The 10 Biggest Mistakes Dog Owners Make Daily?

By on December 14, 2010

Valdae Roytapel is a dog trainer based in Southern California. Here he offers his personal insight in to what he considers to be the 10 most common 'sins' dog owners commit on a daily basis.

1. Humanisation – If you treat your dog as a human, your dog will treat you as a dog. Your dog is not your child or your relative. The wolf is still your dog’s second cousin.

2. Democracy – Dogs and democracy don’t mix. There is no such thing as the bill of rights in the canine world. If you want your dog to become an acceptable member of the family, he must be last in hierarchy of social order.

3. Allowing your dog to live on welfare – Dogs in the wild hunt for food and other resources. When they live in your home they still acquire a need to work for their food and possessions in order to be happy. Give your dog physical and mental exercise. Physical exercise can be simply playing a game of fetch. Mental exercise can be practising proper obedience training for 10-15 minutes per day. These games and exercises will help make your dog tired. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.

4. Afraid to say “no” – Don’t be afraid to say 'no' to your dog and to set limits and enforce these limits with consequences. But remember, the human way of discipline will always create the opposite effect on the dog. For more information on the canine way of correcting your dog please visit our website at. www.socaldogtraining.com

5. Speaking English to your dog – Remember, the only language your dog understands is dogglish. Examples of speaking dogglish are praising your dog in a high pitch tone of voice. This means approval. Disciplining your dog in a low town of voice means disapproval.

6. Giving unconditional affection – Do dogs enjoy human affection? The answer is yes, of course they do. But dogs need not only human affection to become balanced and happy. In fact, many people are shocked to learn that dogs actually desire structure and discipline more than they desire human affection. Touch and affection are human needs and desires that we inflict upon our dogs. But our dogs look to us for signs of leadership and rules, not touch and affection. Please make sure to always balance love and discipline.

7. No demands for respect – Remember that no one will listen to you and give you respect out of gratitude. Do you think your dog is any different? No, dogs who obey an owner out of gratitude belong to the Hollywood films and are not existent in reality. Start demanding respect. There are three ways to achieve this. #1 Never give a command which you cannot reinforce #2 If you give a command follow through by all means necessary #3 Don’t ever repeat a command.

8. Undeserved privileges – If your dog is currently being rehabilitated or is displaying any kind of behavioural problem, you will want to stay away from allowing your dog these privileges: 1. Sleeping with you in your bed and sharing the same furniture. This is giving your dog greater social status by physically raising himself above you or on the same level as you. 2. Free feeding. Alpha always eats first. Make your dog wait for his food for one minute. 3. Enter hallways and such before your dog does - alphas always go first.

9. Allow the dog to lead on walks and bark in your house - Pulling on the lead in not just an inconvenience. It’s a sign that your dog believes he is in charge of you. By doing this, he is putting himself in a position of authority and putting you in a subordinate position. Pulling on the lead can also lead to damage to the neck and impaired vision. It’s okay if your dog barks one or two times when someone knocks on the door. But if the barking continues it can become a big problem. Dogs who constantly bark think they are in charge and they are the decision makers.

10. Not allowing your dog to be a dog – Dogs are very different from humans. Human psychology has no bearing on them. We love our dogs for a multitude of reasons but they can only love us back for one. When interacting with your dog you must use canine language and actions to establish authority, which will create harmony in your relationship as nature intended.

Vladae Roytapel, Russian Dog Wizard, is a phenomenon in the dog training world. His success has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX networks across the country. He also hosts a nationally syndicated show on Animal Radio titled “Ask Vladae!” If you are experiencing problem behaviours with your dog or simply want your puppy or adult dog to have better manners, please visit this website for more information. www.socaldogtraining.com

Vladae on Letterman

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K9 Magazine is your digital destination helping you have a happier, healthier dog. Here you'll find advice on everything from dog training to dog diet advice as well as interviews with well known dog lovers and insightful features on the broadest range of canine lifestyle topics.

7 Comments

  1. Jen

    April 10, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Wonderful list!

  2. Steve

    June 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Excellent article. It’s good to come across someone talking sense for a change. Treating a dog like a dog is the kind and loving way.

  3. Jon

    December 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Its about time someone starts making sense. A dog is a dog.. Not a child! Anyone who refuses to acknowledge the fact that dogs are animals needs to not own any..

    • Bonita

      August 24, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Shhhh! Our four-legged companions do not know they are dogs. My oldest dog, Roscoe, lived to be almost 19 years old and passed in past June. We have two other young dogs. They receive annual well-health visits and regular spa treatments that also brush her teeth. Dental care in dogs is essential.

      I don’t convict you for how you chose to believe, but clearly, we have different belief systems.

      When I was a young woman, I found out I could not have children and I will have to say that having Roscoe with me all those years has made all the difference.

      While I don’t refer to my creatures as son and daughter, some people do and that is ok too. I don’t convict them for their beliefs.

      Our dogs mean the world to us and we will go to great lengths to nurture and love them.

      Truthfully, we’ve mourned the loss of Roscoe more than the loss of life of any human. I couldn’t image living my life without loving and caring for animals everyday.

  4. Elyse Madigan, CPDT-KA

    August 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Unbelievable how people can fall for this hogwash. This man’s methods are nothing short of abusive. I cannot begin to tell you how many dogs I have had to “fix” after this man destroys the. He creates fearful & aggressive dogs, and it is amazing that the public cannot see the cruelty in this man’s methods. I am shocked that this magazine does not promote positivity. Vlad’s ideologies have long since been outdated. It’s time you wised up, K9 Magazine.

    • Bonita

      August 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I agree, Elyse.

  5. Bonita

    August 24, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    #6. While we can all agree that structure and discipline are a important, I disagree that structure and discipline supersede a dogs need for affection. Dogs need a balanced lifestyle of nurturing and affection.

    Wild pack dogs have structure, discipline, and show affection. They didn’t lose those needs after becoming domesticated, but they have refined their needs by learning from human behavior.

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