Though, of course, the breeders should pay attention to the number of dogs they breed and whom they sell them to, the owners are primarily responsible for what they do with the dog. Every year so many dogs are dumped because the owners don’t want them and that’s just sad.
At the moment we are looking for a sweet dog from an animal shelter and when we visited the shelter the first time we were a bit shocked. The shelter was fine, but there were so many dogs that you could quite easily guess the history from.
Exercise & Attention
First of all the majority of the dogs, there are terriers. Terriers, in general, are breeds that need a lot of exercise and attention and shouldn’t be kept by people who are away all day or don’t like to walk. Still, many people buy a terrier puppy because they look so cute. Here you find a piece of responsibility for the breeders. For they shouldn’t sell such puppies to people who haven’t thought about it. And to people who are likely to abandon the dog after a year.
It’s shocking how many people buy a dog on an impulse, without thinking about the consequences. A dog can live up to 15 years, and that’s a long time! Your living circumstances can change during that time, and you should keep that in mind. Don’t buy a dog that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
Before we even looked at the ASPCA website, we first got books from the library about dogs, to find out what type of dog would be right for us. We know that a dog needs to be walked and that it needs attention. So we are prepared, and it’s unlikely we will make a wrong choice. If everyone did that, there would be considerably fewer dogs in shelters.
Neuter When You Don’t Want to Breed
Another thing that we noticed at the shelter was the high number of puppies. You can safely assume that these are all “accidents” that aren’t wanted by the owner. How on earth can this happen? If you buy a dog and you know that you don’t want to breed, get it neutered right away. Then you won’t get such accidents and unwanted puppies. And if you don’t know if you might want to breed in the future, then at least keep your female dog on the leash and behind a good fence. It’s unlikely that all those puppies will be adopted, so probably most of them will be put down in the shelter.
The problem with dogs is that especially puppies look cute and children can be compelling that they need that dog and will take good care of it. But come on parents, you know in advance that most children won’t take care of it and that you will have to do all the work. If you aren’t prepared to do that work, then let your children nag, but don’t give in to it. Never give your children a dog with the idea that you will see later how it goes. That’s exactly why so many dogs end up in shelters six months after Christmas.