When you go to the pound or a pet store, you may be dreaming of a sweet dog who sleeps with you all night and follows you around all day. What you end up with may be a different story. That said, you have to train it to be what you want. Read on to learn what else you need to know:

Give your dog hugs, but don’t kiss him. Dogs lick dirty things you don’t even want to think about. You don’t know where your dog’s tongue has been, and you’re better off not knowing. It’s an old wives tale that your dog’s mouth happens to be cleaner that a human being. This is completely wrong!

Since your dog can’t talk to you, it’s crucial that you listen to their non-verbal language. Hesitant dogs need to be taken out of fearful situations. It could end up with someone getting bit. Watch out for those non-verbal clues and let your dog guide any actions you perform.

Always neuter or spay your pet. Research has proven that this can reduce your dog’s risk of cancer and make them healthier in general. In addition, spayed or neutered dogs aren’t as likely to roam away from your home, which can result in them getting run over by a vehicle, killed by a bigger animal, shot, or kidnapped.

TIP! Be sure to have your dog spayed or neutered. Research shows that doing this can make your animal live longer and reduce their cancer risks.

No matter how nicely your dog behaves, never take it off your property unless it is on a leash. A wild animal may get his attention and cause him to run off, or he may have a bad situation with others and their dogs. You are solely responsible for the dog’s actions and for the dog’s safety as well.

Speak with your vet to determine whether or not certain foods are okay to give to your dog. In some cases, your pet may not be able to consume certain food brands without becoming nauseous. Always be cautious about dog food.

Think about your own lifestyle when considering the dog breed you want. For instance, joggers may want dogs that can run along with them, instead of a toy breed that cannot. If you prefer to stay at home, seek out a small dog that loves to snuggle on the couch. Getting the right fit for you will give you both much more joy.

Your dog can not tell you what is wrong, so just listen to his body language. If you notice that your dog is timid around strangers or other dogs, you shouldn’t attempt to force its interaction with them. If you do, someone may get hurt. Pay attention to the posture of the dogs and let them take their time.

TIP! Your dog speaks to you, but it is through non-verbal cues. Your job is to learn to listen carefully so you understand the message.

Do not buy your dog a particular brand of food just because it is cheap. Cheaper brands have tons of additives, preservatives, and ingredients that can harm a dog’s health. Try using animal advocacy groups or consumer awareness to get a list of great dog foods that have high professional recommendations. Your dog will be in better health when he has high quality food.

If you’re thinking about getting a dog, but aren’t sure you want to make the commitment, try serving as a foster home. Shelters for abused or homeless dogs are often looking for temporary homes, called foster homes, where dogs can live until they are adopted out to a permanent home. Fostering a dog will both help the cause and allow you to test drive the responsibility involved with pet ownership.

Even if you are looking for a dog that is a pure breed, always check the local pound. People who aren’t fully committed to dog ownership often abandon their animals at the pound. Paying a trip to your local shelter might help you to find the exact dog you have been searching for. You could possibly be saving a dog’s life in the process.

Do not fall prey to the temptation to feed table scraps to your dog. Not only will table scraps turn your dog off on their regular food, but it will also teach them to constantly beg. “People food” can also make dogs sick and contribute to obesity. Make your dog stay out of the room when the family is eating.

TIP! Resist the urge to give your dog table scraps. This can make your dog not want to eat his dog food, and it will promote begging.

Demonstrate plenty of affection to your dog. Similar to other areas of life, dog owners notice a dog’s bad behavior rather than the good. This causes problems with dog behavior. Try praising them at least 5 times more than when you scold them. Your dog will probably show proper behavior more if this is done.

Keep your annual appointments for check-ups with your dog. Vets can find problems such as kidney troubles, thyroid issues and diabetes well before symptoms appear to you. Giving your dog an annual physical can prevent unnecessary suffering to the animal and unnecessary expenses later on.

Your training techniques should only use positive reinforcement. Rewards and praise work better and faster than violence and dominance. It’s just a much better solution for immediate results and for the long term relationship too. So treat your dog kindly when training and you will see better results.

Ask your vet what kinds of foods you should feed to your dog and what to stay away from. A puppy’s stomach may not be able to properly digest certain brands, sometimes causing an adverse reaction. You should be careful when you are feeding your dog.

TIP! Talk to your vet about which foods you should be feeding your dog. In some cases, your pet may not be able to consume certain food brands without becoming nauseous.

Remember, your dog isn’t a human. When you train your dog, they will have a shorter attention span. When you’re training your pup, short sessions are best to avoid boring your dog or frustrating yourself.

Your puppy looks cute nibbling your slippers, but when he’s full grown, it will not be cute to have him shred them into millions of pieces. You must do something about these habits right away. If you watch your dog and they are doing something they should not know, stop it right away. You will be saved much trouble down the line.

You know that consistency is important in the lives of your children. Dogs share this similarity with kids. If your dog does not know how its day is going to be, it can become hyperactive and cranky. They will act out if they are not in a good mood. Keep to a regular schedule of training, play time and feeding.

Talk to your vet about your dog’s food portions. Although some dog owners stick to the recommended guidelines on the dog food, these guidelines can often be too much for your dog, which can lead to obesity. Ask your vet for some recommendations if you are not sure which brands are best for your dog or need help with quantities.

TIP! Ask your vet the amount of food your dog needs daily. Most dog food packages include guidelines but keep in mind that these instructions might not be adapted to your dog.

Make sure your pet isn’t sitting at home, alone, in his crate for hours a day. Your dog should be able to spend an entire day alone while you are at work, but leaving your dog alone for longer periods of time could be dangerous. Your dog may feel less lonely if you leave the TV or radio on. You should hire a pet sitter if you have to go away for long periods of time.

Don’t ignore this wonderful advice. Take it all in and soon enough you will see how much more fun it is to be the owner of a happy dog. Dogs that are happy really show it no matter what, so work hard and you’ll see the rewards!

We really hope you found our article interesting. If you own a dog and would like advice understanding his or her character, we would strongly recommend that you look into the following resource which provides a lot of relevant information about dog training: