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Responsible Dog Owner Course

What is Responsible Ownership ?

Everyone including canine experts talk about ‘Responsible Ownership,’ but what exactly does it mean? This simple course will give you all the information and practical advice to be a responsible owner.  And vital guidance if you intend to adopt a dog.

Getting a Dog 

Do you intend to keep a dog to outdoors all the time?   Well, what about buying a tree instead?   Do you just want something to cuddle?  Maybe a good soft toy might be better.  It is essential that your dog will lead a happy life ; study the suitable Types of Dog and choosing the right dog for your family circumstances. Choose a responsible breeder and avoid puppy farms.  

Find answers to test questions 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

Set-up Costs

Being a responsible dog owner can be an expensive business.

There are different types of cost to consider. the initial or set-up cost which includes buying the dog. However  there are more things to think about:  What bedding to use? 
What
fencing to use?  

Find the answer to: Question 5

Running Costs

Keeping a dog involves daily, weekly, monthly, and annual costs. These include dog food, vet bills – and a few more! 

Ah – there’s another ‘cost’  …. It’s  … TIME!!! Share the daily chores and joys of owning a dog.  Agree in your family who will do what BEFORE you get your dog and write it down.  Read the 'CostTime' chart, print it, fill it in and stick it on the wall.  

Hey!  Careful choice of dog food will keep your costs down!  Cheap foods mean more vet visits, so choose your food responsibly.  

Find the answer to test questions 6 and 7.

Additional Costs

Your lifestyle and the type of dog you select will make a big difference to your costs.  Consider factors such as grooming needs, your holidays & dog day care and of course …. there are always the unexpected events…

Find the answer to test question 8.

A Dog’s Needs and Welfare

These change throughout your dog’s life.  A puppy needs entertainment and company, whilst an older dog may require more veterinary care. Your dog needs space to live, clean and dry bedding which should be changed every week or more often if it is wet or soiled. 

What if your dog is sick.  How can you tell?  Should your dog visit the vet only when it’s sick?  Should you play with your dog?  If so what are good games?   Your dog needs fresh water, and the correct quality and amount of food. Your dog needs affection and love from you, its family  Your dog needs exercise!  Dogs need to run around and they need to go out for walks, and, if possible,  run free.  For this they will need TRAINING and you will need help to achieve this.

Long haired dogs need grooming.  Choose a good groomer.   All dogs need their claws checked and clipped about every 6 weeks.  Your groomer will do this, or your vet; you may need veterinary advice for basic hygiene and 'how to pill' your dog. 

Find the answer to question 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14

Training your Dog

A well trained dog will always have a better understanding of its owner, its family, visitors and will be a much happier pet. It is essential that you train your dog, and get help to do so.  When should you start?  Before you get your dog/puppy contact a canine professional for advice and as soon as you get your dog or puppy start training immediately with your chosen trainer.

Training is much more than teaching your dog to sit and be quiet. You will understand and learn how to manage destructive or overly excited behaviour.  In fact you must personally do the training; the Canine Training Instructor teaches the owner rather than the dog!  Take special care in choosing a dog trainer.  

Find the answer to Questions 15, 16, 17  and  18.  

Safety, Security & Responsibility

You are responsible to make sure that your dog is secure on your property.  Why?  Your dog could cause an accident if running free, or kill farm animals.  If someone enters your property, they could steal your dog.  Keep your dog safe, and other people happy.  What are your social & legal obligations to others?

Find answer to Question 19

Responsible Owner Certification

After completing this basic course, you may wish to study the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, confirm your committment to Responsible Oweership and  apply for the ‘Certificate of Commitment to Responsible Ownership’  by passing the Responsible owner test.

This certificate will be very helpful if you intend approaching a rescue shelter to adopt a dog, and it is being recognised by more and more dog friendly businesses every day.