Top five mistakes Shih Tzu owners make!

Mistake number one:

Choosing a dog because it is cute This is a very common mistake that a lot of dog owners seem to make. They see a dog at the local puppy store, fall in love with how cute it looks and then buy it and bring home. Also some people, they know of a particular breed that they have always wanted because of how they look, and then buy the first one they see. Failing to properly research the breed of dog is one of the most common mistakes people seem to make. Every dog breed has a particular set of activity requirements and personalities. It is essential that the breed of dog you choose marries closely with the lifestyle in which you live. There is no point buying a border collie puppy if you live a very busy lifestyle with very limited time available to exercising your dog. Of course the border Collie is a working dog and will need a lot of exercise. On the other side of the coin, if you do live a life filled with activity then there is no point expecting a little Chihuahua to keep up with a demanding physical workload. Before choosing a dog, think about your lifestyle first and select a dog breed that will fit in well.

Mistake number two:

Getting a dog for the kids! This is another very common mistake a lot of dog owners make. All children have a tendency to want a little puppy as their little plaything. I am sure you’ve heard kids beg their parents to get a little puppy. And so a lot of parents will do just that. Off they go to the local pet store, they choose a nice cute little puppy and say to their kids here is your new puppy. Somewhere along the line the kids may have promised to look after the dog as a means of bargaining with their parents to get a new puppy. But the big mistake here, is that kids no matter how many times they promise, are not at this stage to take full responsibility for the care that dog requires. So therefore the parents end up taking over the responsibility. Because the dog was bought for the kids, often there was very little preparation in terms of the breed of dog chosen as well as plans for the training and socialisation of the new puppy. This is where we tend to see dogs that misbehave to the point where it causes frustration in the parents and possibly even their abandonment of the dog.

Mistake number three:

Buying a dog from the pet store Obviously good research involves choosing the right breed of dog for your home. By your research mustn’t stop there. One of the worst places to buy your dog from is at your local puppy store. Puppies sold from local puppy stores are usually puppies that have been bred in “puppy mills”. Although convenient to go shopping in these sort of puppy stores, there really isn’t a lot of control in the type of dog that you are actually getting and there is certainly no control where there are not the puppy you are buying is the product of inbreeding. The last thing you want with your new puppy is further them to fall ill. When you are choosing a puppy for your home, you are choosing a new family member. The best place to buy your new puppy from is from a reputable professional dog breeder. Although usually more expensive, you can generally ensure the puppy you bring home is in great health, has been well bred, and well cared for within their first few weeks of life.

Mistake number four:

Inconsistent training Try not to confuse your new puppy with mixed and inconsistent commands. Make sure that the commands you use are consistent throughout the household. There is no point you giving a command to your puppy and then other members of your household given different command the same action. Decide on a list of obedience commands that you wish to train your dog and make sure all members of your household use the same commands, and provide the same rewards to your puppy after the command is completed successfully.

Mistake number five:

Not properly socializing your dog One of the reasons why so many behavioral problems occur in dogs is due to their lack of socialization when they were a puppy. There is a critical period in a puppy is life where socialization should occur. Most important period in which you should socialize your puppy is within their first 16 weeks of life. This is the time when your dog can get used to other dogs, other people and also other environments. Properly socializing within this period can ensure a happy well adjusted dog in later life. The complicating fact about this period, is that most puppies will not have had their full compliment of vaccinations before 16 weeks. This may mean that they will be more susceptible to catching diseases such as parvovirus. Although parvovirus can be quite devastating, choosing not to socialize your dog due to fear of your puppy contracting this disease, may mean your dog will grow to become fearful, anxious and demonstrate resultant behavioral problems as a result of the lack of socialization. Despite this obvious risk, it is very important to actively socialize your puppy within their first 16 weeks of life.

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