Let Dogs Be Dogs for Dog’s Sake

Humans are weird. Since our only references for life are our own cultures, experiences, and thought processes, we tend to project that onto everything else around us.

Dogs are a good example. We anthropomorphize them, assume their thoughts and motivations mirror our own, or that they should behave in ways we deem appropriate.

I often see people become embarrassed and shoo their dog away when it begins a thorough sniff of another dog’s genitals. Dogs are punished and told off for humping one another. Why? Yes, in human society it would be remarkably rude to sniff a stranger’s nether regions or hump them. But that’s all a totally normal part of dog culture and we need to get over it.

Dog noses are incredibly powerful and can distinguish a crazy amount of smells. Just by sniffing another dog’s junk they can learn a lot about them. It’s the normal canine way of getting to know each other. It’s the same as our “Hey how ya doin’? Where ya from? What do ya do for a living?” etc. Just let it happen. And humping? For dogs, humping serves more purpose than just reproducing. It can be a normal part of play or a displacement behavior when they’re anxious. Puppies learn a lot of life skills during play, and humping just happens to be one that becomes a normal part of their repertoire along with the rest of it. As long as the humpee doesn’t mind the humping, don’t worry about it. If the humpee tells the humper to knock it off and the humper doesn’t listen, though, then it’s time to intervene.

This suppression and punishment of normal canine behaviors can be, at best, terribly frustrating for our four-legged friends. Sometimes our selfish desire to get a dog to behave the way we want can have some unfortunate fallout. For instance, people who walk dogs off-leash to show off their “impressive” training skills. I’m not talking about the folks who let their dogs romp freely and gleefully in the woods. I’m talking about the assholes who walk their dogs on busy sidewalks or other potentially dangerous areas, for the sole purpose of showing off how well they can make their dog obey even in the most distracting or “real world” environments.

They use electronic collars to force their dog to stay glued to their side. If the dog goes more than a couple of feet or even takes a step toward another dog or person, they get a correction from the collar. This has the very real potential to teach that dog to fear other dogs or people. They’re often not connecting the correction with their behavior of walking towards something, they’re connecting it with whatever has their focus at the time – the dog or person. If you got an uncomfortable or downright painful sensation every time you went toward something, wouldn’t you start to become anxious and want to avoid that something? Or even become outright threatening as a way to scare it off?

This need to boost one’s ego by showing how well they can control another living thing is pretty gross. Yes, solid training is a good idea and can be life-saving in an emergency. But in the meantime just put a damn leash on your dog and stop punishing it for being a normal dog. Many of these dogs show blatant signs of learned helplessness. I assure you anyone who can recognize it is not impressed by your “training.”

Set boundaries, provide guidance. But for dog’s sake, be understanding and just let dogs be dogs, yo.

Edit: Before anyone jumps on me with #NOTALLDOGS I do want to add that not every dog trained to be off-leash using a shock collar is going to develop terrible fears/aggression and learned helplessness. There are ways to do it “better” if a disproportionate amount of time/effort is spent rewarding the behaviors you do want from your dog (and I mean with more than praise and a pat on the head). But any sort of physical correction has to be used very, very, very carefully to avoid potential behavioral fallout or damaging their trust in you. The above example is an example of using one poorly. I don’t advocate their use and find them unnecessary at best, but I’m not naive enough to think all dogs respond to them the same way or that it’s impossible to get a well-trained dog using a shock collar. But it’s a risk I don’t recommend taking.

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Dogs Deserve the Power of “No”

This post probably isn’t going where you think it is. I’m not talking about telling Fido “NO!” when he steals food off the counter or bites your cousin Margaret’s ankle (even though we all know she deserved it, that awful woman).

I’m talking about allowing our dogs to tell others “no.”

Some people seem to believe Spot should be a model family member who can do no wrong and tolerate all manner of nonsense. The loyal family rug that you feed in exchange for unconditional love (…wait). Spot is a bad dog if he ever growls or snaps or shows any sort of displeasure with another being/activity.

For example, I see this occasionally at the dog park. Dog #1 will be, for whatever reason, disinterested in playing with Dog #2. Dog #2 doesn’t get the hint and persists in trying to get Dog #1 to play. Dog #1 has had enough and finally tells Dog #2 off with a ferocious snarl. Dog #1’s owner chides them, saying, “They just want to play, why are you being so mean?!”

