1- Interesting Dog Facts
Dogs may not be men’s best friend but it is the most loyal. Fiercely loyal in fact that it is capable of self-sacrifice if its owners are in danger and the need according to its interpretation exists.
They do not possess the intelligence that we would often believe that they have in fact their brains are 10% smaller than that of wolves, but they are attentive or on many occasions pretend to comprehend. With the comprehension comes the obedience. Dogs unlike other animals do not have the capability to premeditate its actions to solve a problem or a situation although it learns by constant observation and repetitive instructions and examples. Whatever they lack in intelligence, they compensate with unquestioning obedience and love or at least, the semblance of it.
The loyalty that dogs show is a trait that they have while still in the wild where they have to learn to stick together and take care of its other to survive longer. Human sees this devotion and treats dogs as family members. Dogs on the other hand see humans as pack leaders although members of their pack nonetheless. Men therefore have to be obeyed and would need as much cooperation from the dog similar to how the dog will respond to a pack leader in the wild.
In spite of all these, dogs are predators. They have always been and even behind centuries of domestication, they have not totally lost the instinct. They respect hierarchy. This is why dogs need training because when left to themselves, they would start believing that they are the alpha males and superior to their owners. Behind these, they would always be ready to obey and transfer their imagined superiority when there is firm and gentle guidance, with a whine maybe but never a complaint.
Dogs are generally believed to have descended from wolves, hence the similarity. In antiquity, dogs that are near human settlements eat human refuse that resulted in shorter fangs, limp ears and smaller brains compared to wolves because these attributes are not being used anymore and has become unnecessary. Another dog trait not found in wolves is tails that curl upwards and paws that are half the size of those that wolves have.
Dogs with long noses (like hounds) have excellent field visions that are wide although not as detailed, on the other hand, dogs with shorter noses as with Pugs sees better details although with a narrower perspective.
Dogs may have floppy ears but they hear sounds four times better than humans and with eighteen muscles to move them around they could detect the source of the sound more accurately. Dogs with more natural looking ears could hear and detect sounds much better.
Humans may have five million smell sensitive cells enough to make scent detection and scent identification efficient but dogs have 220 million cells in their nose cavities.
Mans love affair with dogs goes a very long way that today; there are more breed of dogs than any other animal species on earth.
2- Adopting A Dog – Companion Dogs
Many dog lovers will argue that any dog is a good companion. Indeed dogs by their friendly nature are good companion dogs. In the strict sense though and for differentiation, dogs that do not work and do not particularly excel at any task other than companionship is a companion dog. When the decision for adopting a dog is to have a companion, the choices will be limited generally to smaller dog breeds that are expected to serve no particular task other than as a pet and as a comforter.
This tradition of having small dogs for decoration dates back thousands of years to Chinese nobility where the Pug and the Pekingese where favorites. In Europe, lap dogs are also popular with royalties and the wealthy throughout history and are still used as gifts today. In fact because of their generally small breed, companion dogs loves to sit on their owner’s lap that earned them the term of lap dogs aside from their comforting warmth.
Several companion dogs for example the Maltese, terriers and spaniels were breed with the intention of serving good company for refined ladies and gentlemen during the 19th century. Children and dogs though have this natural affinity to each other that popularity of companion dog breeds increased. In the 20th century, middle and lower classes began having companion dogs to chum up with their children. In fact, the parameter by which a good dog breed is measured on is in the dogs being a good family pet. By that it means that the dog is friendly to both man and other smaller animals and gentle.
Companion dogs have a life expectancy of up to 16 years. They weigh, depending on the breed, from 4 to 16 pounds and are prone to ailments that are related to their size. Before adopting a dog for a companionship, it would be well to do a little research regarding health, ailments, and other breed specific issues on health.
Companion dogs being generally small dogs are energetic and rambunctious. While they are not ideal around children because they move very fast, they are good company to older people who could use extra cheer around the house. One of the downside to having a companion dog is that because of their size, they are vulnerable to larger animals. When you are located in areas where winters could be very cold, you would want to consider companion dog breeds that are fluffy or are longhaired.
The benefits far outweighs the risk though as these dogs are content to follow wherever their owners go, are very easy going, and are content to sit with their owners for long periods of time. They are excellent pets for people living in small apartments, they also cost less to maintain and are excellent for people that are less active since the running around the house is exercise enough for them.
Some of the most popular companion breed dogs are the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terriers, Pugs, Dachshunds, and Shih-Tzus.
3- Adopting A Dog – Dog Training
There are very many reasons to love a dog. The dog is appreciative, patient with its owners, loyal and protective. Because of these, even the sternest of dog owner’s fall into the trap of pampering the dog sometimes unmindful of the effect of the temporary indulgence. Who would not? It is so difficult to refuse a dog giving you dog eyes when you are sitting at your table begging for man food. The charm though is easily lost once there are guests. It feels very nice to be welcomed by a dog with a furiously waging tail, very excited at your coming home, jumping at you, or bolting out the door to meet you. It is embarrassing though when the dog does the same when there are other people around.
On occasions such as these, the owner will attempt at stopping the dog from continuing, but when the dog is not trained, all the dog hears from its owners is just another bark, an important bark maybe but incomprehensible.
It is also a natural instinct among us to not create “fences” among those we love but if the dog is allowed full run off the house, sooner, even those characteristics in a dog that charmed us will be an irritant. Obviously and for very practical reasons, the dog needs obedience training. Little coaching like sit, heel, stop, stay, and come, goes a long way in teaching your dog manners that are very useful in situations when you would want to communicate with the dog and be understood. The dog is also likely to respect the owner more if the owner is consistent and firm with what he wants the dog to do.
Setting limits on what the dog can and cannot do is within the dog’s nature. In fact, dogs enjoy hierarchy; it wants to know who the boss is. It is its tendency that is natural to dogs. Dogs trained in obedience are not only much more enjoyable as companions; dogs also are less likely to suffer and are loved more when it knows its limits.
While mans love affair with dogs are many centuries old, dogs originally were predators in the wild. Even through all these years these instincts are not totally shed. In the wild, dogs lived in packs. As such, there has always been an established hierarchy among them that were useful if they were to survive, and so dogs instinctively obey rules. If rules are not provided and the dog is allowed to do as it wants, it starts thinking that it is the alpha male and will become dominant because contrary to our beliefs, it does not see people as people but as members of the pack where he is a part or where he should lead.
Loyalty, sociability, protectiveness, gentleness with those that the dog is familiar with, fierceness to those it does not know and sometimes meanness when there is a perceived violation of territories are real to the dog that endears him to us but these traits are natural instincts practiced within the pack which by extension is given to humans.
Dog training then is very important if these traits are to be sharpened to our benefit.
