Introduction to the Canine world...

There are two types of people. One set of people keep dogs; another set of people 'owned' by their dogs. This write-up is not only for these two types of people but also to those who wish to own a dog or a pup. If you are 'owned' by your dog, be careful and go through these writings more carefully. You may be owning a dog which is healthy. If it doesn't obey you, it is a liability. It should be the other-way-round - your dog is a real 'asset'. If you are 'owned' by your dog, you may often think how to get rid of it and the pressure on you by your family and friends will be more. Let us take the opposite condition, like an obedient dog at the same time always sick. Then, it will take a lot of your time as well as money by way of your veterinarian's bill. Ideally, you need to have a dog which is obedient and healthy. You will find it is a pleasure to own such a dog and he will not only be companion but also a friend and defender against any unforeseen accidents: from snake bites or robbers. On many a time, you will find that 'you with your dog' is a team, much more so if you are in pursuit of prey as in a game hunting.

This friendship between man and his 'best friendship' is since three thousand years. The continuing unstinted and selfless love that dog shows to man is unparalleled. Dogs' love to man and his family is selfless and do not expect anything in return. He will be a friend both in sunshine and shower (unlike bankers!). He can distinguish between your friend and foe. It is proved beyond doubt that healthy relationship with a pet dog gives even a positive approach towards life. Scientific studies have revealed that people who keep pets especially dogs, which is more responsive than any other pets, suffer less from diseases and live longer.

There are organisations in which volunteers take docile dogs to patients and also to those who live alone, at regular intervals. One such NGO prefer to call them Dr.Dog! No other animal loves man as much as dog. And no other animal is 'praised' like dog by man as well. Stories abound about dogs which have laid their lives while protecting his master both from human attack and poisonous snakes. Survey among dog lovers has revealed very astonishing results like that they loved the man's 'best friend' more than their 'better half'. They feel that while the wife 'barks' at you, dog will wag the tail. For his boundless affection, love and friendliness he expects in return only your companionship, shelter and the morsel you can afford.

Every dog is a different personality as is the case with human beings. Among breeds and even among the same breed, there is vast difference in their nature. You can't expect a Pit Bull dog to behave like a Labrador Retriever. Also, a comparison is out of place between a lap-dog like Chihuahua with a hound like Bull-Terrier. Apart from the breed specific characters, it is seen that dogs often tend to have the character of their masters. Dogs owned by loving and caring people are often tractable. If the owner has nature of 'barking' at people it will be wonder if the dog doesn't do it. Keeping it in isolation like in kennel without human companionship can make it aggressive and intractable. There are no ideal dogs like as there is no ideal person. Depending upon the care given and training imparted by the master, you may find nervous dogs, aggressive dogs, demanding dogs, selfish and unselfish dogs and so on.

Dog rearing is just like bringing up a child. It needs your attention, care, guidance and protection. He can understand your body language, moods and appreciation more than even a human child. It is like the old saying 'If the student has not learned, it is because he was not taught properly'. Similarly, if the dog is not behaving properly, it was not trained properly!

Next to you, your veterinarian is the most important person in your dog's life. You have to give him your confidence, trust and in return get the guidance from him. Ensure that the veterinarian you are seeking professional advice is 'specialised' in dogs. Not all veterinarians are skilled or interested in canine practice. There are large animal practitioners, small animal practitioners as well as those who specializes in exotic, wild and zoo animals. Maintain a good rapport with him so that he can be requested to help in case of emergency. Do not hesitate to interact openly with him regarding the fees for various services. Don't think that he can do wonders or always make spot diagnosis. Since his 'patient' can not 'talk', give him as detailed as possible, symptoms you have observed, but not with exaggeration. The intention is to give a lovable and healthy companionship with your dog.

These scribblings ought to be realistic and useful for those who seek the pleasure of enjoying the companionship of dogs. Wish you a very happy and useful relationship with your dog !

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