Responsible Dog Ownership
The Singapore Kennel Club is driven to educate dog owners of their responsibilities, which includes obedience training, the companionship and values that a dog can give to its owner.
Singapore, like in many developed countries, is confronted with a high level of abandoned animals as society progresses. There are many reasons for an animal being given up or abandoned, the most common being the lack of time or that the dog is misbehaving thus being a nuisance to the owner as well as the public.
In most situations, it is the novelty that has worn out, when it is no longer a cute puppy, or the owners discover that they just simply cannot cope with looking after the dog due to the lack of knowledge of how to care for a dog.
The easy way out is to send it to the shelter or abandon it somewhere and the problem is solved for the owner. Anyone who decides to have a dog should consider the following factors prior to buying or adopting one:
The dog is a very social animal and it needs human interaction, requiring quality time with his/her owner. Interaction with your dog is very important especially during puppy hood.
Time commitment from the owner is required for walking the dog daily for the purpose of exercise as well nurturing its socializing skills. You would need to bring your dog for Obedience training classes as it allows him to learn the basic comments so that it will not be a nuisance in public. Also it will have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs, which is part of their growing processes. One should look at one?s lifestyle, such as work and travel schedules before such a major decision is made.
Make sure that you send the dog to the vet for its annual vaccination and when it is sick. Ensure that he is well cared for in its grooming, diet, exercise, socialization, etc. These are the few basic expectations, which requires time from the owner.
Dogs live in a pack order within their own social circle, they are led by a packer leader whom they look upon to provide the basics. Allowing your maid to handle the dog will make your maid the pack leader. Now you understand why your dog does not obey you when you try to discipline it.
Apart from financial aspects, this includes a decent space for the dog. Are you able to accommodate a dog where you currently live? Keeping a dog naturally involves cost, but with proper planning, understanding its needs and diet, one can have a dog at a reasonable cost.
All puppies are the cutest no matter how ugly they may grow up to be. During their growing process, one has to understand the stages that puppies go through. They bite everything they can get their paws on, much like a child who will put everything into his mouth. Puppies will also urinate everywhere until it is toilet trained. These are just a couple of common factors in a puppy?s life, there are many more. With patience and tolerance, a puppy can be trained fairly quickly.
One of the most unfortunate reasons for a dog being given up is that no one has the time for it. When that happens, the dog is looked upon as a nuisance and a burden to all concerned. Always remember that the decision in having a dog should involve every family member living under the same roof as the dog, especially the ones who would be responsible for its care.
Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment averaging 10 to 13 years, depending on the breed of the dog. You are encouraged to read up on how to care for a dog and also, to find out more of the breed before going out to buy the cutest looking puppy.
For example, a beagle is definitely not a dog to be kept in a flat as they are bred for hunting. They need space to run about and one of their favorites past time is digging holes in the garden due to their natural instinct to hunt. The Jack Russell Terrier is not suitable for children due to their temperament whereas Golden Retrievers are wonderful with children. Find the right breed to fit into your lifestyle.
All the factors above are basically essential, and only if you are able to take on all of them, you are ready to have a dog.
We strongly discourage dogs to be given as gifts as the recipient may not be ready to have a dog and it would end up being abandoned. We also encourage all dogs to be neutered/sterilized to control its population if the owner should decide not to show them at competitions. It is also a requirement for all dogs 3 months or older to be licensed by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
SKC provides public talks on the responsibility of caring for your dogs as well as obedience training and a host of other activities you can do with your dogs!