4- Adopting A Dog – Going Through The Adoption Process
Adopting a dog does not end and begin with picking your future best friend at an animal shelter or a rescue group. It’s more than giving a homeless dog a home either. There are plenty of things that go into the adoption process, which could define your long-term relationship with the dog you want to adopt.
This is purely according to your preferences. Dog owners, in general, have their hearts set for a specific type of dog or a specific breed when planning to adopt. Some have their eyes on purebreds, others are comfortable taking home mutts or mixed breeds. There are many, however, who don’t have a particular idea of what dog to adopt.
As guide, there should be at least three characteristics that you should look for in a dog. First, are the things that you want in the dog you are to adopt. Second, are the things that you want but can definitely live without. And finally, the unacceptable characteristics that you don’t want your future dog to have.
For would-be owners who want to be very specific with the type of dog they would adopt, the following characteristics could help with identifying the best dog that would match their preferences:
- Breed – Purebred or mutt?
- Size – Big, midsize, small, or little?
- Activity level – High-energy or low-energy?
- Grooming and maintenance – High-maintenance or low-maintenance?
- Exercise needs – Plenty or not so much?
- Age – Puppies, adult or senior?
You can do no wrong if you categorize the available dogs in the rescue homes or animal shelters under these criteria.
Source Of The Dog
There are, in general, three places from where you can adopt a dog – from an animal shelter, from a breed-specific rescue group, and from general rescue group. Animal shelters often serve as temporary shelters for dogs that were rescued from the streets. Rescue groups, meanwhile, house dogs in home-like settings where the dogs are observed and taken care of.
Research your prospective sources beforehand. Most of them have websites which can provide a great deal of information about their available dogs. Also, check their actual facilities. These should provide clean homes, safe environment and loving treatment for the dogs. If the facility seems suspicious, leave it and check out the next.
Applying For Dog Adoption
Although there are hundreds of dogs that need new homes, most organizations don’t just allow their dogs to leave their facilities without first requiring you to undergo the formal process of adoption.
The majority of rescue homes and animal shelters have policies that require you to apply for dog adoption. They do this to ensure that their dogs don’t end up in the wrong hands. Fortunately, it is not hard to get approved.
During the application process, ask for the fees you have to pay. Most organizations charge more or less $100 for their dogs. If they charge more, be suspiscious.
Bringing The New Dog Home
Your long-term commitment with your new best friend begins once he steps into your door. The first few weeks after the adoption process are expected to be rough as the dog adjusts to his new environment. Once you have established a bond with the dog, you can gradually start training or preparing him for a life ahead that is shared with you.
5- Adopting A Dog – Guardian Dogs
The following are examples of dogs that top the list of most popular guardian dog breeds. These breeds, though quite rare, are available for adoption in many rescue groups and animal shelters. You might wait long before you get yourself these dogs, but they are definitely worth the wait, 100% of the time.
The Wolf Dog
On top of the list is the wolf dog. A wolf dog is a cross between any guard dog breed and a wolf. Wolf dogs do not make loving pets. They are mean, vicious, and hard to train. If you need a truly badass dog, get a wolf dog. If security is your priority wolf dogs are what you need. Imagine this, what kind of fool would dare break into a property where there are half wolves around?
The Caucasian Shepherd
Talk about size and viciousness, this dog have it. Contrary to the Wolf Dog, the Caucasian Shepherd is very gentle to those that it is familiar with, but is very suspicious to those who are not. This dog breed is very gentle to, too gentle in fact, sometimes to a fault. But when guarding a property or a facility, this dog is a must have.
The Butchers Dog
The butcher dog also known as the Cane Corso is bred in Southern Italy for hunting and protection purposes. It s powerful built and stable temperament make the dog ideal for guarding properties.
The Dogo Argentino
This is a large athletic and muscular mastiff. Originally bred for hunting big games, this dog is highly tolerant to pain and is very protective and gentle around children. Aside from that, they are very territorial and would protect it without second thoughts once they perceive that the territory that they are tasked to guard against intruders are violated.
These dogs are bred solely for protecting the home. Very aggressive, powerful, and intelligent, this dog breeds have strong guarding instinct and would not be unwilling to demonstrate it any day that its capabilities are challenged. Boerboels, have that special ability to sense whether the family is in grave danger. Like any watchdog, to curve the Boerboels’ aggression, they should be introduced to visiting friends and other animals.
The Moscow Watchdog
This dog is a cross between a Caucasian shepherd and a Saint Bernard. Very receptive and intelligent, this dog poses both the characteristics of physical and mental attributes and attitudes of its original parents.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The best way to describe this dog is “muscular, large, and powerful”. This dog has very strong affinity to what they consider as the pack making them very protective of families and territories that they consider their own. This dog gets distressed when the family which it identifies as the “pack” is not together. Training is very important if you choose this dog as it has a domineering personality.
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Fearless, fiercely loyal and obedient, the Pyrenean will sacrifice itself for the family if needed.
Large, black, very powerful, reliable, and self-assured, the Rott is among the list of most popular guard dogs. Because of its size, this dog has to be trained and socialized early on due to its assertive character. Like any powerful dog, it has to learn its place. Poorly trained and it could be destructive.
If intelligence is what you desire in a dog, a Doberman is your dog. Loyal and gentle Dobermans attack only when it senses that the property or the family is in danger. They are easily trained and could restrain themselves not to kill their perceived enemies.
6- Adopting A Dog – Leash Training
Dogs hate the leash. If they can have their way, they would rather not be restrained. This is especially more so if the dog is one from among the active type of breed. This is why a dog has to be trained to get used to the leash as early as possible. The following are tips to ease the dog in getting used to the leash.
The first time is typically the hardest. When attaching a leash for the first time, try attaching the leash hen the pup is at his best mood. Better yet, attach the leash while the pup is eating. The idea is to attach the leash the first time associating it with happy occasion or at least occasions that are non- threatening. As much as possible, the leash must never be attached to the dog in ways that will be interpreted as punishment, at least not during the first few times.
Initially, the pup will jump, pull, nip, whine, and show fear when leashed. There are plenty of good reasons for this. But aside from its natural tendency to refuse restraints, the first experience with the leash must not have been pleasant. Check whether the leash is too heavy for the pup, and check if the collar is too tight. Being leashed is not pleasant for any creature. The best thing to do is to at least make the leash very comfortable. That one resolved it is now time to take the pup for short walks around the yard.
Attach the leash to the pup and encourage him to walk on his own. Do not hold the leash yet. Encourage the pup to come to you and when it does, give the pup treats. The idea is to get the pup get used to the idea of walking with a leash. Do this for a few days until the pup is used to walking with the leash.
