Owning Nico has given me another rude reminder that people always like to think that they know better, even when their opinion is neither wanted nor asked for. Everyone thinks they know how to raise my dog and more importantly that they have the right to tell me this. They don’t. The fact is, Nico is my puppy and it isn’t like I’m going into this blind. I have been around dogs before with family and I’ve done my research. I’ve talked to behaviorists vets plus I’ve read books and blogs and papers on the matter. I’m probably in the minority given I’ve done that much. I don’t pluck my facts from thin air when I defend my choices with Nico but the fact is I shouldn’t have to.
I think many people believe that they have learned about one breed of dog and therefore know about them all but a Pug is very different from a Labrador and a Poodle a very different kettle of fish than a Dalmatian. Different dogs have different needs and capabilities and all my readings and experience with dogs have taught me that I need to respect that. I’m not an expert on my dog and I’m certainly not an expert on yours but I’m not trying to be. I’m trying to learn and do the best for my pup. I’m learning about his breed. I’m trying to find his limits. To me, you can’t even compare Nico to adults of the same breed because Nico is not an adult, he is a child. His bones have yet to set and he is still learning about the world around him. He isn’t even in his ‘teenage’ years by dog standards. No, he won’t be walking the same miles every day that an older dog of the same breed might enjoy and he certainly won’t need, or want, the exercise regime of a working dog. He is a little dog, with little feet, that has his own needs and I aim to meet them and not the expectations of others.
So what is important? Loving him. That is what I really think.