Lost and Hound

People have dogs for different reasons and with the massive variety of breeds out there this has been a common theme throughout the ages. With dogs I am firm believer that not everybody should have one. The time it takes to properly exercise, feed, and train one or several dogs is immense and I highly doubt most people are willing to invest the proper time. Anything less is bitch slap in the face of the history mankind has had with our canines brethren.

While you can still have a dog and do the bare minimum, not only do you set yourself up for behavior and health issues, you are being completely unfair to an animal that his/her life and well being are completely in your control. Life is about priorities. For me, I would rather be out hiking or running with my two dogs than watching American Idol. I am willing to put in the time to track down healthy, raw meat, bones and organs to feed my dogs a proper diet. I am sorry, but Kibbles and Bits won't do. Its like feeding your kids shit like McDonalds every day. Your dog deserve better.

Breeder vs. Rescue
I've fostered many dogs and still do from time to time. But if I am going to get a dog, invest in a dog, I going to get a pup from a well referenced breeder. When there are so many homeless dogs in the world, why? Time. I want a puppy so that I become the new littermate, the new pack member. From Day 1 together, I am playing and working with this little one. They are very impressionable at this age and I am willing to invest the time to teach and socialize. The odds of finding a puppy in a shelter tends to be slim, as they get picked up right away. But it comes back to time. Do you have the time to find out and untrain all the potential unknown bad habits and phobias? I've seen many rescue dogs behave uncontrollably in certain situations due to their past experiences. Sure there will be dogs that need rescue that have had a proper upbringing (and well socialized) that only due to a change in the owners life they had to be given up. Ultimately, given my lifestyle, I cannot afford to have a dog that is unpredictable.

What to do with rescue dogs? I really don't know. I'd suggest eating them but people would probably shit themselves. Pigs are often considered to be as smart as dogs and we eat them. And several countries have no problem eating them. Would I ever eat my dogs? Maybe in an extreme situation... but then I would expect the they would do the same to me given an extreme situation. Otherwise, we are tight.

Proper Feeding
Even if you have sourced the very best kibble, I do not think you are doing enough. Our dog's ancestors ate raw meat, bones and organs. While they may be able to tolerate various vegetation and/or grains, this is not something they are going to be able to thrive on.

Your Pack
Having a dog can be a life enriching experience. In the time you spend together you will sometimes learn more about yourself than your companion. From reducing stress to having a friend you can come home to, having a dog can be extremely healthy. While there will always be situations where your sprinting partner ate half your couch, you have to resign yourself that you have entered into a relationship with an animal that has different instincts and needs. One thing we do have in common is that we are both gregarious, and having a bond of trust and respect with a completely different species is a transcendental experience. A dog is an investment, a commitment, and should not be taken lightly.

Useful Websites:
Rawfed - Good resource on feeding your dogs raw
Leerburg - The Dog Training articles are amazing. I used this philosophy for most of my training.