After a few days the pup will appear comfortable already, hold the leash for short periods of time, but let the pup guide the way. Go with his phase. Do not pull at the leash yet, during this initial stage, it is best to give the pup his space. Remember that you are still inside the home or within the confines of your yard. This is already control. If the pup insists on going to places where you do not want him to (like digging on a flowerbed for example) and you are tempted to tug at the leash, carry the pup instead, then move to another location.
You could already take a more firm control when the pup appears to be comfortable being restrained. Tug gently at the leash when he wanders to places that are not good for him. Be gentle when doing so to minimize the threat as much as possible.
Eventually the pup will not mind being restrained. If in your judgment the time is good, that would be the time to take the pup out. Then it will be a real walk in the park.
7- Adopting A Dog On The Spot – Deciding Which Dog to Adopt
Sometimes, even with thorough planning, it is still hard to resist puppies with oversized paws and cute, button-like eyes or attractive full-grown dogs, for that matter. This is a natural response commonly observed among would-be owners at rescue homes and animal shelters.
A little planning can still go a long way when deciding which dog to adopt. Even if your previous plans are all but forgotten, remembering the tips below can still help you resist that overpowering desire to bring them all home.
Try talking yourself out of it.
Debate with yourself about your options. Ask yourself questions about whether you are ready to commit yourself to a particular dog. If you have doubts, even the slightest one, you should delay you decision. It is never a good idea to rely a lifetime commitment on a spur-of-the-moment decision.
Remember your game plan and stick with it.
Prior to going to the animal shelter, you have thought about the dog’s breed, dog’s size, the dog’s temperament, in fact even the color of the dog’s fur. Don’t forget these things when looking for the pet you would like to bring home. If you think you would easily fall for a dog, ask your wife, your brother, or a friend to tag along at the animal shelter. Get a second opinion. That never hurt.
Sleep on the decision.
A little time away from the dogs can help a great deal on deciding which dog to get. It is okay to sleep on your decision as this allows you sufficient time to evaluate your options. Only after you have thoroughly thought about your options should you decide. Otherwise, allow yourself more time to weigh your options.
Test the dog.
For the sake of argument, let’s say you are relying on pure instinct to guide you to your dog, without prior plans. The dogs in the animal shelters, on the other hand, rely on their animal instincts to find their suitable owners. If this is the case for you, it is advisable to first test the dog.
Do this by allowing the potential dog to sniff you. Ignore it for a few minutes while observing its behavior. The ideal dog is not clingy to its owner. It is people oriented and sociable but it should not force you to pay all your attention to him. If the dog wanders away and goes back to you after a few minutes, it is a good sign that it is a well-behaved, independent dog. It recognizes its owner, but does not demand so much from his master.
It is also not a bad idea to play with the dog. Dogs in stressful conditions don’t normally feel comfortable with petting. Usually, they are aggressive, shy, afraid or stressed. Test your would-be dog’s personality by playing around with it. A good response is often a good indication that a dog is comfortable around you.
Don’t be surprised if it is not playful though. It is enough that he tolerates being petted without showing apprehension.
Apart from using the above criteria, how else would you know which dog to adopt? Well, it always come down to your best judgment.
8- Adopting A Dog – Spotting Dog Personalities
No two dogs have the same temperament even with dogs of the same breed. Typically though, dogs of the same breed share more of the same characteristics. When decided in adopting a dog, choose dog characteristics and traits that you want. If you lead an active lifestyle for example, do not adopt a dog with a phlegmatic character that will be content to hang around the house much of the time, eating, and sleeping. To select the right dog, select those that closely resemble your lifestyle. Listed are characteristics and traits of dogs that you may want to consider.
People living in small apartments have the tendency to adopt small breeds. Understandably, the consideration for many is the available space. When you have small children though, it is not wise to have small dogs around a small space. Small dogs are very energetic and highly active creatures that will tend to topple things aside from not being safe to be around little children. Large dogs on the other hand are slower and more placid. If you have the time to get the dog out regularly for walks and exercise, a large dog will fit in nicely even when the space is limited. Larger dogs though cost more to maintain.
If you are the kind of person who likes peace and quiet around the house, find dogs that are peaceful and quiet by nature. Likewise, if you are the type that loves the outdoors and is athletic, find a dog that has the stamina to keep up and do not get easily distracted. Active and athletic dog types would need their daily requirement of hard running and long walks. Without that energy is pent up and they could potentially be destructive inside the house. For athletic and active people though, no dog breed is as good.
Who would not want an intelligent dog? The sad thing about this is that you cannot have all the characteristics that you want written down to one dog. Intelligent dogs are those that could pick up a command with five exposures and does not forget even when the command is not repeated often. Intelligent dogs are best for everyone but so much better for people who get easily frustrated and do not have the time enough to train dogs. You have to made a good choice. There are various dog breeds that have a higher percentage of intelligence than other breeds.
Today, dogs are popular toys, even as fashion statements. Dogs though are more important than that. Yes they are good companions and playmates. More than anything else dogs are protectors, workers, watchers, guides etc. Depending on the purpose that you want your dog to do, breeds are good guides in determining the right kind of dog for the right kind of purpose that you have in mind.
These are some of the things that you may want to determine first before adopting a dog, because you may not want just any dog. You want a dog that you could live with and have fun with for a long, long time.
9- Adopting A Dog – Taking The Dog Out The First Time
Taking your dog out for a walk is not always the ideal, leisurely, and enjoyable experience it has often been cracked up to be. Dog personalities differ, as much as moods and temperaments differ. Temperaments are even more pronounced with active and athletic dog breeds. Although most dogs would want an outside walk most of the time, there will be occasions when the dog would rather stay at home. Barring that the dog is ill; you could make every walk in the park as enjoyable an experience for both you and the dog.
Set the pace. Start slowly. Dogs will always be excited during their first time out. Dogs, especially when still untrained, gets easily distracted. It could be a squirrel, pigeons, other dogs, people, no matter; the dog’s attention has to be controlled.
During the initial walks outside, be mindful that the dog is naturally inclined to chase and play. It is often not recommendable to let the dog set the pace, because more often than not, it is hard to keep up with them. The dog will pull and will try to run and just love to romp. It will exert pressure on the leash. This is the more reason why the dog will tire easy. Set the pace. A fifteen minutes walk will already be enough during the first time out.
This could be increased gradually but the dog should be allowed to rest whether it wants it or not. Another reason for this is because of the excitement, the dog will pull hard at the leash that could injure his neck. Even so, the dog will keep on tugging. When the dog is panting hard and the eyes are getting red, it is a sign that the dog is exerting too much pressure on his neck. Rest for a while. If the dog refuses, take him back to your yard to prevent injury.
On subsequent walks, if you notice that your dog gets very excited at the site of other dogs, cats, squirrels, rest, and sit for a while. Calm the dog down. When the dog has calmed, resume the walk. You may be doing this several times but eventually the dog will catch on. When there is no place to sit, just stop walking. The dog will try to tug, get his attention and give the dog a treat or verbal assurances and resume walking.
