Friday, September 15, 2017

Responsible Dog Ownership

A few days ago, the NCAA posted a video to celebrate responsible dog ownership. The video highlighted their top 5 college football dog mascots. Yours truly made the list of course (at number 5, but we won't go there). Dog mascots can make great ambassadors for their college as well as their breed. Seeing a good looking, well-cared for and well-trained dog like your mascot might make you think you want a dog like that for yourself. But let's talk about responsible dog ownership.

I often hear people say, "I want a dog like you, Dubs!" and I appreciate the love but sometimes I worry that people will get a dog like me without knowing what they are getting into. If you're thinking about getting a dog like me (a northern breed), please learn as much as you can first and make sure the breed is the right fit for you. It's true that I'm handsome and I'm well behaved but it takes a lot of work to keep me that way! It also takes the right kind of person because dogs like me are very independent and have a lot of opinions. If you want a dog like me, you should plan to spend at least 2-3 hours each and every day providing exercise, training, social interaction, mental stimulation, and grooming. This time commitment is for a regular full-grown dog (not a mascot). Puppies require twice as much time and by puppy, I mean up until about 2 years old. Oh, I was a handful as a puppy, let me tell you! You also have to be sure you have the right living situation (a securely fenced yard) as well as the financial means to provide quality food and veterinary care. (College students, I'm talking to you!) If you don't have the time or can't do all of these things, please don't get a dog and especially please don't get a dog like me. It makes me sad when I see dogs like me who don't have a good home.

And of course, if you're thinking about getting a dog like me consider adopting one from a rescue organization. If you really want a puppy, please find a responsible breeder.

Thanks, NCAA for the high five and thanks for celebrating responsible dog ownership!

p.s. Always pick up your dog's poop!