Just about every week you can find a story somewhere about a dog.

Canines have been part of the Kiwi way of life for years whether they be a household pet or a pack of working dogs kept in kennels on the farm.

But in recent years man's best friend is forever hitting the headlines and usually for the wrong reasons.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. They are not like cats which, if they need to, can fend for themselves.

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Dogs need constant care and attention, so think very carefully about giving in to the begging of children who spy the cutest little puppy they have ever seen in the pet shop.

We know what children are like. They love to cuddle the animals but when it comes to feeding, and caring for their pets, most children suddenly have homework or another pressing engagement to attend to. And those cute puppies grow into dogs which need even more attention.

The care falls to the parents and this is where it sometimes comes unstuck.

If mum and dad are too busy, or let's face it, too lazy, to make sure the dog is fed, exercised and taught rules, the animal ends up neglected and uncontrollable.

Dogs must be taught how to behave in public. They need to know it's not okay to chase cars, and bikes.

Owners should have control over their dogs at all times. If they are off the leash the owner must be confident that the dog will obey his every command.

Maybe if all dogs were cared for as they should we wouldn't be reading about them in the news all the time.