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  • Writer's pictureLinda

Don't force these things on dogs

Some common sense advice that some dog owners need to hear.

You are probably reading this because you love dogs and are wondering what things shouldn't be forced on dogs. In short, several things, at least in my humble opinion, and I want to share my thoughts with the entire dog-loving world.

Sometimes we think we are doing the right or good thing for our pets but if we really look at things from a dog's perspective, or even a common sense perspective, we see that we are really doing these things out of misinformation, ignorance, or selfishness.

What we all want to do at heart, is to love our pets the best we can and do what is best for them. Some people read a lot about their pets and pet care and talk to their vets and gauge their dog's behavior to certain things and then will make a decision of what is best.

Other people just wing it, hoping for the best, but in hindsight realize that they probably didn't make the best choice.

First and foremost, the item that bugs me the worst - or at least tied for the worst - is forcing a dog to wear one of those spiked collars with prongs in order to stop them from pulling on the leash. Really people? Are you really so cruel as to do that to your dog? Get a dog trainer! Spend time working on proper walking with the dog, but don't ever force one of these prong collars on a dog.

I challenge this to you - put on one of those prong collars and have a friend take you for a walk and pull on your neck! Do you like the feeling of metal grabbing your skin and pinching it really hard and causing all sorts of damage to your body? Does it make you want to cry? Does it make you fear or hate the person doing it to you?

I'm sorry if this offends some people, but to me, this is pet care stupidity to the max.

Also, on top of my list, is don't force your dog to wait for you in your car. The car, as any dog owner should know, can get really hot and really cold depending on the season and if you don't really just run into the store "for a minute" you could be putting your beloved furry friend in mortal danger.

Now, if I had a dog in my life right now, I would love to put little outfits on him/her and make him/her look all cute and everything. But if the dog doesn't want those things, don't force it on them. It is easy to tell if they don't like it - they flop on the floor, try to pull it off, sit, or sit like they are frozen statues. They will whine sometimes too. So, if they like clothes, as some dogs do, then go with it and have fun, but if they don't, don't force it on them.

Don't force them to interact with people or other dogs if they are afraid. If the dog is trying to go the other way or is shaking, cowering, barking in fear, or acting nervously, leave the situation.

This is something that dog owners may do by mistake, but it is important to check on your dog's collar once in a while to make sure it isn't too tight. Dogs, like people, grow and gain weight, so check the collar periodically to make sure it is a nice fit.

Don't force your dog to stay home too long without a piddle break, and certainly don't hit them or yell at them or stick their nose in their "accident" if it is on the floor when you get home from work. Most likely your poor dog tried to hold it as long as he/she could, but you, of course, had to do two hours of shopping after work and forgot that your poor dog had to go out.

Don't force your dog to walk too far if they are old and obviously not feeling too well, or if it is too hot, too wet, or too cold for them. You'll know when that is because you know your dog. Don't force your dog to jog with you unless it is the type of dog that absolutely loves to run. And if they run with you, watch to make sure you aren't taxing them to the point of exhaustion. Look at their little faces when you are running - do they look tired or stressed? Then, for the love of Benji, STOP. Not all dogs like to run.

Don't force your dog to be leashed outside in the yard alone - another critter like a coyote, or bear, depending on where you live, can come and kill it and your poor dog, who is stuck on a leash, will be dead meat for sure.

Don't force your dog to be in a crate that is too small for him/her. This really irks me. When the dog is a pup and 15 weeks old, don't buy a crate that is small because he/she is small. Get the biggest crate you can so he/she has plenty of room. Also, put a pad or blanket on the cage bottom for comfort.

My personal issue, and I know many will disagree with me on this, is that I think crates are okay as long as the door is always left open. I know the reasons why people need to, or want to, close it, but for me - I'd rather opt out and train the dog to stay in the crate without the door closed. AND it bugs me when people leave the dog in a crate with the door closed for hours on end, leaving the dog to sit in his/her piddle or poop. We all know people who think leaving a dog in a crate for hours is okay, but it is not. Health issues can arise from this practice because the dog can't get exercise and it taxes their body.

I will end this post here. I'm sure I could identify other things people shouldn't force on dogs, but this is enough to chew on for this week.

Dear readers, I think this is the first post where I've given you some attitude, and I apologize for that, but these things I mentioned really bug me, and to emphasize their importance I've copped an attitude. Forgive me! But also understand where I am coming from, as I'm sure most of you do and most of you would never do these things I've mentioned here.




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