Elderfox's Blog

Thoughts of an elder writer-in-progress

BEING ONE’S OWN SELF

on September 19, 2010

WHAT A PUPPY IS NOT. . .

A puppy is not a toy.  He is a living thing whose physical demands must be met constantly for as long as he lives.  Even though children may be in the mood to play with it; a puppy is not unbreakable. Young children can, injure eyes, inflict broken jaws, legs, back, toes…which can also happen to small, fine-boned or long bodied adult dogs. A puppy needs more sleep than a human infant, and he needs to be fed regularly and often, even though his meals may conflict with family plans. 

A puppy is not a teaching aid to instill a sense of responsibility in children, and it is unfair to the animal to put its well-being into the hands of children under the age of eight.  Even at that age, parents who force the regime will be asking for friction, and, unfortunately, it will be the dog that is the loser in this battle.  The essentials of feeding, housebreaking and discipline training, falls to an adult member of the household and usually that means a stay-at-home MOM!  (In our obedience training classes we discovered that while the “man of the house” may think he rules his domain, the dog almost always thinks otherwise.)

A puppy is not a human.  Given the chance (aside from what we see or hear) all dogs would prefer to be treated like dogs.  Dogs sleep better in their own beds/crates; prefer a walk rather than a car ride; their own food rather than table scraps; do not need rhinestone collars or fancy dog houses. 

A puppy is not self-cleaning.  Puppies piddle on rugs, dog hair appears on clothing and furniture; there may be internal and external parasites and skin disorders to be dealt with.  Puppies need to be groomed—brushed, nails trimmed, teeth cleaned.  He cannot go for long periods of time without relieving himself.  He cannot differentiate between what is chewable and what isn’t, or make any distinction between food and objects that hurt when swallowed. 

And a puppy grows up into a mature dog that may or may not be the show dog you had hoped for.  But, as explained in a previous blog, there are many outlets in which to participate; be it obedience, tracking, herding, rally, etc.

Facing all the negative aspects of living with a puppy will give you the rewards of an adult, well behaved dog ( given the proper upbringing )will give years more companionship for everyone in the family.

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