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Dogs And The Commitment They Deserve…

Parent Category: Dog Talk
Created: 26 November 2014

According to the UK’s RSPCA it is estimated that there are around eight million dogs in the UK and according to the USA’s ASPCA there are 70 – 80 million dogs in the USA! Based on worldwide population statistics (from www​.worl​dome​ters​.info) and average household size (from www​.gen​er​a​tor​re​search​.com) that means that there is one dog for at least every 3 households in the UK and two dogs for every 3 households in the USA!

Owning and caring for a dog is a big responsibility and the first part of responsible ownership starts before you get your dog, when you learn as much as you can about your dog and what responsibilities you have — otherwise how can you possibly hope to care for them properly?

Dogs ARE NOT HUMAN and have complex needs that are not the same as humans.

Of course there are basic daily needs, such as appropriate diet, clean water, shelter, ‘grooming’ and exercise, as well as teaching your dog some basic commands that can help keep them safe and out of trouble.. but there are also things that we need other experts to help with. [Check out our fact sheets on grooming, toilet training, crate training, etc.]

In terms of their health it is essential to have your dog checked over by a qualified vet at least once a year and to ensure that you keep their vaccinations up to date, providing protection against Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Distemper, Adenovirus and Leptospirosis.

Keep a note of when your dog had their vaccinations and make a diary note each year. Otherwise, not only is your dog not safe around common potential health threats, but you will also be putting other dogs at risk. They don’t have to come in direct contact, they can pick things up from where other dogs have been. Here’s a useful link for more information about annual vaccinations for dogs and their importance.

Depending on the breed of your dog, there may be congenital conditions that you need to watch out for. You should also know about these (and test for them) if you are intending to breed from your dog. As a responsible owner, it would be wrong to breed from dogs that will pass on health problems to future generations.

Most of dog communication is not vocal it is body language, using the body, face, tail, ears and limbs to provide messages for other dogs to read.

Despite what a lot of people believe, dogs DO NOT understand human language, they understand sounds and they make associations between sounds and things. They don’t give meaning to words like we do, they just learn what a word sound or other sound is associated with.

Dogs are very loving and trusting animals, they are also very playful. They love training because to them it is a game of doing something and getting a reward — whether that is physical or emotional. Often you will see dogs working in roles such as sniffing for a particular thing, being rewarded with a game with a favourite toy.

Dogs are not naturally aggressive, they respond with aggression only when provoked!

It is up to us to learn ‘dog language’ and gain a better understanding of what our dog is communicating to us. Only then can we prevent vicious attacks, especially on babies and young children who are not old enough to learn for themselves.

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Be Safe With Your Dogs!