The Right Stuff: Imparting Acceptable Dog Behavior
Committed, steadfast, compassionate animal lovers tend to wonder and worry about the current trend in animal shelter numbers. How is it possible that so many animals that once had a place to call home, later found themselves at a shelter, surrendered by their owners?
Of course, there are myriad reasons leading to a pet’s surrender, but when it comes to dissatisfying or distasteful behaviors, the pet is not usually to blame. Many canine behaviors stem from owners or caretakers who may not even realize what they’re passing on. In order to keep your pet at home, where he or she belongs, create the best possible environment and teach acceptable dog behavior.
- Timing – Many animal lovers rush into pet adoption before deeply analyzing whether or not the timing is right. A dog requires a significant amount of attention, and if you cannot offer a puppy or adult dog what he or she requires and deserves, perhaps now is not the time. Parents may give into a child’s pleas for a pet only to find that the responsibility was too much, resulting in a surrender. A pet’s comfort and routine is dependent upon the rhythms at home, so if you have a pending relocation or housing change, consider how that can affect a dog.
- Training – Unless you are adopting a shelter dog that previously learned some commands, your new addition will not come trained. This requires time, effort, and patience to establish acceptable dog behavior, such as potty training, leash walking, setting rules, boundaries, and commands. Other benefits of training result in socialization and obedience, which can help your dog thrive and be downright good company. Ignoring problematic behavior can result in behavioral problems and a one-way ticket to the shelter.
- Dynamics – Pets are often surrendered because they didn’t get along with other pets or people in the house. This discord can lead to aggressive or anxious behaviors that convince the pet’s owner that the shelter is the only alternative. Before adopting, please think about how many animals you can truly take care of, and how the presence of a new dog may upset a present balance.
- Cost – Owning a dog does come with a price tag. From the adoption costs to the spaying or neutering, a prospective pet owner should carefully consider their wallet. Travel kennel, leash, collar, food, toys, and preventive medicine are important aspects of ownership and care, and the related expenses can, unfortunately, lead to a good pet’s surrender. Also, senior pets end up at shelters because the care to support age-related illnesses or injuries can go beyond what a pet owner is able or willing to afford.
How To Achieve Acceptable Dog Behavior
Temperament is mostly hereditary, but a dog is greatly influenced by his or her owner and the environment. A dog owner’s actions can create positive or negative behaviors and, when paired with closely observed temperament, you’ll likely have a good idea how a dog will react to certain stimuli.
To manage tendencies and instill acceptable dog behavior, dog owners can work with their dog’s approach to other people, pets, and environments. By supporting your pet, you are doing your part to build trust in the relationship you have with your dog and keep him or her out of an animal shelter.
As always, contact us with any questions and concerns, and keep up the good work with your sweet dog!
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!