Responsible Dog Owner
When you adopt a dog, regardless of whether it’s a puppy or an older dog, whether it’s a big dog or a small one, and no matter whether it’s your first dog or your tenth, it’s YOUR responsibility to make sure you know how to take care of your dog, what your local laws are regarding pet care, and that you have the resources you need to keep your dog happy and healthy.
In this blog we’ll explore all the ways in which you can ensure you’re being responsible in the care you’re providing to your new pet.
How can I be a responsible dog owner?
You want to make sure that as a dog owner that you are paying attention to the laws in your community.
Some laws can include how many dogs you are allowed, what kind of dogs, licensing and microchipping your dog, picking up after your dog, and leash laws.
If we all follow the rules, then we will be allowed to keep our beloved dogs.
You want to make sure that you have good relationships with your city Counsel board if you have a city Counsel. You want to make sure that you are a person in the community that people can count on when dogs are in need.
Many laws are passed after something terrible has happened and unfortunately, the dog haters and the uneducated people will step up to make sure laws like BSL get passed. If you have a good relationship with the city council and you follow the rules and laws, you could step up to speak against them. And as a respected and trusted citizen, you will be heard better than if you were someone who is always getting in trouble and is generally regarded as a mean person.
You want to make sure that people understand that all dogs are individuals regardless of what kind of dog it is. What you put into a dog is what you’re going to get out of a dog.
Get educated! No one can argue with facts and science. You never want to go into a situation with only your feelings and emotions. You have to be prepared to talk about how dogs learn, what causes behavior, and how the breed has no effect on aggression. Make sure that you’ve got additional information, resources, and studies proving your argument. This type of research will show that you’re more than someone who simply loves dogs. You’re educated and you’re qualified to argue/debate your position.
We can make sure that our dogs are safe, content, and trustworthy by making sure that they know that we are trustworthy in the way we maintain them. What that means is making sure that we keep our dogs on a leash when we walk our dogs. We should not set up our dogs to fail by putting them in situations that they are uncomfortable with.
If you know that your dog is afraid of children, keep them away from situations where they have a chance to bite a child. If you know your dog likes to run off, keep them safe and secure in your yard/house or on a leash. You know your dog better than anyone and you can control their environment to keep them and the community safe.
You also want to make sure that you are keeping your dog safe by using non-aversive techniques when you train your dog. That means focusing on positive reinforcement, focusing on things that encourage your dog to be safe, happy, and content, as supposed to be in a fearful state.
Unfortunately in this day and age, owning a dog is not as simple as it once was. Bad experiences and fear have caused a lot of unnecessary and negative light to be shown on particular breeds, owners, and preventable situations. Your dog is relying on you to protect him/her and that means you need to stay apprised of the world around you. By doing this, you can provide your dog with a long term and loving home.
Special Thanks To...
Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin is the founder, president, and soul behind Pinups for Pitbulls. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Drexel University, where she specialized in breed-specific legislation. She is also the Volunteer & Foster Manager for the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in Weaverville, NC.