Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid With Your Newly Adopted Dog

There are 3 common mistakes most often made by parents of newly adopted dogs. Greatest American Dog Trainer, Travis Brorsen explains:


According to statistics recently released by the ASPCA, pet adoptions are up by a remarkable 18.5%. Nationally, an estimated 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.6 million dogs and 1.6 million cats), up from 2.7 million adoptions in 2011. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals also states the shelter intake and euthanasia are down and the number of animals being placed in forever homes in the New York City is up dramatically. This is thanks to not only the hard work of shelters and rescue organizations but also the general public’s dedication to rescuing homeless animals.

While this is fantastic news, it can also mean that many people may find they have adopted a wonderful dog who is no longer a puppy, but is still in need of some training. Or they may find that they themselves need some “behavior modification” to avoid the all too common mistakes that new adoptive pet parents can make. And these mistakes can lead to a less than happy experience once the dog arrives in their new home.

I have found over the past several years the biggest mistakes new owners of adopted dogs make are:

  1. Feeling guilty about their dog’s past
  2. Not setting or reinforcing rules or boundaries to earn trust and respect
  3. Not getting them on a schedule from day one
Feeling guilty about your dog’s past

Dogs live in the moment. This doesn’t mean they don’t have associations with past experiences i.e.: being hit with a stick or abused by a large man etc. But they do not live in the past. They live in the present.

Unfortunately, if you spend the first few weeks or even months coddling your new dog, protecting them from the world, you are more than likely forming bad habits and encouraging unwanted behaviors. For instance, if your dog learns that if they bark you come running to their rescue, pet them when they are scared,…

About the author

Jessica Goldberg

Jessica Goldberg

Editor for @DogCoutureCNTRY | Love my outdoors yoga | Family, friends and of course puppies dogs. Go figure! social media geek at heart community manager. Follow @JessicaGoldb

  • I have a dog. I take him to places where other dogs are taken. My observations are this: People rarely talk nice to their animal(s). Always yelling, correcting, and mostly, warning their dog to ‘play nice!’ and ‘behave!’ which places their dog in a cautious and suspecting mind set. People seem to believe dogs only want to attack other dogs when the opposite is true. If you are constantly telling your dog how disgusting his butt sniffing behavior is, or always warning him when he approaches another dog, then you are training your dog to be apprehensive, or even aggressive. (Strange dog! Get away from me! My owner always starts bitching at me and yelling when a dog approaches!) If dogs are not allowed to meet and play without human interruptions or guidance, they never become accustomed to other dogs, and will never understand dog on dog social cues. Just sayin’

    • Completely agree with you. Allowing dogs to socialize calmly with random people and other dogs is a MUST for any new dog owner.

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