The Tougher You Are, The Safer Your Dog
I want to start off by saying that by “tough” I don’t mean being abusive either physically or verbally. That’s just bullying, which is only for the weak-minded. The toughness I’m talking about is calm and gentle, and comes from a place of love and respect.
A Tougher You = A Safer Dog
So, that said, I will state what I think is a fact: the tougher you are about your dog following your commands immediately, the safer your dog is likely to be.
A Sad Example
To illustrate my point, I'll give you an example from my own life.
I’m not a softie, but I often think that if I’d been a little tougher, the late Jordan might still be alive. If I'd been a tougher teacher, maybe he would have come to me when I called out to him after he slipped his collar. And maybe he wouldn't have bolted across the road and got killed in a hit and run...if only I'd been a tougher teacher. I know that this is playing the (unhelpful and pointless) “If only…” game, yet I still wonder.
Unfortunately, life has no guarantees, so even if your dog reliably listens to you, all it takes is for him to not listen one time for it to all go terribly wrong.
But despite this, it’s smart to hedge your bets towards safety by being tough about your dog following your commands immediately. Because the fact is that teaching your dog to listen to you could one day save his life.
SAY NO TO PUPPY MILLS! SAY NO TO ANIMALS IN PETSHOPS! SAY NO TO BREEDERS!
Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance
It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.
Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.
Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.
Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.
Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.
If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.
All information and photos are copyright © Despina Rosales.