No this blog is not gonna sell you the concept of adopting one of the thousands of stray pups this country has or deny how wonderful it is to have your own pup. It’s just going to tell you the few things no one else does… don’t worry, just take notes!
It’s easy to decide whether you want a dog or a cat. You’re either a dog lover or a cat person and on the slim chance you’re both… get both! Here’s a twist on what you should know if your getting a pooch, I did and boy is he a BIG little rascal!
1) Roll Playing.
If you are the first authoritative figure to interact with your pup, you better hold your ground for the long run even if it means raising your voice, though an assertive waving of the index finger works even better! A male dog is likely to test you EVERY CHANCE he gets… so if you have an all woman household… be prepared for an extended version of Turner & Hooch.
Bruce figured within the first day or so I was the one to stand by… was easy, I fed him and he slept on my bed. Dad would ignore him and was the last to admit he loved having another little brat to scream at while Mum kept talking to him like a baby which at points left me as confused as he was.
Note: He is more scared of dad… than me!
I don’t think I slept for the first two weeks. Besides the fact he slept both under and on my bed, he would sleep through the day and always want to play at night. I suppose I can’t afford to complain really… he would have to be as nocturnal as I am! The thing is… every time you doze off and you think their all curled up and asleep… you wake up to the tumbling of books or bottles, the ringing noise of a water/food bowl being pushed across the floor or the nerve shattering crunching of plastic or wood from under your bed. Yes sometimes, there really is a monster under your bed!
It wasn’t so bad the first month as work was a bit slow… but once it picked up I thought I’d never sleep again! You’re up at 7am with a Crash Boom Bang! Or a wet nose nudging you and as soon as you’re back from work at 2am… it’s time to clean up the mess… and then play ofcourse!
No one tells you how much you are gonna hate this part! Anything and everything for the first 2-3 months is officially a chew toy. Be it a sock, t shirt, shoe (lost a pair of my FREECULTR shoes to Bruce) or even your headphones! Yup, he did… chewed up my headphones cause HE KNEW I would get mad. The worst I guess is the furniture because your parents are going to give you more grief than you can ever give him. (I should probably quickly apologize to MissMalini here for that one pair of her shoes he chewed up when I brought him over… Sooorrrrrry!)
Distractions are good. Get a squeaky ball or bone but never a shoe shaped toy; they will associate any shoe to be a toy as well then! Toys can work out pretty expensive since pups seem to chew them up within a few days while teething so if you find yourself a little short changed… use an empty 500-600ml soda/coke pet bottle. Peal off the label, take the cap off and watch the fun! And if you think that’s the best… try an ice cube.
The most important aspect of training a dog is to get him/her to recognize the word ‘NO’. They may know how to roll over, play dead or even answer your iPhone but if they don’t understand you saying NO… you’re going to need a whole lotta everything in triplicate. Use a firm voice or a rolled up newspaper if you must to enforce it. Once again, a firm index finger usually works but make sure they know you mean business.
Of course there seem to be exceptions to the rule. If you tell Bruce NOT to do something, he will stop… look at you innocently and as soon as your back is turned… yup, he’ll be at it again! It’s not that he didn’t understand, I believe he just wanted to test my vocal pitch range. Mum is the best… her vocal range will wake you up even if you thought you were wide awake! (Sorry mum… but it’s true!)
It’s not that it’s wrong to have a large dog if you have a smaller apartment; it’s just not fair if you keep them locked up at home the whole day and night. Yes, a bigger apartment is much better for a medium – large dog but even a small dog would prefer more space to run around in and find a good hiding spot when he has your shoe to chew on. They need to get out, walk and run. More importantly you need to take them to a pet park or garden nearby where you can both train them and let them run around while you play with them.
Bruce is a mix between a black Labrador (mother) and a Dalmation which would clearly explain how he has gone from being born small enough to fit in your palm to being almost 3ft long and 2ft high in just 6 months. Yes… no misprint here! He loves his walks 3-4 times a day and once the monsoons are done, I will start taking him to the park opposite my apartment as well. He pretty much takes up half my double bed even though he has a perfectly comfy one of his own. He used to curl up underneath my davenport and hide there when I was chasing him down, till ofcourse he couldn’t fit under there anymore. Now the ledge on the balcony is his favorite spot. Originally a Goa boy, he was born 1 amongst 13 of the cutest pups you have ever heard of. There was every possible combination of all black to all white, spotted to even an all brown. He, as you can see… came out right in the middle.
Things to Remember:
Milk though widely believed to be good for a dog, is not! Do not force it down his throat or make it a compulsory meal each day.
Royal Canin Pellets are excellent and definitely healthier than Pedigree. Royal Canin is even preferred by most vets but keep in mind, medium to large sized dogs should get some home cooked meals as well.
Non Vegetarian food is generally good for larger dogs. If your vegetarian, don’t worry but ask your vet about other sources of Protein.
Do not tie your dog up. If they bark constantly or misbehave, get a trainer to teach you how to control them but do not tie them up. It aggravates them and that will stay forever.
Your dog will be as friendly as you let them be and will probably be as friendly as you are with people around you. Encourage it!
Get a good vet, a good doggie salon and of course a pet shop that can tell you what is right for your dog and not just anything that they have excess stock of.
Yes, your gonna have to change your lifestyle and work around a new schedule from the get go. You will need help from anyone living with you so make sure they are on the same page.
Walk your dog yourself for the first few months. Yes, that means you’re gonna have to scoop some poop too. Once you have a good route and a comfortable routine, then get yourself a dog walker if you really require one. Try and make sure they don’t have 10 other dogs at the same time. With a routine in place if your dog hesitates to go out or comes back unusually quiet, you may need to look closer at how the walker is handling your dog.
Finally, I can’t tell you how much I crib about coming home to Bruce because I get assaulted by him jumping all over me trying to get me to fathom just how much he was tortured at home while I was away (which in reality is being thoroughly spoilt and getting away with everything short of pooping on my bed) but I gotta hand it to you…you can have a shitty day or a shitty few weeks…but it always just disappears in that 60 second welcome, as you walk in….Well, with Bruce it takes about 10mins for him to calm down… even if I have been gone for only 5mins. Don’t believe me…. come meet him!
Oh and Before I forget… adopt a pet please, don’t buy one! Sadly, there are puppies and kittens at every corner of this country and across the globe that would just love to wait for you to come home.