Well why are you such a fucking idiot, Margaret?!

Ahem, sorry…

Dog #1 is not obligated to play with Dog #2. Maybe Dog #1 is tired, in pain, or simply doesn’t like Dog #2’s play style. Maybe Dog #2 made fun of Dog #1’s haircut (something I’ve heard an actual “pet psychic” say, no lie). Until the day dogs evolve the ability to say, in clear English, “I’m sorry, old chap, I’m afraid I’d rather sit this one out – perhaps another time, old bean,” they have only a few ways of communicating with each other – and a snarl is a perfectly reasonable form of communication when all other more polite forms have failed. (Also, don’t ask me why dogs evolve to be British caricatures in the future.)

My dog is allowed to tell other dogs to buzz off when he has a valuable chew like a bully stick. He usually does this with a hard stare or small growl. The other dogs usually respect his request and all is well – it was merely communication. My dog learns this form of communication is effective and does not feel the need to escalate to something more aggressive.

My dog is also allowed to tell me no. Yes, even me! If I’m trimming his nails and he pulls his paw away, I let him. I encourage him with treats and praise and try holding his paw differently (this usually works for him, but if not I need to go back a step and work on counter-conditioning). He needs to know I will listen and respect when he is uncomfortable. No one likes the parent who forces them to do things and refuses to listen (ugh, parents – they just don’t understand). This teaches him I can be trusted and he is safe with me, which improves our bond and boosts his confidence.

Lastly: children. For the love of Morgan Freeman, stop forcing your dogs to tolerate children! We all love to believe our dog is that perfect family pet who adores and protects our little ones, letting them do anything they please to them. But at the end of the day, they’re just dogs, and dogs get fed up with being disrespected. Tiny humans are obnoxious, shrill, grabby things who haven’t yet learned boundaries. My dog adores children and I’m sure he would tolerate an awful lot from them, but even he would need a break. If he chose to disengage from a toddler and leave the room I would let him. If he even growled at a persistent child, I would reassure him it’s okay and remove the child while encouraging him to go take a break somewhere. He said no, so I am respecting this by protecting him and ending the interaction.

When we forget that, for a dog, growling or snapping is just a form of communication, because they have no other way to tell us they’re uncomfortable, it does them and our relationship a huge disservice. Imagine living with a family whose culture and language was entirely different from yours and they made no attempt to understand you (or misinterpreted you big time). It’s gotta be pretty weird and confusing to be a dog. We need to meet them halfway by understanding, listening, and allowing them a little autonomy.

Any Dog Can Be Trained to…

Pointless rant ahoy! LOWER THE ANCHOR, MATEY!

Any dog can be trained to do [this, that, and the other thing]!”

I hear this a lot from trainers (of all methodologies). Theoretically they’re correct… but I can’t help but let out an exasperated sigh every time I hear it.

If you figure out the most effective reinforcements and put in the needed amount of time and effort… yes, you can technically train any dog to do just about anything. But I feel like dog trainers say this too freely to clients and forget to mention that, quite simply, some dogs are much more challenging than others.

Train a working line German Shepherd to do competitive obedience? No problem! Train a working line Great Pyrenees to do the same? Please record the training sessions and post them to Youtube so I can laugh at them.

It’s no secret that some dogs are bred to do certain things (herding breeds are gonna herd, scenthounds are gonna sniff, primitive breeds are going to scoff at you from their jewel-encrusted throne they bought off eBay using the credit card they stole, etc.). Some dogs are bred to be more handler-focused and biddable. They will be easy to train because working with you is naturally rewarding to them and therefore they’re more forgiving when it comes to goof-ups and punishment.

I’m amused when people say dogs like German Shepherds are a “hard” breed. They ARE difficult for most average dog owners simply because they typically have a lot of energy and need an outlet for it. They want to work – they are not content to be an accent rug in your living room that you occasionally throw a ball for. They’re also very biddable. If well-trained, they will quickly obey a cue even if it interferes with their deepest desire. My previous GSD mix would stop in his tracks and recall from chasing squirrels (THE most rewarding thing to him in existence) because I’d taught him that coming to me was also rewarding… and because he was just kind of wired to obey. My current GSD mix is very much the same way. I’ve been incredibly lazy with training him, but he will still come when I call rather than going to greet the dog across the street he has already dubbed his new best friend. If I tried that with an Akita or a Beagle I would expect to be blown off so fast my head would spin, unless I’d put in substantial time and effort with training. They would likely not be as easy as my handler-focused GSD mutts.

