For many, the idea of adopting or 'rescuing' a dog carries with it a certain image. Some people mistakenly look at dog adoption as if it's buying cheap, discounted or broken goods. But, according to an initiative between national dog adoption website DogsBlog.com and Butcher's Pet Care, a UK family company that prides itself in having fed generations of family dog, with tasty recipes that are free from any artificial colours flavours or preservatives; nothing could be further from the truth.
As more and more dogs find themselves, through no fault of their own, inside the British dog shelter system, the image of the 'rescue dog' is in need of an update.
No longer are shelters the preserve of the 'problem dog', but they are packed with dogs of all types, from all manner of backgrounds. Here's our second to last feature in our ten part series guiding you through everything you need to know and we hope you're enjoying it as much as we enjoyed writing it for you.
Patience is an essential virtue if you are to be a dog owner. For all of the times that wagging tail greeting brightens your day, there are the odd occasions where your dog will make a mistake. Dogs don't have the capacity to deliberately annoy us, everything they do is done with the best intentions. If they chew up a shoe or go to the toilet in the wrong place, it's a mistake. Responsible dog ownership is about correcting bad behaviour and preventing repeat offences. If a dog is doing something that displeases you, it is because the dog doesn't know any better. They are pack animals and have a natural instinct to get along. In the wild, a dog that is rejected by the pack will not be able hunt and will starve. So why would your dog do something to risk being rejected by the pack?
Dogs can be naughty and they can sometimes do things that make us want to pull our hair out. Always remain calm and considered when training your dog and when it comes to decisions on your dog's best interests. Many people jump too quickly into rehoming their pets when alternative solutions to the problem could easily have been found. Often, problems that seem impossible to overcome can actually be solved with just a little guidance from experienced dog owning friends or pet care professionals. Seek their advice as often as you need.
Too often people are quick to offload their responsibility on to someone else. A dog misbehaving is often too easy to give back to the breeder or to dump at a shelter, but dogs are a product of their environment. Only the most extreme or unusual circumstances make a dog untrainable and some would argue that no dog is untrainable. Get in to the habit of being patient and rewarding good behaviour and your dog will reward you in return with unconditional loyalty and friendship.
There are an estimated 100k dogs in adoption centres around Britain. Sometimes dogs arrive in rescue centres through natural causes such as owners passing away. Very often though dogs are simply abandoned for no other reason that poor decisions on behalf of hasty owners. Please, please, please take on board all of the information about what it takes to maintain a dog in a happy home. Dogs really are a lifelong commitment and they deserve the security of a stable home environment. You CAN get a superb, lifelong companion from a rescue…but be absolutely certain you are ready for the challenge. If you are, you will enjoy a relationship like no other!
National Dog Adoption Month is running this September, be part of something special – bring joy, adopt a dog. Visit www.dogsblog.com to find the dog of your dreams.