How we can change our attitude about dogs, what we need to know about them, how we can help in the manner we acquire our pets, and what to look for and avoid.
Later, we’ll talk about what we can do to change some of the dog-related institutions, as well as how the institutions may be more effective in their work with canines.
We must be pragmatic as well as idealistic, and recognize that what we do may be costly at first but rewarding in the end, and we also want to save money and suffering.
Here are some “do’s” and “don’ts” that I believe can assist dogs become better specimens.
Don’t be misled by a single breed. It’s good to be devoted to your preferred breed, but don’t wait to get disillusioned. Learn about the other people.
Here we are in the 21st Century, finally discovering that other races of humans, given the same opportunity as we do, may do great things.
Those who have thought of other races in disparaging terms have been or should have been shocked by the recent achievements of the races they formerly despised.
This similar type of bias frequently blinds individuals who believe that no other breed can be as excellent as their first!
Take on the scientist’s mindset. You should not believe everything you read. Remember that “truth is an idea that has been tested to correspond to nature.”
So much of what has been written about dogs in general, and dog breeds in particular, is only opinion, unsupported by any test.
So, the next time you read something about a breed, ask yourself, “Is this an opinion or perhaps the truth?”
Be on the lookout for exaggerated claims and marketing.
If you have multiple dogs of the same breed, say the entire truth about them. In the long term, this pays off.
When you just tell half of the tale to puppy purchasers, you lose their respect because they ultimately find the reality and label you as a charlatan, or else as foolish for not learning the points that they have had to discover.
If you want to appreciate your dog to the utmost, you need learn more about him and his true natural qualities.
Keep in mind that they are dogs, and that dogs may be amazing animals. Learn through sound books and observation of dogs, not from tubes, movies, or television.
In the case of feeding, for example, there has been so much and so powerful promotion of additional dog tonics that the ordinary dog owner now believes that all commercial dog meals must be supplemented.
This is a major misunderstanding. The fact is that no supplementation of any sort benefits any of the higher-quality dry meals available.
We must be open to criticism of the breed, breeds, or strains within a breed that we admire.
We should be far more prepared to deny breeding any dogs except those with virtually perfect temperaments in both males and females.
While it is less harmful to a single dog than it is to a kennel, the principle of propinquity must always be considered. It contributes to kennel-blindness and has the potential to damage our breed.
I said that few people knew how long a dog can go without eating. When utilized as a reward, food is an excellent motivator for training, but only if the dog has been fasting for 36 hours.
If you fast him for this long, he’ll work hard. You can’t teach him every day, but you may do it every three or four days and reward him with little bits of food. Of course, you may utilize the traditional force approach and workout every day, but the results will take much longer.
Investigate and apply current training methods; you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Mongrel production should be discouraged. As previously said, this may be achieved by injecting a pregnant dog with miss-mating injection, which your veterinarian must do since it must be administered with caution.
However, this should only be used as a last option, as our goal should be to avoid conception. If you own a dog and are unaware of the warning signs, the following information may be useful:
The majority of canines go into heat when the days lengthen and then again as they shorten. The reason is light.
As a result, the peaks occur in February and March, then again in July and August; these are the seasons when your dog’s heat will begin. The electric lights in your house have an effect on the cycle.
The first symptom is a rise in appetite. Then comes restlessness, and the vulva expands at the same time. Following that, a crimson discharge emerges.
It is so faint in some dogs that it is barely apparent; in others, it is extremely copious. Short-haired dogs have easy access to this discharge and swelling, while long-haired canines sometimes go overlooked by their owners.
It generally takes several days for the neighbourhood dogs to become a nuisance, and by then you can’t scare them away; they’ll wait until your dog is finally through her heat and comes out where they can scent her.
She will then emit a repellent odour, and the dogs will realize they should stay at home.
The first day on which a bitch is willing to copulate varies, with tiny breeds having a shorter cycle than large breeds. The average is about the seventh to ninth day after the mating cycle begins.
When dogs copulate, the male’s penis grows to such dimensions inside the female’s vagina that they become “tied.” It may be extremely humiliating if this happens to your girl out on the street.
Fear causes the male to shrink fast, and you may take the female to your veterinarian, who can inject her with stilbestrol, which prolongs the heat period but frequently inhibits the uterus from receiving the eggs.
This is a far more efficient method of canine birth control than attempting to annoy her.
If your dog does go through pregnancy, birth, milk production, and pup raising, you must anticipate the puppies to be killed immediately or to be raised for six weeks before being given away.
What a travesty on several levels: You have expanded the number of Mongrels in the world, banned the selling of purebred puppies, and gone to great lengths.
