Who is in control, you or the Dog?
So I mentioned in a previous post about making sure that you buy a dog at the right time for you.
Whilst your lifestyle to a reasonable extent has to have time for a dog I am of the opinion that a dog should not rule your life. You should be in control, providing the welfare of the dog does not suffer.
Now this is purely my opinion and there are going to be those who feel more or less strongly about this but I believe the we have a good balance.
Both my girlfriend and I work. She works 3 full days of 12 hours whilst I generally works 5 days a week. Thus there are at least 3 days where no-one is at home.
Some would not own a dog for this very reason. Some would ensure that they pay someone (a dog sitter) to look after the dog for that period of time, whilst some would happily leave the dog alone whilst at work.
Neither is right or wrong, providing those dogs left for longer periods are given lots of love and affection when you return home and are not cooped up in a cage or small room all day.
In our life, whilst my girlfriend works we shall be letting our dog have free reign of the house (once old enough) when we are not in. As a puppy he will be confined to a dog pen so there is plenty of space to move about.
My brother works locally and due to his shift pattern will come in around mid day to take the dog for a walk or take it home with him for a couple of hours. Therefore meaning that the dog will not be alone really for more than 4 hours.
Once either of us return from work we will spend time giving affection and walking him.
I believe this to be acceptable. It teaches the dog that they have to wait for you, but when you are there then they get the love and affection desired.
We too are not left spending huge amounts of money on dog sitters or walkers (a few beers should sort my brother out!)
I do too believe a dog should be happy to spend some time in a cage/crate. Providing it is a suitable size and the dog is trained that it is like a home and not a penalty they would happily spend an hour or so in the cage if necessary.
This is believe is where most dog owners differ in opinion. A cage is often seen as cruel, but training a dog and enticing it to use the cage can be a positive. It can be their home, their little den and in fact a cage is not so cruel. They shouldn’t be used as a means of shutting the dog away for long periods.
Having read a lot on the subject, many do use the cage as a penalty, but many can use it as a positive. Take for example you have friends over for a coffee and they have a toddler. You may have a big dog that whilst has been socialised with children, doesn’t get regular contact and could hurt the child as it crawls about. Putting the dog in the cage in the same room whilst the toddler crawls about means that the toddler is safe and the dog can become accustomed and not feel completely shut out because they can see you and what’s going on. Putting them in another room is worse because they cant see what is going on.
This is another scenario whereby you are in control but the dog is not left out so it is not unfair on them.
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