Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Training for Life

Many dog owners are often surprised that I am still training my dogs. They wonder why I continue to train when they already know sit, down, come and their release command. I guess you could say I'm continually giving them and myself refresher courses. Your dogs’ training is an on going part of its life. Since dogs aren't humans they need constant reminders of how they should behave out in public. Okay I know some people that could use some reminders, but we don't own other humans and we aren't responsible for their actions the way we are responsible for our dogs.

A well-trained and behaved dog is even more important where I live since my state passed tougher laws regarding dogs and owner responsibility. A vicious dog attack last year prompted the change. A dog owner's dangerous Pit bulls attacked and killed an 80 year-old woman and her small dog in her own yard. County officials deemed the pit bulls vicious and dangerous and the owner did not follow the guidelines for keeping her dogs. These dogs were roaming with no supervision when they should have been leashed and under the owner’s control. The owner was recently sentenced to three years in prison for the death of the elderly woman and her dog. While many believe this owner got off easy, I look at this outcome as a stepping-stone to forcing potential dog owners to look at the reality of owning any breed of dog. Dogs are a great deal of work and if you don't have the time to give the dog then don't get one. Besides the work there's a huge expense to owning a dog as well. If you can't afford the estimated $800 a year it takes to own one dog then don't do it. Most people are responsible enough but if all dog owners spent even five minutes a day working on training it would help. And if we all spend the time needed with our dogs playing and bonding we'd have happier more relaxed canines.

I continue to train my dogs because they enjoy it and I enjoy spending time with them. I also do it to prevent accidents. When it comes to safety I am just as concerned with my dogs and those around me as I am with my children's.

Until next time Woof, Woof, and a Roo.

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