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View Full Version : help wanted!Looking perfect training dog



dubravko
01-24-2005, 07:38 AM
I was on some breeder site (www.sunydayskennel.com), and found there a perfect breed for training!?Are the belgians best breed for a training?
I like Youre opinion for that breeder, and Your suggestions for buying Belgian shepherd puupy...

jennylynn
01-24-2005, 07:59 PM
I don't know much about the breed, but I checked out the breeder's website.
They have beautiful dogs. And while I think that it's important to have breeding dogs prove that they can work, it's also important that they are proven in the show ring to have the right conformation and that they've had all of the necessary health tests.
I didn't see anywhere on the site that the dogs are health tested or that they've been proven in the ring. It could be that the breeder just didn't list it, so if you're considering buying a pup from them, make sure to ask.

Here's a link to a site that can put you on the right path of what to look for in a breeder:
http://www.danemist.com/ABCs/buyingapurebredpuppy.html
It was geared towards Great Danes (as it was written by a Great Dane breeder), but most of it applies to any breed. Please make sure to do your research before you buy from a breeder.

And keep in mind, there are a lot of shelters out there that, believe it or not, have purebred dogs like Belgian shepherds. There are also rescue groups out there that dedicate themselves to rescuing a specific breed. I did a quick search on Google, and the first page that it pulled up was this:
http://belgianrescuelist.ambercreek.net/

There are a lot of resources out there that can help you in your search. Just make sure to do your homework! :wink:

dubravko
01-25-2005, 01:43 AM
thank you, I vill check boath suggestion

bob2
12-07-2005, 08:12 PM
The answer to your question is absolutely NO....Contact someone who trains many breeds including belgums and you will find your answers as to which breeds are generally easier to train..(it also depends on what you are training for).
Also you may want to study the the constrasting opinions of people who breed dogs with work ethic in mind verses show qualities as there are heated debates on this subject. For example we breed and train Border collies primarily for work ethic and temperment and have found that dogs bred for show have not faired equally in this regard. Although you can find show quality Bc's that herd good it is not the norm and if you take a look at what the Show folks have done to the German Shepherd you will will understand..


bob2 good luck

bob2
12-09-2005, 01:20 AM
i WOULD NEVER DEFINE IT AS BAD i WOULD HOWEVER SAY THAT WHEN A PERSON CHANGES THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT THE BREED WAS ORIGIONALLY BRED FOR YOU THEN HAVE A NEW BREED WHICH IS NOT REPRESENTIVE OF THE PRIOR ONE .. THEN WHY NOT GIVE IT A NEW NAME AND CALL IT FOR EXAMPLE A SHOW DOG? IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE YOU ARE ON.......

HAVE A NICE DAY..

BOB2

bob2
12-09-2005, 07:48 AM
As a breeder I would suggest that you consider the fact that acquiring a rescue/shelter dog involves ceretain risks. 1st you mosy likely will have little or no health information on the dogs health status of HIP DISPLASIA,ELBOE,EYE AND HEALTH HISTORY OF PARENTS. Certain breeds are more prone to particular types of diseases that a good breeder provides health checks for before breeding and selling pups.
If for example you buy a dog with HD your dog will suffer structurely and have to be manage for the pain that it will live through for the rest of it's life. I would suggest doing research on the issues your desired breed commonly developes and require health screens on the dog you acquire from the seller/breeder. Another aspect is the temperment and work ethic you might want in a working dog such as a Belgum,you will find issues most likely if you dogs parents had issues in these areas.

Just a few points to think about.


bob2

celtechfarms
12-09-2005, 07:51 PM
Are you suggesting that adopting a dog is not a good idea? I have run rottie rescue and can tell you adopting can be more rewarding and a better match then going to a breeder. Our adult dogs are often more loving for thier experiance and that rescue dogs are no harder to train then a breeders dog. I know that a breeder is good for health, but even a well bred dog with certified health can still grow up with problems, espically if the owner doesn't knwo what they are doing. I think its a horrible thing to say don't adopt, there are alot of dogs out there needing homes. My philosiphy is, if your a breeder of pure bred dogs then don't breed until you have buyers lined up, otherwise your just adding to the problem.

