Many of us become so excited about brining home a new puppy or dog that we fail to take into account all that is involved in actually caring for a dog. I’m guilty of this mistake too, so no judgement from me – we’re here to help not judge! We think of our relationship with a new dog we envision beautiful walks, playing fetch, cuddle time and the like, but it’s important to have a clear and complete picture of what to expect. The number one way you can show your dog you love them is to understand the responsibilities involved in caring for it, and making sure you’re properly prepared ahead of time. Not being prepared can quickly tarnish your vision of dog ownership, cause resentment, and lead to dissatisfaction in your relationship with your dog.
There are many aspects of ownership to take into account, but the two most important are breed selection and training and socialization. If you love relaxing when you get home from a long day of work then a husky or shepherd would not be a wise choice for you. These dogs fall into the AKC breed classification of Working and Herding dogs, respectively. They’ve been bred for hundreds of years to run…all day. So if you’re heart is set on one of these two breeds, you should have a good plan in place for how you can deplete their energy level, or they’ll do it for themselves while you’re at work; this often manifests in the form of home remodeling.
The primary reason dogs are turned into shelters is because of a lack of training and socialization. Shelters are filled with dogs that have potty training, socialization and obedience issues. (1) More than half of these dogs will be euthanized. (2) Most dogs can be trained to behave in a manner that we humans desire, but it takes time, money and patience.
The column to the right contains a checklist that will help you make sure you’re ready for the exciting and wonderful experience of dog ownership.