If you have a particularly energetic pup like a boxer or a retriever, you may want to tire the pup first before introducing him outside. Highly energetic games, for example a game of fetch, would be good to release extra energy, just do not play tug of war with the pup. Playing tug of war will teach your pup to compete with you. Introduce games where you are in control over the pups activities.
If you chose to adopt an energetic/athletic dog, chances are you are athletic as well and love the outdoors. If so, maintain a brisk pace once outside your yard with the puppy. This way, distractions are minimized and tugging at the leash will become less often.
10- Adopting A Dog – The Working Dogs
The following dog types are commonly available for adoption in rescue homes and animal shelters:
Sporting Dogs – Dogs that are largely used as sporting dogs breeds are the spaniels, pointers, setters and retrievers. Sporting dogs is a product of years of breeding to come out with dogs that work closely with their owners and are comfortable on land, and is not intimidated by water. Sporting dogs also called gun dogs are popular for their ability to work with other dogs. They excel in outdoor activities as they are bred for hunting. Sporting dogs are loyal and friendly. They love interacting and playing with the whole family and are protective with children. Another endearing quality of the sporting dog is being affectionate and gentle.
Herding Dogs – Are also known as pastoral or working dogs. These dog breed are trained to work with other animals. Some herding dogs work well with most animals while other breeds are trained over generations to work with specific groups of animals making them adapted to specific animal traits enhancing their ability to the animal group that they are working on. Typically, animals that sporting dogs works best are sheep, cattle, deer, goats, and poultry. Herding dogs generally are intelligent animals. Their ability to follow commands is renowned all over the world. Herding dogs makes good family pets. However, they are most happy when they are used as workers. That is the purpose of their breeding and they are seldom happy when inactive. Herding dogs are very lively and strong and need a lot of exercise and activity. Some of the most popular breed of herding dogs are the Coolie, Shepherd, Kelpie, Sheepdog, Herder, Corgi and Terriers.
Hound Dogs – Hound dogs are also sporting dogs although its main purpose is to track their prey. Different from sporting dogs, hound dogs do not raise their tail to the direction of the prey like pointers nor do they kill them like retrievers. Instead they assist hunters by chasing the prey using their scant and sight. There are variations of hound dogs. The most popular are the Scent Dogs and the Sight Dogs.
The Scent Dogs – We all know that dogs have superior ability to smell and distinguish scents. Scent dogs though are on the top of the list for using their have spectacular sense of smell that enables them to track their prey several miles away. Scent dogs have droopy ears and long moist noses and lips that traps more scent particles that in turn enhance their sense of smell.
The Sight Dogs – Are agile and have the endurance to track down and chase their prey. Unlike sight hounds, these dog breeds use their superior ability to spot even small moving objects from a good distance. Sight hounds are fast runners. Because of that, they are characterized by highly flexible spines, deep chest, and big lungs and have very nimble bodies.
Non-sporting dogs – Are dogs that were previously bred for specific tasks. As times changed, so did their duties and purpose. There is no definite category for these dog breeds except that over the years their function were deemed less important than the general value that they serve whether as pets, entertainers, companions, guardians etc. Generally these dogs have good appearance but because there is no particular breeding for purpose, non-sporting dogs are now what we may call an all-purpose dog that shares all the positive features found in all dog breeds but may have no particular outstanding trait.
11- Adopting A Dog – What Dog To Choose
The type of dog that you will adopt often defines the future you have with your new best friend. If you pick the wrong breed, size, or temperament, both of you will likely end up not enjoying each other’s company.
Each dog breed has characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the canine community. And while the dog’s breed helps in approximating the general behavior, temperament, and characteristics of the dog, it still comes down to the individual characteristics of your chosen dog. To find your perfect dog match, use the following information:
Dog breed is the prime consideration when picking a dog to adopt and is probably the best criteria to begin with when choosing a dog. There are literally hundreds of dog breeds you can choose from. To make the selection easier for you, you can either choose use dog breed selectors available online or use some begin your search with the breed you have set your eyes on. You can also narrow down your choices to certain characteristics like:
- breed size,
- energy level,
- exercise requirements,
- affection level,
- tolerance towards other dogs or pets,
- ease of training,
- protection ability,
- grooming requirements, and
- tolerance to heat and cold
Dogs have a wide range of sizes. From tiny toy dogs as small as your coffee mug to giant dogs that seem more like a bundle of muscle than dog.
Small dogs are most vulnerable and are often associated with female owners. They are cute, dainty, very delicate and oftentimes boisterous. If you want a pet that you can carry with you, a small dog – toy or lapdog – is a perfect choice.
Make no mistake, though. Small dogs do not always make for behaved dogs. As if to compensate for their small size, some small dogs develop tough dog attitudes. Be prepared to do plenty of obedience training to curb their small dog aggressiveness.
Mid-size dogs, on the other hand, are ideal for most kinds of keepers – from children, adult to old people. As middle range dogs, they tend to get along with all sorts of training, environment, and people. Although, these benefits do not apply to all mid-sized dogs.
Giant dogs, big as they are, are perfect for people who have the space, budget, and patience for big animals. They require more food, more supplies, more space, and more intensive training. Compared to other dog sizes, giant dogs are more functional and more fun to be with, especially if you are the type of owner who loves the outdoors.
When it comes to age, you have three choices. You can choose from puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs.
Most people choose puppies because they are irresistibly cute and loaded with energy. They are also the hardest to take care of. When wanting to adopt a puppy, you should prepare for plenty of surprises such as accidents, misbehaviors, and the possibility of ending up with a dog that is different from what you expected.
Adult dogs are the ideal choice. They have already shown their actual temperament, size, attitude, and activity level. They are also, in most cases, already trained.
Senior dogs, on the other hand, are the ones that deserve adoption but are often not adopted. Would-be owners often fear that senior dogs are poor choices for pets. The reverse, in fact, is often true. It could be a very rewarding experience to bring home an aged dog, and a very compassionate experience at that.
12- Adopting A Dog – When The Dog Refuses To Walk
There are dog breeds that are more placid than other breeds. They would rather stay at home and be comfortable sitting in zones that are comfortable to them. The dog would love a walk outside but sometimes it would refuse. Larger dog breeds tend to be so. There are also moments when a supposedly active breed will refuse walks outside. On the other hand, there are dogs that are shy and would occasionally refuse. Either way, dogs need regular exercise. When dogs refuse to walk for reasons that are not obvious to you at the moment, the following tips might help.
Release the dog from the leash and let him walk alone in the yard. Sometimes without our knowing it, dogs may not necessarily be ill but just the same, the dog is not feeling very well. When released from the leash and let to roam the yard the dog will look for particular herbs and plants to chew. This is his way to heal himself or at least to revitalize whatever lethargy that the dog is suffering from. The plant will later be vomited and after a while, the dog will start feeling better. This is not only true to dogs; all animals do this as well. It is nature’s way of healing ailments.
