Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 Signs of a Happy Dog Owner

by Carrie Boyko

This isn't rocket science. The dog owners who really enjoy a bond with their dogs show it by their actions:
  1. You see them at the dog park, not sitting on a bench reading, but engaging with their dog, as well as the other owners. These owners realize the importance of socializing their dog.
  2. They continue to train throughout their dog's life, not just during house training or the usual  Sit Stay Heel basics class.
  3. Happy dog owners enjoy the company of their dogs whenever they can take their pup along--the bank drive through, the pet supply store, a friend's home. 
  4. The owner that enjoys his dog's company is rarely ready to give up their pup at the first sign of trouble. They will seek out the assistance of a trainer or the evaluation of a veterinarian when problems pop up, seeking to find a solution.
  5. Happy dog owners often are seen walking with their dog daily, and sometimes more. 
  6. They may even enjoy other activities with their dog, such as playing Frisbee, fetch, herding, tracking,  swimming, biking, hiking, or group activities like Agility training, flyball competitions, diving training, and yes, even freestyle dance. The video at the top of this post is a good example of an owner who loves her dog and enjoys spending time with him.
  7. Most importantly, happy dog owners have learned the primary lessons of dog ownership: dogs love unconditionally and a bond with a dog is forever. There are no divorces or family feuds. You'll have a true friend for life when you give yourself over to loving a dog.
  8. Happy dog owners don't fret over providing proper care for their dog. Good quality food, regular medical care, fresh water, daily training exercises and daily physical exercise are all part of the equation for a happy dog owner.Oh, and don't let me leave out the occasional belly rub.
  9. Truly happy dog owners have gained insight into the mind of a dog by reading, studying and learning more about canine behavior. The result of this is better problem solving and quicker resolutions to occasional hiccups.
  10. Finally, the happiest of dog owners find themselves wanting to provide love and care to more than one canine, not only for their own enjoyment, but also for the companionship a second (or third?) dog will provide the others. This decision is frequently made carefully, and an appropriate housemate will be chosen with the advice of a professional, to assure compatible energy, as well as breeds that can coexist peacefully with a reasonable amount of supervision.
You may have noticed that I have left out leadership as a sign of a happy dog owner. While I know that leadership in the home is important to a happy dog, it may not always work that way for the owner. In my lifetime, I have known many dog owners whose bonds with their dogs were strong, even when the owner seemed to give the decision making over to the dog. 

"Are you hungry yet, Fido?
 Would you like to go for a walk now?"

Keep this in mind as you enjoy your life with your dogs. Leadership can only add to the bond in a relationship where the animal wants, even needs, you to take charge. Go get 'em, pack leader!
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© Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

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Dawn said...

Great article!! What is the point of having a dog if you don't spend time with them? The best owners are the ones who play with their dogs, walk them, and train them. And it just so happens that the best dogs are the ones who get played with, walked, and trained.

My dogs, Sephi and Maya, are fantasic dogs! Sephi is 9 and still learning new tricks. Maya is 3, knows the basics, learning some cute tricks, and slowly but surely getting better with walking on a leash without pulling my arm off.

Carrie Lea said...

Hello Dawn...good to have you back again. Hope you enjoyed the video; I love watching them perform; they really appear to be having fun doing it together. It's not just a performance; it's a bond.

Keep up the good work with Sephi and Maya. Send me their pics sometime and I'll get them on the blog. Happy tails!

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