Do you like sleep? Too bad, you’ll be getting up every few hours to let the puppy out unless you litter train him. Want to go on vacation to Barbados? You’d better find some one to watch Fido for a week. Enjoy your spare time? A lot of it will be spent training Rex and taking him on a 2-4 mile round trip walk. Puppies are a lot of work, if you don’t have the time to meet everyone of her needs then you had better not get her. But that’s okay, guinea pigs make fun pets too. Try that instead.
Do I have the money for a puppy?
There is no way around it, puppy’s cost money. That first year you are going to be dropping major bank on supplies, food, veterinary care, training and even replacements for destroyed household items. If you can not afford a dog then don’t get a dog. It is illegal, not to mention unethical, to get a dog and not care for him. If you can not meet Rover’s needs then he is better off without you. But hey, goldfish are cheap.
What breed is right for me?
Not all breeders are irresponsible, some do it out of love for the breed and a genuine love of animals. Look for a breeder who has done hereditary checks and who screens potential owners. Look at the price of the dog, a healthy dog from a reputable breeder is going to cost you a mint. But it’s worth it to know that you got a healthy pup. Look at the home of the breeder.
-Is it clean?
-Are there too many dogs there?
-Does the dame look friendly and healthy?
-Are the puppies eyes clean and bright?
-Is the puppies skin elastic?
-Are the puppies active and curious?
-Is the anus free of fecal matter?
-Are the yard and kennel odor free?
In 2009, The Royal Institute of Stockholm (led by Peter Savolainen) published an analysis of the mitochondrial DNA of 1,500 dogs scattered across the Old World.
A dog’s world is not our world. Despite popular belief, dogs are not furry, four legged children. They are a species completely separate from us. One of the biggest differences is language. As obvious as it sounds, dogs have no language, they have communication, but not language. As humans, we tend to take language for granted. With language, I can think about having dinner at my favorite restaurant. I may not be hungry at this moment, but I was able to anticipate a future need (hunger) and formulate a plan (where to eat). With language I can formulate abstract ideas about life, philosophy, or science. If I read the sentence “The pen is blue.” I have an idea of an object (the pen) and its basic characteristics (the colour blue, its basic pen-like shape, the ability to write stuff). With language I can live in the past, present or future. I can remember (without external stimulation) the time I went hang-gliding. I can feel the wind through my hair, and the freedom that comes from flying with the eagles, I can feel the chill of the atmosphere at 2,000 feet. Using language, I can communicate those sensations to you. With language, I can dream of the future. I can plan a trip to Brazil and imagine lying on their famous beaches, drinking fancy cocktails in fancier glasses. I have never before drank a cocktail on any beach, but because of language, I can get an idea of what it may be like. I can compare airline prices and find a decent hotel. With language it becomes easy. Without language, we could only live in the present.
Lay people have acknowledged for hundreds of years that animals have consciousness. We see it when a dog or cat is trying to figure out a new stimulus. We see it when they dream. When a dog sleeps, he may rapidly move his paws, he may whimper, you see his eyes rapidly moving back and forth and we can see that he is in the deep stages of REM. We know that he is dreaming, but we may not know what he is dreaming about. The very fact that he is dreaming proves his sentience. If you have no consciousness, then you can’t dream.
Over the last hundred years or so, science has begun catching up to what most people already knew. Animals are sentient beings. It seems absurd to the average dog owner, but scientists are uncomfortable with the idea of consciousness in animals. If an animal is aware of his surroundings and can feel pain, then blinding him with cosmetics in test studies suddenly seems more cruel. Accepting that animals are conscious beings went against previously held beliefs and conventional wisdom at the time. Realizing that animals are conscious beings meant developing and testing new theories. However, science is now accepting the fact that animals have feelings. According to Dr Jaak Panskepp, a neuroscientist at Washington State University, animals are capable of these core emotions;
1 December 2009 was a big day for European animals!