‘Ah! Yoy should keep dogs – fine animals – sagacious creatures ..’ as Mr Winkle advised Mr Pickwick In Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, and it is a piece of advice that has been followed by millions of us for centuries.
It is a cliche to remark that a dog is man’s best’friend, but it is a statement that has been reinforced over thousands of years.
Human beings and dogs share a symbiotic relationship m many ways: people adopt dogs as pets and care for them in return for companionship, protection and unquestioning devotion. Man and dog have evolved a unique, inseparable partnership over the centuries.
Owning a dog is a privilege and a responsibility, but canine devotion must be repaid with practical care, security and respect. Dogs have provided humans with support and protection – both physical and psychological – for thousands of years, and the least that the human race can do after such a long relationship is to ensure that their domestic animals are happy and fulfilled.
There are more than four hundred distinct breeds of dog, and their diverse appearances are entirely the result of human intervention.
Dogs have been bred to suit the whims of their owners, and the variety of their looks is reflected in their many talents and characters.
The steady Saint Bernard, which exudes calm, has been trained as a mountain-rescue animal; the exceptional sense of smell of bloodhounds, Labrador retrievers and German shepherd dogs is utilised by law-enforcement agencies to uncover drugs; while innumerable breeds make wonderful companions, providing their owners with unlimited affection and devotion. Dogs are one of the two most popular domestic animals in the world – the other is the cat.
Most humans have a basic instinct to care for living things and, for many people, dogs fulfill this need.
Dogs are pack animals and will obey the person whom they regard as their pack leader – usually their owner.
They are essentially uncomplicated animals, grateful for a warm home, regular supply of food and a small amount of territory to defend.
They are unquestioningly loyal, fiercely protective and do not criticise us – few humans are so amenable!
Owning a happy and healthy dog is a rewarding occupation, but this can only be achieved through proper care.
Petsmiles provides a comprehensive introduction to caring for dogs; it attempts to explain certain aspects of doggy behaviour and provides details of how to keep your dog in the best-possible health. We also offer some solutions for common problems that can occur, even in the best- regulated kennels.