So you’ve decided to get a dog. You’ve seen adorable pictures and funny videos all over the internet. You know dogs are great companions and loyal friends. What could possibly go wrong? But before you run out to the closest shelter or dog breeder to pick your furry friend, there are a few important factors you need to consider.
Have you researched what breed you want? Mark Ehrman of K9 Counselling, the best puppy school in Sydney, said that, before it’s your pet or companion, a dog is an animal, and its behaviour and temperament is different depending on its breed and upbringing.
Not only do dogs have a distinct behaviour from cats, one breed is different from the next. What’s more, you and your friend could both own dogs of the same breed and they could still have different personalities. So, whether you dream of living with a bulldog or a boxer, you have to stop and research more about the breed. Know what you are taking on with each type of dog on your shortlist before you commit.
Consider whether the dog of your dreams matches your lifestyle, too. There is one thing that even puppy schools in Sydney cannot help you with and that is compatibility. People often choose a certain breed because of appearances. They think that all dogs are the same, just with different exteriors. However, this is a big misconception. Every breed of dog has a personality of its own. Researching before committing to a specific breed could save you a lot of trouble and disappointment. You won’t be surprised if your Chihuahua barks uncontrollably when it sees other people or dogs, and you will understand why your Lab is chewing things.
If you’re considering a specific breed of dog because it looks “pretty cool”, think again. Mark Ehrman wanted to own an Akita Inu because of its great build and appearance but decided against it because of the breed’s temperament. Akita Inus are known to be territorial and intolerant of other dogs, especially those of the same sex. An Akita Inu is more like a cat in a dog’s body, which Mark did not think was a good fit for him.
So, if a positive dog training expert who can train any breed of dog decides that an Akita Inu is not for him because of its personality, you should take your time to research more about the dog that will best suit you.
In other words, prepare yourself to sacrifice a lot of time. Once you have a dog, you will be taking care of another living creature whose needs must always come before your own. Get ready to turn down last minute plans and change your favourite holiday destinations to those that are “pet-friendly”.
Owning a dog means planning in advance. You can’t take a spontaneous trip without making sure you have someone to watch over your pup first (or take him with you!). If you think that’s challenging now, it’s even tougher if your pooch hasn’t learned how to behave properly from a puppy school in Sydney.
Dogs are long-time companions — not only for you but also for your loved ones. You will be spending years with this pet as a part of your family. So, take your time in picking the right pup.
Let’s talk dollars. Owning a dog is a significant investment. If you have done your research, you‘ll know the expenses do not stop as soon as you‘ve paid the adoption or purchasing fee. You’ll be buying dog food, annual vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, microchipping and more. There may even be times when your pup requires surgery or treatment for injuries or diseases. And just a heads up, they do not come cheap. Then there are all the things you’ll need to get repaired thanks to your dog. But at the end of the day, you can’t put a price on your dog’s health and happiness.
Then there’s the matter of training. Puppies are adorable, but keep in mind that they are just babies and will need more training and attention than an adult dog. Speak to other dog owners and they’re sure to recommend positive dog training classes for these energetic balls of fur. With this form of training, the trainer does not use negative factors to influence the puppy to behave well; it is all about using rewards like treats, toys and praises. According to dog training expert Mark Ehrman, negative or harsh training can be compared to child abuse. An abused dog is more likely to bite people when agitated, because this is the only way they know how to handle things.
Your dog will quickly become a part of your family and you’ll be wondering how you ever lived without them. All the adjustments you had to make to welcome your pet into your life won’t matter anymore; it will just feel natural to have them around.
You’ll wonder how can you love something so much even though he chews up your shoes, gets your couch dirty, destroys your pillows, leaves fur all over your black pants, digs up your yard and eats food when you’re not looking.
You can never train the dogs to stop feeling the urge to dig, chew or bark at strange noises — it’s in their nature. What you can do is train them to limit that reaction or do something else. Just like that one picture showing how dogs were taught to pick up a pillow instead of barking like crazy whenever someone comes over their house. It simply takes the right trainer. Mark Ehrman from K9 Counselling, the best puppy school in Sydney, can help you train your puppy to be a good and well-mannered companion.
Still think a dog is for you? Take a trip to one of your local shelters, contact a rescue group or go to a breeder. Owning a dog is a huge commitment. But if you go in with your eyes wide open, bringing a dog into your life will be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make.