Facts to Know about Dog
Many of the animals awaiting adoption in shelters have had
very rough beginnings. Some were abused, some abandoned and some were “turned in” because the owners
didn’t have time for them. Many were left alone for long periods and some were never properly potty
trained. In short, when adopting an animal you must be prepared to work with them. They may come to you
cowed or with feelings of trepidation and may be overly sensitive to your tone of voice or to any commands you
might give them. You will need to be patient and by all means, loving. When they finally realize that they can
trust you they will reward you with more affection and loyalty than you can imagine.
Adopting a dog as a means of entertaining a small child is not
recommended. 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.
A dog is not a toy and should
not be treated as one. Small children should be trained to understand “animal
etiquette”. In other words, animals are not to be hit, dragged, ridden or
teased. They should understand that being overly aggressive with a new dog, especially one
recently adopted, could cause the dog to react by biting or running away. If feeding and
exercising the dog is to be the responsibility of a child, an adult should follow up to be sure these things are
getting done. It isn’t the dog’s fault if a child fails to meet his or her obligations and
the dog shouldn’t have to suffer for the child’s failure.
If you base what you do on inaccurate information, you might
be unpleasantly surprised by the consequences. Make sure you get the whole dog adoption story from informed
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 behaviour 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 behaviour.
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
Many adopted dogs will come to the new surroundings filled
with fears based upon earlier mistreatment or the harsh rules of their previous owners. Some dogs will
be reluctant to go from one room to another, will shy away when corrected and hide upon hearing a loud
noise. New owners must be patient with them and speak to them softly and
affectionately. Dogs are not stupid and they will gradually come to understand their new
environment and show their appreciation for your loving care.
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
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.
When contemplating adoption, prospective new owners should be
prepared to deal with the fact that their new adoptee may not be completely housebroken. Previous
owners may have been irresponsible in their approach to this training; furthermore, when the dog was placed in the
shelter it continued to do its “business” right in its pen. Housebreaking is not a complex
chore and should not deter someone from adopting a pet. Some owners will use a cage to
assist in this training, while others will just take the dog out for a walk several times a
day. Fenced yards and doggie doors are minimal expenses that pay extra dividends on cold or
Adopted dogs are subject to all of the behavioural problems
commonly associated to dogs in general. These would include digging, jumping up on people, jumping
fences, barking and nipping. There are proven solutions to all of these
“offenses.” If your dog is prone to digging, and always digs in one area, there are a
number of effective repellent sprays that work well. If he digs under your fence, a little
buried chicken wire works wonders in breaking that habit. Spray bottles filled with water
should be kept at hand to break a dog from jumping up and to combat incessant
barking. Quick sprits in the face immediately following, or during, the offensive behaviour
will usually bring about a quick behaviour modification.
Visiting an animal shelter can be an emotional experience for
an animal lover. It’s difficult to see all the animals in their pens and not want to take them all
home. Such feelings are understandable and commendable; however, just be sure that prior to
adoption you consider all of the ramifications. And remember, your best friend is waiting
for you at your local animal shelter.
Is there really any information about dog adoption that is
nonessential? We all see things from different angles, so something relatively insignificant to one may be crucial