Friday, October 20, 2017

Dogs: A Breeder’s Sales Video

Breeding matters, but for most pet puppies it does not matter nearly as much as some folks think. What matters more is the training and commitment that you, the human, bring to the table.


Jennifer said...

Clever, but a cheap shot. If you wanted a working terrier, would you go to your local shelter and rescue a dog small enough to fit in a fox hole? Or buy from someone you know breeds good working dogs. I agree, there are a lot of crappy breeders whose aims are either grand champion / BIS...or max($$$). But genetics strongly affects temperament, and in many breeds, health, not to mention, conformation. You may disapprove, but many many people keep dogs/pets more for companionship than for work. I do not want a companion that is nervous, stubborn, or aggressive, I want one that is affectionate but not clingy, and generally outgoing. Another person may value dignity and want a dog that is protective.
IMHO, the surest way to pick a companion with the traits you want is to pay a little more and work with a knowledgeable breeder who does health testing and aims for the temperament (or working) traits that I prefer... without inbreeding. Perhaps the $1000 dog is a good middle ground.

PBurns said...

Reading is fundamental. Start with the fact that the first sentence pretty clearly says PET puppies. Also, if you actually hunt, you know a lot of folks that have gotten very good dogs from the local shelter, depending on what they were hunting. Ratters and rabbiting dogs are very easy to find at the pound, and some folks have even found hole dogs there. A good example is the dog to be seen in the post on the "Kill Devil Terrier" -- a dog that came out of a kill shelter, went to ground with me digging on it, and who spent his years as a hawker's dog. I have dug on a very fine rescue dachshund, as well as a few jacks, and a rescue patterdale, all documented on this blog at one time or another.

You are selling the notion that all the dogs down at the shelter have rotten dispositions or temperaments. That's nonsense. I have had a number of shelter dogs with terrific temperaments. In fact, I have never had one that was not a complete rock star. Marley came from a Kill Shelter in West Virginia and Darwin from a kill shelter in North Carolina, while Barney was a dumped dog. All were, and are, biddable love sponges.

As for the notion that breeders are knowledgeable, some are, especially some of the ones that have been in the dogs for more than two decades, but most are throwing genes together and seeing what comes out, same as a blind painter mixing paint. The variation in terms of size and temperament within a litter is often quite amazing. If you have not been breeding a line for 20 years, you probably have no idea what recessive genes are in your own stock, and when a new cross is tried (because you are not inbreeding everything within your own kennel) it's always "hold your breath" time. The folks who really know what they are doing are not breeding a lot of dogs, and their puppies tend to go to folks that they know, or who have waited for a while. On the other hand, most people looking for a dog are looking to get a dog this month at the latest, know no one in the breed, and have the idea that the more they spend on a dog the more likely they are to be buying quality. In fact, it's often quite the opposite. It is a documented fact that pure breeds have more serious health issues than crosses.

Now, did you actually SEE the video? There's no difference between those two dogs. That's the point of the post; it's about training. I will bet that these two dogs are actually out of the same litter. That's the joke inside the joke.

PBurns said...

Shooting out to the field this morning so above note is not quite complete. Read this to see why working dogs often make BAD pets. The code explodes.