One of the biggest joys of dog ownership is that they are so loyal and will continue loving their owners unconditionally no matter what. Their actions may seem silly, but sometimes it seems as though some pretty complex thoughts are behind their actions. As dopey as they seem at times, it is hard to imagine that they could ever have a complex emotion in their life. However, there are ten commandments that all dog owners should know.
10 - Be Patient and Give Them Time to Understand
You and your dog speak different languages. It takes time for them to grasp seemingly simple tasks like going to the bathroom outside or not eating your running shoes. They may mess up as first, but eventually the message will become clear. Don't punish them too harshly for not getting it right away, they are trying.
9 - They Will Always Remember How You Treat Them
Dogs have teeth that could crush your bones and claws that can ripe flesh, yet still they choose to attack you with sloppy kisses instead. Don't hit them, don't leave them outside in the blazing heat or freezing cold, and don't lock them up in small spaces because they were bad. Of course, even after all that dogs will still keep trying to forgive. However, like people treated the same way, they cannot hold out forever and will become untrusting and mean. If people deserve to be loved and treated right, what makes dogs so different?
8 - Give Them Your Trust
While dogs may not know what is acceptable at first, give them your trust. Trust that they will learn to not pee on the chair. Trust that they will protect you as best as they can. Trust that they will never abandon you, at least not on purpose. Dogs always give their trust to humans that they will be taken care of and in turn human should trust that their dogs will take care of them.
7 - Show Them the World
Dogs live short lives and, like people, they know there is a wide world full of interesting smells and tastes out there. Don't constrain them to the same area for their whole life. If would be a shame if they did not get to experience at least a piece of that big world out there during their ten to fifteen years on it.
6 - Don't Stay Mad at Them
It's hard not to get at least irritated when you come home and find a whole couch torn to shreds or a bag of kibble scattered all over the floor. However, don't stay mad for long. When you accidentally step on their tails, dogs don't ignore you for weeks on end. They are the model of forgiveness. However, dogs don't make it easy to stay mad at them anyway, not when they turn on the big puppy dog eyes.
5 - Talk and Touch Them
They may not speak our language, but just the sound of their owner's voice makes a dog's day all the better. Taking the time out of your busy day to give them a solid belly rub or a scratch behind the ears does wonders for both parties.
4 - Teach Them New Tricks
Even if it is just something small, never stop trying to teach your dog new things. Learning a new trick keeps a dog's brain active and healthy. The old adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks is a myth, in fact it helps stave off senility in their golden years.
3 - Notice When They Are Not Themselves
A dog's personality doesn't just up and change at random. If they are not acting like their normal selves wanting to go out three hundred times a day or are not finishing their food, take notice. Dogs only act abnormal when there is something wrong. If it persists, they may need a visit to the veterinarian.
2 - Love Them When They Are Old As You Did When They Were Young
They may not look like the cute little puppy with adorably large feet like they used to be, but even old dogs love you as much as they did when they were young. They may not be able to muster up the energy to play fetch quite as much, but they still need your attention and love.
1 - Stay With Them to the End
As sad and unpleasant as it is when the time comes, your dog will need you right until the very end. As their time comes to journey from this world, they need you there by their side. No one, human or animal, deserves to go through that alone.