Always spay or neuter at a young age
“Spaying and neutering dogs at a young age was happening at an alarming rate several years ago, and many veterinarians took the stance of ‘the younger, the better,’” says dog trainer, Adam Gibson. The idea is that early neutering or spaying will curb behavioural issues as the pet gets older. Gibson points out that numerous studies have shown this to be untrue and waiting to neuter your dog may be safer in the long run. “There are also added health benefits to allowing dogs to keep their reproductive organs intact into adulthood,” Gibson says. The community is responding to this new data, and more vets and owners are waiting six months to one year to spay or neuter pups.
Use dog treats to bribe your pet
Sure, they taste good, and your dog might beg for them, but the best dog treats aren’t just a way to bribe your pet into following your orders. The best dog trainers view treats as rewards – not bribes. “Treats are a really great way to show your dog that their consistent good behaviour or listening is going to be positively reinforced with a reward,” says Nick Navarro, a professional dog trainer.
“When we’re training our dogs’ behaviours, we want to consider when we are giving them their treats. If you’re giving them treats before a bad behaviour happens, that would be considered a bribe. However, after they do something good – like dropping something they shouldn’t be chewing on or coming when called – you should definitely be digging into that treat jar for a job well done.” Bottom line: Treats (store-bought and homemake dog treats) are an excellent training tool for young dogs. Combine it with other training methods, and you’ll have an all-star pup in no time.
If you see these behaviours, your dog might need obedience training.
A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s
This is one of the most common dog myths vets encounter. If a dog’s saliva was as antibacterial as the myth states, they’d be walking medical superheroes. Sure, dogs are superheroes in their own right, but this is one dog myth we’ve got to put to rest. “While dog saliva has a slightly more alkaline pH, which can discourage some bacteria from reproducing, it’s not truly antibacterial,” says Dr Trimble. “In fact, as a vet, one of the most common causes of canine skin infections we see is from a dog licking a wound or itchy spot too much.”