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A dog is traditionally seen as man’s best friend. Unfortunately, not all of us can be good friends to them in return. Dogs offer their PetParents so much more than security or a status symbol – they provide companionship that needs to be reciprocated if you wish to keep a strong bond between you and them.
Read on and then take our Quiz which in 12 easy questions will be able to tell you if you are an Ideal Dog PetParent.
Dogs are pack animals. When you bring a dog into your family, be it a puppy, a rescue or an adopted adult, you have to establish your role in its mind as its pack leader. You can do this by maintaining a strict exercise and feeding routine and by making sure you are its primary care giver. If you want your dog to obey your every command you must create trust and instill discipline with lots of time, attention and rigorous training.
Keeping a dog is not as easy as one thinks. It is important for children to learn how to care for dogs and how to keep them before they begin pestering their parents to get them one. Keeping a dog is not something that can be treated as a passing fancy or a fad. It is a responsibility that spans its entire lifetime. One has to accept that anything that affects their pets’ health negatively is something that is directly its PetParents’ responsibility. One must care for a pet as though one cares for a child as it almost demands a similar level of love and focus.
What Do Dogs Want
Dogs yearn for their PetParent’s attention and are mostly only happy when they have their loved ones in sight. Outdoor dogs are rarely ever as temperamentally stable or happy as indoor dogs. They learn to be outdoors but display some form of disruptive or bad behaviour just to communicate the fact that they are not happy. If you keep your dog outdoors please make sure it has a mate. Two dogs outside, when together, do not feel the same sense of abandonment or loneliness. However if you only have one dog please allow him as much time in your vicinity as possible.
The nature of a dog is to be extremely sensitive to all your moods and feelings. They play off the emotional energy you project. If he is being hyper do not show signs of aggression by shouting. It will only excite or confuse him further. Remain calm and collected and it will soon realize this is not the time to play around. The greatest punishment for a dog is for its master to ignore him. Use this sparingly only when it does something you do not like. Scold it swiftly so it knows exactly what behaviour you do not appreciate than ignore it for no more than 5 – 8 minutes. That is more than enough time for it to realize it has upset you. Punishment for bad behaviour should be administered sparingly as dogs only want to please their PetParents. Bad behaviour though in no way or form should be tolerated. If you tolerate it even once you will be giving your dog a bad cue which will confuse him. Consistency is the key to training a dog.
No dog needs to be hit in order to be reprimanded or trained. Simply rolling up a newspaper and smacking your own hand with it is enough to startle them into paying attention. There is no reason to be violent or abusive to a pet. It is never either productive or helpful in training an animal.
Cultural Prejudice Against Dogs
Many people, even PetParents in our cultural are prejudiced against keeping dogs. Some might keep a dog but harbour some sort of resentment against them being unclean animals. The truth is that cats are far deadlier than dogs in spreading diseases such as parvo and can be far more harmful to humans than dogs. The article What did the Prophet Mohammed really say about dogs? by Merritt Clifton explains the prejudice against dogs extremely well. Many important hadiths when understood in context correctly explain the Holy Prophet’s love for all animals, even for dogs. The article, which also cites Karachi as being one of the friendliest cities towards dogs, explains:
“A belief is widespread in the Islamic world that Mohammed favored cats, of whom he was openly fond, but forbade keeping dogs.
This idea comes primarily from Hadiths 3:515, 4:541, and 4:4542, which state that “If somebody keeps a dog who is neither used for farm work nor for guarding livestock, he will lose one Qirat (a unit of value) of the reward for his good deeds every day.” But the original meaning of the word “keep,” and of the Arabic word translated as “keep” in these verses, is “to confine,” as is affirmed by the evolution of translations of less controversial Hadiths narrated by both Saheeh Muslim and Saheeh Al-Bukhari about improperly “keeping” a cat.
The story in older translation is that, “A woman entered the Fire because of a cat which she kept and did not give it food or water, nor did she set it free to eat of the vermin of the earth.”
Two later translations have it that the woman “was punished because she imprisoned a cat until it died,” or “entered Hell because of a cat she tied up and did not feed.”
To confine was still the primary meaning of “keeping” an animal in formal English as recently as the 1930s, when the most commonly cited versions of the Hadiths were translated–and in the case of the verses about the cat, translators appear to be unanimous that the Arabic word originally rendered as “kept” referred specifically to cruel confinement.
What the Hadiths about keeping a dog therefore appear to be stating, if read into historical context, is that people should not confine a dog unnecessarily, recognizing the nature of a dog as a social animal.”
Above all before deciding to get a dog ask yourself if you are willing to open up your entire life to a creature you will not only have to care for but one who you will also have to speak, think and fight for. When deciding to adopt any pet a responsible PetParent always considers the lengths he or she will be willing to go to if God forbid the pet gets sick or hurt in any way. If you are the kind of person who is willing to stay up nights with your pets, caring for them, training them, cleaning them then you will make a good PetParent.
Take Our Quiz
If you are considering adopting a dog or want to test your dog PetParent-ing rating please take our PetPeople Quiz: Are You An Ideal Dog PetParent? Answer 12 simple questions to find out if you have what it takes to be a good PetParent to any dog and then post your answer in the comments below:
Having a strong bond with your dog is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. May Allah guide you and all of us on the right path to find and care for such amazing friends as dogs.