Monday, November 22, 2010

Dog Training Should Be Mandatory

Dog's are like children right? As part being a responsible human child parent, parents send their children to school. It does not matter if the child is scholarly, highly intelligent, calm, quiet, laid back or wild and ill mannered, going to school is a mandatory part of a child's lifestyle.

Then why is it not for dogs? It should be. I think as part of owning a dog, every pet parent should enroll in a dog training class, and should continue some form of training until the dog is one year old, or from the date you acquired the dog to one year of being a doggy parent.

A friend of mine and I were discussing this and she brought up the fact that in some cases (probably more than we think), kids are the outcome of an unplanned event. Dogs are not. Well aside from those that can not practice self control when voluntarily walking into a pet shop. But either way, planned or unplanned, you still have to send the child to school and there are no excuses for that.

The same should apply to dogs. Recently there is so much discussion on breed ban restrictions, mandatory spay and neuter, breeder licenses etc, to reduce the number of dogs that end up in shelters and ultimately have to be put down. I think one of the most effective ways to control over population is through education not necessarily awareness. Many people are aware of puppy mills for example, but if they were educated on what exactly a puppy mills is and the product of a puppy mill, that makes that individual an empowered individual because he/she is educated. Same goes with dog training.

Many pet parents feel like they don't need to attend dog training classes because they have the greatest dog, or until the dog poises a serious danger or threat or is out of control. An educated person prevents from ever reaching this point, and practices responsible pet parenting as a lifestyle as opposed to just taking a 6 or 8 week class.

If pet parents were required to take dog training classes, it is very likely we would see a drastic decrease in "unnecessary" euthanasia and we would not face the crisis of pet over population.

This does not mean we would cure the issue of behavioral problems such as aggression 100%, it would mean:

1. Parents of such dogs lead responsible lifestyles in keeping their dogs happy, safe and free of causing harm to themselves or
2. Over time, we would see less of these issues as people would make educated decisions on breeding for temperament.
3. Those dogs that truly poise a severe threat would be put down as opposed to those dogs that are great, but their time is
4. People will start being held accountable for their negligence, stupidity, ignorance and ultimately lack of education on
owning a dog.
5. We would be a preventative society of dog parents as opposed to reactive society of owner that surrender.

Today, I was helping out at Groom Grub & Belly Rub, the pet grooming salon in Avalon Park, and it just amazes me that not a single dog that was groomed today was good for his/her nails.

A dog does not naturally know to hand over one paw at a time and to sit still... it has to be taught that skill.

A dog does not innately offer to stand still while someone takes sharp objects near its eyes... it has to be taught this skill.

A dog does not automatically know to stand still while on a table while hanging off a noose, it naturally knows to escape it by attempting to jump off the table.... but is not aware of the dangerous outcome of that.

A dog is not naturally accepting of a human grabbing it by its collar in an attempt to restraint the dog, it must be taught to be accepting of that.

A dog naturally will walk by its owner, but has learned that pulling on a leash is more fun.

Dog Responsibly, your dog is your responsibility, teach it well.

1 comment:

Lisa_and_Bryan said...

Agreed! We love our community at University of Doglando. We do wish that we felt better about some of the parents and dogs at area dog parks. Thanks for teaching and spreading the good word!