The excerpt below is taken from the New York Time bestselling book, Cesar’s Way, written by Cesar Millan with Mellissa Jo Peltier. The subtitle of the book, “The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems,” is demonstrated by the author in the National Geographic Channel program, Dog Whisperer. The author followed this book with another bestseller entitled, Be A Pack Leader. The excerpt is reprinted with the permission of the author.
Please Note: Each breeder may have different and/or additional requirements before placing a dog. Responsible breeders take the placement of their dogs very seriously and each new potential owner must accept the responsibility for the proper treatment and care of their dog. You can find additional information on responsible dog ownership by visiting the AKC’s suggestions at Responsible Dog Ownership
Choosing a Dog
From Cesar’s Way by Cesar Millan
A dog is not a doll, a child, a purse, a status symbol, or a weapon. In choosing a dog to share your life, you have an incredible opportunity to form a powerful bond with a member of another species. But that opportunity comes at a price – the price of responsibility. Know yourself before you know your dog. Before you take the plunge in becoming a dog owner, I recommend that you be able to answer yes to the first part of each of these important questions, and no to the part of the questions in parentheses:
- Am I committed to walking my dog for at least one and a half hours every day? (Or will I simply let the dog out in the backyard and rationalize that he is getting plenty of “outdoor exercise”?)
- Am I committed to learning how to become a calm-assertive pack leader with my dog? (Or will I let my dog walk all over me because it is easier?)
- Am I committed to setting clear rules, boundaries, and limitations in my household? (Or will I let my dog do anything he wants, whenever he wants?)
- Am I committed to providing regular food and water for my dog? (Or will I feed him only when I remember to?)
- Am I committed to giving affection only at appropriate times and when my dog is calm-submissive? (Or will I hug and kiss the dog when he’s fearful or aggressive, or whenever the mood strikes me?)
- Will I commit to taking my dog to the veterinarian on a regular basis, making sure he is spayed and neutered and has all his proper checkups and shots? (Or will I only go to the vet when my dog is sick or injured?)
- Will I make sure my dog is socialized and/or trained properly so he is never a danger to other animals or people? (Or will I hope for the best and warn people to stay out of my dog’s way?)
- Am I willing to clean up after my dog whenever I walk him? (Or will I consider my dog’s poop to be someone else’s problem?)
- Am I willing to educate myself on dog psychology in general and any specific need my dog’s breed has in particular? (Or will I just lead by instinct?)
- Am I willing to put some money away in case I have to call in a professional for a behavior problem or rush to the vet for a medical emergency? (Or will the dog only get what I can afford at the moment?)
Did you pass? If you did, congratulations. You’re ready for a dog. If not, you might want to rethink your choice of pet.