There's A Dog In My House!
Creature Companions|February 2018

The partnership of humans and dogs is the one which is perfect. Dogs entered the lives of humans so far back in time that we can only speculate how it could have happened.

Rohini Sankar

Wolves and man got together, the dog is descended from the wolf, and so the story goes on. But one thing is known for sure: There is no better relationship on this earth than that of human and dog. In this modern age, dogs still cohabit with us and make our lives better— from caves and caverns, dogs have effortlessly moved with us into apartments and bungalows waving their tails in friendship and proffering the required cold nose for comfort. Anybody who has walked down a dark road with their dog will vouch for the courage that arises in their heart. Walking alone versus walking with your canine companion: one who looks out for you all the time? No contest there!

Like all partnerships, the dog–human bond also needs to be nurtured. Just because dogs adapt so well to humans does not mean we can take them for granted. The traditional reasons for bringing a dog into our homes may no longer hold true. The average home does not need a hunting dog or a working dog. We may require a guard dog, but not one that is so fierce that other humans are endangered. Not everybody is a herdsman or a hunter. Some of us have young children and so we bring in a dog as a playmate. Some need a guard to protect the home, others need a companion who will watch out for them, lead them around or carry out other special tasks. Police use dogs for law enforcement, and related work. But the primary job of the dog is to be a pleasant companion at home, one who joins us in our recreational activities and guards the home as well.

A dog is a pack animal and needs far more than just food to eat and a place to sleep for happiness. In this pack the human should always be the higher-ranking member and the dog is always the youngest, even younger than the baby. Remember this, always. The cutest puppy grows into an adult dog, shedding all its puppy ways. Just as we need to grow with our children, so too, do we need to grow up with our dog. Not being aware of this will set up the situation for problems in the long-term with the dog. And as always, it is far easier to prevent a difficult situation than correct it.

Things to Consider

You have made the decision to bring a dog into your home. But, before you pick up a puppy take a look at your lifestyle and choose the dog that will suit it.

Do you have time for the dog?

If you have a busy schedule or travel a lot, will you be able to make arrangements to care for the dog? A dog thrives on stability; an erratic schedule or long periods being on its own could make a dog anxious.

Space does Matter.

Do you live in the city or suburb, in a flat or a house with a yard? A Great Dane, in the size of a pony may not fit into a small flat in a residential complex. Similarly, a high-energy dog like a Boxer will need space to exercise and work off its energy.

What’s your Family Mix?

Do you have young children or elderly family members? 

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