Pet Calendar: Responsible Dog Ownership Month

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By Robbi Hess ~ Managing Editor Pet Calendar, Crimeless Cat Executive Story Editor, Chief Cat Herder 

Pet Calendar: Responsible Dog Ownership Month

September is the month that the American Kennel Club has designated, “Responsible Dog Ownership Month.” As pet parents, I’ll bet there are times when you are with other pet parents whose dogs are out of control and you have asked yourself, “Why don’t they train their dog(s)?” Right? I know I have. Sure, my poodle barks (a LOT) when I get home and when the wind blows or the grass grows, but other than that she is trained AND she doesn’t bark in public. She may not be the most well-trained dog on the planet, but she can be taken in public and around other dogs without my having to worry that is a nuisance.

What does responsible dog ownership mean to you? Does it mean your dog doesn’t jump on guests? Does it mean your dog doesn’t beg for food from the dinner table? Does it mean he or she can meet strangers on the street — both human and canine — and be well behaved? How about walking on a leash? Is taking your dog for a walk a joy or a literal drag?

Being a responsible pet owner involves more than assuring your dog is healthy and regularly sees a veterinarian. It means you teach him basic commands: sit, stay, heel. A mentally and physically stimulated dog will be a happy dog and a wonderful family member. Many dogs find themselves being surrendered to a shelter because of “behavior” issues, which if the owner had worked with her, might have been curbed.

Pet Calendar: Responsible Dog Ownership Month

There are basic obedience commands that I believe all dogs should learn — for their safety and to help make them good “canine citizens.” Here are a few:

  •  Sit
  • Stay
  • Come (when called)
  • Drop it (whether it’s a toy or an item that could be dangerous if swallowed)
  • Down

You can go online and find videos that will teach you how to train your dog or you can sign up for basic dog obedience classes. Don’t let your dog/puppy become a statistic and be surrendered because of “bad” behavior simply because you didn’t train him.

If you own a dog, what do YOU, as the owner, need to do to be a responsible dog owner? Here are a few things:

  • Keep your dog leashed in public
  • Pick up his or her poo
  • Take your dog for walks. A healthy dog is a happy dog
  • Make certain that when you leave the house that your dog doesn’t bark all day long. Your neighbors will not be pleased
  • Take him or her to the vet at least annually
  • Make sure if he or she is chipped that your contact into is up to date. If your dog isn’t chipped, make sure he wears a collar with a tag with your up-to-date contact information

What do you love most about sharing your life with your dog? We love the snuggles and kisses!

Read the rest of our September Pet Calendar

If you’re planning for the future, read our Annual Pet Calendar

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Larry Kay is the award-winning coauthor of Training the Best Dog Ever, which became a #1 best seller in dog training on Amazon Kindle. He is Leader of the Pack at Positively Woof, which helps shelter dogs get adopted by making videos and raises awareness and funds. Larry is an award-winning dog filmmaker and has been a frequent contributor to the American Animal Hospital Association and Dog Fancy magazine.