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It's a Dog's Life
Stephanie "Foster Mom" O'Brien

How Much Is That Doggy In The Window.....Too Much!!

Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at 5:25 PM
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  • Good advice, BUT with a responsible breeder, you may not be able to see the dad. Good breeders often use stud service from another breeder to avoid inbreeding and make the best possible pairing. Many do not even own a male. In this case, just ask for proof of the father's genetic tests. A good breeder will never use a stud without this proof.

    Also, while I very much encourage adoption, if you must be sure of a dog's temperament and health, buy from a good breeder. If you can handle the possibility of genetic problems and just need to be sure of temperament, adopt an adult. Many adopted dogs come from bad or unknown backgrounds. These dogs need loving homes, too, but they may not be right for you. It's better to get the right match for your family and situation than adopt a dog out of sympathy only to have to turn around and give it up again. If you're not sure about a dog, work with a rescue that needs foster homes. You can try out several dogs while helping the rescue at the same time. You might fall in love with the first one, or you may foster several before you find your new family member.

    -- Posted by withbaitedbreath on Sat, Sep 29, 2012, at 10:06 AM
  • You have some valid points withbaitedbreath, and I appreciate your insight. However, just because a dog is of a certain breed does not mean that it's temperament will be a certain way. Dogs are individuals and can have individual personalities. They also are a products of their guardian. Just like kids, they act the way they have been taught, or not for that matter.

    Go to any shelter, rescue, look on any Craig's List ad and you will see over and over, ''Don't have time for the dog'', ''We are moving and can't take the dog'', Having a baby and can't keep the dog''. It has nothing to do with the behavior of the dog, but rather that of the owner. Any responsible shelter or rescue will not adopt out a dog that has human aggression issues. If you have a dog with these types of issues, you need to get help from a trainer or have the dog humanely euthanized.

    Most shelters and rescue also temperament test their dogs before adopting them out. If you work with a foster organization, you will have a pretty clear understanding of the dogs personality. Shelters can be an extremely stressful environment for any animal. Walk down the halls of the kennels and listen to the barking, watch the jumping, smell all of the different smells, and tell me you wouldn't be a bit on edge. Take a dog out of that environment and you may have a completely different dog. Make sure you talk to the animals caregivers and ask all of those concerning questions, but remember a dog lives in the moment and does not let the past define him. I've seen many scared, over zealous, and shy dogs blossom into wonderful family pets because someone took the time to work with them and teach them manners.

    As far as breeding dogs to be mans best friend, I see no reason for it. Do you really think that every dog a breeder sells lives happily ever after with its original owner? If they did, we wouldn't be euthanizing as many dogs each year as are born. If they did, I wouldn't be donating thousands of dollars and countless hours to save them.

    -- Posted by Foster Mom on Mon, Oct 1, 2012, at 4:29 PM
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