(Note: This isn’t to say a well-trained GSD isn’t that impressive – it’s very impressive and does take a great deal of time and skill! They’re simply more willing to work with us clumsy, ignorant primates than some other breeds.)

For many dogs it’s also very important to have a strong bond and long reinforcement history with them before you see significant results with training. I see many dogs who just kind of tolerate their owners rather than trust and rely on them. Knowing which methods work best for you and your dog is also key. If I had trained either of my dogs with a lot of punishment and corrections, I suspect their training would not be nearly as solid. They were/are both soft and sensitive to punitive techniques. If I so much as raised my voice they would become visibly stressed, usually enough to want to disengage from training – and from me. But I made training safe and fun for them which built their trust in me.

Let’s face it, most average dog owners can’t/don’t want to put in that much effort and many of them don’t have the skill to even if they did. Reading and training dogs does not come naturally to everyone. Training is a mechanical skill that requires keen observation and good timing. Denise Fenzi may be able to train that Pyrenees to compete in obedience, but your lazy neighbor who majored in accounting probably can’t.

There are some dogs I would even argue are near impossible to train to do certain things unless you were telekinetic and could control every aspect of the environment at all times. Sometimes the effort just isn’t worth it and management becomes your best friend. Not to mention that many behaviors have a genetic component – sometimes you can only mitigate, not eliminate. Teaching your Greyhound not to chase your pet rabbit may be a pipe dream, for instance. There are so many variables when it comes to a dog’s behavior and training them. It’s important to pick your battles with some clients rather than getting their hopes up that their Shiba Inu will excel in agility the same way your Border Collie does.

 

 

We Can’t and Shouldn’t “Save ‘Em All”

Wow it’s been a while since I posted, but look, I’m not dead!

Just kidding, I’m very dead. On the inside.

I decided I’d like to rant because my life is spiraling out of control and I have nothing better to do while I wait for my laundry to be done. I know I’m not the first to rant about this particular topic and I won’t be the last.

Those of us involved in the shelter community are familiar with the “save ’em all” mentality. The idea that every dog who comes through those shelter doors should be given a chance at all costs because damnit, it’s a living being with wants and needs.

What I think is worth saving and what you think is worth saving may be completely different. But after years in various shelters, I’m exhausted. I’m tired. Tired of seeing valuable time and resources wasted on dogs who are borderline feral, dogs with serious bite histories, dogs whose health will only decline over time, and so on. I’m tired of seeing good dogs with a legitimate chance at a good life neglected.

It’s not always the shelter or rescue’s fault dogs are getting screwed over. Sometimes their hands are tied in some way or another. It’s never easy, because in the end, you are talking about a living being. Sometimes there are complicated variables at every turn. Sometimes it’s just how the system works. We have a long way to go to change it.

It’s no secret dogs are being overbred, whether purposefully or accidentally. They flood shelters to the point some have to euthanize even healthy, stable dogs just so they have space to take in more. Some shelters are open admission, meaning they have to take in every animal brought to them whether they have space or not. Even with restricted admission shelters, sometimes animals get abandoned on the property, giving them no choice but to take them in (this abandonment is very illegal by the way, but it’s very difficult convincing authorities to go after them).

Keep in mind I’m talking primarily about shelters in the U.S. Other, more responsible countries don’t have the problems we do. Until we have a manageable amount of dogs in the country, why are we wasting time, money, and energy on dogs with aggression issues? Dogs with severe health issues? Dogs who are so borderline feral that 95% of the time I see them they’re stressed out of their mind because they don’t want to be surrounded by all these strange humans? While it is not their fault, these dogs do not mesh well with this life we are trying to shoehorn them into.

I have been struggling with a foster dog over the past year. When she came in as a stray her only issue was mild resource guarding with food, which we very successfully worked on until she was very adoptable. Long story short, shelter life caused her to deteriorate. She became uncomfortable with strangers and would snap at them with little warning if they attempted to touch her. We thought it was a barrier issue since it was only happening through the kennel door. She’d been friendly with people outside the kennel, so I took her home to foster. Turns out her discomfort with strangers wasn’t restricted to being in a kennel.

