When an individual makes the decision to bring a dog or puppy into their lives it is often done in a spur of the moment way, and not as well thought out as it should be. A pet of any kind is a responsibility, with dogs being on the higher end of the responsibility scale.
There are things that a dog needs which will not only ensure the health and welfare of the dog, but also help to ensure the safety of others. A dog, particularly a younger puppy must have exercise every day. This does not mean tossing the dog into the yard and expecting it to just run around; this means putting them on a leash and taking a walk, and also playing fetch type games to keep their mind sharp. Dogs should be engaged in exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes, twice a day to keep them healthy and happy.
Training is the next important thing to consider. A puppy needs at least basic training for several reasons; it helps to promote a strong bond between the puppy and its owner, and well-behaved dogs are always welcome company. Training can also help with problems such as chewing, digging, soiling in the house, and aggression towards other people or other dogs. Attending a training class with other dogs will help to socialize the puppy around other people and dogs. Even older dogs can benefit from training classes since it will cause the owner and the pet to spend more time together.
There are some dog breeds that have a natural tendency to be aggressive because they have been bred that way for hundreds of years. Take for example the Terrier group of dogs; they were bred specifically to hunt vermin, rodents, and even foxes, chasing them down and digging into their holes. They are tenacious, tend to have a loud bark and can be aggressive towards unknown people and other dogs, regardless of size. There are other dogs that have become so notorious for their aggression that those seeking insurance for a home can run into problems if they own one of these breeds. Those include Akitas, Dobermans, Huskies, Chow Chows, Rottweiler’s and the American Pit Bull.
Learning what the cause of the animals’ aggression iswill help in gaining control of the situation. If the cause is social situations with other people or dogs, training can usually help to alleviate that aggression. If it is a sudden onslaught of unusual aggression, a trip to the veterinarian is in order to ascertain if there is a medical issue; the animal may be in pain and could be acting aggressively because of the discomfort. The dog may be acting out of fear; if someone is reaching for their collar or head it may cause the animal to act out. Dogs do not really like it when unknown persons reach over their heads, as they cannot see what is going on. Reaching under and giving them a scratch on the chest is a more passive form that the animal will react positively to. Dogs will also act to protect what they perceive as their territory, such as the front yard, toys or their food dish. If the owner is trying to take away toys or their food bowl simply distract them with something else while doing so.
Doing the research necessary to learn as much as possible about our canine companions is the best course of action when bringing a new member of the canine world into the family. Learning the proper methods of training, and socializing the animal will help to make a well-mannered dog and a happy family.