A dog's life

Providing companionship, loyalty and laughter

WRITTEN BY JULIE SCHILLINGS

Research shows that
petting a dog boosts mood-enhancing hormones

Research shows that petting a dog boosts mood-enhancing hormones

Dogs are unmatched in their loyalty, friendship and devotion to their human. Bursting with excitement when master comes home, wagging tails in anticipation of a game of fetch and nuzzling in with the family are just a few of the reasons that dogs have earned their role as man’s best friend.

Anyone who has ever loved a dog can attest to the benefit and rewards of ownership. Over 46 million homes in America include dogs, and 90% of owners consider their pet a part of the family. Research has shown that dog owners have more active lifestyles, lower blood pressure and are less likely to get sick than their dog-less counterparts. One study has even linked people experiencing a boost in mood-enhancing hormones while petting a dog.

Choosing to bring a dog into your family is an important decision. Owners must be prepared to provide food, shelter, training, medical care and so much more. Raising a happy, healthy dog requires commitment and patience. Animal care experts throughout Wichita share some ways that families can select, train, care for and pamper their pooch.

Pick of the litter

Many factors should be taken into consideration when choosing your ideal canine companion. It is easy to fall in love with a litter of puppies and find yourself with a dog that is not the right fit for your family. Research is an important part of the process, and it will help you make an informed decision with both your head and your heart.

Identifying the type of dog that matches your lifestyle is key to a long and successful relationship. A dog’s size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness and compatibility with children should all factor into your decision. Characteristics and temperaments of purebred dogs are a valuable resource made available by the American Kennel Club. For the past 22 years the beloved Labrador Retriever has held the number one spot as America’s most adored dog.

Socialization with other dogs is 
an important element of training

Socialization with other dogs is an important element of training

The Kansas Humane Society is dedicated to matching owners with their ideal pet to ensure placement with their forever family. The adoption process begins with a survey which helps potential owners identify which type of dog fits their unique lifestyle. The “Meet Your Match” system color codes adoptable pets by personality type to assist families in identifying their future companion. The Humane Society offers training classes and even carries all the supplies needed when adopting a new furry friend. Mixed breeds and purebred dogs, ranging from playful pups to loyal seniors can be found for adoption at the many rescue groups and facilities in Wichita.

Eager to please

Dogs inherently strive to please their owners, and obedience training teaches dogs how to appropriately get the attention they desperately seek and manage their energy. Proper dog training encompasses much more than come, sit and stay. Socialization and good manners are also important. Award winning trainer at Chisholm Creek, Beth Ericson, says that the biggest mistake dog owners make is lack of consistency. “Every time owners interact with their dog is a training opportunity,” Ericson explains. An owner’s commitment to consistent rules in class and at home will achieve the desired results. A dogs’ training should continue until they are socially mature, or about two-years-old.

Basic manners include teaching your dog to sit politely, refrain from jumping, come when called, leash walking and not disturbing others’ property or food. Ericson works with owners and pets of any age but especially enjoys competitive obedience training, jumping and training dogs to perform therapy services in the community.

 
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