Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why Do I Want A Dog?

The Puppy Commitment

From Krista Mifflin,
Your Guide to Dogs.

Committing Yourself to Being a Good Owner

Acquiring a puppy takes a lifetime commitment on your part. Dogs can live upwards of 15 years if they are healthy, so it is not a decision to be made lightly. It is essential that you choose to share your life with a dog for the right reasons, otherwise you can make both yourself and the dog miserable.

The Wrong Reasons

I want to be able to make money off the puppies.
Having a litter of puppies is a terrific way to put yourself in debt. The costs of breeding are astronimical, and accidents can happen that could cost you both mom and pups. Breeding is best done by people who make the breed their life, and breed for ideal temperament. Breeding a dog for money is a real myth.

My children want the dog.
Children are not going to be the primary caretaker, you are. Most children are not ready for that kind of responsibility, and children also get bored quickly once the novelty wears off. If buying a dog for your children is just a handy excuse to get one for yourself, then by all means, please continue shopping, but be aware that possibly every minor and major chore that the dog involves will fall on your shoulders.

I want a dog to protect me.
Any dog that barks will make a good watch dog, but rather than a reason for getting one, this is just a fringe benefit. Getting a dog for protection purposes can bee a very dangerous mistake, as a poorly trained dog can be the cause of serious injury, and various lawsuits. A dog is NOT a tool, and should never be used as one. A dog is a lifetime, not a few hours of work when it is dark outside, or you are not home.

I want something to love me.
A dog does not exist to fulfill your emotional needs, no matter how you may want it to. Dogs are separate entities and must be cared for as such, with training, grooming and health care.

So what IS the right reason?

The only reason you should commit yourself to a dog is because you want to share your life with a furry companion. You should be prepared to spend a lot of time at the veterinarian's office during the first few weeks, pay a lot of money on high quality food, and train your dog right, which takes a lot of time and effort.

It's a huge commitment, and a big strain on the bank account, but nobody can deny the rewards.


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