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lefty's random dog thread. - Page 17

post #241 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post
^^ It's all a crap shoot, Jan.

lefty

What I tell anyone about getting any puppy.
post #242 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post

While working dogs can make decent pets, I don't believe it should be encouraged to the extent that it is now.

FWIW, I know plenty of people that breed decent dogs and make a good living doing so.

I agree and I should be more specific and also put my posts into perspective.

I think far too many people pick dogs as companions based strictly on aesthetics. Now there are a number of breeds of dogs that are on the fringe of what one consider to be almost exclusively a working breed of dog and one that makes a great companion only animal.

Take a foxhound (american/english) for example. I think they are great looking dogs, they are friendly, loyal etc but as companions only they aren't good choices. Their working instincts are so strong they can't really be trusted off leash and most people just don't have the time or inclination to exercise that strong side of them.

Now take a Lab or a GSD, they run the gamut from full on hunting/guard/protection etc dogs to companions only that go only for daily walks and the occasional play. I think they have been bred for so long that there's a great diversification across the lines.

If you look at the English Springer Spaniel for example they have essentially become two separate breeds, one being the field and the other the bench (my old dog was a ESS, bench type).

There are a great number of breeders (and very uninformed potential owners) that like the aesthetic of some of the dog breeds that Jan and you have talked about in this thread that breed/purchase them and really don't know what they are getting themselves into.

As you said there's a lot of difficulty in breeding these dogs and a lot of times breeders are just trying to recoup some of the costs and sell them to people that have no business owning them. I'm not for restricting sale/breeding of particular dogs as I think that is no business for government to be in in the US.

I think it's very difficult for a hobby breeder of pet type dogs to make much money due to the nature of the business. However, I also know that a breeder/trainer of working lines of certain dogs can make very good money. Not too long ago I visited a mutual acquaintance of a good friend of mine that had an amazing GSD. This was a wonderful dog, amazingly well trained a great companion. After we left I was speaking with my friend who knew this person well about the dog, he told me he paid upwards of $30k, with sales like that, yeah a breeder/trainer can make a good living. Most breeders don't fall into that category I would assume.
post #243 of 3745
I think my oldest cattle dog is on her way out She's probably 16 (rescue so we aren't sure) and she's really having a lot of trouble lately
post #244 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kempt View Post
Take a foxhound (american/english) for example. I think they are great looking dogs, they are friendly, loyal etc but as companions only they aren't good choices. Their working instincts are so strong they can't really be trusted off leash and most people just don't have the time or inclination to exercise that strong side of them.

I would think problems with keeping a foxhound would go beyond not being able to trust it off-leash. Anyone who owns a fighting breed like an APBT or Tosa MUST keep it on leash at all times in public, yet they make excellent companion dogs otherwise. I would surmise that a foxhound kept as a predominantly indoor companion dog would suffer severe separation anxieties (given their strong pack drive) and become generally frustrated, neurotic and destructive. I had a Beagle for 13 years back in the '50s. Although he was extremely cute, he was by far the least satisfactory dog I ever owned.

Quote:
Now take a Lab or a GSD, they run the gamut from full on hunting/guard/protection etc dogs to companions only that go only for daily walks and the occasional play. I think they have been bred for so long that there's a great diversification across the lines.

But so often the companion/pet lines lose everything that is admirable about the dog to begin with. I have tremendous respect and admiration for working-stock, hunting-type Labs. Most of the urban companion Labs I see strike me as greedy, overweight, good-for-nothing "Pigradors," as I've heard them called, when they're not total screwballs like the famous (or infamous) Marley. The pet-stock GSDs I've seen in obedience classes certainly belied that noble breed's reputation for excellent trainability. They were generally squirrels! I've seen a lot of hysterically aggressive pet-line GSDs as well.

Quote:
If you look at the English Springer Spaniel for example they have essentially become two separate breeds, one being the field and the other the bench (my old dog was a ESS, bench type).

A number of the bench type Springers I've encountered have been extremely dog-aggressive, which seems very counterproductive for a bird dog that often may have to work in conjunction with other dogs.

