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posted: 8/3/2013 11:06 AM

Responsible owners raise responsible pets

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I just read in your paper the sad story about the poor little Shih Tzu that died from being attacked by a pit bull running loose. I don't blame the dog; I blame the owner for not being a responsible owner.

For the past 11 years, the American Kennel Club has designated the entire month of September as Responsible Dog Ownership Days. September is the month for dog owners young and old to learn how to raise a happy healthy dog that they will keep for the pet's entire life time.

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Dogs are family, and we have become a nation of pet parents. But dogs, like kids, should learn social manners and what is acceptable behavior at home and out in public. Dogs need schooling and they can start schools as young as 12 weeks old.

But that's not to say older dogs wouldn't benefit from school also. By taking your dog to school, you give them mental stimulation, which keeps them out of trouble plus you develop a bond with your dog that is so strong that you or your dog will never want to run away from home.

Responsible dog ownership isn't just about school for dogs; it also stresses the health and safety of the dog and the community. Keeping your dog healthy with proper grooming and vet visits and picking up after your dog helps keep diseases from spreading dog to dog and keeps your community clean and your neighbors happy.

You can find a list of facilities in your area celebrating RDOD on the AKC website.

Mariellen Spiros

Palatine

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