Big dogs; you either love them or you are terrified of them – or so it seems. While there are some who are completely ambivalent about size and even about dogs, it seems there are so many people terrified of large dogs. It used to be that people were terrified of certain breeds – thanks in large part to the media – and now it seems that more and more people are intimidated by dogs simply because of their size. Sure, some dogs are scary looking. Some are really big, and some are inappropriately raised and trained and made aggressive and probably dangerous.
However, that doesn’t mean all big dogs are scary, or all little dogs are harmless. What it does mean is that if you’re in the market for a new dog, don’t discount a larger one simply because you’re not familiar with the gentleness of most breeds, the trainability of a large dog or the companionship or sense of protection a larger dog is capable of providing. For example, the Bernese mountain dog is a large dog with a gentle spirit and a wonderful affection for family.
If you’re considering a large dog, or looking for a breed that’s a bit different than the more “popular” breeds, this might be the dog for you. A Bernese mountain dog is a gentle breed. They’re very easygoing and relaxed, very sweet and despite being dogs with long coats, they’re not as prone to shedding as you might think. Yes, they shed. However, brushing your dog regularly and taking care of your dog’s coat can help you minimize shedding and keep your house relatively free of dog hair, which is always a bonus.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is committed to helping potential pet owners and current pet owners become the best possible pet owners. Dogs are living creatures, and that means they should be treated as such. Too many people tend to forget that animals have feelings, and dogs need to be treated with love, respect and kindness. Just because your dog can’t speak to you in the same language doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand you or have feelings. Let the AKC help you become a responsible Bernese mountain dog owner by taking their sage advice.
Consider Carefully What You Want
Now that you know a Bernese mountain dog is for you, you have to ask yourself another question. Do you want a puppy or do you want an adult? The question might seem simple from the start, but it’s not as simple as it appears.
Puppies are not for everyone. Puppies are wonderful with their exuberance and their sweet nature. But they’re also a lot of work, no matter how good you are with dogs or how good of a dog you end up with. There’s a lot of training involved, a lot of discipline, and a lot of work involved in training a puppy. There are many people who aren’t quite familiar with just how much work is involved, and just how much time is required. This means that most people are a bit surprised and sometimes end up with an improperly trained dog or a dog that doesn’t quite meet their expectations, which can be a bit of a disappointment to them. This is one of the reasons so many people end up giving their dogs up – and that’s not what anyone wants.
Older dogs are actually wonderful dogs, and you don’t have to wonder about their upbringing. While it’s true that some people abuse animals and cause them to have aggression or anger or terrified issues, it’s not true of all adult dogs. When you find a breed rescue group (and the AKC can help you with that), you can find a god that’s been either abandoned or given up due to their owner’s illness or death. These are more often than not dogs that have been very well cared for, trained properly and loved. They’re not dogs that have questionable backgrounds that might mean they need special care or attention. These are loved dogs that have unfortunately lost their families – and they’re very appreciative to have a new family.
Do the Research
Don’t commit to owning any dog before you know what’s involved in owning a dog. It’s fun, yes, but it’s not all fetch and long walks. Dogs need to see the vet, they get sick, they become sad, and they need people to care for them if you’re going to be out of town. Dogs can be expensive – they don’t need you to pay for a college education, but that doesn’t mean they are cheap to own.
The AKC recommends that you learn all you can about dog ownership and any particular breed so that you are not surprised when you get a dog and have to learn the realities of living with one. On that note, don’t let the idea of owning a dog scare you. You can still have a wonderful and fulfilling life outside the home, you can still travel and you can still do what you like to do with a dog at home, you just have to consider the dog in addition to your family.
Make the Commitment
Here’s the biggest thing about being a responsible dog owner; you have to make the commitment. You have to take the time to be an owner, to welcome a dog into your family, and to be someone who makes a good dog owner. You can’t say, “I’ll try this,” because you don’t get to make that decision. Dogs are not things you can return. Having a baby isn’t the same as having a dog, but it is kind of the same thing. You don’t say, “Let’s have a baby and see how things work out, okay?” and then return the baby if you decide it’s too much work. It’s a commitment that’s forever – and most dogs live a number of years, so you have to be committed to owning your dog for the long haul.
Photo by YouTube