Balance Brings us Calm, Peace, Joy, and Love
October is Adopt-a-Dog Month. With the overpopulation in shelters around the country and the high numbers of euthanization (4.5 million pets a year), adopting is one of the best things you can do to help this problem.
But, before you do, there are some important steps you need to take and questions to ask yourself to make sure you are ready. From knowing how to choose the right dog to being armed with the information you need to develop a harmonious relationship with your dog, these tips will help prepare you to step up as the pack leader from day one!
Take your family and children into consideration.
Kids recently returned to school. Do you have a routine in place? Do you have structure in your life? The environment we bring a dog into is very important. Who is going to be the one to walk the dog, feed him, take him to the vet? Is everyone on board with bringing a dog into the home? If not, trust me, the dog will know and sense the resentment.
Open your mind and determine where your state of mind is. Do you know what if feels like to be calm and assertive? Why are bringing a dog into your life? Be honest! Your own behavior will be a direct reflection in the dog’s behavior, so look at clues in your life that tell you where your head is. For example, take a look at your closet. Is it neat and organized? Does that have any clues as to how you live your life? Your actions tell a story. No matter how many people I’ve consulted over the years, the state of the closet has always been a true test of their ability to provide a dog with a structured life that has rules, boundaries, and limitations.
Figure out a schedule.
What is your work life like? How punctual are you? If you can’t be honest with yourself, ask your friends and ask them to be honest. If you are not reliable or a good manager of time or if you make excuses for being late, you might be one of those people who makes excuses for why they didn’t walk the dog that day or didn’t make time to go to the park. It might seem like a small minor detail, but when it comes to fulfilling your dog and keeping him balanced, these oversights matter!
Check out your neighborhood.
How are the dogs that live near you? Is there a park or hiking trails nearby? Where’s the closest vet and 24-hour emergency? Do you have relationships with your neighbors? How socialized your neighbors’ dogs are is an indication of how your own may be – of course, this is up to you as the pack leader, and if your neighborhood doesn’t provide socialization opportunities, you will need to find other ways to properly socialize your dog.
This is part one of a two part series from Cesar Milan “Dog Whisperer”. See previous post for his exciting new book.