Please, please consider adopting, provide a home for a dog here and now, instead of a dog that does not currently need to be born. I the USA alone over 3000 rottwielers are currently in shelters, 3000, thats a huge number and more and more breeders add to that every day.

I'm not mad and please dont take this in the wrong context, I'm just extermly shocked and agree with the breeding motto up here, if you don't rescue, don't breed, if your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

bob2
12-09-2005, 08:41 PM
PLEASE DO NOT READ ANY HOSTILITY IN MY RESPONSE AS IT IS PURELY FOR THE SAKE OF HEALTHY DEBATE AND EDUCATION>>

Actually I NEVER said or implied that you should not adopt...I believe I pointed out a few pros for buying a dog with health/history behind it as there can be substantiated benefits that are not available otherwise. In many venues especially working dog venues it becomes the best gamble. I have been both breeding and establishing rescues for over twenty years and have experience and documention that provides pros and cons for both options and deal with a lot of rescue folks who are not only ignorant (as in uninformed) of the advantages of buying a well breed and well socialized and healthy dog but actually have the mentality to push idealodgy that seeking a dog from a breeder is evil to the cause. I bet you know what I mean! ;')

By the way my training bussiness thrives on rehabing rescue dogs.. There are many people who should not own dogs and getting dogs that already have issues to include unknown health issues and emotional issues can and do make the dogs plight worse in many many cases... Especially if the new owner has little experience, take little responsibility, or lack education in rehabing,training, and managing such a dog. So in esense not all rescue folks do good service to the dog and well intention folks who recieve dogs fromm these or any source are not part of the solution they are in fact part of the problem. Would you like for me to explain this fact in further detail?

On the other hand as we all know there are breeders who should not only be breeding dogs but should not own them as well..There should be a purpose of bettering the breed and it's conditons I believe in the desire to breed.
So where do we find balance... I believe in honest education.

I am well experienced to debate both sides of the issue..I just wish everyone would take the time to educate themselves and provide honest educated information to others without the one sided agenda that often provides a great disservice to both the human and the dog...\ But that is life and politics is it not.. personnally from my perspective there is room and need for both options. If you have ever seen what happens to a herding dog that has HD you might understand the need to purchase/seek a dog that has been screened so that you reduce the chances. I tend to put the" dog in the bad situation " syndrom blame on individuals that are irresponsible..
and that includes breeders, rescues/shelters, trainers pet stores, ect..

No one group is innocent of wrong doing......And believe me I (and others who are not blind to the occurance) have seen it ,documnented it, and educate people on these issues as part of professionial,responsible, and honest care of K9's.

We also do our part as guardians to strive for well bred dogs that go to people who are screened to carry on that good stewardship. And educate folks on the reason for the need of good breeding practices. If more people were adequately educated when seeking to acquire a dog ( especially from (rescues and shelters) they might think twice about what they are getting into. By the way I might mention that there are also shelters and rescues that a do a great amount of disservice in there attempts to better the plight of homeless dogs, are you aware of them by any chance. I am, I do quite abit of rescue work ( and documentation) and the stories are many.. If you would ever like to hear some just let me know. Sometime doing things for dog primarily in the name of love is not so good for the dog..

again my position is to educate and point out the pros and cons of both sides of the coin, ...IS YOURS? I somehow do not get that feeling ....

bob2

goodday

kerryclair
12-10-2005, 12:06 AM
I do not feel that Celtech was doing anything different than you are here - stating her opinions on the issue. Frankly, I think that unless you have worked in a shelter and held perfectly good dogs as they were put down becauxse no homes could be found, you'd never be able to breed a dog. I do understand the whole pro and con issue...but the fact is that we have millions of dogs and cats put to sleep every year because of lack of homes and way, way, way too many irresponsible breeders. Any joe schmo with a male and a female dog thinks he can sell puppies and make money and then you have all the amish people in PA chruning out "purebreds". There is not enough education by SELLERS to BUYERS about what they are buying and there is not enough research done by buyers, who simply look in a paper and go and buy a dog from a "reputable" breeder.

