Having a dog in your life is a huge responsibility. It must take precedence over your personal time, Facebook, Iphones, texting and all of the other self-indulgent things we distract ourselves with.
Our dogs didn’t choose to come live with us, we chose them. They give us dedication and commitment, even when we don’t return the favour. Remember, this isn’t about you.
If your lifestyle doesn’t support having a dog: then don’t get a dog! This isn’t about what you are entitled to, this is about what is best for that wonderful little creature you want to bring into your life.
If you work 12 hours a day, or are way for extended periods of time: do not get a dog! There are two critical imprint periods for your dog. The first is between 8-12 weeks, the second critical imprint period is 6-12 months. These times are crucial for socialization, normal development and learning. You must be present and instrumental during these times to head off future problems.
Here is a list of things to be aware of before you explore dog ownership:
- RESPECT dogs as a different species, with separate needs and requirements than us
- APPRECIATE that they think differently than humans
- UNDERSTAND how to communicate clearly, concisely and consistently to your dog
- EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE!!!!!
- GET professional help for basic obedience, and then for behaviour issues when you get it wrong
- BOND with your dog
- STAY CONNECTED, and switched on!
- ACCESSORIZE your life by getting a dog
- TREAT a dog like a child
- EXPECT a dog to figure out something that you are unable or unwilling to
- LOOK to a TV show to find quick solutions to a problem you have created
- EXPECT doggy daycare to solve all of your socialization issues
- USE CHOKE COLLARS, pinch collars, shock collars (even halty’s and harnessses are questionable with me)
- FEED your dog cheap, low quality dog food. Always provide him with the best you can afford – preferably RAW food diet
- USE a leash shorter than 6 feet, or a retractable leash
- HIT, yell, abuse or employ training techniques that advocate DOMINANCE AND FEAR (usually disguised as words like ‘respect’ and ‘alpha’)
I could go on, but this is great start point to get you on the right track.
Stupidity has a certain charm, ignorance doesn’t