When there is nothing wrong with the dog, the dog may just be developing shyness. If so motivate the dog by building his confidence or allaying his fears. Treats usually do this. Comforting words, your presence, and assurances does it too. See, dogs more the most part are like children. They could suffer from associating with other animals and people. Negative interaction could reduce their confidence, or result to aggressiveness, sometimes in ways that we could not see or predict.
If your dog suddenly becomes afraid of walking it is not good to let the dog have its way. Less exercise will do the dog greater damage. If you would take him for walks, rebuild his comfort level by taking him outside for short walks. Places less frequented by other animals and people are better choices. Make the walk as pleasant an experience as possible and stay close to the dog. Reward the dog with treats to encourage better behavior.
Bring treats with you and make the treats visible to the dog. Use the treats to pull the dog towards you and to walk with you. There is a good analogy to this. People are motivated in the work place by the sticks and carrots approach. Even when employees do not feel up to doing a particular job, when the reward far outweighs the risk, people respond. This is true for most dogs, most creatures for that matter. For the meantime though dispense with the stick.
If the dog is being belligerent, use a harness instead of the leash. This way you can pull the dog along. Use teats just the same to make it easier on the dog to tag along.
If the dog is truly refuses to walk outside, let him run and play in the yard. There is always another day for exercising.
13- Adopting A Dog – Which Dog Is Right For You?
When given the right care and affection, every dog is a good friend and the time and investment on them will be repaid several folds over. More than that, a dog’s life spans more than fourteen years that they invariably become members of the family. Outside of marriage, adopting a dog is your only chance to choose a family member. Because of our strong attachment to dogs, it is not enough to have just another dog. It is too easy to fall into that kind of trap. It is so easy to fall in love with a puppy that is giving you its puppy eyes and begging for adoption. People have different personalities, so have dogs. Since dogs change your lifestyle and will stay with you for a very long while, it is best to have a list of dog traits that will best compliment your personality because when adopting a dog, love at first sight may not be very good enough.
Before going out to find a dog for adoption, consider a list of characteristics that you would want in a dog. Generally dog breed helps. There are two kinds of dogs, the mixed, and the purebreds. Dog breeds have characteristics and traits different from other dogs although remember that even a purebred will display characteristics entirely their own and which will only be recognized later as the pup is growing up. No matter, there is no negative dog characteristic that is not corrected by training.
Whether the choice is to go for the pure or the mixed bred, find a dog that matches your energy level, one that approximates your characteristic or one the one trait that you value most. If you have a family, consider the one that will generally match theirs too.
Love – All dogs love, but some dogs have the tendency to display their affection better than others do.
Gregariousness – There are dogs that are extra sociable that they are best suited for walks outside of the house.
Friendly – Dogs in general are friendly except sometimes with other dogs. There are dog breeds however that are more patient and do not get easily threatened by other dogs making them ideal for walks, hunting and the outdoors.
Fiercely loyal – This dog characteristic is best for people who need the calming assurance of loyalty around them.
Playful – Playful dogs are for people who want excitement and fun. Boxers and Retrievers are fine examples of very playful animals. If you do not mind a lot of running around and tail wagging, playful dogs should be on the top of your list.
Athletic – Dogs are almost similar in temperament to playful dogs although they are bred to be sturdier but not necessarily be as playful.
Docile – Dogs are typically obedient dogs.
Quiet – Dogs are dog breeds that rarely bark and are good for people who live in apartments and places where noise has to be kept low.
While these traits or at least a good mix of them are found in most dogs, the characteristics are dominant to particular breeds. Good sources for profiling a dog are pet shops, the Yellow Pages, and the internet.
14- Adopting A New Dog – Considerations You Have To Make
It is a responsibility to adopt a dog. It’s expensive, time consuming and very demanding. For your efforts, you get a companion that can be an endless source of fun. On the dog’s end, he gets to have a loving home for the rest of his life.
To ensure that your relationship with your dog would a rewarding experience, take a look at the following considerations before adopting a dog.
How Much Time Do You To Spare?
Consider your newly adopted dog a new kid in your household. It demands maintenance, ample attention and plenty of time. Having a busy schedule does not work very well alongside taking care of a dog. If you think you don’t have enough time for yourself, you probably shouldn’t adopt a dog. Most dogs, even puppies, end up in animal shelters because their owners lack the time to take care of them.
Should You Choose A Puppy Or An Older Dog?
Most owners think that puppies are their best options when adopting a dog. These are much easier to train because they haven’t developed bad habits yet. Puppies can grow with their kids. And so on.
Wrong. Not because you are working with a clean slate does it mean that a puppy will not turn out as a piece of work. Unless you are adopting a puppy that has been sheltered by a rescue group or one that can be taken directly from its original owner, you should be wary about adopting a very young dog. Only rescue groups keep tab of their dogs’ sources, observe their temperament, and investigate into their dogs’ history. The rest just give them temporary foster homes.
Puppies are also not advisable for adoption because they are too young to show their true temperament, behaviors, and features. You also can’t approximate how much training, grooming, and medical attention the dog will likely need.
On top of these, most puppies in animal shelters have had rough beginnings. This means that they have been through tough emotional, mental and physical stresses which could take a long time to erase. They need more than a cozy place to stay; they need thorough attention and care. Unless you are ready to fully commit yourself to the rehabilitation of a puppy, you should settle for a more mature dog.
Having said that, mature dogs in animal shelters are the ideal dogs to consider for adoption. You already have everything you need to know about the potential dog. Well, almost.
How Much Dog Activity Can You Handle?
Some dogs are content with nibbling your shoes; others need more than rough exercise. There are dog breeds that are made to be active outdoors while others can sit idle on your carpet for hours. Either way, you should pick a dog that matches your activity level. If you love being outdoors, you should prefer large or mid-sized dogs that are known for their high level of activity. For generally low-activity level households, breeds with lower exercise needs are ideal. Taking this precaution saves you troubles and your dog, boredom.
Can you shoulder the expenses?
Dogs are quite expensive to maintain. Apart from shelling out bucks to cover the cost of adoption, there are also the routine expenses for grooming, medical expense, training, and others.
15- Adopting A Senior Dog – Giving A Retirement Home To An Aging Dog
Many people stick with cute, hyperactive puppies when considering to adopt a dog. What few people appreciate though is that senior dogs are much easier and much more rewarding to take care of. True, they don’t stick around that long, but they are not much of a problem either.
