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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pure Love

When you set up a cage at the Farmers' Market and fill it with puppies, you will draw a crowd. The sign requested cash for photos. I tossed a dollar in the box and started shooting.

Would a legitimate breeder sell dogs at the Farmers' Market for $3,000 a pop? (or pup?) Apparently so. I looked them up when I got home and as far as I can tell, the operation is aboveboard. This sweet baby is a Lakota Mastino, "not for the passive owner who has no plans on working the dog. Needs a strong leader who understands dog behavior." 

In other words, you don't bring this dog home, stick him in the back yard and give him a bowl of kibble and a Nylabone. You train him. Every day. If you don't, pretty soon you've got 125 pounds of muscle, teeth and chaos on your hands. This breeder will find homes for these dogs even at the price he's asking. I hope he's clear with the buyers about what they're getting into so the dogs don't end up in shelters, or worse.

I have nothing against purebred dogs. Though my personal preference is for mutts, some of Boz's best friends are purebreds. But if you're in the market for a dog, I recommend skipping breeders altogether and going straight to a shelter, even if you're looking for a purebred--even if you're looking for a purebred puppy. You can find what you're looking for if you're willing to put a small effort into the search because there are so many unwanted dogs. Spend a couple of hundred dollars instead of a few thousand and save the remainder for your pooch's Nylabone fund. Now those things are expensive.

Nylabone images

35 comments:

J.J. in L.A. said...

What a cutie...but he looks sad. I would be too if I was in a cage. And I would definitely go to a shelter before a breeder. The dogs are soooo overbred that, most of the time, they end up with major health problems.

... daisy... said...

Oh my........ so cuteeeee! Oh I wish I could cuddle him... really... ohhhhhhhh

Dina said...

I had to Google Nylabone but I understand the rest. Right you are.

dive said...

Working dogs shouldn't look so cute when they're puppies. So many idiots buy them and lock them up in a house.
This one is too gorgeous for its own good. I do hope whoever buys it has the space and time and commitment to give it a wonderful life.
I'm with you, Petrea: mutts rule.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think so, too, J.J.--at least in some breeds, health problems prevail. The same would be true of humans if we kept it all in the family.

He chewed on my finger, Daisy. Sharp teeth! But he was so adorable.

Dina, thank you, I added a link to images.

Dive, that's why I said I hope the breeder is being clear with people about the needs of these dogs. I wasn't impressed when he brought a second basket full of puppies and dumped them into the cage. He wasn't especially rough, just not gentle, either.

Being inside a house during the day can be okay for some dogs, as long as they get an hour or two of vigorous exercise at the beginning and end of the day. Canines tend to hunt at night and sleep during the day, so that can work with their internal clock. But you've got to wear them out when you come home from work, and if you're already worn out that could get old. Just be honest with yourself.

Bellis said...

"Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die."

I'm really surprised this breeder has so many puppies to sell. I looked into getting a labradoodle puppy once and had to go on a waiting list for the unborn pups as they bred very infrequently.
This sweet little puppy's going to grow into a powerful hunter, so I'm not looking forward to meeting it on the trails - nor are the deer. But what an interesting history it has - Spanish wardog used in the conquest of the New World, later modified by the Lakota Indians for hunting.

J+P said...

Grrrrrrr … don't get me started on artificial bloodlines in dogs. The very notion of narrowing these magnificent beasts' gene pools for mere aesthetics makes my arteries constrict! It's eugenics for the 21st century.

The sooner we mandate mongrelization and abandon the palace pretension of "pure" breeds, the better we'll look as a species. 

‎"Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."—Mark Twain

L Barlow, AIA said...

I've always adopted at the Humane Society and gotten fabulous cats. When my last one passed away a few years ago (sob!) I donated all my cat goodies to them. I've even gone into pet stores that sell cats & dogs and told them I won't patronize them because of that. I was glad when Petco started supporting animal adoption events at their store, and thus don't sell cats and dogs.

Speedway said...