Quote:
There are a great number of breeders (and very uninformed potential owners) that like the aesthetic of some of the dog breeds that Jan and you have talked about in this thread that breed/purchase them and really don't know what they are getting themselves into.

I don't think the problem is so much uninformed breeders as dishonest breeders who will say anything to make a sale. I know in the Tosa world a lot of people would be taken by the Tosa's beauty and mellow, attractive temperament and then be taken in by unethical breeders who would downplay the Tosa's potential for dog-aggression and sell Tosas into multi-dog households, often with tragic results, both for the other dogs, the owners and the Tosas.

Quote:
As you said there's a lot of difficulty in breeding these dogs and a lot of times breeders are just trying to recoup some of the costs and sell them to people that have no business owning them. I'm not for restricting sale/breeding of particular dogs as I think that is no business for government to be in in the US.

I think it's very difficult for a hobby breeder of pet type dogs to make much money due to the nature of the business. However, I also know that a breeder/trainer of working lines of certain dogs can make very good money. Not too long ago I visited a mutual acquaintance of a good friend of mine that had an amazing GSD. This was a wonderful dog, amazingly well trained a great companion. After we left I was speaking with my friend who knew this person well about the dog, he told me he paid upwards of $30k, with sales like that, yeah a breeder/trainer can make a good living. Most breeders don't fall into that category I would assume.

Mighty hard for an ethical breeder to make any amoung of money, much less a "living" off breeding dogs. At least that's my observation. I am assuming the $30K GSDs were sold as already trained young adults.
post #245 of 3745
All those things you mentioned about the foxhound are true, again why they aren't such great indoor companion only dogs. A lot of the scent hounds fall into this category IMO. However, if you're a bloodhound owner for example and you have the willingness to work with your dog and train it to become a rescue dog which takes a lot of time/effort on your part I think they can make great companions because you are exercising that part of their drive. I've heard that said about dog aggression in bench Springers. I've also never encountered it myself. My old dog was extremely friendly, to a fault, with people. If you fed it it would go home with you, but I didn't really hold that against him. He wasn't really dog aggressive except with other very dominant dogs. I do attend dog shows mainly because I like interacting with the dogs and at the smaller events give you a lot of time to learn about the breed by talking to the owners etc. I don't really have any interest in conformation, but I do like to watch the obedience/rally events. You're right, the GSD mentioned was an already trained young adult when he bought it. The owner was obviously wealthy and got what he wanted with minimal time investment. I agree, I do think it's difficult to make money let alone a living off breeding dogs ethically, I was trying to put what lefty said in perspective with my own experiences (which are I am sure much less then yours and his). I'm currently looking at getting an English Cocker Spaniel. I've been looking at breeders for over a year and fortunately found one in my area that I believe to be extremely ethical. I am SURE her and husband do not make money doing what they do. They are extremely involved hobby breeders. In fact she maintains thorough records of ALL her litters (which she generally only has 1 every other year or so. You can actually go back and see how long past litters have lived, any and all health issues etc. I've met other owners of her dogs and judged their temperaments. It's sad to say, but a lot of dog breeds due to unfortunate genetics just don't live long. I also completely agree with your assessment on Vet costs. It's really getting out of hand which is the MAIN hold up to me getting a dog at the moment. I have a fear if I do finally go out to see this breeders puppies at the end of the month it may be a done deal despite my worries!!
post #246 of 3745
^The one English Cocker I had any experience with seemed like a very nice dog indeed--a total contrast to all the American Cockers I've had any experience with. All of them were nasty customers...although I suppose there must be some few nice ones out there, somewhere.

As I have mentioned previously, the business of vet costs has been a major deterrent to my getting a new dog, especially since I am considering retiring soon, whereupon my income will decline appreciably. I can't help wondering whether the veterinary profession may be cutting their own throat in the long run by discouraging pet ownership.
post #247 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
^The one English Cocker I had any experience with seemed like a very nice dog indeed--a total contrast to all the American Cockers I've had any experience with. All of them were nasty customers...although I suppose there must be some few nice ones out there, somewhere.