Even as late as fifty years ago, it was widely assumed that if a female had a litter of Mongrels, she would be doomed as a breeder.
This false but widely held belief had a beneficial impact in avoiding the development of mongrels for people who did not want their lovely bitches destroyed.
People are less cautious now that science has demonstrated the falsity of telegony. Perhaps the taboo of pride is needed to make everyone more cautious.
Then there’s the issue of Cesarean procedures. Here’s a place to start if we want to improve dogs. Breeding any strain such that surgery is required to carry on the line, and thus for generation after generation, is cruel and should be prohibited by law, if not by the owners. How?
Simply by refusing to breed a dog that had to have a Caesarian for the second time.
An exception would be the creation of a monster that she would be unable to pass. (I’ve seen two-headed creatures and big lumps of meat wrapped in skin, but no Siamese twins.) Following such Caesareans, the women were not known to have generated any other abnormalities and so did not require additional Caesareans.)
If there were rules mandating that a dog that could not bear puppies ordinarily be spayed be spayed, and the owner refused to comply, the veterinarian would notice the prior incision and be compelled to report.
A spaying procedure should not be performed during a Caesarian section since the removal of the ovaries causes the milk supply to decrease.
Don’t be too excited about your breed. Lose yourself in your interest, but keep in mind that it is only a hobby. Remember that in order to get something, you must be willing to give something up.
What one gives up is sometimes better than what one receives. Take care!
As previously stated, the typical length of serious interest in dog breeding as a hobby is fewer than seven years. Maybe it takes seven years to be satisfied with a mistake.
My typical advise to either one of a couple whose companion has “gone to the dogs” to the extent that it is interfering with the couple’s happiness has certainly yielded ample fruit. When one or both of them comes to me with their problems, I patiently listen.
When they unload their pain, I find a way to talk quietly to the one who has been wronged and offer advice in this manner (we will suppose here that it is the woman).
He’s discovered a new obsession. It is no longer a fifty-fifty proposition, and you have lost all interest in it.
But don’t imagine for a second that nagging will make him quit up or reduce the number of pets he has. It just never yields the intended outcomes.
Do you want him to abandon them or to become more rational about them? Then do the following: Motivate him! Give him as much freedom as he desires.
Allow him to become so enamoured with dogs that, in time, he will resemble the girl in the candy store. When she initially arrives at work, her supervisor promises her she may eat anything she wants. She is correct. She quickly decides she doesn’t want kids.
The satisfied dog owner quickly falls into debt, owing feed bills, is weary by nightfall, finds himself sliding, and eventually wonders himself, “Is it possible that I’m insane? I’m not having a good time.
I’m a slave and a drudge.” Then he either abandons dogs entirely or reduces them to one or a few.
Of course, there are those unreasonable people who turn their wives like drudges while they do the easy thing. Many of those I’ve known. I recall two such situations.
The men drove to exhibitions, went about their business, and relished the enjoyable aspects of dog breeding. When their spouses died, whom they had turned into drudges, they both left the dog business.
I also know a handful when this worked in the reverse direction. The woman was tyrannical and demanding.
She spent all of her husband’s money on the dogs, making him clean the runs, feed and change bedding, and do all the menial tasks while she cavorted around at shows, enjoyed the company of callers, and ran up bills, primarily by buying dogs they couldn’t afford and driving such long distances to shows “on the circuits,” as they call it.
This tiny woman requested the fate that befell her. She returned home after receiving an urgent long-distance phone call from a neighbour who informed her that the dogs at the kennel were whining and hungry.
She was outraged that her faithful male slave had abandoned them, but she quickly discovered why: the slave had decided it wasn’t worth it. A message was on the table, and there was a dead person in a living room chair.
Now I’ll admit that I’ve never been able to get enough of dogs. When someone is like me, he is helpless. As a result, it’s generally preferable to let his avocation become a vocation.
We’ve gotten a little off course from our original concept. I was discussing the new fancier of a dog breed’s attitude.
This individual becomes an expert long before he becomes satisfied, generally shortly after the second litter of puppies is born.
He’s seen a a few of the puppies born; he’s seen a specific veterinarian administer “shots” (as he calls them); he’s seen a few of female dogs bred to male dogs; and he’s given his dog meat, kibbled food, and gobs of vitamins because the pups must have “large bone.”
As previously stated, he saw in a movie that Lassie was given an egg every day to enhance her coat, therefore each dog receives an egg daily. “How do you suppose my dogs acquire their wonderful shine if not from eggs?”
Much of the information has come from dog owners, expert handlers, and vets, and if ever ignorance is harmful, it is in this instance for both the breeder and the puppy buyer. This is why.