Lets see, 125 pounds, needs a lot of physical and mental exercise, training. Lives 10-14 years.

I had one of those once. About 6-foot-4, 225#, silver-haired working type, retired. Slept on the couch for much of the day. For the most part, he was self-trained, able to get his own meals while I was at work. Didn't slobber. Instead of a Nylabone, I just gave him the remote and he entertained himself for hours.

Trish said...

argh! I thought there was a law against selling pups in an open air marketplace...may be just local to me.

If they are as reputable as they say they are, they shouldn't NEED to be out there, unless they a) all have problems or b) just like the attention. Young pups shouldn't be handled by masses until they are fully immunized and even then, this is not a good idea.

For the fact that this is a HUGE breed and this cute ball of fluff will end up eating someone out of house and home---the breeder BETTER be warning people.

Every single one of our clients in the last 5-10 years who has purchased a pure bred dog has ended up with no end of trouble. One golden was Dx w/double hip dysplasia at ~5mo to the suggested tune of $25k to replace both hips. Everything connected to poodles (doodles and other 'oodles too) seem to have stomach problems.

This is not to say that mutts don't have their issues, but most are learned behaviour issues, or like one pup we're about to take care of, he was poisoned as a young one and his liver doesn't quite work right 8+ years later.

I don't quite agree with the descriptor for potential owner. Yes, you need to be physically strong and yes the pup will need direction, but you're probably better off trying to nail jello to a tree than force a big lug like this to obey. Teach him to love and respect you and he'll do anything you want, when you want it.

I have to lol at the thot of just leaving one of these to chew a nylabone...maybe a truckload of 'em? Friends had an Irish Wolfhound 210lbs of love, but he'd destroy a rawhide (which really isn't good for ANY pup) in the "Dino" size in about an hour.

LOL Speedway...and one would think bring in his own paycheck, or retirement money too! ;-)

Agree with the pound pup suggestion---go, look, keep looking until you find one that really calls out to you---especially with people losing housing, so many pups are available. Take 'em home and love 'em!

TheChieftess said...

Our Daisy was a rescue, from Golden Retriever Rescue of Los Angeles. She looked pure Golden, but they thought she was a mix because of the markings on her tongue and her pinkish nose. She was a healthy girl until the end...and yes, cancer is a Golden malady...

Now we're thinking about getting another dog...we want another Golden mix...I contacted GRRLA and they won't even let us apply for a dog because we are no longer in the area. The restrictions for adopting animals through rescues have gotten absurd. I can go online and find a dog in Lawrenceville Georgia from a rescue, willing to ship out of state, yet GRRLA won't even consider us, even though we got our Daisy from them years ago and have proof that we're good pet family material...instead, they referred us to NorCal Rescue...it would take us 8-16 hours to get to the rescues in NorCal, plus we'd have to stay somewhere...
(I know I'm ranting...but this has really been bothering me) A lot of the rescues in CA have the same policy...so even with the NorCal ones, we wouldn't qualify because we don't live close enough for them to do a home inspection...which is another thing...we no longer have fences around our property...we live in the mountains! This is dog country...yet because we don't have a six foot fence, our home would not qualify....unfortunately, the local shelters of Mono and Inyo Counties don't have the type of dog we're looking for...I keep checking...we'll most likely have to go to Nevada...
Arrrrggghhhh!!! (if we didn't have proof that we're good doggie parents, I could understand this policy...but this is absurd...to the same degree of absurdity re: the Patticake mural in Altadena!!!)

Diana said...

I agree that it's preferable to give a living dog a chance before breeding yet more puppies, but some folks just like a particular breed. Although you can find purebreds at shelters (I got a Belgian Tervuren from the Baldwin Park pound once...), it's rather hit or miss. Luckily, there's a purebred rescue group for just about any breed you can think of (and a bunch I bet you can't!). After two not-very-good experiences with rescues from the Pasadena Humane Society, I got my current fur-friend from a Cocker rescue group and I couldn't be more pleased with the little scamp!