She has improved since being with me to the point she will attempt to walk away or otherwise disengage when she is uncomfortable (previously she would stand her ground). But as we all know, people are fucking idiots. Even if the dog clearly wants nothing to do with them, they push it and try to befriend them in their very inappropriate, primate way. When she is pushed she will still snap with little warning. While her bites are mild, she has broken skin and I’m terrified to think how much her issues would worsen in the wrong home.

On top of that, she has a bone structure that literally makes it uncomfortable for her to move. It’s clear to see when she tries to sit or lie down. We’ve tested her thyroid, looked into the possibility of Cushings, but the vet found no issue other than she is just “oddly built and overweight.” We’ve been working on the weight loss, but even with that the discs in her back will always cause her discomfort and likely deteriorate over time. Surgery can’t correct it. She would need to be on pain meds for the rest of her life, at the very least.

We have exhausted every effort to give this dog a chance even though I knew better. If not for the fact she is absolutely perfect when strangers aren’t trying to touch her, I would not have put in this much effort to save her. I love her dearly but I have no interest in keeping her. I know my limits. I know spreading myself too thin (emotionally and financially) does me, my dog, and my foster a huge disservice. I am already struggling with depression and burn out. I have less to spread than others. I strongly agreed with the shelter’s decision that she was unsafe to adopt out. She was transferred to another rescue (though I remain her foster) to try giving her one last shot even though, once again, I knew better.

I was selfish with my previous dog. I tried to save him in the end when he was old and dying of cancer. I didn’t know for certain he had cancer ’til after he’d passed, but I put him through surgery to remove his spleen in case it would give him another year or so of good life. He was refusing to eat, to go for walks (his favorite thing in the world). He knew his time was up and he was ready to go, but I wouldn’t listen. I wasn’t ready to let him go. I was selfish and he suffered for it. I should have given him one final, amazing week before letting him go peacefully and pain-free in my arms. I know we do stupid things when faced with mortality and losing loved ones. I understand why I handled it the way I did. I am in the slow process of forgiving myself, but it still kills me and it will always kill me.

I don’t want my foster to deteriorate and suffer. I don’t want to risk her bouncing from home to home, being put under more and more stress, potentially biting more people. She is happy with me. I think it’s likely this is the the happiest she’ll ever be. I don’t want to keep trying and find out that I was right. For once I would love to be wrong, but the risk of finding that out is not worth it. It will be hard, I will cry and grieve, but she will have a happy and dignified end. Not yet, but some day.

I am tired of seeing dogs bounced around, misunderstood, stressed, neglected, hurting other people or pets. It is humanity’s fault for failing them. We bred poor, unstable genetics into them, we did horrible things to them in the name of “training,” we refused to truly understand and respect them. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is let them peacefully leave the world others did such a poor job preparing them for.

 

The “Real World” Argument

Any dog trainer who’s spent any amount of time feebly arguing on the internet has likely encountered the “real world” argument. It’s an argument most frequently seen from trainers who utilize correction collars and few  (if any) treats. They consider verbal praise to be a sufficient reward (and for some dogs in some cases, it is).

These folks sometimes lambaste us “cookie pushers” and say our reward-based training will not hold up in the “real world.”  Frankly, I didn’t realize I was training in an alternate reality! Neat!

But what they mean by “real world” is “out and about where your dog could actually get hurt if they don’t listen to you.” Where they could chase a squirrel into traffic, a loud noise could startle them into running away, they try to harass a venomous snake, etc. They say there’s more to communicating with your dog than shoving treats in their face for every problem.

I don’t disagree with that last statement at all. There is a lot more to it than treats. Treats will be almost useless if you have not also built a strong bond filled with trust and respect. The same goes for any other training tool, though.

Why do us “cookie pushers” use treats so much? They’re easy and most dogs will work for them. Plus they’re a great way to teach fearful dogs we’re safe and to associate us with good things That’s it. It is phenomenally arrogant and misguided to expect an animal simpler than ourselves to work for little to no payoff. Some dogs love working with us and are willing to do it for lesser rewards, such as verbal praise. Other dogs need more incentive. Much like I’m gonna need a dozen donuts rather than a pat on the back if you want me to help clean your house. Well, depending on who you are – if our relationship is stronger I may be willing to settle for half a dozen.