As I have mentioned previously, the business of vet costs has been a major deterrent to my getting a new dog, especially since I am considering retiring soon, whereupon my income will decline appreciably. I can't help wondering whether the veterinary profession may be cutting their own throat in the long run by discouraging pet ownership.


To be honest I had always assumed an English Cocker had much the same personality as the American given their close relation. It sounds like we've had much the same experience with the American variety, aside from the fact that physically I don't find them very aesthetically appealing, their personalities were always atrocious.

From what I have read as I did research on the ECS, the American CS experienced an explosion in popularity and unscrupulous breeders took advantage and bred them without regard for health or temperament. I've read prior to the 1950s they were very different dogs, especially with regards to temperament.

As for the vets, due to all the horror stories I may contemplate pet insurance. From the quotes I've seen it's relatively reasonable.
post #248 of 3745
Thread Starter 
Vet bills are out of hand, but I think you'd be better off putting $35/mth in a separate account and using that if your dog needs surgery rather than taking out an insurance policy. Chances are your dog will only need it when he is older at which point you should have a decent fund built up. And if he doesn't need it, bonus time.

One of the big problems with slack standards in purebreds dogs is that the governing breed clubs care little for maintaining breed temperament standards.

lefty
post #249 of 3745
Thread Starter 
Local news piece on the HSUS, their 100 million budget and their lack of support to local shelters. http://www.vidoosh.tv/play.php?vid=4360 lefty
post #250 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by unjung View Post
For the record my two most recent dogs were purebred Belgian Malinois. Both died early - one of leukemia at six, the other of a seizure at 10 months.


Y'know, the more I've been thinking about this post, the more disturbing I find it.

I mean, here we have an extremely "natural" dog, similar in size and appearance to wolves, jackals and coyotes, one of the most athletic of all dogs, a breed that is still very largely a working breed (and arguably the best at what it does well) and purpose-bred, yet still your dogs were "croakers." It strongly reinforces my opinion that dogs in general are by and large very unhealthy animals.
post #251 of 3745
Thread Starter 
He didn't say where his mals were from, but in general they are fairly healthy when compared to most purebreds. Even so, still a crap shoot.

lefty
post #252 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post
Y'know, the more I've been thinking about this post, the more disturbing I find it.

I mean, here we have an extremely "natural" dog, similar in size and appearance to wolves, jackals and coyotes, one of the most athletic of all dogs, a breed that is still very largely a working breed (and arguably the best at what it does well) and purpose-bred, yet still your dogs were "croakers." It strongly reinforces my opinion that dogs in general are by and large very unhealthy animals.


Been thinking about this point and there are something interesting things to keep in mind. Dogs do not have the same metabolism as humans, obviously, and there are a great many compounds we come into contact with in our daily lives that may or may not be harmful to us but ARE harmful to animals.

A lot of these things can be cancer causing or otherwise lead to disease. It would be interesting to determine mortality rates of breeds as a function of location. Something tells me the more rural farm dogs have longer life spans (this is ignoring morbidity due to accidents/obesity etc). Obviously there are simply too many uncontrollable variables to draw serious conclusions, but it would be interesting to see the data.
post #253 of 3745
Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty View Post
I have a great love for Boxers. It was my first breed and still ranks as a great all around companion.


We miss our boxer, Panzer, desperately. She had the sweetest demeanor, and she was just an absolute clown. Next dog we get will definitely be another boxer... even if that one lasts only eight years, too. They are just an incredible breed.

Panzer:


In this pic you can see where her neck was shaved to do a biopsy. It confirmed lymphoma. We lost her a few weeks after this photo was taken. My daughter jumps for joy and calls every boxer we see "Panzer"! It's a bit and a bit at the same time. It leaves me a bit .
post #254 of 3745
Thread Starter 
Something special about Boxers and kids.

lefty
post #255 of 3745
Thread Starter 
Some environmental training with Presas.



lefty
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