Who doesn’t secretly hope for that, once in a lifetime, willing to jump in a river to save us, dog when we see our puppy for the first time? After seeing movies like Lassie or Marley and Me it is easy to be seduced by the idea of a hero dog with uncanny abilities that will come in handy if we should ever find ourselves at the bottom of a well with no means of escape.
The reality is that, while dogs are extremely loyal and protective of their owners, most dogs would just stand at the top of the well whining at you, probably wondering why you are playing such a silly game.
The idea that dogs possess ESP like abilities from birth is where our 3rd worst mistake new dog owners make finds it’s foundation.
Don’t get me wrong. Dog’s can be trained to do absolutely amazing things. But it requires patience, time, and dedication to achieve. Dog’s don’t come pre-packaged as training savants. It is easy to make the 3rd worst mistake of setting our expectations too high for our new dogs, but in the real world, we have to support our pups with patience and understand throughout the learning process.
This mistake will manifest itself in many areas during puppyhood. One of the most frustrating parts of getting a new dog is potty training. It is difficult for us, as humans, to understand why, after we have shown a dog dozens of times, our new baby refuses to go where she is suppose to. But after we dig a little deeper we find out that it is perfectly unnatural for a dog to “know” that outside is where to potty, it is our job, as our dog’s teacher, to show her what to do as many times as it takes, without ever losing our patience!
To avoid this mistake with a new dog, it is important that we take the steps to educate ourselves on what to expect. It will not be all butterflies and rainbows, there absolutely will be times when our new boy makes mistakes. A good way to start is to read a few books before getting your dog. Here are some recommendations. Any of these will give you a good understanding of how the canine mind operates and how best to approach your dog’s training for superior results.
Another good idea to help avoid this mistake is to take a step back every few weeks and ask yourself whether or not you are setting realistic expectations for your new dog. This simple exercise help us to find areas of training that we can improve upon!