I love the people who say “you won’t always have treats on you.” They’re not wrong, but this exhibits a misunderstanding of how proper reward-based training is done. If you need treats to get your dog to respond to you every time, you’ve screwed  up your training. Skilled reward-based trainers use treats heavily when initially teaching behaviors and when increasing criteria (distance, distraction, duration, etc.). After that it’s best to work with a variable reinforcement schedule – no need to reward every behavior, and do it unpredictably. Think like a slot machine. They’re addictive for a reason. Your dog doesn’t know for certain if he’ll get a reward this time, but he’ll damn well try, just in case.

Let me clarify and get this out of the way: I am not in the “correction collars are torture devices!!!” camp. There are some dogs trained with these collars who perform beautifully and enjoy it (whether they would be even more amazing if trained without the collars, I can’t say). They’re just not my thing. For my purposes, I’ve never needed them. If I can get my dog to avoid danger with reward-based training and management (leashes, etc.), I prefer to go that route.

My point is that yes, reward-based training can work for the “real world” too. My dog was never physically corrected, but he had a rock solid recall. I was able to repeatedly call him back to me in the middle of chasing squirrels while off-leash (this was THE single most rewarding thing in life to him, mind you). His recall and equally solid “wait” cues actually stopped him from walking into the road a couple of times (once was when he was after a squirrel, the other was when he was following me to my car).

I had made working with me so rewarding and built up his trust in me so strongly that he would listen when he knew full-well I had no treats on me (and I frequently walked him without treats because I didn’t need them). I had conditioned such a strong positive feeling when he heard one of his cues that his response became automatic. He didn’t fear the consequence of what would happen if he didn’t listen, he loved what happened when he did listen. He loved working with me.

shadowsanta2010

“Okay, I will trust your judgment here and assume this isn’t as weird as I think it is…”

Plenty of other reward-based trainers have achieved the same (if not better) results. Even with “hard” or “high drive” breeds that allegedly need a “firm hand” when training.

I’ll admit this is more difficult to achieve with some dogs (scent hounds, amirite?). But it’s very possible if done properly and I’m simply tired of people misunderstanding that.

Stop Guilt Tripping People Who Give Up Their Pets

As an animal lover who is involved in the local shelter/rescue community, I of course see a lot of stuff related to these interests on social media. Something I’ve been seeing crop up way too much lately is making those who give up their pets feel like guilty, heartless people. It doesn’t matter what the reason was, you are a monster if you abandon your sweet, precious, angel furbaby. This mindset needs to stop.

As an animal shelter employee, I get to hear all sorts of reasons people give up their pets. A very common one is because the owners are moving. Many of us wouldn’t dream of moving to a place that didn’t allow our pets, or we can’t fathom people who are just too lazy/uncaring to bring their pets with them on a long trip.

Do you know how difficult it was for me to find an affordable apartment that would allow my 60lb dog that wasn’t even one of the “dangerous” breeds? I couldn’t find a place. I had to remain living with my friend and his parents (and to them I am eternally grateful). I have since found an affordable, pet-friendly place, but it’s one that is NOT easy to come by (though my dog had since passed away). The only reason I snagged it is because of social connections. That dog was my world and moving without him wasn’t an option, but having him severely limited my housing options. I didn’t make a lot of money, but I made enough to comfortably care for the two of us. Now that I’m paying rent it would have been difficult to do this (I’m having a hard enough time affording care for myself, frankly). It’s a lot more difficult than “well don’t move to a place that doesn’t allow pets” or “well then buy your own home.” Some of us can’t afford that luxury. Sometimes things change and money gets tight. Not everyone who gives up their pet because they’re moving are heartless – sometimes they just don’t have any other choice. I’ve seen my share of people bawling their eyes out at the shelter when giving up their pet because they don’t want to, but they’re out of options. Maybe they don’t have any friends or family able to watch their pet until they get back on their feet. You don’t know. So don’t assume.

I don’t even want to imagine how difficult it is for people with multiple pets, really large dogs (so many places had a 25lb weight limit), or people with “dangerous” breeds.

I could go through and hash out all the other common reasons pets are surrendered or where they choose to surrender them to, but that’s tedious and I would just end up reiterating “things are not always that simple, don’t make assumptions about their life” every time.  Even dedicated, knowledgeable, devoted dog owners may run into circumstances that force them to give up their beloved pet. Chances are they feel awful enough surrendering their pet. Making them feel guilty and horrible achieves nothing other than convincing them that all rescue people are horrible, crazy people (and let’s face it, some of you are).

