The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter

How Many Dogs Do You Have?


DogsTO have many dogs could be fun. Just imagine having so many boisterous dogs in your compound, pacing up and down your lawn, barking, yapping and whining all at the same time.

Your compound is dignified, accorded respect and becomes a no-go area to aspiring trespassers.

Sometimes, you wonder why you keep so many dogs. As they say, the more, the merrier. But is it true in all circumstances?

“I just love dogs!” “I like them in different breeds.” “I feel I should have every dog on this planet,” some people would say.

Nice, but what about the responsibilities? For me, that is the big question.

It can be a good sight to behold if you have those lovely picturesque kennels we see in storybooks and on television, especially if you have the time and resources and you can afford to keep up with the responsibilities.

It can be a rewarding lifestyle if you can juggle your fancy with the realities in a manner that one will not suffer for the other.

The problem, of course, is when you unnecessarily overstretch your ambition and you begin to bite more than you can chew at any given time.

Many people fail to realise that it is probably better to love a manageable number of dogs and have your peace than to be known as the man with the most and, of course, with most troubles.

Believe me, my conclusion over the years is, less is more rewarding for you and for the dogs.

Most dogs do not prosper unless they get individual attention. When you have fewer dogs, you give each of them quality time. When you have a large number of dogs, you have issues with care, nutrition, hygiene and behaviour.

Sometimes, when you are consumed in your canine world, at least when you try to keep up with your responsibilities with your dogs, and probably want to be given a pass mark by the watching world, you tend to be alone and alienate yourself from the real world.

It could lead to family issues with your wife, husband or children, to an extent your health can also suffer.

The thing is: What point do you have to prove?

Nobody is ultimately interested in your dogs. What they are interested in is how well you are able to keep the few that you have. What inspiration they can draw from interacting with you and what lessons they can possibly learn from your experience.

But when you continue to delude yourself that dogs can only do well when they are with you, the situation assumes an obsessive dimension.

This is in fact a common mistake with dog enthusiasts. They collect too many dogs and because they claim they love them, they assume the dogs will not be happy with anyone else. This is a pure fallacy.

Dogs cannot be possibly happy when they have to compete for your affection and attention. Most of the time, they will probably be happier in other places where they are the focus of attention.

When they are huddled together, a lot of dogs do not express their full potential, because of the more dominant and expressive ones.

Do you realise the enormity of work and time you need to invest in your hobby of keeping too many dogs?

For certain, you will have issues with your vets, most probably over bills. You will certainly cut corners on their foods, giving them unwholesome foods that can only make them obese or gaunt.

They will not have enough exercise. They will not be properly socialized. They will suffer emotional and psychological problems and you will certainly end up with dogs that are unhealthy, social misfits.

So, just what do you gain having a large number of dogs you can’t cope with? You tell me.

Next week, we shall continue the discussion.

No Comments yet