It is difficult to really support breeding when so many great dogs are killed in this country every year.

That said, I like my purebred dogs...I don't want to see purebreds become a thing of the past. All of mine are also rescued. What we need is more education and some regulations on breeding to make sure all breeding is done in a responsible way.

smiffy
12-10-2005, 04:20 AM
hi there
i dont think there is such a thing as the perfect dog for training but you can look to breed traits for an over view of the breed but still you shouldnt use the breed traits for 'this is what my dog will be like and will do'.
for example i have two dalmatians and the moment ppl see that i keep dals they say "oh they are scatty arnt they" well one is,she bounces around every where but she is young and my other dal is like a sea cow :) soft and gentle and takes her time with everything.
when you mentioned the shepard were you thinking of their intelligence?

like i said do some research on your chosen dogs, and please consider a rescue as has been mentioned above there are thousands of dogs waiting homes. if you are in the uk i can point you in the direction of some shelters.

all the best in your decision,smiffy :)

celtechfarms
12-10-2005, 08:00 AM
I know the pains that come from some rescues, the ones like our local SPCA that refuse to tell you about the dogs past, or even bother to try and match the dogs personality to the adopting home. Every dog I adopt out comes with perpaid obediance lessons, eight of them, with trainers only approved by our rescue. We make sure all of our dogs pasts are known and we let the adopters know, and talk in length to them about it to make sure training facilitates that past.

Unfortunatly there are people around doing rescue for the name only, to be able to stand on their soap bow and say 'hey look I do rescue, feel for me and give me attention.' I have run into too much of that. I apologise, I must have read in more then I had thought on that post, I had mearly thought I had saw you saying to go to a breeder instead of a rescue. But a reputable rescue will from time to time have dogs fully trained, for example an ex seeing eye dog we are still trying to place in a good home and have been trying for months, but no one wants because of her age.

Someone looking for a dog already trained would find her to be a great dog. On the other hand I have met people with fully redgistered dogs who are breeding 'designer' breeds and I can only think, where are the breeders of these breeding dogs to stop this horrible practic of selling mutts for $1000.00 or more and passing them off as a reputable breed, when we have the same dogs for adoption for a how lot less. On top of which as Kerry said, there are breeders of purebred dogs too, here a rottie breeder, who should not be breeding period, the scary thing is their rep gets worse and worse, making it harder and harder to sell their dogs but their still breeding.

So I too can see it from both sides, there are bad breeders, and bad rescues, and in the middle are these BYB, puppymills and designer breeders that are skewering the line. As it was pointed out on another page once, the animal rights groups have done a very good job of seperating the dog world into arguing groups and when the time comes that we need to stand together it is going to be too late to mend the gaps between us, as seen in Ontario with the pitbull ban.

But thats another story, all I'm saying is maybe it would be better for this person to get a dog already trained, even an older dog from a breeder who is selling one of their adolesent dogs. All I know is Belgian shepherd's should never be owned as a first time dog, they are very smart and awsome in training, but only if you know what your doing, but really in this world like in any, you have the start somewhere, so maybe the question that should being asked is, if you were to know give dubravko advise on the type of dog he should get as a first time dog, what would you suggest?

In my experiance Labs are one of the most common large breed first dog, but their first three years can be hard, Bermies Mountain Dogs (sp) are great pups and very unlikly to have any agression, as well as a Newf. There are many dogs I would suggest avoiding though, such as rotties, am staffs (though they make awsome pets too many have ended up in the wrong hands) Dalmations, B.Collies. the list unfortunatly goes on.

