by SERGIO MADRID//Editorial Assistant

think-like-a-dog2

Dogs are simple creatures. They eat, sleep, poop, and love you. And if you allow them to do all those things, they are perfectly content.

Sometimes a dog will draw a bad hand, and they wind up with a difficult owner who just doesn’t seem to understand them.

It’s an odd thought, that dog owners are the ones who don’t understand the dog. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? No, and I’ll tell you why.

Back when people did their own work, built their own homes, and farmed their own land, to make these jobs easier for them, they bred dogs for specific jobs. Dogs were given a purpose, instead of scavenging off our waste.

This idea was expanded on, and people began to genetically modify dogs for certain looks and sizes, a practice known as eugenics.

A century later, or longer, most people have no idea what they’re getting into when they get a new dog. They see a cute Border Collie, but they have no idea that dog probably out smarts them. They get their kid a Dalmatian because he loves the Disney movie, but they are unaware Dalmatians can have bad tempers and are extremely independent, as they were once used to fight in wars and guard stagecoaches.

Maybe the owner is the one with a bad temper. And they get a small dog, such as a Chihuahua or a Pomeranian, they require a lot of attention and have tendencies to bark and whine a lot.

You wouldn’t sign a contract without reading it first. So why would you get a dog you know nothing about? If you are interested in getting a certain breed of dog, it’s in the best interest of you and the dog to do a little research to find out whether that’s the right dog for you.

Some places will even help you find the perfect dog to fit your lifestyle. If you’re lazy and like to hang out in your apartment playing video games all day, don’t get a Labrador. It is going to destroy your apartment, due to boredom. Get yourself a Pug or an English Bulldog, a breed that’s just as lazy as you are.

If you like to go on long hikes and play sports, then, yes, get yourself a Labrador or another herding dog that will enjoy the exercise.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, don’t be discouraged from getting a mutt because you think you don’t know what you’re getting into. Most of the time, mixed breeds are more flexible to their owners than so-called “purebreds.”

That’s the first step. But now that you actually have the dog, you need to begin to learn your dog. Though it may be a Rottweiler, it is still its own person.

Yes, like people, dogs have their own personalities. Though they may share traits, they are all unique. It’s that uniqueness you need to be on the lookout for.

Is your dog more dominant than others? Does it get along with other dogs or strangers? What toys do they react to? What sort of food do they like more? Are they clingy, or do they enjoy their space? Which positive methods of training work best for them? (always exclude negative training methods, such as shock collars).

It can be tough, especially for a first-time owner. But try not to become frustrated, as these tasks take time, practice, and patience.

If done early and often, eventually you and your dog will develop good chemistry with one another. And your life together will be much more enjoyable, with hardly any headaches.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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