|06-08-2014 11:05 AM|
As a former steward, I often let the other side talk as much as they liked. Yep, people love to talk. Especially about themselves. You get things you would never get by asking a specific question. Put it on their shoulders.
I see your point on a first dog and no vet. That would be a tough decision depending on the breed involved maybe. Training would kind of go hand in hand as far as the experience aspect too.
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|06-07-2014 11:09 PM|
Sure I want people to have a solid fence. I hope they are not going to just position the dog in the back yard and leave it there. But taking the dog out in the morning to potty without a lead, the dog is definitely safer if there are fencing around. And yet a conscientious owner with some experience can be trusted to train and bond with the dog before allowing any time off lead if he has no fence. But you can only get a feel for that if you talk to the people.
You have to judge people. There is no way around that. If you judge wrong, a pup gets run over by a school bus, or poisoned in the woods. A couple of these horror stories, and you get to the point where you don't want to give a puppy to anyone.
When people are stroking the little eight week old puppy and are asking you when they can put a prong collar or e-collar on it, you have to check your emotional response and answer the question -- at least they are asking. And they are legitimate methods of training, even if I do not like them.
The same with raw feeding. I might not feed raw because I do not feel that I researched it enough to properly feed raw. I can skip a meal a few times a week and hand out chicken hindquarters. But others may indicate that they are going to feed raw. I have to decide whether those people have done their research on it, and know the MM OM ratios etc., or are they just going to throw some chicken at the dog each day.
I listen a LOT. People like to talk, and they tell you all kinds of stuff.
If a breeder asks for your veterinarian's name, they may just be looking for hesitation. If you are unconcerned about giving it, they may not even check. I really don't know if veterinarians will give reference checks. They may recommend breeders to people -- they have asked me if I mind. But, I think what the breeders are doing for the most part is getting a feel for your level or consideration when it comes to your pup's health maintenance. Do you have a veterinarian? People talk about their experiences. And you can get a feel for whether or not they are going to be responsible with the puppy. Some people want to vaccinate and vet less, and for some things less is more. At the same time, people need to be willing to accept that veterinary care and expense is part of the responsibility of owning a critter.
Some people are getting their first critter. And, no, they will not have a trainer or a vet history. It is not a red flag, but it is a yellow flag, and it means talking to these people a little more extensively and impressing upon them that they can call you if they have a problem, etc. Breeders have to sell to first time buyers, because these people are going to get a dog from somewhere. We may have to do some education. And at the end of the day, people will probably do what their family did or what their vet says. So talking about family pets, etc, is worthwhile. Very few people have no experience at all.
|06-07-2014 05:56 PM|
An interesting thing brought up here is the health care question. How can a breeder be confident that a buyer will provide the best care for the dog? It seems like a huge trust thing. It fits in with other aspects or types of care. Would it be beneficial to provide a veterinarian reference to the breeder for a contact? Or since the breeder may be in another state and doesn't know the veterinarian, this wouldn't make any difference?
Training aspect also. Would providing a trainers contact reference be worth the time? Would it cover doubts or concerns along the lines of training? Selzer also mentioned e-collars. I have never ued an e-collar on a dog until recently. Being this is a method of training, would there be sufficient reasoning for the buyer to have used an e-collar previously? How would a breeder sort this out or would it be an automatic red flag? Again, would referring a trainer be useful for the breeder, or again, still a red flag?
Ok, along the fence no fence discussion, let me state this. I used to be an owner that left my dog outside. Growing up, it was just that way. Animals belong outside. I have since learned with these dogs, it's far better to have them with you than not. Let me add that now we always have our pets inside. We couldn't imagine leaving them outdoors anymore. We have done this for the last 15 yrs of being a GSD owner. Would this statement be alarming to a breeder because of the prior frame of mind? Or / and open the door to follow up questions?
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|06-06-2014 12:04 AM|
A fenced yard is similar. There are not a lot of fenced yards I would trust a dog to be left in while the owner goes about his business in the house or out of it. Dogs dig under, and climb over fences. People need to go out with the dog, unless they truly have a fence that is sufficient.
People seem to think that if you put a dog in a back yard by itself, it will not get into trouble and it will exercise itself. What often happens is the dog gets teased through the fence, fence fights with the neighbors dog, gets out of it and gets smooshed in the road. Or worse.
But I listen to this, and I ask a question or two. It is usually followed by, "oh yeah, well we have an e-collar and we'll train the dog to stay on the property.
