The reputation of man’s best friend, the dog, can be summed up in two categories: they are either the helpful, loving and loyal companions in the form of beloved pets, therapy and rescue dogs; or the dangerous, violent monsters descended from wolves that could harm and even kill. Most veterinarians and animal behavior experts however would be able to give you a simple advice to avoid the latter scenario—walk and socialize your dog.
Here are some points you should consider:
- Love is not everything. Besides food, shelter, regular vaccinations and attention, dogs need exercise and interaction. They come from a species that rely on socialization to survive, while their bodies are built for withstanding vigorous physical activities no matter what the breed.
- Learning from experience. If the dog does not know how to react to different situations, chances are it could end up fighting or fleeing when put in any unfamiliar situation. Behavior problems often come from lack of interaction with people other than family members and other dogs. Unsocialized dogs react to strangers in fear or anger. Train them early.
- They’re just like us. Fearful dogs, stressed dogs, aggressive dogs—these can all be avoided if they were trained how to respond. Like humans, dogs fear the unknown and unfamiliar. They see these as threats to them and their owners. Aggression comes from fear.
- It’s good for you and your family. Walking, running, fetching, and swimming are just a few of the things you can do with your dog. Take it along with you if you’re out for a stroll or a family member wants to go jogging. This will help create camaraderie and set the rules in dog and owner relationship.
- A lot of people like dogs too. You can take your dog to pet-friendly shops, parks and beaches all over Singapore. You and your dog will be able to meet new friends by sharing common experiences together. Exchange tips with other dog lovers or schedule activities and games. You can even take your dog to competitions and shows organized annually in the country like the Singapore Kennel Club.
- A happy dog is a good dog. Grooming is also essential especially for breeds that need special care for their coats or furs. Taking your dog to the groomer is also a form of interaction. There are also obedience training classes all over the country if you need help or you just want more for your dog.
- The rewards outweigh everything else. Sounds like a lot of work? Don’t forget to keep in mind that part of your responsibility is looking after your pet’s well-being. If you don’t have enough time, set a schedule for walks with other family members. Remember also to clean up after your dog if you take it to a park. Make sure to follow rules when you’re in public with your pet. Most importantly, enjoy your time together.