Responsible Dog Ownership
Dog ownership is a big responsibility and should not to be taken lightly.
If you are not committed to owning and caring for a dog, don't take it on. Before anyone proceeds in owning a dog there are a few questions they should ask themselves.
Am I committed to looking after a dog for the term of its natural life?
Depending on the breed, that could mean as long as 12+ years.
Can I financially afford to keep a dog?
Do I really want one?
What breed of dog am I interested in?
Will the dog breed I pick, suit my lifestyle?
Remember before you make the final decision, do some research, visit dog shows, visit the SPCA and other animal shelters, read books, contact the N.Z. Kennel Club ( they can supply you with specific breed information and breed club contacts.).
Who wants a problem Dog?
Although no one wants a problem dog, unfortunately a certain percentage end up that way, because people lack the basic understanding, of dog behavior.
It is your responsibility as an owner to maintain the health and wellbeing of your dog, by providing the following: Food, Companionship, Exercise, Housing, Grooming care and Health maintenance.
You must not let your dog roam. Roaming dogs are a menace, and they can terrorize people, other pets as well as livestock. If a farmer catch's your dog worrying stock on his property, he is well within his rights to seize or destroy it. Your dog can also be seized or destroyed if it is caught attacking a person or other animals.
Your dog should be kept in a fully fenced section, kennel or inside your home. When out walking your dog , the dog should be leashed. Fencing should be secure; your dog shouldn't be able to go under, over or through it. If you live in a rural area or on a farm, the same rules apply. Remember, you are responsible for your dogs actions.
Take your dog to basic obedience classes. or contact a private dog trainer in your area. If you do decide to take your dog to obedience classes, make sure the dog's in the class are all friendly non-aggressive/dominant dogs. A bad experience may cause behaviour problems now or in the future.
Make sure your dog is registered with your local council and vaccinations are kept current.
If you do not wish to breed from your dog, get it spayed or neutered. This may reduce aggression but not protectiveness. It will also help stem the tide of unwanted puppies.
As the dog's owner, your dog should respect your leadership, (remember dogs are pack animals) not challenge it.
Socialize your dog; introduce it to people, other animals and new situations. If you are not sure how you're dog will react in a new situation, leave it at home.
ZeroBites Dog Training 2008