No doubt some people can, but as a breeder you have to decide if the 12 pound fur ball that you were hugging this morning, should go to someone that might put an e-collar on it to train it to stay on the property?
|06-06-2014 12:04 AM|
I'm a foster, not a breeder, but I would venture to guess that what I look for in a home is not dissimilar.
Ultimately everything just comes down to the question of "is this person likely to make the dog happy, and is this dog likely to make the person happy?"
I'll use my current foster dog, Queenie, as an example. She's a very smart dog, medium-high energy, likes to work, super fun and easy to train. She'd make a great little sport dog for a novice or casual competitor in agility, Rally, flyball, or any number of similar sports. (For all I know, she might be great in the hands of a more experienced/serious competitor, too, but once you start getting to the Seriously Serious homes, I am a lot more cautious about making promises, because I don't want to be blamed if somebody is unable to achieve high-level goals with one of my dogs. I'll be honest about whatever potential I do or don't see in a foster, but I won't promise anything.)
Queenie would also be a good match for an active pet home, as she does not have any serious behavioral issues, she's very sociable and affiliative, she has no problem co-existing with other dogs, small pets, kids, etc., and she is both playful and cuddly.
But she can be mouthy, especially when she's frustrated (I've reduced this to almost nothing, but bad habits have a way of popping back up with an owner who doesn't know how to prevent or fix them), she's high-energy enough that she would not be appropriate for a completely sedentary owner, and I don't want to see her get bored or squandered in a home that won't engage her brain. She needs someone who will encourage her good traits and keep her not-so-hot ones from running wild.
So once we get past the basic threshold of "I can trust this person not to actually abuse, neglect, or dump my dog," I'm looking for somebody who fits the best possible profile for Queenie.
Demonstrated experience and success in some form of advanced training is always a huge plus with me, but the truth is, there are not that many good performance homes out there (or work homes, probably, but I'm not placing foster dogs in working roles so I don't really know anything about that), and those people are constantly having dogs thrown at them, so the stars really have to align for one of my guys to have a shot at a home like that.
I will also look for active pet homes where the owners are interested in doing some type of advanced training (and I count anything! Doesn't have to be a formal sport! Might just be the "fetch me a beer" trick!) but haven't actually tried it yet, and/or have dabbled in some kind of sport but aren't very serious, and/or will give the dog lots of mental and physical exercise in some alternative way, such as lots of outdoor hiking in varied terrain. Most of my foster dogs end up in these homes.
Homes I avoid are ones where the people have wacky and strongly held ideas about how to train or care for their dogs, where their expectations are completely unrealistic (particularly with respect to Queenie, since a fair number of people seem to harbor the delusion that a dog with a novice trick title will be a perfect push-button robot for them in every and any environment), or where I have doubts about the quality of care and interaction that my dog would get in that home. I'm not going to place a dog in a home that just wants some furry furniture to lie around the floor in front of the TV.
In short, what I'm trying to figure out is which home will provide the maximum value of Love + Knowledge + Commitment.
Any home that scores low on one or more of those three things, and where the owner has no interest in changing it (which is to say: I don't expect first-time owners to know everything; I do expect them to make an effort to learn as much as possible), is not getting one of my dogs.
Any home that scores high on all three, well, I will do a secret little dance of joy and then I will throw my dog at them as hard as I can.
|06-05-2014 10:02 PM|
Alexg, I never said that you were incapable of owning a dog because you do not have a backyard. I do not know you or your situation so I cannot possibly judge. I was actually referring to myself because in my short life we have always had a backyard as I live on a farm, so we really have a huge backyard. I thought it would be important as in many of these puppy questionnaires they ask if you have a backyard, and also ask to see photos of it and wish to know the official layout.
I am sorry if I did offend you and others who do not have backyards, as that was never my intention. I am sorry that you read it that way and I will try and pick my words more carefully next time.
|06-05-2014 11:52 AM|
Ok, we're straying off topic here. I'm more interested in what breeders are saying. If you don't like a comment, it's ok to disagree, but lets not turn this into a slugfest of wills. I would like to keep this thread on a peaceful level of discussion.
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|06-04-2014 11:03 PM|
|alexg||not targeted, just annoyed by ignorant statements.|
|06-04-2014 10:59 PM|
|Castlemaid||Geez alex, let it be! If it makes you feel any better, I don't have a fenced yard either and I don't feel personally judged or attacked at all. If you are comfortable and self-assured that you can keep your dog safe without a fenced yard, not sure why you would feel targeted by a general comment.|
|06-04-2014 10:47 PM|
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