Do badly behaved dogs start out that way or are they are helped along by their owners?
Dogs are complex creatures still retaining many of the instincts and behaviors of their wolf ancestors.
What we may perceive as bad is often a predictable response when viewed in the context of normal canine behavior.
Bringing a little ‘wolf’ into the family and the urban environment requires research and forethought and a commitment to the animal’s lifelong needs.
Click below to see the 8 mistakes dog owners make.
Let’s reflect on how I score.
Adopting a dog for the wrong reasons
We had a big house with a huge compound then and kids had left home. A pet was the ideal solution to bring life back to our home.
Choosing an unsuitable breed for your lifestyle
It has been five years since I adopted Toby whose given name was Rex. He came from a litter of five puppies, two with white stripe across its face and the other three were full golden color. I wanted the other white stripped female dog but someone was ahead of me so we picked this other fella, a male whose breed was labelled ‘Staffy Cross’. I had absolutely no idea about breed but accepted my puppy as who he was rather than the breed he was. He grew up with the loving nature of a labrador and loyalty of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Treating your dog like a human
This was my big mistake but I have no regrets. I see Toby as my baby and he will always be. He wants to be included in almost everything we do and going out for walks or car rides are more important to him than food. He thinks he is as human as any of us in this house. He is very much a part of the family.
Not training your dog
As a puppy, he went to obedient school. He is a very intelligent dog and he understands every word I say but he only obeys what he wants to. I said never to feed him under the dining table but he gave me that pleading and sorry look that I often break my own rules.
Getting all your info from the internet
I do not do enough of this actually. Had I been more observant, I would not have accidentally feed Toby muesli (raisins mixed) and he is still recovering from major food toxic which may cause permanent kidney damage.
Failing to interact with your dog
Our interaction is around food and sleep. He sleeps like a human baby tucked under my duvet covers. In the park, he likes to go off leash (where permitted) with the freedom to run, sniffed and get all dirty walking into creeks and rolling on dirty spots.
Not socialising your dog
He used to love little children when he was a puppy but as he gets older, he no longer has the opportunity to have the little ones around him as we moved away and there were no longer young children that came to visit. He gets excited when he sees other dogs and because he has the Staffordshire muscular look, he tends to intimidate other dog owners so I tend to hold tight to his leash.
I may have pass or fail this test but I will not trade my Toby for any others. I had chosen him for who he is and I will continue to love him and treat him as part of the family.
Happy new year to all pet lovers and their pets.
Pawkisses from Toby and Me.