I want a dog but is it right for me?

15 January 2013

You have always wanted a dog and now seems like a good time to take the plunge. What should you go for?

This is an important decision so it is worth considering a few factors. Firstly instead of thinking just about what a dog can bring to your life try flipping the question and ask yourself What can I bring to a dog’s life?

Your dog will be in the main relying on you to meet all it’s needs. Physical, mental and emotional. If you can you will be rewarded with loyalty and unconditional love and great fun. The great news is that dogs come in all shapes and sizes and if you do your research you should find a dog to suit your needs and whose need you can meet. Firstly look at several breeds. How a dog looks is a factor but go behind the façade and see what job they were bred to do. If it is a mixed breed take into account all those factors (if you can) This will give you an idea of the dog’s needs. It wasn’t that long ago that most breeds were working for their living so coming into a single dog household with nothing to do can be pretty stressful and boring over time.

Most pet dogs get most of their needs met if they are lucky but we tend to overlook mental stimulation. This is where training comes in. Modern training isn’t about telling your dog what to do but giving them things to think about, as training becomes a game with a lovely side effect. Your dog listens to you and wants to be with you. . Emotionally dogs need to feel secure which is why kind, consistent training helps. It doesn’t mean you indulge your dog but rather find the middle ground where your rules are consistent and understandable. Shouting or nagging your dog creates tension and isn’t the most effective way to communicate.

Dogs need company not only with humans but also time to meet other dogs which is why regular social walks are important. If you are at work all day you may want to seriously reconsider the practicalities of dog ownership unless you can find someone to look after your dog for you. Doggy day care or a dog walker are possibilities but over time can be very expensive.

© Karen England2013

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I have been meaning to email you for ages to say how absolutely fantastic the classes you offer were. I have been scanning your website to see whether you were going to do the Bronze Kennel Club Award but nothing came up so I ended up doing it with a local club.... and shall I tell you something... your classes... your organisation.... the tasks you get the dogs to do.... your manner... not to mention other numerous qualities by far, and I mean by far supersedes what I have recently experienced. I honestly don't think I have learnt anything new in the last 8 weeks. Anyway Karen many thanks for everything you provided Tilly with in those sessions...they were just fab...thank you so much...please keep me informed should you be offering any other courses as I would be very interested.

Owner of Tilly a Chocolate Lab

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