There’s nothing more exciting than bringing home a canine friend. To ensure your furry friend is comfortable and healthy, pet owners must put in a lot of effort to make their dogs feel like home. Similar to being a parent, there is no ‘right’ way of raising a dog. Since most dog owners are passionate about providing their dogs the best care, they may end up in heated discussions with one another. Here are some top 6 dog related controversial subjects you need to read up on:
Breeding vs. Adoption
By definition, breeding is the act of controlling the production and mating of the offspring of animals. Dog breeding has become a common practice and has been around for decades. The subject is generally considered controversial because breeders essentially force two or more unaltered dogs to mate in order to produce a ‘favorable’ offspring. Breeding is practiced to produce more attractive and stronger puppies. Unfortunately, this has led to the rise of animal homelessness as people prefer to buy puppies from breeders than to adopt a dog from a shelter.
More problems surface when homeless animals are not adopted and continue to roam the streets without being neutered and spayed. These dogs eventually produce their own homeless offspring.
The American Kennel Club has set breed standards that involve docking tail stems and cropping ears. These practices are commonly performed by breeders and veterinarians to uphold standards. A portion of the dog’s tail is removed, which is known as tail docking. This form of body modification has received criticism as dogs use their tails to communicate with one another and may express frustration when they are unable to do so.
Similarly, ear cropping involves cutting a portion of the dog’s ear. These modifications do not enhance the life of the animals and are generally used for superficial pleasure. What’s worse is that some people argue that puppies are unlikely to remember the pain so there is need to stop these cruel practices.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to train your dog to become a well-behaved canine citizen. While most people focus on positive reinforcement and use other encouraging techniques to train their pets, some pet owners may opt for training tools that are considered inhumane and dangerous. The two most controversial training tools include:
Prong Training Collars
Prong training collars are common choice for training large or powerful dogs. While these collars may appear intimidating, they are harmless if used correctly. Prong collars are supposed to sit just below the dog’s ear and should not be positioned like a regular collar. Pet owners must ensure the collar has not been put on tight or else it will pull the dog’s skin. This can also lead to painful injuries. Despite the controversy, many pet owners have argued that prong training collars is an effective way to stop dogs from pulling on their leash.
Electric Training Collars (e-collars)
Similar to prong training collars, e-collars have also gained a bad reputation for being an inhumane way to train pets. E-collars are designed to produce a shock. Rest assured this “shock” has been exaggerated and is merely a form of muscle stimulation. This is used to distract the dog when he is displaying bad behavior.
When it comes to dog training, each pet owner is likely to follow their own unique style and approach. While there are many conventional dog training methods you can follow, the success to dog training truly lies in how well you know your pup. Like children, each dog has a different learning capacity and has different problems you should address. The most popular training methods include:
In this method, good behavior is acknowledged by a reward while bad behavior is simply ignored. Removal of rewards can be used as punishment if your furry friend doesn’t behave.
In this method, the pet owner tries to improve the dog’s behavior by taking away something from the dog. Most dog owners don’t wait for their pets to react and try to trigger bad behavior so that it can be addressed immediately. Unfortunately, some pet owners may try to physical harm the dog by pinching their ears.
Behavior Adjustment Training
Behavior Adjustment Training is a relatively new technique to train dogs. This training method also relies on the use of rewards and training tools such as clickers.
The important thing to keep in mind here is that behavioral training is not an excuse to physically harm a pet.
Raw vs. Commercially Prepared Food
Proper nutrition is important when it comes to pet care. When it comes to finding the right dog food for your pet, there is an ongoing debate whether you should opt for raw or commercially prepared food. Sure, commercially packaged foods are often loaded with preservatives and can also cause food allergies in dogs. However, not everybody can afford to feed their dog raw food. Regardless of what option you opt for, it is integral you pay attention to your dog’s nutritional needs. Some dog breeds are prone to food allergies and various kinds of nutritional deficiencies hence all these factors must be taken in to account when choosing the right dog food.
Breed Specific Legislation
Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) will continue to be a controversial subject in the dog world. This legislation restricts or bans dog breeds that are perceived to be dangerous because of their distinct appearance. The BSL is considered controversial because it targets dogs based on how they look instead of their overall behavior and tendencies. It is responsible for the death of several thousands of innocent homeless dogs. What’s worse is that most cities and countries neglect to perform mandatory behavioral assessments or DNA tests before impounding dogs. This can also have a distressing impact on the pet owner.