Thanks for the debate though, and thank you for not taking my last post personally. Thank you Kerry for your support and not getting up set, this board rules! lol

bob2
12-10-2005, 08:22 AM
please do not read any hostilty into my post as threrte is meant to be none
Actually I do not see anywhere that I implied that someone should not have voice there opinion here, please point out where I made that an issue. Actually the point was that there needs to be a balanced presentation of the facts when dealing with the choice of options available for acquiring a dog, was it not? In addition I think I pointed out the fact I have and am TOTALY familiar with what you do and have actually started several rescues, worked at kill shelters,pounds, human societies,ect and seen it all..... And yet you somehow do not hear what I have said...On the other hand I must point out you and others seem to disavow that there is factual evidence that good breeding has a needed place and that there are many good breeders who perform this great sevice to both human and dog. I also find it interesting that you do not challenge my comment on the fact that many folks in the other catagories outside of breeders are doing great imjustices to the same dogs that they judge and publicly critisize. I would think you what want to hear examples to dispell my postion on this issue. I think if you actually done your homework you would have rethink your approach at a minimum when dealing with this issue honestly.. It takes time and effort to educate so I will put just a little effort forward here to hopefully provide you some insight which you chose to ignor or consider.
Fact... genectics and enviromental influence play a role in a dogs behavior to include health issues.
fact .. these charateristics can be and has been breed into and out of dogs for centuries..
fact.. Not all dogs may transfer characteristics of behavior and not all dogs will transfer physical,structural, or health issues simialary in breeding.
fact.. MANY dogs do transfer these traights...

So therefor one needs to understand that there is reason and value to use this information to not only for the selection of things we want,need, or desire in breeding a dog but also for elimination the things we consider undesirable whatever that may be both physically,mentally,and health wise...

with that said ...it is a fact that controlled breeding offers more in all of these areas then uncontrolled breeding.

IF you study herding dogs for example (there are many other similair disciplinesyou might choose) you will find documention to proof the Fact that there is UNDENIABLE
Evidence that selective breeding provides extensive success in all circumstances and especially in the area of health issues that effect a herdings dog performance stucturely and healthwise…. This is a undisputable fact.

It does not mean that all selectively breed dogs will produce dogs with an intense desire to herd..but most will….
It does not mean that all selectivelt breed dogs will not develop certain health issues.. but most dogs will not have many of the health issues such as CEA or severe HD.

So case in point why would anyone want to take a chance in unselective breeding with no adherence to breeding unhealthy or genectically challenged dogs?

Fact …because some people do not care enough to educate themselves and even then all of the other reason somehow take more priority…

You can broadcast the information about the billions of dogs are neglected and killed each year and that until you have held or witness over a 1000 dogs at shelters and in inhuman conditions that you should not support good breeding and good breeder.
This is what aloit of shlter people do, I KNOW I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE,I HAVE BEEN THERE AND HAVE DONE MORE THAN MY SHARE AND STILL DO… But I have also been on the otherside and understand the importance of having a dog that is healthy and as free of diseases as possible. I am not saying that a well breed dog will always be easier to train than one that was not thought out as I train rescue dogs everyday with equall success, but I also rehab MORE not so well bred dogs than anything and it actually sickens me, but this is my business and desire…
Dogs who are structurely unsound go through life with pains that are sometimes unnoticed by those unaware of the possibilities, I experience that every day.
On the other side I have experienced hundreds of times the uneducated shelter volunteer or employee parcing out dogs to humans who have little or no dog education and the dog has suffered greatly. I have experience hundreds of people who have gotten there dogs from shelters that have no idea of the health issues there new 2nd chance dog has and is like a time bomb of disheartenment,epecially when they find out there new Bordercollie or Bordercollie mix as severe hip displacia and should be managed differently and might cost them more money than they had planned on spending. These types of examples occur each and every day and No one seems to want to educate folks, it wqould not be good for the cause you know…… Also I cannot count the many times that shelters (however well intentioned) hand over dogs of varios breeds and temperaments (not to include health issues) to folks who just plainly should not own a dog or are unaware of the problems they may face with the breed/mix, this happens everyday and everyday I experience it. It sickens me to know shelter people personally who do these things to dogs and even after being educated by myself or others still cannot adjust there way of thinking because they feel a need to hand over dogs in the NAME OF LOVE AND COMPASSION. If you are not aware of these things I speak of then you now have an opportunity to further educate yourself and if you dismiss what I have said then you are blind. I have 3 great friends who were are/were managers of county kill shelters and they now have acquired dogs from good breeders as well as rescues and they have experienced the benefit of both… They are still conflicted when dealing with what use to be there agenda because it is so ingrained, it was such a self controlling imprint that is hard to shake…. Unless you have walked in my shoes of experience you would never know about these things would you…. But as so called guardians and stewards of the dog condition you should attempt to understand that there is a balance, and an appropriate one that you can choose to ignore if you wish…. This is just my opinion and I have not said that you are not entitled to yours. I have merely pointed out some facts that yours does not address…

GOOD DAY and should you really want to know more than I will be glad to give you mountains of information,data, and facts that you can sift thru should you be interested..