Laura said...

The best dog I ever had was from the Pasadena Humane Society. The two I have now were rescued puppies are are great pets.

All mongrels, of course.

Susan Campisi said...

I have friends and family members who have bought dogs from breeders, and they are all great dogs. But it's one of those things we don't discuss as I don't believe in breeding when millions of dogs die in shelters every year. But breeding is particularly misguided when it comes to bully and work breeds.

I bet a good percentage of these pups and their offspring end up in shelters down the road. It's a sad fact, but the statistics support it.

... daisy... said...

he's such a cutie... awwwwww

Irina said...

Very clever eyes.

Petrea Burchard said...

This is obviously an issue people care about! Chieftess, I'm amazed they're giving you so much trouble after you've proven yourselves. Are the two Golden rescue organizations you mentioned the only ones in California? What a mess.

As Diana said, finding the breed you want at a shelter is hit or miss, but there are rescue organizations for just about every breed. I never considered that you might have to ship a dog, though.

What it comes down to, or should, is what's best for the animal.

TheChieftess said...

There's Orange County and San Diego County as well...with the same restrictions. There's also one in Southern Nevada...which is the most convenient and accessible...But really...I was looking on the internet and inquired about a dog in Lawrenceville GA...asked if they adopted out of state...and while they'd never done so as far as CA, they had done it. In all my communications, I included a link to Daisy's memoriam which pretty much chronicled our pet family qualifications...the Georgia rescue thought we'd make awesome pet parents!!! the GRRLA wouldn't even discuss it. I even stated that I have family living in our house down south and would come down for the adoption process...no response even. If it weren't for the fact that we're so sold on Goldens, I'd consider others...I even looked at a breeder...who we would have qualified for easily if we wanted to spend $7000 for a puppy or $2500 for a retired breeder. I believe that the intent of these rescues is for the safety and insurance of a good home for the pet...but I think the concept of dog adoption through rescues has gotten way out of hand. Hiker...if you see a Golden mix at Pas Humane Society...let me know!!!

BaysideLife said...

Sound advice. All my dogs were rescue dogs, so I'm a little biased.

Bellis: Love your quote.

Bellis said...

I had so much trouble trying to get a dog from the rescues that I gave up. (Some regard everyone as a potential dog abuser, I think.) Then I started looking at the Pets section of Craigslist and found Abby. She was a rehome, so she'd not had the trauma of a shelter, and I got her full history from the loving owner. I'd recommend Craigslist as the people trying to rehome their pets (usually because they're moving to a flat that doesn't allow them) are decent people and very grateful.

Chieftess, my friend recently found a young golden roaming the streets of Westwood, likely abandoned, and they kept her. Best dog ever.

TheChieftess said...

One last comment about rescues...I know how you felt about the rescues Bellis! What amazes me is that I've been looking for awhile now and have noticed that the same dogs are always on the site...they have dogs rescued from Taiwan! But those dogs still have not been adopted. They're kept is foster homes, which I think is good, but during that time, the dogs bond with the foster family...then if they do get adopted, they get ripped from the family that they've bonded with and that have been good to them, and the process has to start over. Our Daisy had major separation anxiety when we got her...I can't imagine how anxious a dog would be going from a foster family where they've lived for months, even years at times, to another new environment. I think they do as much of a dis-service to the dogs as they do a service in not placing these dogs more readily...I mean really... Bellis even had a hard time adopting from a rescue too!!! Thanks for the tip Bellis...that might be an option!

Susan Campisi said...

Bellis, craigslist is a great suggestion. You might also try petfinder.com, Chieftess. You can filter by breed and location... or did you already try that? I can put the word out to my dog rescuer friends, too.

TheChieftess said...

Thanks Susan...Petfinder is how I found the dog in Georgia!!! And the GRRLA dogs...And actually the main source that I've been looking at...

Speedway said...

I checked Petfinders.com and saw that the rescue organization Chieftess mentioned seems to have an awful lot of dogs available. Could it be possible their policies are getting in the way of their mission, however well-intentioned?

