Dos & Don’ts of New Dog Ownership

Owning a dog is one of life’s greatest joys; however, it’s important to understand the dos and don’ts of new dog ownership. Use these ideas to get started teaching and reinforcing good behavior with your canine. If, after working with your new dog, you are not seeing the desired results, it’s a good idea to contact one of the many dog trainers in Maryland for more help.

The Dos

  • Do consistently reinforce good behaviors through rewards. Great rewards to use include treats, toys, and praise.
  • Do keep a close eye on your pet, so that you are rewarding them when they are demonstrating good behaviors. It’s always good to catch them in the act when they don’t even think you’re paying attention.
  • Do adhere somewhat to a schedule. It’s never a good idea to keep your dog guessing as to when they’re going to be taken out for a bathroom break or when mealtime is. It won’t be long before your dog learns the schedule and is reminding you of it.
  • Do come up with an exercise routine for your pup. Believe it or not, exercise is crucial when it comes to avoiding bad behaviors. Further, dogs that are exercised are able to concentrate better during training sessions.
  • Do make sure all family members are on the same page. Have a family talk and discuss what the expectations and roles are for each person. It is also important to discuss what reward system you are using and what behaviors you’re looking for. Having this discussion with your family will make training smoother and more effective.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t train your dog to engage in negative behaviors. Many people are not aware that they sometimes are reinforcing bad behavior through petting and playing. If your dog jumps on you to engage in play, they must understand that it is not acceptable to jump. This will not be learned if the behavior is rewarded with play.
  • Don’t set your dog up for failure. If your pet likes to chew shoelaces, it is your responsibility to make sure that shoes are not out to tempt him/her.
  • Don’t get frustrated. Training a new dog is very difficult and remaining patient and calm is key. Animals will pick up on how you’re feeling and feed off of it. If you remain focused and relax, it is more likely that your pup will too.


If, after several training attempts, you are not seeing the results you want, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of the many dog trainers in Maryland. A professional will be able to help remedy just about any situation.

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