Purebred dogs! Why would you consider a purebred dog? Is there any benefit to having a purebred dog? Just why are they so much more expensive than other dogs?
I have purebred dogs because of what I do for a living. My job is to help other people to deal with their dogs. My dogs help me work with my clients’ dogs, so I want a dog with a stable predictable temperament that I can rely on. I know that my dogs did not leave their littermates until they were 8 weeks old. In this way, they had a stable beginning, because puppies learn most of their doggie relationship skills from 6 to 8 weeks of age. Because my dogs compete in dog sports that are designed for their breed, I can offer dog training experience based on my learning experiences with my own dogs. Many dogs have other jobs as well. Some are tracking dogs, some are drug detection dogs and others are designated couch potatoes. And yes many of these jobs can be fulfilled by mixed breed dogs and rescue dogs….but often not as predictably.
Generally speaking, most people that breed purebred dogs do a limited number of breedings a year. They usually have all their puppies sold before the breeding has even occurred. Good breeders are not contributing to pet over population because they breed so rarely. Good breeders look after their breeding stock and the dogs they own live a pampered life. Their bitches get excellent care and are spayed at the end of their breeding career. Good breeders know the dogs they have and the issues that may be in the pedigrees that they have. They track issues like hip dysplasia, congenital heart disease, congenital cataracts and a host of other issues that affect dogs. They spend considerable amounts of money each and every year doing medical testing on all their breeding stock and even offspring of breeding stock. They spend all this money on their dogs in the hope that they are providing you with a healthy stable pet. None of them make any money doing this. They do it because they love the dogs that they have. Good breeders are more likely to attend courses on raising puppies to be good companion dogs like the one I was at in Ottawa in early March.
Today there are ongoing marketing campaigns that malign purebred dogs. It is now almost a bad thing to say you are a dog breeder. Animal rights groups are determined to end all companion dog ownership and they love to target the dog breeders of the world. They want you to believe that every time a pure bred dog is born, another dog dies in a shelter. But the truth is far more complicated. Most people are unaware of the huge number of dogs that we are importing every day. They are coming in from the Caribbean and from the United States. A tractor trailer load of rescue dogs arrived last week in Nova Scotia with dogs from California and more are arriving every day.
Purchasing a purebred dog allows you to pretty accurately predict size, temperament, grooming requirements, and exercise needs. Finding a good breeder who will be there to help and support you through the life of your dog is priceless
Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever puppies are the two most common breeds that families acquire for family pets. And why not? They are both wonderful family pets. However, they do have a lot of energy and if that energy is not contained or trained, most of them will find something to do on their own. And you might not like what they come up with. Most people will start to walk them as much as possible and that is a great place to start but the more you walk them the fitter they will become. Don’t get me wrong….they certainly do need lots of good healthy exercise but they also need some training. Training takes the edge of all that energy in a more productive way and a lot of training can be done while you walk. A dog that has to work at the end of a leash and think at the same time is a tired dog. There are a lot of things that you can train a retriever to do.
They are truly versatile dogs. Their greatest talent is their mouth. They love to pick things up with their mouth and they love to carry things and sometimes that gets them into a lot of trouble.
One of the biggest problems that I hear of regarding retrievers is that they are always stealing the remote, the kid’s socks, your undies or the baby’s stuffed toys. That is what retrievers do….they carry things in their mouths. It is a huge part of who they are. But if you start to chase them in the house, you are putting them in charge of the game. So you need to change that around. Never chase your retriever. Instead let him drag around a very short leash so that you can catch him. When you do catch him, take the object from him and then give it back. Tell him what a good boy he is and take it back again. Then give him something more appropriate. If he won’t give it to you, sometimes blowing in his face will get him to give it up. Start adding words to the exercise, like fetch, come and give and now you are training your dog to bring things back to you instead of running off with them.