What an eye opener.. there but also here as a reminder that there are so many animals out there that need our help, Animal Welfare Societies that could use our volunteer time or donations of food, cleaning products or money. There are dogs/cats etc here in Canada that need our help too and this made me think about the many people that want to get a pet.
More often than you may know people will get a pet because they think that they are missing something in their life, but not really thinking about the big picture. They get this little bundle of fur home and they can't believe how cute and cuddly this little creature is but novelty quickly wears off when there is crying, or peeing or chewing, sleepless nights and days that involve play time and walks, pee breaks and accidents to be cleaned up. Many of you are prepared for this journey and may even like the challenge of it but just as many are not prepared and realize just how much your life is going to change. You now have a dependant that is going to need a bit more of your attention than maybe your willing to give and to be a responsible pet parent you need to know this. Everyone in the family says that they are going to help out but after a few days/weeks the novelty wears off (in some cases) when your 8 -10 week old puppy just "Isn't getting it" well news flash for ya peeps.... if you get a puppy that is fully house trained at 8-10 weeks of age you have indeed struck the big one! The truth is best case scenario you are going to have that puppy catching on to the basics in a week or so maybe a few more, but it all depends on you as the trainer how quickly this happens. Puppies will be puppies (chewing, accidents, crying) and you need to prepare for this for several weeks/months (chewing especially).
Then all of a sudden thats it, you can't take anymore and what to do with this little dependant?? A shelter, give it to a friend? What did I get myself into is all that is going through your head. To many times to count people give up and give that pet a shelter or worse they will even try to get their veterinarian to put the dog down (yes this is true). This is one reason why we have dogs ending up in shelters and it is completely un-necessary. When you get a puppy or dog you are taking responsibility through the good times and the bad.
There is no bad puppy born, there are puppies that are more determined than others, smarter some would say but there is no puppy born bad. How that puppy is raised, trained and loved has so much to do with how it turns out. You lay the ground rules, you are the Alpha, every dog needs a pack leader and that is you unless you let your dog be that ..... than your going to have problems my friend! You teach that dog who is the leader, who they can depend on, who is going to care for them and train them and you will earn your dogs respect. This does not mean letting your dog away with anything, letting them be the boss it means teaching them guidelines and rules and boundaries. Make sure that your dog learns what is allowable and what is not. No it is not aloud to chew on fingers when you are a puppy as that puppy will grow into a bigger dog and its jaws will get stronger and than the chewing will hurt or damage something. No it is not aloud to pee on the floor.... is it okay for you to pee on the floor? I am not saying take your dog and rub its nose and spank him and put him outside, but what I am saying is teach that pup the right behaviour let him/her hear it in your voice that the behaviour is unacceptable and stick to it. Rinse and Repeat is what I like to call it... you need to say it over and over and over again your actions need to say it over and over again until one day (BINGO) you have SUCCESS!! Ant that my friend is what makes being a puppy parent worth it (well and many other things but in that one moment you are pretty happy for that simple thing such as a pee outside or poop).
You are going to have good days and bad days, sleepless nights and sleep filled nights. You are going to have to come home when you may want to stay out maybe at a party or at a friends but you will also have some serious memories made from that little four legged companion that no one on earth would ever be able to make with you. When your sick and ill lying on the couch you know who is going to be right by your side? When you are down and out and just wish you had someone to talk to , you know who your going to vent to? When you want to spend that afternoon out in the sun throwing a ball or a frisbee and just being one with nature who are you going to do that with? I can guarantee you one thing, once you make that decision and you stick with it you will wonder what you EVER did without that little fur ball.
What I ask of you is to make sure that when you are ready to make this commitment that you really think about ALL that it entails.... and when you are ready to commit check out your local animal shelters, SPCA, Rescue centres... there are so many dogs that are amazing just waiting to be part of your life, challenging... yes but life would be boring without challenges and this is a challenge that is worth it!