Why People Don’t Usually Adopt Senior Dogs
There are many misconceptions around adopting old dogs. On top of not having plenty of time to stay with the adoptive family, old dogs are considered financial burdens because they require plenty of medical attention. But what dog doesn’t? Older dogs are more susceptible to developing diseases, yes, but being playful and young does not guarantee perfect health.
Senior dogs are also believed to be less capable of bonding with their new owners. While this may be true for some cases – such as for dogs that have lived with abusive families – this is not necessarily the case for all aging dogs. It only takes time for them to build and close that bond. Once you have established its trust level and confidence on you though, it would be much easier for you and your dog to bond. And bond tightly, you will.
Why You Should Adopt A Senior Dog
For one, you can save yourself a lot of troubles. Old dogs have already exhausted the energy of very young, crazy puppies. Don’t get it wrong. Many senior dogs – senior being 7 years old and above – still have several years left of energy to spend. Nevertheless with senior dogs, you need not spend extra on a new couch or endure months of housebreaking.
You can also enjoy the company of a calmer, less aggressive, and more tolerant pet. Senior dogs make for great pets for children and old people alike. They do not demand as much attention as their younger counterparts do and they are more skillful at human interaction. They can forgive the transgressions of small kids and provide the comfort adults require. They know better than to bark at everything or jump at people, and they have, more or less, curbed their aggressive tendencies. To top these off, they also have the skills to adapt to your routine and lifestyle.
Adopted senior dogs seem to understand that they have been given another chance at a good life. And they will be eager to reward you for that. They tend to be very loyal and dedicated to their owners.
For people who can’t commit to a lifelong responsibility, a senior dog offers a very ideal pet. Because they have shorter remaining lifespan, their owners don’t have to have to turn their old dog away.
Finally, adopting a senior dog is a selfless act of love. All dogs deserve a loving home, but senior dogs are especially entitled to one that is fit for retirement.
Adopting a senior dog, is without a doubt, a very rewarding experience. Not only would you get a very loyal companion, you also get a dog that will stick around for as long as it can.
16- Giving A Puppy A New Home
If you don’t mind chew marks on your furniture or your carpet becoming the toilet, having a puppy is a day at the beach. Otherwise, you should probably stick with a more mature dog. They are cute, yes, but labor intensive as well. It could take as long as 3 years before they fully mature. Before they reach their third birthday, you have already endured 3 years of constant training and 3 years’ worth of test on your patience and dedication.
Don’t say you weren’t warned. If you are insistent with adopting a puppy, the following recommendations will help you in picking the one that matches you and your needs.
Look for a dog with a clean bill of health.
Sure, puppies develop diseases as they grow into mature dogs. Still, a clean bill of health should be the first thing you should look for in a potential would-be puppy. Some telltale clues that the puppy has or does not have any physical problems are:
Nose and eyes – These should be clean and clear of any debris that is associated with sickness such as mucus. These should also look healthy.
Coat – The coat should have a polished, thick look. It should also have no patches of skin or thin fur.
Belly – Puppies are often potbellied when their tummies are full. A puppy that has a swollen belly is a good indication that it is harboring worms.
Chronic sickness – Be warned with puppies that have chronic sickness. No amount of medical attention can help if the puppy is chronically sick. Also, a sick puppy often grows with major health problems into adulthood.
Check if the puppy is socialized.
Most puppies are energetic and take pleasure in playing around with their owners and other dogs. Although you can’t test the true behavior of puppies around people in confined, stressed environments like animal shelters, you can test their behaviors by handling them for a few minutes. A socialized puppy should be comfortable with human touch. If it isn’t, it is probably the most aggressive puppy or the least trustful. Either way, you should find one that is both placid but quite aggressive. You need both in a dog.
Check out the puppy’s breed.
The puppy’s breed often determines its general trait when it’s fully grown. What you want is a breed that matches your personality. If you are the type of person who loves to go out, you should get a breed that is good for outdoor activities. If you just want a dog for long-term companionship, you should look for mid-sized companion dogs. Toy and lap dogs are the best choices if you are looking for a small dog that you can bring with you to most places.
You should also check whether the puppy is purebred or mixed bred. It is often hard to identify a purebred or mix bred puppy, but try to use the source as an indicator. There are rescue groups that are breed specific, there are those that are aren’t. Most animal shelters foster mutts and purebred alike. Be sure to ask for information about the puppy’s breed before you give it a new home.
17- Potty Training An Adopted Dog
Adopting a new puppy is one of the things that bring delight and squeals from children. It is a happy occasion for both you and the family. However, a puppy, cute and squiggly as they are will, as all dogs do, mess the house. The new member of the household has to be potty trained as soon as the first day.
It is important to note that dogs could hold their bladder up to five hours, not more than that. In fact, dogs being territorial animals will mark the territory by urinating every few feet or so. When the dog is new to a particular place that has not yet been marked by other dogs, expect the dog itching to mark every nook and cranny of the house, worse, that include the rugs and carpets. The following will walk you through to potty train the pup.
Because you are expecting the pup to urinate you could very well anticipate that it is bound to happen. Once you see a pup raising a hind leg, carry him outside to a designated place where the pup could relieve himself. Typically a pup that is good for adoption is about three months old. That also means that the puppy could hold his bladder for at least three hours. Refrain from waiting for that. Bring the puppy out every two hours counting from the time when you first brought him outside. It is important to establish a routine and a schedule. Dogs respond well to schedule and routine. Routines, repetitions, and schedules are the main tools used in training.
Use the same area each time. When you are trough playing with the puppy, go to the spot. When the puppy has finished eating, go to the spot. Every two hours after that, go to the same spot. Sooner or later, the puppy will get the idea. All it takes is patience and how ready you are because bringing home a new dog to the house will take responsibility. The hardest part is just until the puppy gets used to the routine. Until then, everything hangs on your commitment to raising a housebroken dog.
Likewise, feed the dog on a regular schedule. That way you could predict and better control the time when the puppy will be relieving itself.
In the same manner, young puppies will need to relieve itself during the night. A young puppy is generally regarded as less than four months old. If so, do give water to the puppy before bedtime. Puppies that are four months or more make it overnight. When the puppy wakes up, the first urge is to urinate, bring him to the spot. After a nap, do the same. Establishing routines and getting the puppy accustomed to the spot will make him go there eventually without being led.
Even behind all these, accidents could happen. If the pup soiled a rug, a piece of paper or pieces of item, place the items in the spot. It will give the puppy the hint what the spot is for.
It is also important to praise the puppy the very moment after the puppy has relived himself in the spot designated. That will reinforce the idea and go there every time.
18- Rehoming An Adult Dog
Puppies are a bundle of joy (and mayhem) and they are fun to be with. Not to mention, they are so darn cute that it is often hard to resist their charm. But, are they good for adoption? Not exactly. Adult dogs are the ideal choices.
