As a retired dog trainer who held classes for a number of years, I am appalled by the general public’s lack of knowledge as to dog owning.
DOG RESCUE TODAY IS JUST A BENT AND DENT SALE
Joseph Byer, Jr., Research Editor
Even after 12 years of retirement I get calls from people asking for help. Today a woman called for advice on a dog she recently acquired from rescue. The conversation went something like this:
CALLER: I’m having just the one problem.
ME: Well, I’m retired now but perhaps I could give you some advice. What’s the problem?
CALLER: Well he’s a rescue you know, and when someone comes to the house, he barks and barks. When they come in he continually jumps on people. Today he knocked a man down with his jumping.
ME: Do you use a crate for him?
CALLER: Oh, he won’t go in the crate.
ME: Do you have a leash for him?
CALLER: He doesn’t like the leash. He growls and barks if I try to put one on him.
ME: How do you walk him? You take him out to the bathroom don’t you?
CALLER: Oh, I just open the door and let him out by himself.
With this snippet of the conversation you can see that most people are simply without knowledge of dog behavior and how to manage a dog properly. It is abundantly clear that people who choose rescue dogs are succumbing to the idea of saving a dog from death by adopting it but then they are not equipped to handle the housing and care of said dog.
3-4 million pets are euthanized annually. Rather than concentrate on the “surplus” dogs in this country, rescues are reaching out to Asia, often importing dogs that were bred to be eaten. They bring in Afghanistan and Iraqi street dogs.
Animal transporters travel monthly to Mexico City to empty their dog pounds, bring the dogs back here and adopt them out from Party Buses painted like the Partridge family bus.
For a family to want a rescue dog is understandable. We are bombarded by all sorts of emotional (commercial) messages by the A.S.P.C.A. and rescue organizations that give us an unrealistic view. The education of how to care for rescue dogs is no more than a two page pamphlet printed in a size 8 font that takes magnifying glasses to read.
BUT it is a bit reckless to adopt an imported dog that may carry rabies or a disease we do not inoculate our dogs against, has had little or no medical care of any kind, has received no training at all, and has never heard English spoken.
The shelter dogs in this country are in there for a reason. Mostly it is a behavioral problem or health issue which is sometimes genetic. Despite the emotional lift that people get from saving a rescue, they are totally ill-equipped to live with the consequences. Who among you wants damaged goods - because someone else already didn’t want that dog you are adopting?
Not only did someone not want the dog, while in their house the dog learned all sorts of unwanted behaviors that need professional help in eliminating and they are passing the buck to you.
This is why purebred dogs are a better choice as far as being disease free at purchase time and having had socialization and some initial training. Plus you are getting a clean slate to work with and not a bag of problems to be fixed. There are exceptions but a good breeder will provide the above and more.
Now if Preservationist Breeders of purebred dogs would unite and proclaim the excellence of their product, on the airwaves, on billboards and in print, it might be possible to save and preserve great dogs for generations to come.
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