Loving and Lovable to Project or Dangerous

Sumac Grant-Johnson CPDT-KA

How wonderful to bring a dog into ones life/family. A sweet loving and lovable companion. A pal that is a joy to both live with and take out and about into the community.

Lately the news has had several reports of serious dog aggression incidents. It is important to understand that not all dogs are appropriate for every home. Dogs have the potential to be wonderful companions but they also have the potential to be a time consuming training project that incurs significant expense, they may require very careful management, and they also have the potential to cause injury and even deaths.

To set up the best possibility that the dog you choose is the perfect match I have listed a few suggestions below. I also encourage you to read Don Hanson’s recent blog post to it’s end and check out the links in this blog. It is full of great resources.

Tips for finding the right match

  • Make a check list
    • Why do you want a dog
    • What traits do you desire in your dog
    • What will the dog’s daily lifestyle be like
    • What activities do you hope to engage in with your pal
  • Research & Visit
    • Research the rescue/shelter/breeder/etc. carefully
    • Check multiple local references including veterinarians and accredited trainers
    • Ask the source many many questions
    • Ask if the source ever places dogs with a history of behavior issues and/or aggression
    • Ask if the dog being considered has any history of behavior issue and/or aggression and get details
    • Visit the site and dog in person
  • Clarify
    • Go over your check list with the source carefully
    • Inform the source about the make up of the family; children, elderly, disabled, men, women, other dogs, cats etc. that live in or frequent the home.
    • Honestly inform the source of your level of dog knowledge and experience or lack there of

Don’s Blog – Dangerous Dogs! – What Shelters, Rescues, Prospective Adopters, and Owners Need to Know

Copyright Sumac Grant-Johnson CPDT-KA – June 2917

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