Why You Should Choose An Adult Dog
You’ll have a much calmer, more behaved dog – Ten to one, would-be dog owners prefer puppies for adoption based solely on their looks. What they do not know is that it is often very hard to keep up with puppies. They may look as cute as toys, but they are not. You just can’t send them off to their puppy houses when you don’t feel like playing with them or turn them off just like you would a toy.
Adult dogs, on the other hand, are much easier to keep. They have outgrown the high energy craziness of puppies and they already know what are demanded of them. When adopting from a shelter or any rescue organizations, it is always advisable to go for the adult dogs, not the pups. Because adult dogs’ behavior are already ‘fixed’ to make them suitable for domestic environments.
Adult dogs are trained – Most adult dogs in shelters are trained. They are housebroken and potty trained. Although there is always the possibility of bad behavior due to the history of ownership the dogs have. Some dogs were abused and maltreated before they were fostered by rescue groups. Be sure to ask about the dog’s history before adopting it.
Lesser medical expenses – Adult dogs in shelters, on top of having received some training, have also received necessary medical attention. More often than not, they are already neutered or spayed, saving you a lot of money on surgical operations. They are also vaccinated. You can save further when you choose a dog that comes with a clean bill of health.
How To Integrate An Adult Dog Into A New Environment
Appropriate an adjustment period – A healthy adult dog will have no problem adjusting to a new environment. Although, of course, you should expect an adjustment period before your new dog becomes very comfortable with his new surroundings and family.
He has had rough beginnings, which you should understand, will affect your future relationships. You should then be very careful of the first impressions you give him.
Be very patient – Even well-trained dogs can commit accidents and mistakes in new environments. It is very possible for them to forget their training while in the shelter because there is simply not enough personnel to attend to their needs. You should prepare yourself for remedial housetraining.
Clarify your house rules – Your new dog cannot guess which behavior is appropriate at your house and which are not. It will take some time before he fully understands that some behaviors that he used to have are no longer applicable and that new behaviors are needed to be formed.
Include your family in the training of your newly adopted dog – It is very important to have common rules for handling the dog. Otherwise, your dog will be confused and problems could arise.
19- The Benefits Adopting A Dog From A Shelter
Despite the presence of many shelters and rescue groups, many dog owners still get their dogs from pet shops, not knowing that adopting a dog from a shelter is a much better option. Why would you pick your pet from an animal shelter? Here are the top reasons:
You’re helping the canine community.
Dogs are homeless for a variety of reasons. Some are not wanted by their families, others were left to stray the streets. No matter the reason, these poor creatures deserve homes that can provide them a loving environment and a caring family.
You are giving a dog a second chance to live a good life.
Even dogs deserve a second chance. Dogs are often left in the streets for faults they did not commit. Their previous owners, for example, have no time to take care of their dogs or are moving to another city. There are also dogs that were left because their owners died and no one is left to care of them. Other owners can’t handle the financial expense of owning a dog, and thus surrender them to shelters. Sure, some dogs are guilty of misbehaving, but that does not make them deserve being homeless. By giving a homeless dog another chance, you are also giving them another shot at being loved, and for yourself, a chance at being loved unconditionally.
You’re helping the shelter.
Even if they want to take care of all dogs in the street, they only have resources for a limited number of stray dogs. Help them out by extending your hand to one of their dogs. Whenever you adopt from a shelter, it’s as if you are giving the shelter extra bed, food, and medical supplies.
You get a dog at a bargain price.
Dogs can cost as much as several hundred dollars. Getting a dog from animal shelter, on the other hand, can only cost you as much as $100. This fee covers for the maintenance cost of the dog, for spaying or neutering fee, and for other expenses. There are, in fact, plenty of animal shelters that are happy to give their dogs for free. Though it is not always advisable to take a dog home for free.
You can also save on training expenses because most dogs in animal shelters have been housebroken and trained. There are, in fact, dogs in animal shelters that have been trained for specific functions. If you need an assistance dog such as a guide dog, a service dog or a hearing dog, you can begin your search in animal shelters.
You can save the life of a poor dog.
Because of overpopulation, some shelters euthanize their dogs – mostly senior and adult dogs. They do not want to do this but it is often necessary to give a chance to younger dogs. Save a dog’s life by adopting one.
You are bringing home a new friend.
Dogs understand and forgive you even when others cannot. If you want a constant companion that is trained, has received the necessary medical attention, and is old enough not to cause you problems, you can adopt a dog from an animal shelter.
20- Things You Should Think About Before Adopting A Dog
Having a dog is a lifetime commitment. Or at least a commitment you should keep as long as your dog lives. When you adopt a dog, it becomes your responsibility, whether you are in the mood to take good care of it or not.
Not a few dog owners leave their dogs tied to their chains unattended, day in, day out. Imagine how bored you would be if you have nothing to do, nowhere to go, every day, for the rest of your life. It isn’t fun. It’s not fun particularly for pets who love to run around, play around, and have fun.
Before adopting a dog, there are plenty of things you should think about. These ensure that your dog’s life with you is a pleasurable experience.
Are you committed to taking care of a dog?
Many people who adopt dogs do so just because they woke up one day wanting to have a pet. That’s irresponsible, not to mention very selfish. Dog adoption is not something you can decide overnight. It needs thorough thinking.
If you are considering to adopt a dog, it is highly advisable to first think it through. Don’t decide yet. Analyze first all the things that need to be considered before going to an animal shelter. In fact, talk yourself out of it and see if that changes your opinion. Remember, dog adoption is not something you can take very lightly. It is a major decision as it does not only affect you, it affects the life of the dog you are about to bring home.
Is it the best time for you to adopt a dog?
Maybe you are a die-hard dog lover. Maybe you are committed to giving a good life to a dog. But, is it really the best time for you to be adopting a dog?
In general, people are discouraged from adopting a dog if they are going through some major life events. These include getting married, changing job situations, pregnancy, moving to another place, rocky relationship, financial concerns, new limits on leisure time, disagreement within the family, sickness, death, and other concerns.
If you are undergoing or anticipating to undergo these tough situations, it will be better that you don’t adopt a dog yet. Many dogs have been surrendered to animal shelters because their old families didn’t have the time to take care of them or the leisure to pay them some attention.
Dogs need ample attention during their first few weeks of stay at your home. So if you don’t think you can give a dog that, it is best that you delay your decision for a time.
Are you ready for a new financial obligation?
Adopting a dog has its costs. Taking care of a dog adds additional financial responsibility. You will have to shell out bucks to pay for the dog, for spaying or neutering surgery, for the initial obedience and socialization classes, and for the initial shots of vaccines. Then you will have to pay for ongoing expenses like food and treats, licensing costs, grooming, travel costs, regular vet checkups on top of paying for its health maintenance.
