In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog.
— Edward Hoagland, American Essayist (1932 – )
Dogs are good company and great fun but whether you have a small breed of dog such as a Fox Terrier or a large breed such as a Bullmastiff, they need training and guidance from you, the owner. Dogs are dogs irrespective of the breed.
So get to know your dog, educate yourself on your dogs specific breed traits. Learn how dogs communicate with each other, it will help you understand them better.
Socialize your dog, the right way make sure they have good experiences. Sometimes bad things do happen, if a problem does arise, seek help ASAP.
Many people I chat to have stories to tell of the bad experiences they have had, while out walking their dog. It is becoming a real issue in many parts of NZ and overseas. As are reported dog attacks, unfortunately there are many more that go unreported and all too often, its the dog that pays the price.
While, irresponsible dog ownership can shoulder some of the blame, I believe more education is needed in many areas. Many dog owners, are not well informed on such things, as Dog Bite Prevention, Dog Control Act, Dog behaviour-understanding, how dogs communicate with each other and with us. I personally cover the above topics and more with my clients, whether it be in class or privately.
Maybe its time for more clubs and trainers, who run training classes and the like, to do more, than just teach basic obedience and behaviour, to clients. Segments or FAQ sheets on some of the above mentioned issues, would not go astray. Below are a few links to articles I have written on:
“Socialising your dog, the right way”
“Dogs off leash but not under control”
“What parents & educators should know and tell kids about dog safety and how to act in the company of dogs””
Dog Safety for both Kids & Adults (text & graphics)”
Summer is nearly here again, just a reminder dogs left alone in parked cars can die, if they become overheated.