I watched the CNN documentary, “Blackfish” the other night and was appalled by the living conditions of the Orca Whales in water amusement parks.  For those who have not seen the film, it documents a male Orca, AKA Killer Whale, “Tilikum” that is responsible for 3 human deaths during his captivity.  The film documents the cramp living quarters of the whales, lack of proper exercise and psychological stimulation.  The film concludes that the whales become mentally ill due to the environment they are forced to live in.

The anger and viciousness of any animal can evolve if not given the opportunity for a proper diet, exercise and psychological stimulation.  Dogs that are caged 24/7, will pace in their cages due to boredom.  Go to any Zoo and you will see the same thing, pacing animals.  Dogs living out their lives tied to a post outdoors will also develop aggressive tendencies.  I personally have been on calls as a police officer when dogs have broken free from their chains in the back yard and attacked people and other dogs.

Owning an animal is a responsibility.  To be a responsible dog owner is to agree to provide this animal with the proper diet, grooming, training, exercise and affection.  Any issue needs to be addressed and made right.  Giving the dog up to the humane society is not making it right.  Making it right means spending the money and doing whatever it takes to help this animal live a happy balanced life.  Dog ownership is not cheap.  There are veterinary, food, boarding, and training costs.   Most dog owners do not have to spend money on a trainer, but before you decide to get a dog, plan on it.  Lessons with a professional dog trainer can range, between $400 – $3000, depending on the issues.  Veterinary medicine is not cheap either.  Plan ahead and be prepared if issues arise that need to be addressed.  Don’t pass on your dog’s issues to someone else.

The American Kennel Club has a program called, “Canine Good Citizen”.  The owner pledges the following;

“I understand that to truly be a Canine Good Citizen, my dog needs a responsible owner. I agree to maintain my dog’s health, safety, and quality of life. By participating in the Canine Good Citizen test, I agree:

I watched the CNN documentary, “Blackfish” the other night and was appalled by the living conditions of the Orca Whales in water amusement parks.  For those who have not seen the film, it documents a male Orca, AKA Killer Whale, “Tilikum” that is responsible for 3 human deaths during his captivity.  The film documents the cramp living quarters of the whales, lack of proper exercise and psychological stimulation.  The film concludes that the whales become mentally ill due to the environment they are forced to live in.

The anger and viciousness of any animal can evolve if not given the opportunity for a proper diet, exercise and psychological stimulation.  Dogs that are caged 24/7, will pace in their cages due to boredom.  Go to any Zoo and you will see the same thing, pacing animals.  Dogs living out their lives tied to a post outdoors will also develop aggressive tendencies.  I personally have been on calls as a police officer when dogs have broken free from their chains in the back yard and attacked people and other dogs.

Owning an animal is a responsibility.  To be a responsible dog owner is to agree to provide this animal with the proper diet, grooming, training, exercise and affection.  Any issue needs to be addressed and made right.  Giving the dog up to the humane society is not making it right.  Making it right means spending the money and doing whatever it takes to help this animal live a happy balanced life.  Dog ownership is not cheap.  There are veterinary, food, boarding, and training costs.   Most dog owners do not have to spend money on a trainer, but before you decide to get a dog, plan on it.  Lessons with a professional dog trainer can range, between $400 – $3000, depending on the issues.  Veterinary medicine is not cheap either.  Plan ahead and be prepared if issues arise that need to be addressed.  Don’t pass on your dog’s issues to someone else.

The American Kennel Club has a program called, “Canine Good Citizen”.  The owner pledges the following;

“I understand that to truly be a Canine Good Citizen, my dog needs a responsible owner. I agree to maintain my dog’s health, safety, and quality of life. By participating in the Canine Good Citizen test, I agree:

I will be responsible for my dog’s health needs. These include:

• routine veterinary care including check-ups and vaccines

• adequate nutrition through proper diet; clean water at all times

• daily exercise and regular bathing and grooming

 I will be responsible for my dog’s safety.

• I will properly control my dog by providing fencing where appropriate,

not letting my dog run loose, and using a leash in public.

• I will ensure that my dog has some form of identification (which may include

collar tags, tattoos, or microchip ID).

 I will not allow my dog to infringe on the rights of others.

• I will not allow my dog to run loose in the neighborhood.

• I will not allow my dog to be a nuisance to others by barking while in the yard,

in a hotel room, etc.

• I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in all public areas such as

on the grounds of hotels, on sidewalks, parks, etc.

• I will pick up and properly dispose of my dog’s waste in wilderness areas, on

hiking trails, campgrounds and in off-leash parks.

 I will be responsible for my dog’s quality of life.

• I understand that basic training is beneficial to all dogs.

• I will give my dog attention and playtime.

• I understand that owning a dog is a commitment in time and caring.”

 

Responsibility is about doing the right thing.  Dogs want affection, family, trust, and balance.  They want to run and burn off energy and stimulate their minds.  Research the many dog breeds and you will find most dogs had a purpose.  Dogs no longer hunt, protect, and guard.  These instincts will be put to disruptive use you if you do not find ways to control and stimulate these natural instincts.

When walking your dog don’t take the same route every time.  The same sights and sounds will bore your dog.  Take them on hikes, explore nature, and take them to the dog store.  Here in West Michigan we have wonderful venues for you and your dog to experience.  There are dog friendly parks right on the beach of Lake Michigan.  Fallasburg Park is a beautiful park to take your dog.

We offer Road Trippin expeditions where we meet, do a little obedience and walk our dogs.  Some of the places we visit are Grand Haven, Downtown Grand Rapids and Riverside Park.

Enjoy nature with your dog.  Your dog will love you for it.

 

 

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