Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the Instagram post cited below.
When it comes to training dogs, there are lots of things that seem to be common knowledge.
If you’re a first-time dog parent, you’ll have probably received lots of advice from well-meaning friends and family members about everything from the best dog treats to how to walk your pup. But how much of it is true?
There are a lot of myths floating around, and they might actually do more harm than good. But that’s where Jamie Huggett, or Jamie the Dog Trainer, head dog trainer at Southern Cross K9, comes in.
In a recent Instagram post, he outlines three common dog training myths to be aware of...
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The first myth Huggett brings up is that “It’s all in how you raise them.” He explains, “Sometimes dogs can be raised in the best home – they’ve done all the right things – and still have issues with aggression.”
While there are dogs who perhaps haven’t been raised right or trained properly and struggle with aggression, the majority of dogs who have issues with aggression have been raised well. Their aggression may be influenced by other factors too, like genetics.
The second myth is that you shouldn’t take your puppy out until they’re fully vaccinated, something Huggett describes as “Old advice, and completely wrong.” (Here’s when puppies can go outside, according to a trainer.)
“The risk of your puppy suffering lifelong behavioral issues due to lack of exposure to socialization greatly outweighs any risk of illness,” he adds. Your pup’s socialization period ends when they’re around 14 weeks old, so it’s important to make sure they’re socialized while they’re young – it’ll stand them in good stead later on.
“It’s a balance,” Huggett continues. “Don’t take your puppy to high-traffic areas,” he says, while he also explains that you can easily carry your puppy around while they’re small, so you can keep them safe while also making sure that they’re socialized.
The third myth is that you need to walk your dog every day. Of course, every dog needs daily exercise and stimulation, but it doesn’t necessarily need to come in the form of a walk. Rather, activities like swimming, obedience training, and dog sports can be good instead.
And if your dog gets stressed when they’re around people, walking them could even be detrimental. ”Giving them a day off to decompress is super important,” finishes Huggett.
For more myths and misconceptions, here are the 32 most common mistakes new dog owners make.
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Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.