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Choose wisely

If more people put more effort into selecting the right dog for their wants and needs, it would prevent a mountain of distress.  

When we buy cars, washing machines, computers, cellphones, food etc; we think about

* what we want

*what we need

*what we can afford

If you get the wrong washing machine or car or food – it can be expensive and irritating for you, but it’s also easily solved. The item doesn’t suffer at all. It’s also unlikely to bother anyone else, and getting rid of it to start again is reasonably easy – both physically and emotionally.

Dog shopping follows a pretty similar selection path, but has more complicated results when things go wrong because a dog is a living, breathing being, with feelings.

Unlike cars, food and cell phones, dogs do things of their own accord. The dog’s behaviour can affect not just you, but everyone you live with, your neighbours, animal care professionals e.g. vets, and random people out and about.

Unlike washing machines and cellphones, the dog can suffer.

Rehoming the dog can be difficult both practically (finding the right home) and emotionally (feeling terrible about it!).

If you can’t find the right home, euthanaising the dog is emotionally wrenching, so most people don’t do that. They either rehome with less care; ask a rescue to take over; or continue to struggle away with the dog in their home. Sometimes this struggle works out okay. Sometimes it doesn’t.

I have had a human reactive dog and a dog reactive dog. I NEVER EVER want either of these issues again. Yes, I’m a trainer and I know a lot more now than I did then, and I intend to use that knowledge.

One of the things I know is that selecting a dog for sociability is like a vaccine against aggressive behaviour. Temperament is front and centre in my selection process.

Please do research before you buy.


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