Be A Responsible Pet Owner!
Choosing the right dog generally means identifying the type of animal who matches your lifestyle and wants. If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, for instance, adopting a large, active retriever-mix might not be the best choice. Conversely, if you have a family of four and are looking for a companion to match your active lifestyle, such an animal may be perfect. A dog's size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness, and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision.
Keep your dog healthy - physically and mentally.
You need to provide food, water, shelter, exercise, training, and vet care. But, dogs aren't called housepets for nothing; inside the house is where they belong. Dogs should never be left for long periods of time - they crave companionship and should stay in the house with the family whenever possible. This is the nature of dogs.
A one-time surgery, A lifetime benefit
Spaying or neutering your dog is the single most important step you can take to be a responsible pet owner. The result is that your dog will no longer be able to bring more homeless animals into the world. Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates the possibility of several cancers and prostate disorders - spayed and neutered dogs live longer, healthier lives and make better, more affectionate companions.
Obey the law, Protect your dog
No matter how careful you are, there's always the chance that you'll lose your dog. License and put an ID tag on your dog before a problem occurs.
An essential rule is: Off property, On leash. When not confined to your property, your dog MUST be under control.
A lifetime commitment
Dogs tied or kenneled out in the backyard for long periods of time, crated inside all day or exercised only at their owners' convenience are neglected dogs that are likely to develop serious behavioral problems. It's up to you to provide your dog a "lifetime guarantee" for love, attention and care.
A microchip can aid in the quick recovery of your pet should its collar ID be lost. The chip is smaller than a grain of rice, and inserted permanently in the scruff of a dogs' neck. It is injected by needle, is relatively painless, and takes only a few minutes of time to complete. Most veterinarians have the chips available. The cost of the microchip placement is about $35.00.
Next, you mail the accompanying paperwork to register the microchip to the AKC. Your dog does not have to be AKC registered to participate in the program. Lifetime registration is $12.00. Whenever you move, you will need to update your contact information with the AKC.
Using the Dog's Natural Denning Instinct
"First, let's look at dog behavior in the wild. Wild adult dogs will naturally find a den or safe area to sleep. When the dam whelps the pups in the wild she sets up a den and keeps it clean until the pups are old enough to go outside on their own. She teaches them it is not okay to potty in the place where they sleep. Domestic dogs will also naturally den. You will often see a dog sleeping under a table or desk or next to a piece of furniture if no other area is provided for them to den. It is not cruel to develop this habit from the time you bring the puppy home. In fact, it is cruel not to give the pup or dog a safe area they can call their own." - P. Kalbaugh
Many people feel it is cruel to crate a puppy or a dog. I was under that impression myself also, when we adopted Tucker, my first dog since childhood, from Pups 2 Luv. It seemed wrong to put him in a "cage". We learned to rename his "crate", to his "house". We will say "in your house" whenever he is extra nutty, and he immediately complies with our wishes. In just a few minutes he will be settled down.His "house" was an invaluable aid in housebreaking Tucker as a puppy. Puppies learn from their mother that they shouldn't soil their sleeping area. When they are still in the whelping box, the puppies will crawl away from their sleeping area to an area they chose as the potty area, and eliminate there. They are already innately trained not to soil the area where they sleep. Tucker is now 2 years old, and is lying in his "house" as I type this page. The door is open, and he goes in and out as he wishes throughout the day. When we have a crowded house of visiting people and kids, Tucker will retreat to his "den" to separate himself from the mayhem.
A crate keeps the puppy safe from chewing things like electrical cords and your new shoes when you cannot be around to supervise. In this regard, it will prevent him from chewing your new Stuart Weitzman shoes, and having you get angry with him, which is a perfectly natural owner response, and one he would like to avoid.