Forgot your password?

Being a responsible dog owner

By Edited Dec 5, 2015 1 3

A dog owner may have acquired the animal to be used as a guard dog, for breeding or, unfortunately, for use in medical experiments. However, for most of us owning a dog is all about the animal being a pet and maybe even part of the family. Having owned quite a few dogs over a thirty odd year period, here is a little of what I have learned.

Currently, as an owner of two rescue dogs, I have very personal opinions about the relationship between a dog owner and a pet. Despite owning a dog, initially, being the last thing on my mind, I have grown to be a dog lover, over the years. In fact, these days I adore all dogs. I love them nowadays, no matter what breed, shape or size of dog. It is safe to say that I just love dogs.

Once you become a dog owner, you have a huge responsibility, if you are going to do the job properly. Dogs need heaps of love, food, water, health checks by you and a veterinarian, somewhere warm to sleep, regular grooming, bathing, discipline and a pack leader to follow. Of course, there are a million and one other things.

Our two current dogs have lived with us now for about six years and five years. They were certainly the sad face of 21st Century animal neglect in the UK, when they came to us. They are wonderful now but, as when a person is mistreated, they do carry psychological scars still and plenty of psychological baggage.

Some of the strange initial behaviour displayed by these dogs included:-

  • Being terrified of the dark at the back of our house. This meant that we had to have a light fitted outside of the house and leave it on constantly after dark.
  • Being very scared of raised voices, particularly those of men.
  • Being terrified of young men in baseball caps and crash helmets, and having a general nervousness of anything out of the ordinary.

When you see a dog like mine, out walking on a lead, and the dog suddenly darts behind its owner's legs cowering, previous maltreatment or cruelty could be the explanation.

We probably spoil our dogs now because of their bad start in life but we still have to remember some basic rules.

You must always try to remember to enter the house in the correct pecking order. The pecking order must have the humans at the top and the dogs at the bottom. If not your dog may rule your home or worse.

Dogs like routine, order and to be lead. In fact, they need such treatment. You can always tell an owner whose dog is boss of the house. So make it easy on yourself and lay down some basic ground rules from the start.

Dogs can be loyal animal friends, who are sensitive to your moods. However, they are animals and as such, your dog is your responsibility. If your dog makes a mess, in the street, that is fouls on the pavement, then you should clear it up. Even though I have pets, I am furious if I find such dog mess outside my house. There is no need for it and it is a health issue. The dog knows no better but the owner should.

Of course, all dogs and their owners have different relationships. Dogs should not be baby substitutes but they are to some owners. For me it is unacceptable to see a dog treat as a baby. On the other hand, I hate to see dogs kept outside and not allowed into the home. Unless the dog is a guard dog, it feels inappropriate. If a dog is a pet, it should be included in your home. However, it is really a case of to each his own.

Just make sure that you love your dog, have its best interests at heart and remember it is your pet for life. This means through the good and bad years, and the old and young ones also.

Far too many people simply wave goodbye to their responsibilities when the going gets tough, as a dog owner. Do not let this be you. If you feel that you may be unable to care for a dog properly, for example, paying for its veterinary treatments, then perhaps being a dog owner is not for you right now.



Feb 16, 2010 7:24pm
ethel, Errr well I have to put my hand naughty girl. We love our dog but depending on the situation either enters the house first. You see. He is a working dog and as such, he does little jobs for us. Like has to carry something in after being out in the car so I give him my little wallet or something we have bought so he goes in first. But having siad that often we open up the back door and he looks up to us to say ok to go in other times he is quick and he comes in same time.
I keep thinking that I must do a video and try to show what he can do he thinks ahead of us. sounds silly but he seems to sense things. gosh dogs are clever and smart when it suits them too. Great article.
Feb 17, 2010 3:06pm
They are very clever. I think it sounds as if your dog is doing fine. We have had to try and adhere to the pecking order since we took the foster dog in. If we didn't she would rule the roost and our other dog.
Oct 2, 2010 10:40am
I agree, sometimes the dogs will try to run in first. If you tell them no, they will wait however.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Pets & Animals