- one dog of any age. Size does not matter
- At least one loving human
- Daily time available
- Complete lifetime commitment
- More than a pinch of patience
- Consistent routine
- Balanced nutritious diet suitable for weight/age/size
- Appropriate safety gear: seatbelts/lifejackets/hunting season vests/etc
- One good vet or animal clinic,
- Toys and Treats, and last but definitely not least
- Lots and lots of Love
Optional Ingredients ( May not be required by all models)
- Available Groomer
- Obedience training
- Coats and Boots for inclement weather
- Dog Sport Training
- Clicker or New Clicker Leash
Please note that preparation time will vary with individual age and history. Older models often train quicker while some of the ones that have been given a rough start might need a little extra time and effort.
- Combine loving human, dog with daily time together. This step is critical and cannot be bypassed. If no daily time is available in current lifestyle, postpone bringing home a dog until things change. Not sure if you have the time available? Take a ‘test drive’ by volunteering to be a short term foster for your local animal shelter or rescue for when their regular fosters go on vacation/on curling bonspiels or just plain need a break.
- Dog is a living breathing sentient being, not a thing to be recycled through Kijijji or rescue when its people get tired of it/do not train it properly/or any other variety of bullshit excuses available. If Commitment is not available, postpone bringing home dog until things change
- Patience will pay off in the long run. Dog is intelligent and wants to please…. dog simply needs to know what you want. Please note that there is generally less mopping and midnight waking up for walks with older models.
- All dogs of all ages and all sizes like the security of a steady routine. This is particularly important for models that were ill treated by their previous humans.
- You are what you eat… and so is your dog. It is poor economy to feed any dog cheap food. You will spend a lot more money on vet bills in the long run than you will save on food. If you cannot afford decent food for dog, postpone getting dog until circumstances improve… or consider volunteering to foster ( animal shelters and rescues normally pay for food and vet bills for their pets in foster )
- Safety gear is important. You wouldn’t drive without a seatbelt or go out on the water without a lifejacket. Protect your new best friend too.
- Reasonable proximity to a good vet that you can trust is critical. Dog will need regular checkups , will normally need vaccinations and altering, and will of course need emergency care. If vet care is out of your budget, postpone getting dog until things improve. Please note that dogs adopted from Rescue normally have been altered, health checked and vaccinated.
- Toys and treats are more than good fun… they are great ways to let dog know when he or she is on the right path. Did I mention the fun bit?
- And of course, while Love isn’t all Dog needs, it is the one thing Dog needs the most. In return, Dog will have more love than you could ever imagine for you.
- Ears should be gently cleaned, at least weekly and for some dogs, daily. Patience may be needed until dog understands this is neither a game nor something to fear
- Nails will need to be clipped. Otherwise paws will get sore and it will hurt dog to walk. If human is worried about doing this, it can be done quite reasonably by vet techs and groomers.
- Dog may need to be groomed. Find out beforehand because dogs that must be clipped will get matted fur and worse if this is not done. If you cannot afford a groomer, you probably cannot afford the other things you should do for dog.
- Dogs without winter boots will need their paws washed after walking on winter roads with salt. If not, dog can get sick licking salt ( with chemicals ) off paws.
- Eyes may need to be gently cleaned on a regular basis, especially for small or older dogs. When this is not done, dog’s eyes can get infected and dog can lose vision. Eyes can also be ‘sealed’ shut which is very painful for dog.
- Butts may need to be wiped and cleaned of ‘organic’ matter. If human is squeamish about this, human should perhaps have fish instead of dog because human will be required in most locations to pick up dog’s poop and carry it with them for the rest of the walk.
- Dog should be brushed regularly. Even short haired dogs will feel better and it is good training for dog to stand still. Trips to the vet will be much easier that way.
- Under no circumstances should dog be chained outside, even with a dog house. Dog is not a yard ornament. Dog is a social pack animal whose spirit will wither without the company of his human. If there is no room and/or time to train dog to be a suitable companion in the home, human should settle for a dog screensaver.
- Dog will eventually get older. We all do. Good food and regular checkups will help minimize health issues, but human must be prepared to give dog the extra patience, tlc and time that is needed. Please note that commitment includes loving and properly caring for dog in his or her senior years.
- Dog’s love provides constant support to human. If human has a new partner who insists they cannot live with dog, human should consider carefully whether they should share space with someone attempting to control them by isolating them from their friends and loved ones.
- If dog is originally adopted from rescue, human is never working without a safety net. If human is unwilling or unable to look after dog, human must return dog to the rescue or shelter dog came from. The adoption contract specifies this. Dog is not to be passed around like an old sock on free online ad sites.
Dog is like a Do It Yourself Kit ….. everything human needs to make a great dog is there…. all human needs to do is take the time and love to put it all together.