Keeping a dog is much of a responsibility. A dog needs proper food, exercises and training. There are other responsibilities also. Read the following article and learn everything about dog care.
Dogs need exercise
Depending on the breed, your dog requires a certain amount of exercise. If you're the lazy kind, get yourself a Chihuahua. But if you're the outdoor, sporty kind, go for hikes and live in a large house with a fenced garden, get yourself a German Shepherd or a Labrador Retriever.
You will need food and water dishes for your dog. Dogs require certain nutrients, which they can get from dog food. Chapatis are pretty good for them as well, but make sure you include dog food like dog biscuits in his diet. Never feed him sweet foods or very salty foods. They make your dog sick. Keep your dog's dish filled with cold water to allow him easy access, and replace it several times a day so it stays clean and cool.
Train your dog
- You should hold training sessions with your dog at least twice a day and each session should be approximately 10-15 minutes long
- Hold a reward like a dog biscuit in your hand, and demonstrate the command. Lift up his paw when you say 'shake', make him sit when you say 'sit'. Then let him follow the command on his own. When he does so, reward him.
- If you're training him to 'come', never call him for an unpleasant reason as he will show hesitation and associate the command as one with negative connotations. Start by standing a short distance away with food or a toy in hand. Call out his name and as his eyes zero in on the treat and he starts to walk towards you, say, "COME." When your dog reaches you, give him a treat and hug him.
- Don't feed your dog at the dinner table, or he'll be constantly in the way when you are eating, begging for food, which can be quite bothersome if guests are around.
- NEVER yell at or hit your dog, no matter how frustrating training gets. You don't want your dog to get nervous around you or fear you.
The most important training you will give your puppy is to relieve himself outdoors. True, you may have to clean up after him initially, but pretty soon your dog's going to learn where and when he may do his business.
- Begin housebreaking him when he is between 8 and 12 weeks old.
- Allocate a sleeping area with a large cushion or 'gaddi' to sleep on. Dogs, thank goodness, don't believe in pissing where they sleep. Take your puppy outside to a particular spot every three hours, at around the same times everyday. A routine will eventually be established, and your dog will soon know to hold it in until you take him out.
- The minute you catch him peeing indoors stay 'No!' firmly and take him outdoors. Show firm disapproval when he pees indoors and praise him when he does so outdoors.
- If he suddenly puts his nose down and sniffs the ground intently, circles an area or stares at the door with an intense look on his face, drop what you're doing and get that dog out.
- Be patient. Your dog WILL have accidents at first. Just use common sense. If your dog tends to pee during the night, don't give him water before bedtime. If he tends to poop a lot during the night, take him out one last time right before bed, and wake up early to take him again. First cater to his schedule, and then slowly change it to yours.
The brush up
Brush your dog with a soft brush in the direction of his hair growth, at least once a day. This is one of the best things you can do to ensure he stays healthy. Brush him everywhere, especially behind the ears, on his stomach, and on his tail and back legs. Brush his side teeth once or twice a week, to keep his teeth clean and breath fresh. Special toothpastes for dogs are available.
Take your puppy to the vet as soon as you get him so he can get his required doze of vaccinations, and again when he is four to six months old, for a rabies shot.
Clip your dog's toenails regularly, or they will grow too long and curl under his feet, making walking painful.
Indoors or outdoors
Most dogs love to cuddle up with their favorite person in a nice and cozy home but if you want to keep him outside, that's fine too. Dogs do love the outdoors; just make sure he has shelter from the bad weather. You could keep him in a doghouse, which has a bed.
Get your dog neutered (or spayed, if she is female), so there are no unwanted puppies. If you can place the puppies in loving homes, let your dog produce one litter before you get the operation performed.
Most dogs hate water so getting him to bathe can be quite an activity. Start by taking him to the bathtub and stay with him there without getting him wet. Hug him when he does so and let him out in some time. Do this for 2 or 3 days, and then wet him slightly the next day. Give him a bath the day following that. Be gentle and patient. Dogs, like humans, cope better if taught in small steps