Well gotta go, have lots of neglected,abuse, and rescue dog to rehab/train+along with the well bred ones. ;.) people from both sides need as much help as the dogs it appears…

Bob2

bob2
12-10-2005, 08:24 AM
i APPRECIATE YOUR HONESTY, ALSO I MIGHT MENTION THERE ARE MANY RESCUES WHO ADOPT DOGS OUT THAT ARE UNNEATURED AND UNSPAYED.. AND THEY THEN ARE BRED ....WANT FACTS AND DATA? iT HAPPENS EVERYWHERE TO MY ASTONISHEMENT. DOES THIS MAKE RESCUE AALLFOLKS BAD..ABSOLUTELY NOT..
BOB2

smiffy
12-11-2005, 03:32 AM
you are right there are far too many ppl who claim to do rescue and one is coming to mind as i type that will only take in pure bred rotties,dobies and gsd. they sell them out and then ask for the pups back so they can sell them on too! they make me sick!
and to the post above yours you too are right in that i see ppl saying 'i do rescue' and expecting some sort of worship when in actual fact the methods they use are causing yet more mental angst to an already broken dog.#heres a for instance!!
greek rescue bring over a bitch to the uk and she is placed with this 'rescue' for rehome. a year later the poor bitch is still on kennels has now become institutionalised and whats more the only daily contact she gets is a bowlf food shoved through her door and no walks no activities. the lady tells adoptees 'you cant have that dog she bites' my boss is asked by greek rescue to go and see whats going on with this bitch and the woman. my boss goes down and meets the dog and as asked by greek rescue tries to make arrangements to get the dog off kennels.
the woman launches into " your rescue is crap your homecheckers are crap" and then she starts on about how she is better that our other local rescuers!!

this is a woman that needs a good slap, we still dont have the dog in our care even though greek rescue has told her to hand her over.

although there are bad rescues as well as bad breeders i would still ask that if you are looking for a dog to please put some serious consideration into apoting first.

bob2
12-11-2005, 07:51 AM
THis is an intersting article that might be educational.

Introduction
There are lots of really hard-working conscientious, very caring people doing rescue all over America. I feel very strongly about rescue, so it's difficult for me to see situations that reflect badly on the rescue world. Unfortunately, though, these situations do exist.

Rescue in some areas and in some breeds has a bad reputation. You'd think that saving lives would be looked on favorably, but because rescue means many things to many people, this is not always true. In some of these instances, the attitude is understandable — there are many people who are doing rescue who really should leave it to someone else.

The following categories of “rescuers” should be viewed with concern. If you are looking for a rescue dog (or considering joining the ranks of rescue), these are the people and circumstances to avoid.


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Collectors
These people will spend a lot of time talking about how great they are. They rescue everything — any breed, any mixed breed, cats, wild animals. They have a grand collection of animals living at their places. They don't spay or neuter because they don't have the time or money; anything adopted from them is free to reproduce and cause rescue problems in future generations.

Collectors don't provide veterinary care because they lack time and money. Many animals that come from collectors have health problems that accumulate high medical costs and often result in death of the animal and financial and emotional trauma to the adopter.

Collectors spend all their time feeding and cleaning after their charges, so they don't know anything about the animals' individual personalities; they can't tell adopters what to expect from the animal, so the adoptions often fail and the animal is returned.

Although they have problems with disease, collectors do not euthanize sick or aggressive animals because they “love animals too much.” Thus they place sick animals that run up medical bills for the adopter or aggressive animals that are unsafe around humans. If an aggressive or inappropriately-placed animal injures someone, rescue, the breed, and dogs usually suffer the consequences.


