Logging onto our Facebook page on this Monday morning, ready to tackle the week, the first thing I see posted by an animal rescue group is a picture of a small black dog, in a box, left outside a local SPCA with a note on the inside lid saying: “Sit haar uit ASB”. For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means, “please kill her”. They even poked holes for ventilation in the sides of the box and left her collar on.
How nice, they said please. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Is our fast paced technology driven lives making us gutless emotionless zombies, who just discards anything that is not fitting into our perfectly little bubbles even if that means we’re discarding a life?
Being in the dog training business this is unfortunately not an uncommon thing to see or hear of. Family gets a cute little puppy, family do not bother signing up for dog training classes, cute puppy grows up and is for some reason not the perfect obedient calm dog in front of the fire place and the cute little “puppy” is no longer wanted, ends up in the shelter and is most probably killed, rinse and repeat.
Here is a newsflash to those people: Puppies do not come fully trained, they do not understand our language and they have most certainly not been briefed on the “rules” of the house.
If you do not take the time to socialise them with humans and other animals, or you do not show them where to do their business, they will most probably not like strangers very much and they will think your favourite rug is a fantastic loo. If you do not teach them that their bite should be soft, they will bite with too much pressure and hurt you and if you do not provide them with suitable chew toys, when teething, they will chew on your dining room table or favourite pair of slippers. If you do not exercise them or provide them with legal digging spots, they will dig up your rose garden.
If you do not take them for dog training classes, they will think you are of your rocker if you ask them to sit, stand, down or stay. They do not inherently know what these words mean, YOU have to teach them.
The simple truth is, many of these “unwanted” dogs who are lucky enough to end up in a no kill shelter gets adopted by other families who does take the time to train them and they have fantastic lives because they were adopted by responsible pet owners who understands that dog training is not a luxury or an optional extra but a must do on their list when taking a dog into their home.
Sadly not all dogs get that second chance. Please, if you are having problems with your dog or anyone you know are having problems with their dog, look for a dog training school or an animal behaviourist to assist you with rectifying the problems, the vast majority of unwanted behaviours can be sorted out with the help of an expert.
Your “worse nightmare” might just become that perfect pet everyone deep down inside dreams of.