Do you have a dog? Are you thinking about getting a dog? Is he a puppy? Do you want to train him well?
In 2020, many shelters around the country ran out of dogs for people to adopt. Many families and single people with more time in their hands wanted a companion to help them alleviate their boredom or perhaps find the perfect companion they have always wanted.
The many benefits of pet ownership for children and adults are abundant, and studies have shown a pet companion can reduce stress and anxiety in many people while allowing them to live a healthier mental life.
An article published on the University of Michigan Extension website talks about the many benefits pet ownership has on children. Among those benefits is the capacity of children to feel compassion towards others by owning a pet. They learn responsibility when caring for a dog or cat, and they develop social skills when walking the dog and striking a conversation with another dog owner. Having a pet can teach children empathy, respect, and the inevitability of death.
Regardless of the reason for wanting a pet, we believe that adopting a dog or cat is serious and should be considered as such. Having a dog is a lot of work. And if he happens to be a puppy, the work is more intense and serious if you want a well-behaved dog for the rest of his/her life. The question to ask is whether we can manage their training on our own, or whether we can live peacefully having a dog with no training whatsoever.
Eight tips to consider before choosing a dog
- Breed-Before getting your sights on a breed or a particular dog you like, we recommend you research everything you need to know about them. If you have small children, you have to consider their well-being as well. Is the dog you like good with children? Is that particular breed temperamental? What are the common illnesses to that particular breed, etc.?
- The American Kennel Club website offers information about dog breeds and everything you need to know about the dog you are hoping to obtain. Check out their website if you have any questions about a particular dog breed, nutrition, training, or breeder program.
- Is your family on board? Wanting a dog and caring for a dog is not the same thing. Children that want a dog will eventually forget caring for them if not prompted by the parent. It will be the responsibility of the parent to care for the dog after the child’s initial pleasure fades.
- Is dog training worth it? Yes, it is worth it. Especially when you have a puppy with no prior bad behavior. A young dog that is eager to learn commands and doesn’t have to “unlearned” other types of “bad” behavior should in theory be easy to teach and to train. Professional dog training places vary and so are the prices.
- Check the dog training professional, their place of business, their referrals if they have any, and their prices. A more expensive training place is not always the best.
- The owner must continue with the training after they leave the training session. An hour-a-week training session for your dog is not enough. The commands learned will “stick” better if they are reinforced at home.
- The whole family has to adhere to the training of their new dog if they want to succeed with it. Even children can “help” train their new dog with the help of a parent or older sibling.
- You must remember a new dog is part of your family. You have to care for them and trained them well for their safety and that of the entire family.
Consider your lifestyle before choosing a pet, and remember pets need as much care as any member of your family.