Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lifestyle | Seven Lessons I've Learnt From Having A Dog


Hello Lovelies! Today I wanted to do something a little bit different and talk about all the lessons I've learnt from having a dog. We got Molly when I was about 10/11 years old from a breeder in Kent (I think!) after our beautiful cat Brooke died. We met Molly and her brother, who were both super tiny but Molly was even smaller than her brother because she was the runt of the litter. After painfully saying goodbye to Molly's brother who we really wanted to get too, we put her in a cardboard box in the car and being the excited little puppy she was, she ended up jumping up excitedly the whole trip back to London. 

Then began the process of coming up with a name. I kid you not when I say we shortlisted to Maisie, Millie and Molly but of course after much deliberation we settled on Molly. One of the things I can remember is being really popular in primary school for a week, because when you have a puppy, you are everyone's best friend. But anyway nine years later, she is still as ridiculously excitable and adorable as she was back then, and I've learnt a lot about being a dog owner which I hope can help people who already have a dog or want one in the future!

1. TOUGH LOVE ISN'T ALWAYS A BAD THING

When it comes to obedience, Molly is far from perfect. She jumps up a lot when people come to the house, she barks a lot too and she doesn't always come when we call her but really this just shows a lot about how we trained her. We were never big fans of the tough love method, but I actually think in the long run it's much better as often when Molly misbehaves we get annoyed at her but she doesn't know what she's doing wrong! A good example is when people come to the house and she jumps up at them, and can often end up scratching their tights etc... She's only doing this to be able to interact with them, but we always end up getting annoyed at her when it's not her fault. A simple solution, as cruel as it might sound, is to completely ignore your dog until she stops jumping up and then bend down to her level and give them your attention. This way your dog knows that jumping up won't get her/him what they want and they'll stop doing it. In the short term it might seem cruel to ignore your dog, but in the long term you'll have a happier dog and owner!

2. BREED IS IMPORTANT

When thinking about getting a dog, most people will have their heart set on one breed but it's important to question whether that breed is right for you! We always had our hearts set on a Shetland Sheepdog because one of our relatives had a lovely dog called Heidi, but my mum made sure to research the dog breed to make sure it was right for us and luckily it was! Things to think about are lifespan (dogs like chihuahuas can live for up to 18 years!), how many walks the dog will need and their temperament. A good idea is to look at what the breed was originally bred for, as that can often tell you a lot about their characteristics! Also consider some unusual breeds you might not have thought about like Staffordshire Bull Terriers, that have a really bad reputation but are actually known to be very loving!

3. DOGS ARE MORE INTELLIGENT THAN YOU THINK

One of the things that has really surprised me about having a dog is how intelligent they can be. Sure, half the time we'll say random english words at Molly and she will be absolutely clueless but other times she will be surprisingly intelligent. Weirdly enough she can tell when someone will be home about five minutes before they arrive, so she'll always wait by the door before they come which is actually quite strange when you think about it! She can also as she's a sheepdog pick up tricks really easily, even at the old age of 9! 

4. PEDIGREE COMES WITH A PRICE

And sadly I'm not even talking about the money side of things. If you're looking to get a pedigree, bear in mind that they are often more prone to medical problems because when bred they try to get the ideal characteristics of the breed often leading to over exaggerated features. For example with German Shepherds, you might notice that their backs are sometimes incredibly slanted or with Pugs they can often have trouble breathing because of their noses. Molly is a pedigree descended from show dogs and one of her problems is that she could never have puppies because they would have all been born blind, so it just shows how important it is to really think about where you get your dog from. Make sure if buying a pedigree that your breeder breeds in an ethical way as heavy amounts of inbreeding can lead to serious and expensive health problems. 

5. OWNING A DOG IS EXPENSIVE

Before getting a dog it's really important to think about whether you can really afford one. Obviously there are the main expenses such as food, but you also need to think about pet insurance as medical operations and treatments for dogs can be super expensive! Also if you're not in often because of work, you may need to think about a dog walker which can be quite pricy. 

6. BECOMING AN EMBARRASSING DOG OWNER IS INEVITABLE

As someone who has about ten nicknames for my dog, I'm not even kidding... I will be the first to admit that I am an embarrassing dog owner. You'll probably find me talking to my dog every now and then, and sometimes even my mum claims Molly is fluent in English (which she's not, obviously). I can also act like a proud mum, and you'll often find me snap-chatting her or putting pictures of her up on Instagram because pretty much every day I remember how ridiculously cute she is. And I admit I also made an Instagram account for my dog a while back, don't judge me...

7. NO ONE LOVES YOU LIKE A DOG CAN

And finally, I know everyone says this but I honestly think no one loves you like your dog can. They have the best unconditional love, and they are always excited to see you when you come home. Also they provide constant companionship - I'm actually writing this post with Molly on my lap right now!

Thank you for reading lovelies! Do you have any pets/ever want a dog? Let me know in the comment section below! Also if you want to read another post with everyone's favourite Nightingale, Molly, have a look at my two Pawsome box reviews here and here!

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16 comments

  1. I have a kittie but I can relate :)

    My cat speaks fluent portuguese (as that is the language we speak at home) :p haha

    too bad about her not being able to have puppies.

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. Haha that's awesome, I actually really love cats!

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  2. What a majestic and beautiful creature! Lovely tips, gosh I really wish I had a pet of my own.. Maybe someday! xxxxx

    www.romantiquely.com

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    1. I know, she's gorgeous isn't she? And hopefully someday! x

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  3. Aww Molly is so cute, lovely post! I think it's important for people to really think about the responsibility of owing a dog. There's nothing wrong with talking to your dog, they are really good listeners. =^-^=

    Sam | Momentarily Dreaming

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    1. Haha yeah definitely, they are good listeners. And yes the responsibility of having a dog is such an important one!

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  4. Molly is gorgeous, awwww! We wanted a dog but finally decided against it because we have a very small backyard and as you said, it's expensive. I'm still shocked by how many people are ignorant of the fact having a pet is like having a child, we need to care for it and pets are not just for fun.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Yeah having a dog is just like having a child, just with a little less work but the same amount of responsibility! And aww yeah, well maybe you'll get one in the future, you never know!

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  5. So many important points here! So many people just want a cute puppy without considering the responsibility that comes with owning a dog and it causes medical problems in dogs who don't know how to look after the breed properly (thinking of dachshunds and their backs) and so much overbreeding! But yes, if you're a responsible dog owners, having a dog is the best thing in the world. Loved this post so much x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

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    1. Aww glad you liked it, hope Hector is doing well! Yeah definitely, I think a lot of people don't really understand some of the medical problems that can happen with dogs and how important things like even the way you hold your dog can be (because of their back legs). Thanks for the comment lovely x

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  6. This is such a lovely post and Molly seems like a lovely dog.
    You brought up some very good points.
    My grandparents breed pekingnese dogs as show dogs.
    The less capable dogs are usually sold off as pets.

    I would love to have a dog. I have my cat but it's not the same.

    Ellen,
    fishnetsxd.blogspot.ie

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    1. Aww thanks Ellen, and yes she is lovely! And that's really cool :)

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  7. great post I like reading something a bit different . I have a cat so I guess I can relate to it! but hopefully in a year or two when my boyfriend and I move to our own house (woopwoop) we'll get a puppy ! i cannot wait. :)

    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Aww that would be amazing, puppies are adorable! :)

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  8. I love this, I might do a post like this too but about my cat. I'll def quote you. Such a great Idea

    check out my newest post
    xx
    Tyana
    cityofglitter.com

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Thanks for your comments, I love reading them and will be sure to visit your blog soon :) have a lovely day!

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