Providing proper training is a responsibility of dog ownership

Providing proper training is a responsibility of dog ownership

More stories from Madeline Peterson


Keeping dogs on leashes in crowds is a good way to respect others’ boundaries without having to leave your puppy at home.

In a time of contention and discord at both a national and global level, it seems there are few things most people can agree upon.

However, there’s also one thing many have in common — a love for dogs. Dogs are known as man’s best friend and an unparalleled companion, but they can be a safety hazard when untrained.

Let me preface this by saying that I’m an animal lover, and I consider dogs to be one of my very favorite furry creatures. That being said, there’s almost nothing that irritates me more than when people don’t train their dogs and still insist on bringing them out into public. Some don’t seem to realize that this is potentially dangerous for everyone involved, including the dog.

Dogs are a great source of joy, but they’re also a responsibility. When a person decides to adopt or buy a canine companion, they should be fully aware that they’re taking on a living being with its own unique set of needs.

As a pack animal, dogs look to their leader for guidance and direction. Although it can be hard to be assertive when puppies are so darn cute, it’s essential to provide them with the structure they need.

As a person of small stature, it’s intimidating to have a dog that I don’t know very well attempt to run up and leap into my arms. Although the owner may assure me that their dog is the embodiment of sunshine and love, uncomfortable.

It’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure that their dog knows that his or her exuberance has to be conveyed in a respectful manner. Being jumped on by a 100-pound animal is, at best, annoying. But for people who don’t know and love dogs, this can actually be a very frightening experience.

I don’t believe dogs should always be on leashes. Sometimes, they just need to run.

However, this is yet-again a situation in which owners need to use discretion. If you’re in a public place surrounded by people, chances are there’s someone around you who isn’t a dog-lover.

It’s part of being a good citizen and dog owner to respect the boundaries of others, and put dogs on leashes when walking through crowds.

What many don’t seem to realize is that bad behavior in dogs can result in horrible repercussions. Dogs, like any other animal, respond to stressful environments and can sometimes become aggressive or fearful. It’s unfair to the dog to be brought into a situation their owner hasn’t trained them for.

According to a study done by the ASPCA, the biggest reason people rehome their pets is due to behavioral issues. It can already be a struggle to find homes for shelter animals, and this challenge increases when a dog has had a history of difficult behavior. With training and socialization, the risk of aggression decreases.

Training dogs is an ongoing process that takes time and energy, but we’re fortunate to live in an age where there are many resources to help. Obedience classes, books and trainers can be an essential part of making sure dogs are getting the good training they deserve. To do otherwise is to be disrespectful to everyone around you, and most of all, your dog.