common mistakes dog owners make

10 Huge Mistakes That New Dog Owners Make And How To Avoid Them

One of the most wonderful things you can do in the world is bring a dog into your home.

Welcoming your new pack member is a a special time with plenty of fun, laughs and love awaiting you.

However, owning a dog is a big responsibility. It requires patience, compassion and plenty of work. You need to be sure to put in the effort and you also need to be sure you don’t make any big mistakes which puts you, your dog or your bond at risk.

This post explores the most common mistakes dog owners make, showing you not just the repercussions but the solutions as well.

1/ Buying A Dog With The Wrong Purpose In Mind

The first common mistake that dog owners make is choosing a dog that’s just not compatible for their personal situation.

Remember that different breeds have different personalities, needs and roles that feel natural to them.

For example, if you’re living in a very small space, a large dog like a German Shepard will struggle in this environment as they don’t have adequate room to exercise and burn off energy.

Likewise, if you’re looking for a dog to get fit with, a Shih Tzu might not be the greatest match.

Research your breeds beforehand, and make sure you get the right fit for both parties to ensure maximum happiness.

2/ Neglecting Training & Obedience

Training your new dog properly is an absolute must, no matter what breed or age they are.

Some dogs will require more training than others so make sure you research thoroughly before choosing your new furry companion.

If you don’t train your dog, they won’t know the rules and chaos can ensue.

On the other hand. training is a great bonding exercise between you and your dog. Canine expert Will Atherton says: ““The best way to make your dog love you more than anything in the world is through working with them”

Train your dog. Improve your environment. Forge a bond.

It sounds pretty simple, yet new dog owners make this mistake time and time again.

3/ Neglecting To Socialise Your Dog

A big mistake that dog owners make is by neglecting to socialise their dog.

Socialisation is the process of getting your dog accustomed to their new environment and the things contained within, such as:

  • Objects
  • Children
  • Adults
  • Other animals
  • Situations

If you don’t properly socialise your dog, you run the very real risk of having unwanted situations arise from fear. Situations that could include anything from aggressive behaviour to running away.

4/ Not Microchipping Your Dog

Previously, we looked at the importance of microchipping your dog.

One of the greatest fears that any dog owner will have is that their beloved friend will run away.

Indeed, according to the American Kennel Club: one in three pets become lost at some point in their lives.

A big mistake that dog owners make is by not implanting a microchip in their dog.

Microchips are the most effective measure to provide you with peace of mind. The microchip you implant will contain all the necessary information to help local pet authorities ID your dog and contact you.

Just remember to keep all of your details up to date!

5/ Neglecting To Exercise Your Dog

Exercise is an absolute must for every dog.

“Physically, exercise has a host of benefits for your dog including increasing flexibility, endurance and can help stave off health problems caused by obesity.PetMD.

From a mental standpoint a lack of exercise will lead to behaviour issues, anxiety and in some cases, depression born out of boredom and frustration.

Make sure that you research how much exercise your new dog’s breed demands so that you can keep your dog happy and fulfilled in their life.

6/ Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

Just as dogs need exercise, they also require mental stimulation.

Keep your dog entertained with puzzle games, chew toys, and other games to keep their activity well rounded.

Struggling for ideas? Check out our great value BusterBox’s, doggy parcels filled with tasty treats and fun toys! Give your new dog they love they deserve!

7/ Using Punishment Rather Than Positive Reinforcement

If you’re new to dogs, you may think that the way to correct bad behaviour is through punishment.


Punishment can lead to bad behaviour patterns; positive reinforcement leads to good ones.

Positive reinforcement encourages good behaviour by rewarding your dog for behaving well and being an all round good boy.

Train through love, not fear and you’ll not only build a better relationship with your dog, you’ll also make it way easier for your furry friend to learn new skills.

8/ Let Your Dog Lead The Pack

While it’s important to be kind, it’s also crucial that you maintain leadership status – so don’t spoil your new dog too much.

A classic mistake dog owners make is letting their dog “lead the pack”. This means that your dog believes they’re the top of the household hierarchy.

This isn’t a good thing.

We mentioned before how your dog needs to see you as their leader. This is because they’re pack animals, so when you lead them they feel happy.

If you neglect to be stern when handling your dog then they can take control and become unresponsive to your demands.

If they take this position then it will become seriously difficult to regain your leadership and ultimately your control.

9/ Ignoring Your Dogs Medical Needs

A HUGE mistake dog owners make is ignoring their dogs medical needs.

Failure to get the required shots from your vet puts your dog in serious danger as does neglecting their dental hygeine.

Bad breath can be a sign of halitosis – a dental disease, and a simple tartar buildup left unchecked can become periodontal disease- leading to tooth loss and organ failure.

Remember that dogs hide their illnesses and injuries. Dogs evolved this way from their ancestors time, when it was required to protect themselves from predators .

10/ Incorrectly Fitting Your Dog’s Harness

A dog harness is a great way to ensure you have control of your dog on their walk and that they’re comfortable too.

An common mistake dog owners make is not fitting the harness on correctly.

An ill-fitting harness can cause choking, chafing and even changes in your dog’s posture. In instances where it’s too loose, there’s always the risk your dog can slip out and run free too.

Final Bark

Whether you’re a new dog parent or a current one, it’s important to avoid these common dog owner mistakes, to ensure a happy relationship between you both.

Looking to bring that happy relationship even further and get more value for money? Check out our fantastic goodies and treats at BusterBox, and give your dog the happiness that they deserve.

Read our post on why we’re the best dog treat box in the UK & Ire and see for yourself the experience we promise.