I get so tired of seeing shelters full of unwanted dogs who have done nothing wrong except be in a home where noone seemed to care to train or care for them. We see it over and over, many dogs that end up at shelters because they have run away or are even returned because the owner didn’t find they fit in well with their family. How can this problem be fixed?
Simple…do your homework before you get a dog. Before we buy a stationary item like a car or a new fridge we are looking in catalogues and on the net for weeks before buying but yet often go and see a dog in a shelter with sad eyes and take him home on the spot.
Here are a few things to consider:
1.) Often pets that are in vogue such as purse sized chihuahas may not be a good fit for your family(research the breed) Don’t get a dog because everyone else has one.
2.) Research a breeder-they should be willing for you to come to their house and their dogs should be raised with them or housed in a clean, safe area outside of the house. Be very wary of internet puppy mills-if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!
If they offer to meet you somewhere forget it! You need to see how these animals are raised and meet the mother or both if possible. Most breeders will have questionaires for you, bring it filled out. Ask them questions ie: Are their pups registered? How long have they been breeding? What type of family do they recommend for this dog? How much exercise do they need? Do they have a return policy for their pups? Spay/neuter requirements?
3.) Consider your work schedule. If you are unable to be home all day and noone else is at home, reconsider getting a puppy. They require proper bonding time, and no longer than four hours in a crate to be well adjusted and house trained. Then when you get home you are tired and the pup has just sprung into action, yay my humans are home. Are you prepared for this? You will be in for a whole host of undesirable behaviours if you let this puppy alone too much without being trained.
4.) Ask a trainer in your area for assistance in choosing a pet for your home. Most will oblige and even come with you to test the dog’s temperament for a small fee. (or ask a friend with lots of dog experience)
5.) If you are a senior who doesn’t exercise much, realize that dogs need exercise! Without adequate exercise and guidance these dogs will bark out of frustration or eliminate in the house. Consider an older dog perhaps or a smaller breed dog that is already house trained and not overly active.
6.) Ask your local shelter if you can take a dog on a trial. This is a good way to see how he fits in with your house(other pets/children etc) and if anyone is allergic. Do not bring a dog right in front of your cats/other pets right away the first day. This could be disasterous!
7.) Realize before you get a dog how big they are going to be people!!! If you get a mastiff or great dane and then six months later realize he is too big, um whose fault is that? You didn’t do your homework!
8.) You have to be prepared to walk the dog each day, rain or shine. Letting a dog out in the yard to do his business and play but he will soon tire of being there alone. Go play ball with him, take him for a walk and socialize him with other people and dogs. (be wary of dog parks because not all dogs get along and many owners pay no attention even though they know their dog has the propensity to be aggressive). Always have your dog on a long line leash if you do go!
9.)Think about the cost of a lifetime commitment for this animal, food, vet bills, training before you get him!
10.) Do take proper obedience training classes, just existing with a dog is no fun and tying him up outside will only create a high strung, understimulated, barking dog! Training will bond you and your dog together and will be the best money you ever spend!
11.) After considering all of these things and you want to get a dog but are busy, consider doggy day care/dog walker for him or pay a neighbour to come and walk your dog and let them out to use washroom.
12.) Remember they are not mindreaders and if they fail to meet your expectations, it is because you did not teach them! Very rarely are there dogs that really have something wrong physically/mentally that is genetic and can’t be fixed.
Thank you for letting me rant about this and hopefully will save a family from getting a dog that doesn’t suit their lifestyle!
Above all remember they will love you no matter what, so treat them with respect and kindness always! Teach your children how to love and respect them as well. Rough children and a playful dog can create a nippy guy who then gets blamed for biting a child. Harsh words, heavy hands only serve to create a fearful dog!
Happy Thanksgiving all! Remember to keep your dog away from rich turkey fixings! They can cause alot of stomach upset.