Canine Pamphlet

Canine Pamplet
written by Herder Lena


Several responsibilities are involved in owning a canine. Although in general these duties are meant to be fun and enlightening, they have a tendency to become forgotten and neglected. The following pamphlet is to inform any canine owners of their priorities in the ownership of one of these attention-needing animals.

OOC Note

I have created this pamphlet in hopes that IC realities will be recognized in the future ownerships of canines (and any other pet for that matter). I feel that as a Herder, I hold some amount of responsibility in seeing to it that the puppies we breed are taken good care of and that their owners do not neglect them. I view this as a very IC matter, people are lazy and don't see canine-ownership as a serious one. For instance, a parentless child of 4 Turns (just an example) could by no means own a pet. Who would pay for food? Who would clean it? Watch it? Walk it? With the information following, I hope to remind people that ICly, a canine is a big responsibility.

Love, Respect, and Entertainment

Canines require a lot of attention, physically and emotionally. From the moment your pup is handed over to you, it is immensely important it gets a lot of love and respect. Being gentle with a small puppy is for the most part required, even in the case of it disobeying you, it is important not to become violent. When a pup is young, entertainment is more important than rules. Playing with your small canine will get it used to people and being handled, an important factor when training an older pup. A canine treated with little respect or love as a pup is most likely to turn out either frightened of people, or violent towards them when they are older.

The Costly Responsibilities

Aside from emotional attention, canines are in serious need of somewhat expensive care. These obligations include food, healing, and exercise.

Like people, it is critical for canines to live on a well-balanced diet. This includes meats and fruits, along with an endless supply of water. Contrary to popular belief, canines can not live primarily on table scraps tossed onto the floor. They need food specialized for their needs, fed to them in their own dish. This is most necessary in the case of water — try holding out a handful of water for your canine to drink out of your hand.

Healing is also a very important factor in canine-ownership. If your canine gets ill, it is a necessity that a herder or a healer is contacted right away. What may seem as a little tiredness or lack of energy could quite possibly be something more serious. Canines also need to be groomed regularly to keep up healthy hygiene, this includes combing, toenail-clipping, and routine examinations of their teeth and ears.

Exercise can be a costly responsibility when it comes to canines. In order to be taken on walks, a puppy needs a leash and collar. Toys and tools used to keep your canine in shape don't exactly appear out of thin air, either. Training is for the most part the same, you need something to reward your pet with in the case they obey you, and during the actual training certain tools and objects are needed.

Constant Supervision

A young puppy cannot be left unattended. Their owner is held responsible for seeing to it that the young animal is watched over, to avoid the pup escaping, destroying everything in sight, or in the case of a violent canine, the owner must see to it that their pet does not harm anyone. Unless trained otherwise, adult canines will probably escape when let loose. Once free of their owner, the animal is likely to chase down other animals, make a mess of someone else's property, or possibly even attack other living beings. When in public, an owner should have good control over their canine. This could be by a good communication and obedience, or simply by restraining the animal on a leash.

Avoiding Unwanted Puppies

Proddyness. Need I say more? A proddy female canine should by no means be let near a male canine, unless her owner wishes to breed their pet. These periods of sexual excitement occur only in females, every six months for three days. Males are capable of mating at any point in time, it is just a matter of when they can get close to a proddy female.

Communication/Understanding Your Canine

Communication is the key when getting along with and training a puppy. If a puppy is communicated to in a positive way from birth, it is most likely to grow up to be an obedient canine as an adult. In training, if a pup knows who's boss, teaching it to perform certain tasks will come as a much easier job.

This concept goes both ways. If you can understand what your pup is thinking and what he or she reacts to, then you are bound to have an easier time with it. For instance, if a puppy is disobedient, firmly telling it, "bad" or "no," is much more appropriate than a smack across the face. Abusing your canine will only result in a bitter animal later on in life, however speaking firmly and angrily to it whenever it's bad will teach it that whenever it's owner says these things, they're doing something wrong. At the same rate, rewarding a pup with a treat, a pat on the head, or a "good boy/girl" will teach the animal that what they did was positive, thus leading them to remember the task and repeating it.

Understanding the basics of a canine's behavior is very important. If you have a good understanding of a canine's signals and reactants, then you should for the most part be able to avoid being attacked or bitten. For instance, on approaching an unfamiliar canine, running past it will only trigger the animal to chase you down. On the other hand, ignoring the canine may make it suspicious of you. Finding a median between the two attitudes is important. Being friendly and calm, along with speaking in a mellow tone to the dog will provide it with less reason to attack you. Observing the canine's behavior is important as well. Do not take barking as a signal to run, even a friendly canine will bark if someone is intruding upon their territory. A canine that remains back and still upon your arrival will likely be too scared to attack. A wagging tail signals a friendly animal. However, if a canine stiffens up, holds its tail high, snarls, and stares at you, this is a canine to be wary of.

OOC: RPing With Your Canine

Roleplaying with a pup or canine can open a new door to poses and ideas. However, ICly this brings on several problems. In the 'real world', when you first get a puppy, it is not trained to come to the call of its name, sit, heel, or anything , for that matter. Walking around with a perfectly obedient pup at your heels isn't the least bit IC. Try RPing training your pup, I guarantee it'll produce several new things to RP about, and I know that for many of you it's hard to find RP sometimes. If you're unaware of how to go about training a pup, read the previous chapter for some more information, or if you'd like a more detailed explanation, @send a herder (such as Myra) asking for some tips and/or guidelines.

For many of you, it'd be the most IC to have a wild canine. Not everyone is skilled in puppy-training, after all. RPing a restless, disobedient pup is much more exciting and interesting, anyway. ICly there should be only a few REALLY obedient canines, for the most part owned by Herders, but unfortunately in our case there are way too many. Basic commands like coming to the call of its name and heeling and sitting are about as far as it should go, and they shouldn't have these tricks mastered as soon as you @chown them.

Converted to HTML from (#2998)Canine Pamphlet on the Harper's Tale MOO on Wed Jul 10 00:45:26 1996 CDT.
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