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Dog Ownership & Training

Heather Pidcock-Reed

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Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-4510-1 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4222-4511-8 ebook ISBN: 978-1-4222-7297-8 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Jacqueline Havelka—Inform Scientific Cover and Interior Design: Torque Advertising + Design Layout: Priceless Digital Media Publisher’s Note: Websites listed in this book were active at the time of publication. The publisher is not responsible for websites that have changed their address or discontinued operation since the date of publication. The publisher reviews and updates the websites each time the book is reprinted.

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K E Y I C O N S T O L O O K F O R : Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout this series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Chapter 1: Owning a Dog. ................................................ 7 Chapter 2: Getting a New Dog..........................................21 Chapter 3: Bringing Your Puppy Home. ............................35 Chapter 4: Training Your New Puppy................................45 Chapter 5: Keeping Your Puppy Happy & Healthy..............61 Series Glossary of Key Terms. .........................................72 Organizations to Contact................................................73 Further Reading and Internet Resources..........................74 Index . ..........................................................................77 Author Biography / Credits. ............................................80 CONTENTS


cortisol: a hormone that is released in response to stressful situations neuter: to take out a male animal’s reproductive organs oxytocin: a hormone that is released during bonding between people, or between people and their pets spay: to remove a female animal’s reproductive organs

Dog Ownership & Training


Owning a Dog

How Dogs Became Our Companions No one is entirely sure how domesticated dogs came to be. However, what we do know is that thousands of years ago, primitive humans developed some sort of working relationship with wolves. These wolves were eventually domesticated and have been gradually bred into the variety of canines that we currently see today. Dogs fall into a number of different categories, from working, herding, and guard dogs to “just” companions. No matter what their original purpose was intended to be, for most people, they have become loyal companions and family members. The Benefits of Owning a Dog From the beginning, dogs have been labeled as man’s best friend. While their origins were as guard dogs and hunting dogs, they quickly became our loyal friends. Throughout the ages, our canine companions have been there for us. In recent years, scientists and


Domesticated dogs came about when humans decided to work with wolves. While no one knows when this took place, these wolves were bred and eventually turned into the domesticated dogs we know today.

other researchers have spent time studying the relationship between humans and canines. This research has revealed a number of benefits to owning a dog. One benefit of having a dog is that it makes you healthier. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that “Dog owners are 54 percent more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise than their non-dog owning counterparts.” Since dog owners are more likely to get the proper amount of exercise, they are also less likely to suffer from heart attacks and strokes. In addition, the outcomes for patients who have experienced a heart attack or stroke tend to be better if they have dogs.

Dog Ownership & Training


Another benefit of dog ownership is that it makes you feel happier. The companionship that our canine friends provide can relieve stress and anxiety. The mere act of sitting and petting a dog can increase the levels of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin is a hormone that plays a role in bonding and forming relationships. It “calms your nervous system down, relaxing you, whilst also increasing

Time spent with your dog can make you feel happier, and can keep you healthier. Recent studies have shown that dog owners are more likely to live healthier and more active lifestyles than non-dog owners.

Owning a Dog


Scan here to view a video on the health benefits related to having a pet.

your trust.” Spending time with a dog can also lower the levels of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in times of stress. Are you ready to own a dog? Are You Ready to Own a Dog? Before you bring a new canine companion into your home, you should assess whether you are ready. When you decide to get a dog, you are committing to taking care of another living being, one that will be with you for many years. Below, we will explore in detail what it means to be a responsible dog owner. Providing Your Dog with Proper Veterinary Care Just like people, animals need to be given regular medical care in order to live happy and healthy lives. Before you commit to raising

Dog Ownership & Training


a dog (or any other type of animal), you should both have the time and be able to afford to take your pet to the veterinarian. Most veterinarians recommend that you bring your pet in once a year for a checkup. During this visit, the vet will perform a physical examination of the animal to see if it is in good health. When problems are encountered in their earliest stages, it is usually easier to treat them successfully.

This dog is having its annual physical examination. These exams, along with keeping your pet up to date on its vaccinations, are essential to keeping it healthy.

