Dr. Kathy Meyer is a veterinarian who has spent the last 16 years of her career helping people help their pets with behavioral problems. She enjoys sharing the funny and enlightening life lessons learned from the animals she has treated, especially the anxious, irritable, and quirky ones.
Dr. Meyer's Blog
While it is easy to believe that all you need to do is“add love” when you bring your puppy home, nothing could be farther from the truth! There are many ways in which people can unwittingly damage their puppies, which often lead to significant behavioral problems later in life. In a comprehensive study, 46.4% of dogs were relinquished to shelters because of behavior problems. And, 47.4% of relinquished dogs were between the ages of 5 months and 3 years. In my mind, it is no coincidence that this time frame overlaps with canine social maturation. People take naïve little pups, fail to properly raise them, and then make them someone else’s problem. It is so much better, in the long run, to prevent these problems rather than trying to “fix” them once they have developed.
Mistake 1: Failure to educate oneself about puppy care and training before getting a puppy
Long before you get your puppy, you need to make sure you understand what that impossibly cute but highly challenging creature will need from you to grow up into a the most emotionally well-balanced and mannerly dog possible. This adds up to about 12 months of work!