'A dog is for life and not just for Christmas', is a saying that we are all familiar with. And in today's society, many of us are torn between buying a puppy or rescuing a doggo from a reputable shelter. Owning a pet comes with great responsibilities and life-long commitment. From veterinary care and pet insurance; diet and nutrition; exercise and mental agility; training treats and toys; regular trips to the groomers; and being your pooch's pack member and companion.
These are the basic fundamentals that need to be considered when weighing up the options of introducing a pet, such as a dog, into your or your family's life. There are so many breeds today, that sometimes, one doesn't know where to start when it comes to choosing a canine friend.
After completing my City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants, I finished reading India Knight's book The Goodness of Dogs: The Human's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Training, Feeding, Living with and Caring for Your Dog (2017 ), Penguin Random House UK. As The Lady describes it on the back cover:
'An eloquent hurrah for our four-legged best friends and the joys of dog ownership. A comprehensive manual packed with eminently sensible advice. Warmly humorous, no-nonsense and witty.'
Knight surely is no-nonsense, and readily admits to making mistakes when she got her first family dog. She addresses this issue in a down-to-earth way that the majority of us can relate to; and ultimately, stresses the importance of getting it right, for the sake of the dog and everyone else concerned. Training-wise, Knight sits in the opposite camp to Dog Trainer, Cesar Millan. However, this shouldn't deter you from reading her book for its stories and tips.
One of my other recommended reads is Barron's Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds (Third Edition) D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. (2015), Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Hauppauge, NY. This is an informative and illustrative guide, which gives profiles within each breed group. It focuses on the history, temperament, upkeep, health, form and function on each breed, alongside featuring the 'At a Glance' and 'Illustrated Standard' sections, which tells the reader, for example, how easy the breeds are to train amongst others, and the key points to look out for when buying such a breed. It is based on information provided by the American Kennel Club, which is not disimilar to https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/
Research, research, research is key whether you decide to buy or adopt. Please bear in mind, that the above encyclopedia doesn't include increasingly popular crossbreeds such as Cavapoos, Cockapoos, Jackapoos and so on. However, you may find groups dedicated to such crossbreeds online and via social media.
Until my next post, take care of you and I'll take care of me.