|Barked: Thu Apr 25, '13 1:13pm PST |
|sometimes people have to learn the hard way. We all have our "first dog" experiences. No matter how well an experienced dog owner can prepare a new owner for a dog, problems will occur. Unfortunately, people think that dog husbandry is some sort of instinct, but it's not. It's a learned practice that has only improved as we understand the species better through science and logical observation.
I have my horror stories. You, if you remember the first dog you owned, probably have horror stories. I could tell you how we learned that not even locked behind three layers of plastic, a trash can and a ziploc bag is a rotten cooked turkey leg safe from the questing nose of a chihuahua. We learned that when you are potty training the dog no matter if you spend the entire day with the dogs under your watchful eye, they will take the second of time it takes to use the toilet for them to go behind the couch and pee. We learned that they can chew through a step in harness in the time it takes to nap.
Foxxy uses a gentle leader. I find that those are even safer than a harness, but would you be willing to shell out $25 for one if you were just starting out? I find that with new pet parents, they still value low cost over better quality, and it takes a couple years for them to figure out that some corners can't be cut. The $25 gentle leader versus the $12 harness or the $1 collar from the dollar tree. Cheap food made from ag waste for $1 a can versus the conscientious ingredients in the $5 a can foods, or homecooked, or raw. Risky Dog treats for $1 from chinese sources versus $7 treats from vetted US sources. Tennis balls that are for tennis with dyes that contain lead versus tennis balls made for dogs that have little squeakers in them and no toxic dyes. It's a learning process
It doesn't mean that they shouldn't own dogs, it just means that they need to anticipate and prevent better, and that only comes through a lot of exposure and experience.
"If I leave the garbage chores until tomorrow, what are the chances my dog will get up in the night for some foraging behavior" the answer to this is yes 99% of the time.
"If I leave my dog's collar on in the kennel, can it get in a distressing situation? If so, am I using the collar correctly?"--on this point even experienced owners get it wrong. The collar is to be worn snugly high up on the neck, right behind the head and at the base of the ears. If the dog can get his jaw under the collar it wasn't being worn right.
"How much is a cup of food" the answer is 8 ounces of wet food or a kitchen measuring cup for dry. a cup of food is not a big gulp from the 7-11.
what is appropriate shelter for outdoors? how long can I leave them? how often do they need to pee? all these questions can be answered but still need to be figured out with the dog they have chosen to live with.
It's not that they shouldn't have dogs. Just show them how to anticipate a dog's behavior the same way that they would anticipate a toddler's behavior. That's what I tell people. Look at a dog the way you would look at a perpetual 2 year old. If it hangs, they will tug it, if it stinks, they will eat it or roll in it, if it's on them, they will try to take it off. Just like with kids, dogs need to learn to avoid following their natural inclinations. That's training for the owner as much as for the dog.
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