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Breeders
Unfortunately, some people take purebred dogs in “rescue” to breed them and sell the puppies. They don't care about the health, temperament, or quality of the dogs, just their reproductive status. Some of these “rescuers” give the dog to a friend or relative for breeding.

If they do find homes for the dogs, they don't sterilize before placing and they don't screen adopters to restrict breeding potential.

Mixed breeds are not safe from these people. There is someone in my area who specializes in small mixed breeds. She sells Yorki-poos, Peke-a-poos, schnoodles — you get the idea. It doesn't matter what the dog's actual background is; if the pups can be passed off as something, they will be.


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Bleeding hearts
This sounds funny coming from me because many people think I am a bleeding heart myself. I will be the first to admit that I don't believe in taking another creature's life lightly, but euthanasia is a necessary part of rescue. If you can't handle it, stay out of rescue.

Euthanasia is a painful process for me. I still feel the same pain and agony and helplessness for Nicky, the first dog I had to kill. It never goes away; it never gets easier.

The “easiest” decisions to euthanize are for the sick animals, the ones in pain. I know I am releasing them to a God who will see they are better cared for than they were on earth, but I am always sad that I didn't find them earlier, when help might have made a difference.

Next are the vicious animals. Although there is the pain of taking a life away, I know I am saving the dog from hurting a human, maybe seriously. I also consider the possibility of such a dog dying a terrifying death instead of a peaceful one with me. There is a sadness with these dogs, too; maybes if we found it early enough we could have changed the temperament or kept the animal from living a life that made it vicious.

We also make the decision to euthanize if a dog is unplaceable because of age or behavior or is a Malamute-wolf hybrid.

It is almost impossible to place a dog that is 10 or 12 years old. It is difficult to imagine someone dumping a dog after all those years together, but they do. If age alone is the reason for death, it makes me angry.

Some dogs are unplaceable. They aren't vicious or unhealthy, and they aren't old. They are mental misfits — unbelievable nervous, uncomfortable inside or out, or won't stay in a fence, any fence. They will injure themselves trying to escape. They never relax, never seem happy or content. They are a struggle to deal with and impossible to place.

The hybrids are tough. I tend to get along with these creatures and I truly appreciate the pieces of them that are wild. However, for the preservation of my breed, Malamute-wolf-hybrids in rescue should be euthanized. Hybrids are poor pets for virtually all pet owners, and they give the dog breed part of their heritage a bad name when they are misidentified as a purebred on purpose or out of ignorance.

The most difficult animal to euthanize is the one you spend time, money, and energy on, the one you grow to appreciate and love, the one who commits an unforgivable act of aggression. The pain is dreadful and long-lasting.

Euthanasia is ugly, painful, emotionally stressful, a moral struggle, and very necessary. If you can't do it, stay out of rescue.


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Rescuer categories
There are lots of really hard-working conscientious, very caring people doing rescue all over America. I feel very strongly about rescue, so it's difficult for me to see situations that reflect badly on the rescue world. Unfortunately, though, these situations do exist.

Rescue in some areas and in some breeds has a bad reputation. You'd think that saving lives would be looked on favorably, but because rescue means many things to many people, this is not always true. In some of these instances, the attitude is understandable — there are many people who are doing rescue who really should leave it to someone else.

Resuming with the list, the following categories of “rescuers” should be viewed with concern. If you are looking for a rescue dog (or considering joining the ranks of rescue), these are the people and circumstances to avoid.


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Idiots
This is pretty blunt but very accurate. There are people doing rescue who are stupid or uninformed. Or both. They have good hearts, but they go willy-nilly through the world placing animals and spouting words of “wisdom” that are totally incorrect. At best, they give false information that will be taken as gospel and cause minor troubles. At worst, they cause a dog to be euthanized or a human to be injured.


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Liars
Again, blunt and accurate. We in rescue know people will tell us anything to get us to take their animal. We have learned to evaluate animals ourselves and not take the word of the owner as gospel. In all fairness, some people can't be objective about their animal. But some people just lie.

If you are doing rescue and you lie, you are doing more harm than good. People need to know the truth about an animal, its past, its health, its capabilities, and its limitations to the best of your knowledge. Truth about the animal can make the adjustment period easier and sometimes make the difference between an animal that gets to stay in a home and one that gets returned or euthanized.