This breeder has a misunderstanding about the simplest method to handle his pets. His newly acquired knowledge, which has made him an expert and which he passes on to those who would listen and those who purchase his pups, is usually of the most costly variety.
Too frequently, those in the know are at least a generation behind the times.
When you acquire a puppy, you want a pet that will be the least amount of bother and money. You are not willingly selling yourself into slavery and to a dog! You’re also not searching for a means to empty your bank account.
So don’t give too much attention to those “self-proclaimed” gurus who are in desperate need of assistance.
Don’t pay heed to those who treat dogs like humans since they don’t understand dogs. They will almost certainly give you bad advice.
Dogs can survive on human diets, and humans can survive on dog diets, but neither should. The dog has no or little imagination.
If he’s hungry and properly taught, he eats what’s put in front of him.
Dogs do not require care. They have their clothing on, can withstand extreme cold, and, once adapted, do not require warm quarters.
We could go on and on discussing the distinctions, but that isn’t the point of this article.
The most hazardous aspect of quickly becoming an expert in dog breeding is the massive quantity of disinformation that such people disseminate.
They knew very little about dogs before committing to a particular breed, and what they do learn about dogs is generally from a new breed.
Because so many people have just started breeding Weimaraners, they and their dogs will serve as great examples of the argument I’m attempting to convey.
If you are a Weimaraner fancier, this will hurt your feelings unless you are strong enough to acknowledge you have been rationalizing a lot.
Those few people who brought the breed from Germany followed a method that I detailed in Dollars in Dogs. First, they shared a great narrative about the breed’s history.
It created a very appealing backdrop for the German Barons who kept the hounds for their personal purposes.
Then they made the breed rare and required every buyer to sign a contract promising not to sell a puppy for less than $1500. (hundreds broke their word). But, most importantly, they discussed the capabilities of this extraordinary breed of dog. And how was it? “
It could accomplish everything any other breed could do, but far better.”
When a true dog man read this, he realized right away that he had found another goldbrick. Let’s take a look at their assertions.
First and foremost, they were so exceptional that many magazine writers got intrigued, and for several years they carried tales about this best of all breeds.
What couldn’t the dogs accomplish?
They were mostly bird dogs. A wonderful coloured film of them hunting birds was created, and passionate tributes to them were heard. Professional trainers were brought in to prepare them for the main field trials.
I can tell you that as gun dogs, they are inferior than Pointers, English Setters, and German Shorthairs.
They were (and still are, according to some reports) the best following dog ever produced, in addition to being bird dogs. Bight there is where the dog guy realized the claims were bogus, since he was well aware that if there is anything a high-class bird dog can do, it’s fly.
The only way he can accomplish that is to put his nose to the ground and trail. If a dog does this during bird hunting, he will be ejected.
The uninformed, on the other hand, purchased Weimaraners to replace Bloodhounds, coon dogs, and bear and mountain lion hounds. As an avid coon hunter and man trailer for many years, I have a strong understanding of the needs of a trail dog.
Friends of mine who purchased these German dogs for trailing took them on several of our hunts to train them to hunt coons.
One of my acquaintances, who was deceived by the grandiose promises of the breed’s early fans, who were also uninformed, purchased eight show dogs and a three-thousand-dollar stud dog.
We ran his valuable dog with our Redbones since he is a coon and cat hunter, and his nose proved far inferior.
So far, I have never encountered a Weimaraner that was aware of the presence of coon footprints, which our Redbones ran with easily till the trail was fresh. They are just not trail dogs.
Why do the Germans appear to believe their dogs are capable of tracking even if they are not hounds? Trailers have been increased for Alsatians, Dobermans, and Weimaraners. They are not, and the owners should stop deceiving the public.
On at least twelve occasions throughout my Bloodhound assignments, I was trailed by German Shepherds with trailing degrees, managed by delusional individuals. I’ve never seen one follow a path.
The Berlin police department investigated them and discovered that they were useful on up to a 27-minute-old track.
So, once again, those who do not have a broad knowledge of numerous breeds are frequently duped, and they, in turn, market the exaggerations to others who know little about dogs.
A dog expert may have looked at the first Weimaraner and remarked, “The Germans came to America and purchased a buckskin Redbone, took it home, crossed it with a bird dog, removed the Redbone’s lovely mouth, shortened its tail, and made it useless.”
Redbone breeders remove the majority of the pups’ born buckskin hue, often known as the Weimaraner color.
One is occasionally allowed to live, but it is an unwelcome color since it is invariably accompanied by horrible yellow eyes, and who likes that feature? Only those who have never met a dog.