Don’t get me wrong, there are some really stupid reasons people have given up their pet. But if they care so little and are willing to give up their pet over something so stupid, do you really want that person keeping that pet?

Not everyone has the same attitude about pets you do. Some people view them as pets, tools, or property, not family members. You’re not going to change that. Especially not by getting pissy and judgmental. If you really want to change anything, start educating in a more open, understanding way – and preferably only to people willing to hear what you have to say. Otherwise it is wasted effort that only serves to leave you perpetually angry with the world and making the shelter/rescue community look bad. This angry, holier-than-thou bullshit in these communities needs to stop.

Why Would I Choose a Breeder?

I work in a shelter and have been involved with the shelter/rescue community for years now. Yet I’m considering getting my next dog from a breeder. This post will likely stir up some controversy amongst my friends and acquaintances; some may even get downright furious with me. I completely understand why. However, I ask you to hear me out. There are reasons behind this decision and it’s not one I take lightly. It’s taken a long time for me to come to this decision – and frankly I may still change my mind.

Some believe there’s no such thing as a “responsible” breeder, but obviously I disagree. There aren’t many, but they do exist. These breeders are dedicated to preserving their breed as the dog it was meant to be. In a way, it’s like a work of art. A good breeder will do extensive health testing to avoid passing on any issues to the puppies. A good breeder will breed for temperament so they are not producing anything unstable. A good breeder knows how important socialization is, has you sign a contract, and will take a dog back at any point in its life if you decide you cannot keep it. Because of this they do not contribute to overpopulation in shelters. Good breeders will also suggest rescues to some people or help the rescues directly themselves. Considering all the money they pour into proving their dogs’ health and abilities, they don’t make nearly the profit you think they do. This isn’t for money. This is for the love of a breed.

Someone who buys a dog from a breeder is not literally responsible for a shelter dog dying. Even if they do not get a puppy from a breeder that does not mean they would have or should have gotten a shelter dog. Police dogs, military dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, etc. The people who take on puppies for this kind of work need puppies whose health, drive, and temperament will be predictable.

I don’t train police/military/service/SAR dogs. Why on earth do need a dog from a breeder? Because I want something very specific. If I find that very specific dog in a shelter before I get a dog from a breeder – then great! But it’s not likely. It’s selfish, but I’m picky. I don’t want a project. I quite fancy German Shepherds. Poorly bred GSDs can be found throughout rescues. A poorly bred GSD is often a disaster – aggression, anxiety, health problems, so on. If you’re getting a dog bred for guarding and working, you need to be careful where it comes from. Getting a GSD puppy from rescue is a huge gamble (plus they look so different as puppies who knows if it’s even a GSD unless you’ve seen the parents). I would just get an adult, but I really want to start off with a puppy. I want to teach it appropriate behavior from the beginning, prevent bad habits as best I can, properly socialize to avoid behavior issues, and have a better chance of teaching it to enjoy normally scary things like going to the vet. I’d also like a dog to do obedience and potentially sports with. For that I need a dog with at least a little working drive.

“But it’s all in how you raise ’em!” No. No it isn’t. Stop saying that.  Improper socialization and training can have a huge impact – absolutely. But temperament and drive has a genetic component. Things like aggression and anxiety can be passed on to puppies. So I want a dog from rock solid lineage to avoid those issues. Five days a week I work with dogs with behavior issues. The last thing I want to do when I come home is do more of that with my own dog. The breeder I am considering usually has a long wait list for puppies and potential buyers must pass a thorough screening process. In the meantime, I will absolutely continue to browse shelters and rescues for a dog that suits me. I’d be delighted if I could find one. And 95% of the time I’m still totally going to recommend shelters/rescues to anyone looking to add a dog to their life.

Unfortunately regulations on breeding dogs are so piss-poor that pretty much anyone with two intact dogs can be a breeder. The real people who are the problem are the puppy mills and backyard breeders – those who don’t breed/test for health or temperament, those who don’t screen buyers, those who just churn out dogs ignorantly for a profit. They are the ones whose dogs end up in shelters. They are the ones who deserve your ire.

I know that even with all this, some will still disagree with my decision to go to a breeder. That’s fine. Hopefully this helped others understand.