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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday's "Living With Your Pet" Tips: The Canine Bill Of Rights

Photo of Cesar Millan with the copy of the U.S. Constitution he received when he became a U.S. citizen.

Did you know that today is officially, by Presidential Proclamation, the Bill of Rights Day? And Cesar Millan has chosen today to issue his own Canine Bill of Rights, 10 "freedoms" for dogs of all nationalities. How about "The Right To Be Respected As a Living Being" or "The Right To Never Be Abandoned" or even, "The Right To Be A Dog", among others? Do you think these are "rights" that every dog in the world should have? We do!

And spend a few minutes to take a closer look at how Mr. Millan explains these rights. For example, when you buy or adopt a puppy or dog, it's for life. This means that if a dog has behavioral issues, you, the owner, owe it to your dog to help him or her work through those issues, rather than, say, return them to the shelter or dump them on the road. Even though this advice seems pretty obvious, it probably happens thousands of times a day in this country alone. One of our favorites is "The Right To Be A Dog". As Millan says: "We don't do our dogs any favors by treating them like human children. They neither expect nor can handle such responsibility."

Although the words of this Canine Bill of Rights are fairly clear on their face, how they play out in practical application and how intertwined each of them are is what's most interesting to us. It takes a lot of time and patience to properly train and socialize a dog (granted, some dogs are easier than others!). But the more time you devote to creating a "balanced" dog, through exercise discipline and affection, the more time you spend making sure that your dog is free of anxiety and unacceptable behaviors, the more places you and your dog can enjoy together—see Right #9, The Right To Take Part In Our World.

Let us know what you think of Cesar's Canine Bill of Rights!

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