to them and you’ll see that you are completely wrong.
We can’t call you to love your dog enough.
There are too many stories out there of dog owners mistreating them, and yes, while they may do something that will upset you, it doesn’t warrant you mistreating them.
You have been entrusted with their care.
You have been called to take care of them, and honestly they will take care of you as well.
We just wanted to thank you again for stopping by and making Train That Pooch your site of choice to train your puppy or dog.
Stick around and take a look at all of the great information we have here. We’re sure that you’ll find something that will help you on this journey.
Remember the six rules…
Rule #1: Remember That They Are Dogs – Remember that they are dogs AND need to be treated and trained that way, and you will save yourself a lot of headaches in the process.
Rule #2: In Some Ways They Are Like Children – When you get a new puppy, you need to keep in mind that they are like children and need discipline, sleep and a regular schedule.
Rule #3: Consistency Is Key – Enforce the rules only some of the time, and you will have a misbehaving dog VERY QUICKLY.
Rule #4: Train Early And Train Often – Do you want the best out of your puppy? It’s easy – train them early and keep that training often and consistent.
Rule #5: Don’t Jump To Conclusions – Just because they do weird things, doesn’t make them weird. Their behaviors could very well be pretty common.
Rule #6: Love Your Dog – Yes. Love them. This may be the most important of all. Just love them, and you’ll see the many reasons why you decided to become a dog owner come to fruition.
Thanks again for stopping by and we look forward to helping you along this fun, exciting and sometimes trying experience.
Talk to you soon,
Sheri and Bella