10 Commandments of Dog Ownership

Your dog is counting on you to be a responsible pet parent.
i dog image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com

Some people adopt dogs on impulse without giving much thought to how it will affect them or the dog later on. Written from the perspective of a dog, "The 10 Commandments of Dog Ownership" encourages potential dog owners to think carefully before buying or adopting a dog.


"The 10 Commandments of Dog Ownership" was written in 1993 by British dog behaviorist and obedience trainer, Stan Rawlinson.


The fundamental idea behind "The 10 Commandments of Dog Ownership" is to encourage dog owners to understand and follow the guidelines for responsible pet parenting.


The "10 Commandments of Dog Ownership" focuses on the relationship between a dog and his owner as described from the viewpoint of a dog. Commitment, patience, kindness and understanding are persistent themes throughout and serve to remind dog owners that bringing a new dog into the family is a serious matter with long-term consequences.


The "10 Commandments of Dog Ownership" reads as follows:

“My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful. Remember that before you buy me.”

“Give me time to understand what you want from me. Don’t be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.”

“Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned, not given as an inalienable right.”

“Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment; I am not capable of understanding why. I only know I have been rejected. You have your work, entertainment, and friends, but I only have you.”

“Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I do understand your voice and your tone. You only have to look at my tail.”

“Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it, and if it’s cruel, it may affect me forever.”

“Please don’t hit me. I can’t hit back, but I can bite and scratch, and I really don’t ever want to do that.”

“Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right foods or I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak. It may be I am just dog-tired.”

“Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort, and attention.”

“Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, ‘I can’t bear to watch’ or ‘Let it happen in my absence.’ Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, regardless of what you do, I will always love you.”

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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