Let’s get real here. People adopt/purchase dogs for all kinds of reasons. Things like needing companionship, wanting a dog to guard your family/house, people in need of service animals, therapy animals, or just plain dog lovers. And while dogs benefit and enrich our lives greatly, why does so much frustration come with it sometimes?
After all, owning a dog should be fun, shouldn't it?
There is a couple ways to look at this one. While owning a dog should most definitely be a fun experience, what some people don't realize is the responsibility that comes with it. How often do we hear of situations where people go out and get a dog only to come to the realization they really didn't have the time for this dog. Now their dog is full of behavior issues, destructiveness, not obedient in the least, and most definitely no fun. Where does the dog usually end up? Rehomed. Abandoned. Sold. Ignored. Its a sad reality. This situation means this was not only no fun for the humans, but definitely didn't end up very fun for the dog either.
Owning a dog should be fun. But owning a dog is much more than that. He needs to be trained. He needs to be part of the family. He needs to be loved. He needs to be fed. He needs to go for walks. He needs to be bathed. There is a ton of responsibility with having a dog in your life. When people say their dogs are their children, it is no joke. When you get a puppy, you are raising that pup. How you raise that puppy impacts what kind of dog you are going to end up with. The same way raising a child impacts what kind of adult they become.
So if there is all this responsibility in owning a dog, where does the fun come in?
- It is fun to watch a dog play.
- It is fun to play with a dog.
- It is fun to go to the beach with your dog, to take road trips with your dog.
- It is even fun to cuddle up on the couch with your dog.
- And so, so much more.
None if these things matter if you don't give your dog the time he needs to learn. If you don't put in the required training your pooch needs to learn exactly what it is you expect from him. It is no fun to have a dog who has absolutely zero training. A dog who jumps on everyone, barks at everyone, maybe even bites everyone. A dog who destroys everything you own. I mean, the list goes on.
Training and time is the solution to all of it. To be able to enjoy having a dog, we need to put time into him. Show him what we expect of his behavior. Help him learn. However, this can also be a frustrating thing to do. Training a dog isn't always easy. It can really take a toll on our patience, believe me I know. The best way around that is to set your dog up for success always. Setting your dog up for failure will only result in, well failure. And that can be frustrating for both you as well as your dog.
What I mean by set your dog up for success is:
- Don't push him to do something he doesn't fully understand.
- Take baby steps with your training and allow him to learn at his own pace.
- Keep the training session short, sweet, and lets not forget fun!
- If you notice your dog is having trouble with learning something, assess the situation. Go back to the beginning of whatever it is you are trying to teach, and figure out a different way to teach it to him. Something he might be able to understand better.
- If you dog appears to be getting stressed (or you start to get stressed) during training, immediately find a fun way to end the session. A stressed dog combined with a stressed human will not get anywhere.
- Always, always end your training sessions positively.
Owning a dog should be fun. And it is. You and your dog's relationship is what you make it. Do all that responsible stuff that comes with owning a dog. Make life lasting memories, and have fun!
Its your turn!
What is the most fun memory you have with your dog?
Hi, I'm Jenna Drady AKA HuskyCrazed - author and creator of ownedbyahusky.ca. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and of course my 3 huskies. Being a husky mom for a long duration of my life, I was inspired to begin writing about them. In doing so, I started doing massive research on dog behavior, and all things dog in general. I am inspired every day by my family, and love to bring my readers valuable information as well as a little laugh while I'm at it. I created my own business partnered with my lovely mother while blogging called Pawz N Clawz Jewelry N Things. We currently sell handmade jewelry with added pet charms, as well as a few dog toys too! As an animal rights activist, and huge believer in helping pets who have been stuck in shelters, we donate a portion of our sales to local shelters throughout Canada.