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Money makers
This one fascinates me. There are people who use rescue dogs as a means of making money. They don't breed them, but they use them to get donations. They do a lot of advertising and use the media to play up the really sad cases and make a good deal of money through donations. There are also people who get dog food donated and use it to feed their own dogs. Some of these people do a good job with their rescue dogs, and some don't. But either way, they are unethically taking money for themselves that was given to help the dogs.


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One-dog rescuers
This is odd and not too common. There are people who say they do rescue, take one animal into their home, and then for the next six or seven years, they say they are full and can't take any more dogs. Sometimes a breed club pays for the care of the dog; if this is the case, the club is paying for the “rescuer” to own a pet.

Even if the person takes financial responsibility for the dog, he is keeping other needy animals from getting into rescue because he is listed as the rescue contact for the area. Some people just like to tell others they do rescue because they like the sound of the words and idea.


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Power-mongers
There are people who do rescue by themselves, do a good job, and are a real asset to their communities. There are also people who draw all the attention they can to themselves, not for money, but for the ability to control. This is not always bad. Rescue needs the outgoing person who draws a lot of publicity. Otherwise, how could anyone know we are here?

But if you do this for any reason other than to help the animals, you are doing more harm than good. If you use your position to control finances, placement of animals, publicity, or anything else without making the animal the top priority, you are not needed in rescue.


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Emotional cripples
There are people doing rescue who get something crucial from the animals that they aren't getting from their own animals or from the people in their lives. I have always said that we get more from rescue dogs than we give. They teach so much about dog behavior, breed specifics, resilience, stamina, the ability to love and keep loving, and the ability to heal and love again.

I never could have owned 70-plus Malamutes in seven years and learned from them all that I have from the same number of rescue dogs. But if you put your emotions, your feelings first and the welfare of the animals second, you are not doing what' best for the animals.

Vets love the emotional cripples, for they sometimes turn their charges into hypochondriacs. Along with running to the clinic at the drop of a hat, they tend to keep dogs far too long. If the dogs are kept in kennels, they can lose their housetraining, socialization, and obedience training, situations that make it more difficult to find them a home.


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Doing a good rescue job
There are many things necessary for doing a good job in rescue. You need:

Space for the dogs
Money to care for them
Time to clean, train, socialize, groom, test, and feed
A knowledge of your breed
Lots of love and patience
A sense of humor

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Know your limits
When we started Malamute rescue in Ohio, we had a dog every so often, but with lots of breathing space in between. There were no serious problems with health or temperament. Now there are three of us and we always have multiple dogs. There is no breathing space. There are sometimes dogs on a waiting list, staying with their owners until we place one and have room. If you let someone make you feel guilty for what you do, you will burn out faster and be no good to anyone. So, acknowledge your limit. If it's one dog at a time, do that. If you can handle three, do that.

Remember your situation will change over time and what may work for you now will no longer be acceptable. When that happens, change your rescue along with the rest of your life. At a National Animal Interest Alliance rescue symposium in North Carolina several years ago we met a woman who had done Weimaraner rescue of many years and had done an outstanding job. She finally felt that the time had come for her to stop foster care, so someone else does that job and she raises money, talks to groups, does phone work, transports dogs, and checks on dogs in pounds and shelters. There are many ways to help.

Try to be nice to people as well as the animals. It's usually not hard to be nice to the adopters. They are taking one of my dogs and giving it a home with lots of love and attention. The ones giving up the animals are sometimes harder to deal with. Most often they are living through rough times or have come to a place when they can no longer care for the animal.

But sometimes I meet a really ugly person who has abused an animal, totally neglected its care, or for some other reason doesn't win my respect. I try to be reasonable, to not be judgmental, to be understanding. Sometimes during a conversation, something is said that helps you deal with the situation and help the person as well as the dog. Sometimes, I just want to get the dog and be away from there as quickly as possible.

If you want to be in rescue try hard to develop your people skills. These skills are important when taking dogs, when placing dogs, and when helping people solve a behavior problem so they can keep the dog.

Linda Smith