Owning a Dog


Your dog will also need to be vaccinated. Vaccines prevent your pet from developing serious, sometimes fatal, illnesses. Your veterinarian will establish your dog’s vaccination schedule. Most dogs are given vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvo, infectious canine hepatitis, canine influenza, and kennel cough. These are usually given in a series of shots over a period of time. Another part of pet ownership is taking the responsibility to either spay or neuter your canine friend. Spaying or neutering your pet ensures that they won’t be able to have puppies. It can also reduce rates of cancer. Pets who are “fixed” in this manner are also less likely to feel the need to get out and explore, putting themselves in danger of becoming lost or injured. Ensuring Your Dog Is Trained Training your dog is an important part of being a responsible owner. According to RSPCA Australia, training “provides mental stimulation which helps to keep your dog happy, and if combined with morning exercise your dog will be mentally and physically tired at the end and far more likely to sleep during the day.” Training helps you build a happy and positive relationship with your pet. If you make training fun and positive, your pet will begin to associate fun and positive things with you. According to dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, “Dogs that are taught using positive reinforcement methods are more tolerant, self-controlled and behave much more predictably in different situations.” Socialization is also important. A well-trained dog is typically a more confident dog. According to Victoria Stilwell, “Increasing your dog’s enjoyment of social interaction will give her the confidence to deal with the pressures of domestic life. Training your dog to have good manners and behave well in different situations requires effort, but consistent commitment ensures success. We have high expectations for our dogs, encouraging them to be friendly with

Dog Ownership & Training


A dog that is kept mentally and physically engaged is a happy dog that will be more likely to sleep than find trouble around the house.

everyone they meet, even if they are uncomfortable in certain situations. It is therefore vital to socialize your dog by giving her good experiences in the presence of all kinds of people, animals and environments. Doing so at a young age will give her confidence and lessen the chance of her experiencing anxiety and discomfort in adulthood.” Giving Your Dog Enough Exercise You will also need to ensure that your dog receives enough exercise. According to veterinarian Susan O’Dell, “No matter the size of the dog, every pup needs a physical outlet to expend extra energy and maintain health and fitness. Regular exercise can improve your dog’s mental health and reduce some behaviors done out of anxiety or boredom.” The amount of exercise that your animal will need will vary depending upon its breed, size, energy level, overall health, and age.

Owning a Dog



The Humane Society of the United States says that “In the US, there are an estimated 6—8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted. Tragically, the rest are euthanized. These are healthy, sweet pets that would have made great companions.” There are an estimated 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats that are put to sleep in shelters every year. In many cases, these aren’t stray animals. They are puppies and kittens that were the result of an unwanted litter. The most tragic thing about the high rate of euthanasia within shelters is that these unwanted animals are easily prevented by spaying (for females) or neutering (for males) family pets. This process is commonly referred to as “fixing” your pet. Spaying involves a veterinarian removing the reproductive organs of a female animal. Neutering is when the testes are removed from a male animal. Pets that are fixed are no longer able to have offspring. In addition to reducing the number of unwanted animals in shelters, spaying or neutering offers a number of benefits for your pet. Current research in the field of veterinary medicine has found that pets that have been fixed are more likely to live longer lives. According to an article published in USA Today , “Unneutered or spayed pets are also at greater risk for certain cancers. Neutering male pets decreases their chances of developing prostatic enlargement and disease and eliminates the risk of testicular cancer. Spaying female pets eliminates the risk of pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus. If a female is spayed before her first heat cycle, chances of developing breast cancer drop dramatically as well.”

Dog Ownership & Training


Neutering or spaying can also help to eliminate problematic behaviors such as urine marking. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting their leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.” The key to nipping this problematic behavior in the bud is to have the procedure done on your pet before the behavior becomes fully ingrained. Spaying or neutering your dog can also prevent roaming, aggression, excessive barking, mounting, and other behaviors that are associated with dominance. Since spaying and neutering can eliminate the risks of many serious diseases that can impact an animal’s reproductive system, it also saves you money in the long run. Treatment for cancer or other issues is much more expensive than spay or neuter surgery. Additionally, many locations offer a discount on your dog license if your animal is fixed. Another factor in favor of having the procedure done is that it can reduce the urge to fight that exists in many animals that haven’t been sterilized. Fights can cause serious injury to your pet, and these injuries can be expensive to treat. If you are concerned about the cost of having this procedure done on your pet, there may be a low-cost spay and neuter clinic that you can go to. You can talk to your veterinarian to learn where there may be one located near you. The health benefits associated with the procedure and the fact that you won’t have to worry about contributing to the number of unwanted animals dumped in animal shelters are excellent reasons to have it done.

Owning a Dog


A properly trained pup will know how to react in a variety of situations.

Dog Ownership & Training


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