Authored by Jean-Marc Graff
Before making up your mind for a dog or a cat, ask yourself the right questions. For example:
- What are the real reasons urging us in owning a pet?
- Is this desire selfish or is it shared by the entire family?
- Have we discussed the matter adequately?
- What are our expectations of this pet?
- Are these expectations reasonable?
- Can this pet fulfill our expectations?
- Are our living conditions compatible with the presence of a pet?
- Are we ready to put in a lot of time and patience?
- Are we aware that this is a long term commitment?
- Are we ready to invest in the relationship without blaming the pet if it doesn’t turn out the way we planned.
- Are we aware that this pet will only be what we want it to be?
- Are we aware that this relationship, like any human relationship, will develop with time?
To these questions, we should add:
- Are we ready to give the appropriate care for the well being of the dog?
- Can we afford the food and medical bills?
Should I Have a Dog?
This particular feature leads to a dominant/dominated dog/human relationship, where the rules of the game must be clearly specified and consistent. If you want a dog, ask yourself these questions:
- Are we willing to take him out many times a day, summer or winter, throughout his life?
- Will we be consistent with him in our daily life ? ( Many behaviour problems often originate from the master’s inconsistency.)
- Are we willing to accept the damages the puppy might do during the first weeks of his new life with us ?
If you answered yes to these 3 questions above, you might consider getting a dog. But know that breed does not ensure a particular social behaviour. Whether your dog is a good companion or a destructive pet will depend upon the way he has been treated.