Most people truly believe COVID is an opportunity to get a dog because they will have time to train. Thank you for acknowledging puppies and dogs need time. Not just cuddles or relaxing at your feet time but time outside their home, time learning about new things, learning with you, from you. This is a lifetime need, not a puppy need, not just an adolescent need, A lifetime need.
The consistent reason that puppies and dogs are rehomed is lack of time and understanding of dog’s needs. Both these things, lack of training knowledge and time, lead to behavioural problems in households. No one sets out to fail their puppy/dog but the statistics year in, year out continue to show us, as humans, failing our pups and dogs.
Personally, I don’t think it is a rescue organisations responsibility to rehabilitate your dog. They are a secure clean holding place until someone finds them. I think that is evident when the RSPCA NSW closed their behaviour teams some time ago when recently the AWL NSW retrenched their professional trainers. I do commend and thank rescues who do training with the animals in their care.
I personally believe the responsibility of your dog lies with you the owner new or old. I think the law reflects this too. We seem to have a culture fog with animals. We accept that kids need to go to school. That children need qualified teachers. Not parents who have raised kids themselves to give advice. Yet when it comes to animals the neighbours advise or another dog owner at the park becomes gospel.
If we are to be serious about raising a resilient dog who is happy and confident then let us get serious we need professional advice.
They are some great trainer organisation in Australia, offering training advice, magazine and educational webinars.
Pet Professional Guild of Australia and The Delta Institute are the most accountable since they require their trainers to prove they are up to date with effective humane training practices. The Australian Pet Dogs Trainers Association is moving this way too.
I do think we as dog owners need to stop selling pretty pictures of dog ownership. Being a dog owner has highs and lows. From frustrating walks when your dog rolls in a dead fish/duck poo and you are late to work after bathing them. Your dog jumping up at people in the park or chasing a bush turkey or rabbit.To texts from neighbours about your dog escaping or barking or your garden being landscaped into muddy mounds. These are normal occurrences. Digging, barking, rolling, and ingesting disgusting things are all part of being a dog.
I don’t know when we became a society that only wanted a dog to be non-shedding, non-jumping, nonbarking, non-digging but obedient angels who sit at cafes with us and chase balls we throw, when we are ready!
Don’t get me wrong, you can all of that and more but it will come with time, time spent playing, time spent training, time spent allowing your dog to know, and be confident in their surroundings.
So please dog owners, tell everyone how you get up every day and think about when and how you are going to walk, train, exercise, play with your dog that day. Don’t gloss over this.
For all the pups that find themselves being surrendered. Don’t gloss over this.
Wriiten by Louise Newman Lets GO Fido