You correct your dog with kindness
When your dog acts up, you need to bring them back in line. But great dog owners know the difference between correction and punishment, says Kristi Benson, a certified canine therapy trainer and behaviour expert. They use their voice to reassure, comfort and correct their dog – not scare them, she says. “Good owners will not use yelling, swatting, training collars or other physical punishments as they know they are bad for the dog’s welfare,” she explains. “Modern dog training techniques can help you teach your dog to obey without using harsh punishments.”
You make your house dog-friendly
Sure, you could get mad at your dog every time they bark at the neighbour’s kids – or you could install some dog-proof shades and remove the temptation, Benson says. Similarly, if your pup freaks out when strangers come over, set up a room with toys and food for him to go to when you have guests. “Good dog owners look for easy ways to reduce problem behaviour instead of punishing it,” she says.
You take your dog for regular veterinary check-ups
“A big sign of a great dog owner is seeking veterinary care for their pets as soon as they get sick and scheduling routine health check-ups and vaccines,” says Sara Ochoa, veterinarian and consultant for doglab.com. Not only will this help your dog recover faster from injuries and illnesses, it will go a long way in preventing them from getting sick or hurt in the first place, she says.