Crazy life these days – barely time to sleep so I haven’t posted in quite a while.
Pups are great. I found out their birthday was April 26th, so tomorrow they’ll be a month old! I thought they were younger, based on their development, but I guess if Lucy was malnourished when she was pregnant it could have an effect on that. I’ve got this insane socialization schedule planned for them. I’ll write it up soon and post. Let me know if you have any crazy socialization ideas for me to expose them to. They’re growing like weeds and are barking and tugging and playing already. I’m just beginning to wean them, though they much prefer momma’s milk. She’s being nice and letting them nurse even with super sharp puppy teeth.
OK, now for my rant.
I was walking one of my clients, Frisco. Frisco’s a huge (85#) long haired German Shepherd. Think coolest, awesomest, most beautiful dog imaginable, and you’ve got Frisco. Add in a blue backpack, a head halter, a clicker, and a bag of treats, and we’re quite a sight together.
He LOVES other dogs and blows up into a ball of frustrated reactivity when he sees other dogs and can’t get to them. So we’re working on keeping his brain functioning when he sees other dogs. We run into a cute 6 mo GSD female with her owners. I ask them if she’s friendly, and if they wouldn’t mind helping us train by just waiting there and we’ll make our way towards them (I use penalty yards when he pulls and/or barks, so it can take a while for us to actually greet). They were excited to meet Frisco, so they waited for us.
Two penalty yards in, the guy shouted out that I needed to put a choke chain on Frisco. Ugh. Gag. My desire to work Frisco to meet their dog just dropped exponentially. Thankfully Frisco caught on to the game quickly and walked beautifully for me over to their pup. I proceeded to explain that their dog (wearing a prong collar) only learned to escape pain, whereas Frisco was learning to actually walk nicely. I also told them that those collars can create and exacerbate aggression in dogs.
Next the guy proceeded to tell me that Frisco is, in fact, a Belgian Shepherd. Because he heard it from some guy who was an “expert.” Right. I won’t go into that snippet, he didn’t make much sense and I don’t think he took in much of what I was saying. But it led to him stating that all Search and Rescue dogs are “those Belgian dogs” because “you know, they’re lighter on their feet and smell good.” When I told him that yes, many SAR dogs are GSDs, but there are also plenty of Labs, and GASP even Pit Bulls, as well as lots of mixed breed dogs, he gave me the stink eye and ignored me.
Then we hit the money. His dog wasn’t spayed and just got through her first heat (Frisco was really giving her a good sniffing). And he asked me if he could breed Frisco to her. So then I tried to get in some information on the millions of dogs and cats euthanized every year, and that they could get a puppy from a shelter and save two lives, and that they’re not professional breeders, and don’t actually know what they’re doing, and their dog’s only 6 months old, how could they know they wanted to breed her, they don’t even know if she’s passed her health checks or what her adult personality will be like. And then they really gave it to me. They got her from a pet store. And tried to convince me that pet stores “won’t just sell a puppy to anyone.” Right. They said they paid $2,500 for their pup. I told them that anyone who walked into the store with that money would walk out with a dog. And that frankly, they got ripped off, seeing as their dog most likely came from a puppy mill and really wasn’t a great specimen of her breed (in the short time I was there she showed some worrisome nervousness, especially for a dog her age).
And to top it ALL off. This guy drives up in a huge SUV and shouts out the window that he’s got this gorgeous GSD from Germany who he wants to breed but he can’t find a good bitch. And the people I was “chatting” with then began to swap numbers so they could breed their dog. Meanwhile I’m yelling at all of them that they have no business breeding dogs at all.
I nearly lost my shit right there.
In order to keep my shit, I U-turned Frisco and we high-tailed it OUT of there.
I’m not sure what else I could have done. Stayed and argued another hour with them? It just makes me sick, I feel sick right now, knowing that these people are planning litters with dogs from puppy mills, with no health or temperament testing, and sending the breed to shit. I am all for a freaking license to own dogs. Pass a damn test, please. And owning intact dogs should be illegal unless you have a Master’s in genetics and animal behavior.
What do you think? I’m still so upset I can’t think clearly. I’m going to go snuggle some puppies and try to cheer up.
Oh, and Charlie was a super star at the KPA workshop. SUPER STAR.