It’s a dog’s life…

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Source: wikiHow (creative commons)

Out on my daily walk with my dog Ziggy, I came across another example on what not to do with your dog.

All dogs need to be given the opportunity (every day) to ‘be a dog’; this means allowing them to socialise properly with people and other dogs, in different environments. Failure to do this amounts, in my view, to a form of cruelty.

We came across, in open woods, and parkland (a form of doggie heaven) a beautiful chocolate labrador and it’s owners. Unfortunately, this dog was on an extending lead (an awful lead that is dangerous and should never be used — the premise that the dog is under control is wrong — it simply can’t run off).

The owners actively restrained this dog, who was extremely excited to see another dog — the owner did not stop, but pressed on. I was going in the same direction and asked them, did they let the dog off the lead — answer — never (the dog was 5 years old!).

Their reasoning — it would run off because it had no recall. Had they tried to train the dog — yes (very briefly) but, it was untrainable. Of course, this is utter rubbish. It is more likely, that this required some effort and, clearly, these owners were not prepared to do it properly.

Let me be clear, all dogs need to be able to meet their, often breed specific, needs. In this case, the dog needs to be allowed to stop and socialise, it needs to be off lead enjoying it’s environment and the company of other dogs.

This dog was like a bottle of pop, full of energy and bouncing around like a lunatic. This is because, the ‘exercise’ it was allowed was woefully inadequate and it was not being socialised.

My message is: If you want a dog, you must be prepared, and willing, to train the dog, understand and meet it’s needs — particularly exercise, socialisation and letting it ‘be a dog’.

So, please think about your life style and whether you can really give a dog the life it DESERVES. If you have any doubts that you can’t — DON’T get a dog. PERIOD.

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