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Old June 13, 2012, 07:33 PM   #29
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Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 3,470
Coupla things that I tell every person that asks me about gettin' a dog. Hansam touched on some of this, indirectly, so I'd like to give my two cents. Again, this is regardless of the breed.

1.)Get a dog from a reputable breeder. It doesn't have to be a fancy dancy big name kennel, but it needs to be someone that knows dogs and has selected parents for their qualities and minimal shortcomings. Indiscriminate breeding has hurt several popular breeds here in the US in the last few years, Irish Setters, and English Springers are some of the worst case scenarios. Just cause Joe has a female and a guy he works with has a male, don't make for good puppies if the parents are full of bad traits. Do this for several generations and you have a clusterpuck of traits and it's a hit or miss if a pup will be any good or not. This is not only true of behavior and instincts, but of health and genetic disorders. The cost of a puppy, even at hundreds of dollars is minimal when compared to the overall cost of a dog over it's lifetime. Saving a hundred bucks on a pup and then spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for health or behavior problems due to bad breeding is not good economics.

2.) If you spend more than two digits to the left of the decimal point for a dog, get a written warranty that within a year you can either get a different pup or get your money back if there is a problem with the pup. Reputable breeders have no problem with this. They want you to be happy, are proud of their pups and the bloodlines they use. They know odds are you are gonna be happy with the pup and because of their selective breeding it will be healthy and perform well. If someone is asking more than $100 for a pup, it means they are selling the pups to make money. This includes the guy at work or your brother in law. You should not have to eat a huge amount of money cause you got stuck with a bad/sick pup and doing so is pure foolishness. This goes for started or trained adult dogs also. If the breeder or owner won't do this, turn and walk away. Odds are he's afraid of gettin' the dog back. If someone sells you a pup for minimal monies, i.e. to pay for shots, worming, dew claw removal and tail docking, then it's a different story. Those costs should be under or around that $100 figure.

3.) Stay away from taking on someone else's adult dog unless your name is Cesar Millan. Very seldom is there a reason someone gets rid of a grown dog unless it's a problem. Sure there are those exceptions where the owner dies, is incapacitated or moves somewhere where they cannot have a dog. But odds are it's up for sale/adoption because the owner cannot handle/control it. If they say he just needs a bigger yard to run....don't believe it. This goes doubly for the professionally trained dogs like Hansam described. Many times folks will send a problem off to a trainer with hopes they will come back a different dog. They generally come back trained to hunt, but also come back with the same behavior problems, many times more aggressive than ever because of the harsh training methods that had to be used. These dogs are many times a accident waiting to happen, especially when brought into contact with children or others that fall below them in their pecking order. The average dog owner does not have the time, experience or the knowledge to rehabilitate a problem dog.

4.) If you need to put down a dog, don't tell the world in graphic verbs about it. 40 years ago it was common for nuisance or unwanted dogs to be taken out to the woods, tied to a tree next to a pre-dug hole and shot. Now you do that and brag about it and odds are you will get a visit from the local Humane/Animal Control Officer. Remember 40 years ago it also was acceptable to spank your own child when they misbehaved. Now you are considered a felon for committing domestic abuse. A close friend of mine works at the local vet clinic, and says they HAVE to report all abuse they see or hear of. This includes the shooting of dogs, even if it's for what the owner believes is a legitimate reason. If you need to put down a dog, make sure you have a legitimate reason and you SSS. Biting or nipping is NOT necessarily a legitimate reason to Animal Control, even tho to most of us here it is.

Owning a dog is a big responsibility and it takes time and patience. Some dogs mature early and are a breeze to train. Others want to stay a pup for years and are stinkers. Like kids, the difference between them is what makes each one special. Edward429451, it seems you have thought this out and have a firm grasp of the situation. I wish you and your new pup the best and many years of happy hunting. Make sure you post some pics!
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