The breeders, too, seemed awfully proud of their puppies. $7,000 for a pet quality animal? Some years ago, I was at a dog show, where I admired a Portugese Water Spaniel. That was a nice dog and his people were nice , as well. They told me they had a young dog, not up to show standards, they would give me, just so they knew it would have a good home. Among the conditions -- he'd be neutered and they'd keep his papers. As much as I wanted the dog, I couldn't accept him. I'm saying this as a possible alternative. Seven thousand backwards spelled dollars. Gimmee a break.

And the big brown eyes are the seducer, the reason we get suckered in by puppies, babies and grown men. It's up to us to remember that ploy, however endearing, because they may grow into something we can't handle.

TheChieftess said...

And Speedway, most of the same dogs have been available for MONTHS...

And actually, to be fair to the breeder...it was $7000 for a champion line...$2500 for the retirees of the breeder... But how do you find a reputable breeder that has pet quality dogs???

Petrea Burchard said...

We had no trouble adopting from Boxer Rescue (almost eight years ago). Boz is a mix; I don't know if the different breed rescue places have mixes but they did, at least at that time.

I wish I knew the answers. Susan does know some great rescue people.

Boz had been adopted once before we got him, by a father and son who returned him saying he was "aggressive." The volunteers at Boxer Rescue knew there wasn't an aggressive molecule in him but, as a no-kill shelter, their policy was to keep reportedly aggressive dogs with for a year for training.

Because that man and his son decided they didn't want Boz, for whatever reason, and couldn't bring themselves to tell the truth about it, Boz had to live in a cage for A YEAR. It's our gain and we love him dearly, but it's a terrible thing for a dog to endure.

So I understand why they want to do home inspections.

Margaret said...

I once read that about 25% of dogs in shelters are pure breds. I like my mutt.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

The breed I'm interested in has it's rescue group in Southern Arizona. I cringed after finding a dog of interest that they swooped away from the Lancaster CA. Shelter. I can't help thinking of the Ellen Degeneres debacle and that Greyhound flame war.

I confess, these people scare me.

TheChieftess said...

We adopted Miss Daisy about 8 years ago...from the GRRLA and it was not a terribly difficult process. We picked her up at a rescue showing at the pet store in our neighborhood in Glendale...they came later and evaluated our home and said ok... I totally get the concern re: the situation with Boz...and I know that that is the reason they have gotten so picky...but wouldn't it be better for the dog to get a new home asap??? (I can't believe they had the audacity to claim that Boz was too aggressive!!! What? Were they nuts???)
But when there's a past history of success with an adoption, and there are dogs to adopt...why put up impenetrable road blocks? I just don't get it...
ps...I've gotten some great suggestions/tips by email...thanks y'all!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Margaret, I thought it would be more.

PA, I get what you mean. Look what Chieftess is going through and she's offering the perfect life for a dog. AND she's got a track record.

Petrea Burchard said...

And no, Chieftess, they weren't nuts. They were lying. Boz had a defective knee that required surgery. They didn't want to pay for it, nor were they willing to admit it. By the time we realized he needed the surgery we were in love with him and there was no question he was going to get it.

TheChieftess said...

Definitely their loss and your gain Petrea!!!

Jilly said...

Oh dear, I do hate to see this. Unfortunately it causes people to make an emotional decision when they are not ready or their circumstances are not right for a puppy.

I'm with you on always getting a rescue dog - far too many are waiting for new homes.

Can't deny the cuteness of this puppy tho...

Petrea Burchard said...

Jilly, you hit that nail on the head. There was a little boy that day, solemnly petting a particular puppy. He was already in love.

I wonder if that's how Boz ended up living in a cage for a year--someone took him home on a whim without realizing what the responsibility would be, and maybe they were ashamed to say so when they brought him back, so they lied? I don't know. Either way, the animals suffer.

Rommel Peter Fernandes said...

Such a nice looking puppy.
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