21- Training A Dog – Positive And Negative Reinforcements
Adopting a dog is also being prepared to provide training. There are varieties of methods to conduct dog training. In fact, there are as many dog-training methods as there are dog trainers. Each will not agree on training approaches and specifics. Include the D I Y training that many dog owners do and the methods are multiplied. All dog-training methods, no matter the techniques used fall basically into two categories, the positive reinforcement, and the negative reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is a very old philosophy based on the premise that reinforcing good behavior is more pleasant to both the dog and the owner aside from not resulting into developing undesirable characteristics in the dog. Positive reinforcement creates trust. It creates a structure for more definitive behavior rewarded when pleasant responses are achieved. It motivates dogs to obey more readily and more eager to learn. The results of positive reinforcement are more permanent and lessen aggressive behavior. For both people and animals, chemicals are released in the brain creating pleasant associations when positive reinforcement is used. Basically, positive reinforcement is rewarding a dog whether by food, by a hug and embrace, and by play.
On the other hand, negative reinforcement is an older technique that basically uses punishment based on the idea that the dog will remember better what it is not supposed to do when it will be potentially be harmed as a result. Negative reinforcement uses yelling, choke chains, confinement, direct harm, electric shock, and electric fences. Negative reinforcement has its appropriate uses. For the most part though, negative reinforcement results to either fear or aggressiveness.
Dogs for the most part are treated like members of the family. They offer semblances of love and are loved in return, they trust and are trusted, and they are loyal. Because of these qualities, the popularity of positive reinforcement in dog training grew, one of the reasons is that it is never pleasant to have an animal in the house that only obey based on fear. The dog need to fear its owner from time to time, but mostly it does not create very strong bonds. It is often more recommended to build that bond out of mutual love, not fear.
Recent researches by animal behaviorists also showed that animals do not really learn much from negative treatments. It obeys true but often, only to the extent that it is avoiding the pain that results. Another danger to negative reinforcement is that once the dog owner starts using pain as a deterrent for bad behavior, the temptation to resort to harm often gets stronger especially when the dog refuses as dogs do from time to time. It also makes the dog more melancholic and lethargic.
There are different dog type and breeds. Different dogs respond differently. While patience in dog training is a must, positive reinforcement does not totally undermines the negative. Sometimes, negative reinforcement has to be used. If ever a negative reinforcement is required the ratio of use is about 99:1 where you apply 99% of positive reinforcement in training the dog.
22- What To Expect When Adopting A Dog
We have seen this image too often. A pup is brought home to a giggling child too happy to have a cuddly little puppy with furiously wagging tail while kissing the child all over the face, a happy contagiously funny scene.
The excitement though wears off easily. Soon the dog will be peeing on the carpet, needing to be fed and watered, jumping on people, begging for walks, creating noise, uprooting plants, digging in the yard and messing around as all dogs do. Adopting a dog entails responsibilities such as grooming, taking it out for exercises, training and caring as well as feeding and watering. This is the bigger scene not usually imagined but just as real.
When decided to adopting a dog, plan for the following:
The basic supplies that the dog will need are bowls for water and food, a dog ID tag with name address and phone number, a bed, a comb, a collar and a leash, and dog food.
Even before the dog is brought home, the family should agree on tasks, assignments and other dog duties for the caring of the dog. Assignments should include who should feed the dog on particular days, who should take the dog for walks, and who should groom the dog. Agree on areas that are off limits to the dog and areas where the dog is allowed. If the dog is not yet trained, do not allow the dog to sit on the furniture or sleep in the bed with people.
When limits are not set and the dog is allowed to do as it wants, the dog will attempt to dominate. This is an old pattern of dog behavior that is carried over since the dogs were still in the wild. To prevent this, do not play games with the dog that will teach him to challenge you. Roughhouse and tug of war are some of the most popular examples.
When the dog starts to nip, it is a signal that the dog have had enough, let the dog rest and do not allow another occasion to reach that point as it also teaches the dog to become dominant. Likewise, do not allow nor encourage wild behavior.
The dog also appreciates hierarchy. If it learns from the start that you play dominance or is the alpha male, it would be easier to make the dog follow your commands.
Dog obedience training must start as early as possible because the dog has to learn manners and to follow commands. Excessive barking, jumping on people, quarrelling with other dogs and house pets, chewing on furniture, scratching the carpet are just some of the examples untrained dogs do that often results to embarrassment to their owners.
Different dogs have a variety of temperaments. These do not only differ from one dog to another, it also differs depending on the breed and the size of the dog. While dogs are generally lovely and lively creatures, there are some negative traits that surface after a while. Negative traits, however, are reduced if not removed by training.
23- When To Not Adopt A Dog
A dog is irresistible for dog lovers, a puppy much more. There are times, however, when adopting a dog is not recommended. The following guidelines will be of help.
- A dog is never a good gift. This is not only true for the dog but also for the recipient of the gift. To many people, even with dog lovers, dogs take too much time and too much work to have around especially so because a dog as a gift is an unplanned responsibility.
- Often, the worst time to give a dog is to a person that has just suffered the loss of a loved one, in order to cheer the person up. This is a well-meant gesture but always the person who has suffered a loss will need human companionship.
- Adopting a dog is never good for people who are having financial concerns. The maintenance that is required by a dog is very much like the expenses incurred by having another toddler around the house. Like people, dogs need grooming, training, exercising, caring aside from food and shelter. Other expenses are also incurred when the dog is ill. Puppies even cost more to care than large full-grown dogs.
- Too many times, a dog is claimed to relieve stress because of their loving presence and loyal nature. Dogs also appear attentive when talked to and has a calming effect to many people. This is true. However, many families are too stressed with work, often pressed for time and many other obligations that caring for another creature, adds up to the pressure. When this happens, the dog becomes an added issue.
- People who constantly travel should not adopt a dog. Dogs are very social creatures and love interacting with people.
- It is not always wise to give dogs to people who have just lost a pet. Dogs by large are treated much like members of the family. The person may not welcome or is not yet ready to replace a well-loved pet.
- Never adopt a dog when there are foreseeable changes in your life. A change in job, moving to a new location, getting married, major health concerns and limited time due to more responsibilities will only add up to the pressure where the dog is likely to suffer.
- Older pets do not always welcome new pets in the house; on the contrary, older pets tend to be wary with new, younger ones. Dogs are also basically predators. This has not been shed off even through centuries of domestication. As such dogs practice hierarchy. Larger dogs often occupy and have the alpha male attitude and will bully any new pet that is added to their group. When decided to adding a new puppy, be sure to watch out that this does not happen.
- Do not adopt a new dog without the agreement of all members of the family.
There are different dog breeds with different attitudes and temperaments. Dog sizes also matter. Larger dogs are best when there are children in the house as they are generally more placid. Small dogs on the other hand are high energy and fast rambunctious creatures that the children may not be safe to be around with.