Ken Hough's Website


Not everyone likes dogs. This might be out of ignorance, life style choice, or fear. The latter could result from perceived fear of a creature that might attack, or from actual experience of an aggressive dog. It is only fair and right that dog owners respect the wishes of others.

It's also fair to point out that the majority of dogs are good natured, and that most attacks on humans are from other humans.

Unfortunately, there are some dog owners who do not behave respectfully towards other folks, and who do not understand how to care for their dogs. It seems that some dogs are kept simply to act as aggressive guard dogs or as "status symbols" to boost the ego of owners. This is irresponsible, potentially dangerous, and gives a bad name to responsible dog owners.

Even with the very best of intentions, accidents do happen. For example, a dog might run in front of a car and cause an accident, just as a child might do. It is important that dog owners carry third party insurance to cover such eventualities. Personally, I would like to see this made compulsory along with a new dog licensing system.

It's worth considering taking out insurance to cover other kinds of accident, illnesses, and infirmities. Routine vet bills for injections, microchipping, etc are expensive enough. Bills for major operations can easily run into thousands of pounds.

Most dogs are physically strong and it's easy to forget that they are also sensitive creatures. If a dog does not have the opportunity to grow up in a safe and stable environment, it might become insecure and develop aggressive behaviour. Dogs need care for their whole lives which could be 15 years or more.

Owning a dog does mean making compromises in what and when you can do some things. Would you be happy to do this and to make room in your home for a dog?

If you don't feel able to do all of these things, please, please do not get a dog.

I've found that the honesty, trust, understanding, and affection that dogs can give are enough to make this effort worth while. It's not always easy. And then there's the final goodbye... so hard, but overall, so worthwhile.

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