The bottom line

By Scott Hunt – The Dog Grumbler

 

REGULAR readers will have noticed that I return to several points frequently.

This is not so much because I have run out of things to say, but rather to get the message across by presenting it differently. In this instalment, I have chosen to return to the root cause of most dog problems.

I am constantly called upon to help people whose dogs bark at things, pull too hard on the lead when walking, display aggression toward other dogs and people or destroy property.

In each case, the root cause is the same – the problem exists because the dog is left alone.

This is a simple fact – you cannot have a happy, healthy and well-adjusted dog if you leave it alone for any length of time. They are social creatures, evolved from pact animals. They have been following us around and eating our leftovers for tens or probably hundreds of thousands of years.

Your dog needs to feel like a part of the team. It needs to follow you around like a dog. When you leave your dog alone for repeated, extended periods – like several hours per day, five-days per week – you are dooming it to a life of frustration and confusion.

It you acquire a dog with the intention of treating it this way, you are asking for trouble and inflicting misery on an innocent creature.

I keep telling people to get a cat instead, as cats are solitary creatures. They appreciate time alone. They may not seem as effective in the role of toy, weapon, status symbol or fashion accessory as a dog, but they don’t experience solitude as torture.

On any given day, I am looking for a good home for several dogs – dogs who are smart, loyal, friendly and faithful, but are suffering terribly and slowly going mad in solitary confinement because people acquired them without knowing, or wanting to know, how to treat them fairly.

In Australia, thousands of innocent dogs are destroyed each week because people wanted to own one but were not prepared to provide the life a dog needs. Literally thousands every week.

I see the results every day. It pays my bills, but it breaks my heart.

If your dog is creating problems, ask yourself this question: is my dog a part of my day-to-day life or in the company of a family member when I’m not around?

If the answer is no, then it’s you who have either created or are perpetuating a problem. You should have gotten a cat.

Look me up, as chances are that I can help. But don’t expect sugar coating – I will advocate for your do