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Old 12-30-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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Default Breed traits and rescuing controversy!

After rescuing Feliz and seen yet two more dobermans and three more rottweilers going into the shelter I have started to think. Two of these animals were labeled questionable due to resource guarding. I know for a fact that breed rescue groups dont like to pull these animals either cause it's concidered a liability issue. And most competing dogpeople "serious" dog people so to say that can handle these breeds often goes for pure breeds from good breeders so they know what they get and they rarely end up in the shelter. But what about now these dogs who has good genetics and behave like the breed should? I mean a rottweiler is suposed to be wary of strangers and guard against them so resource guarding is bascially a natural development for them to ensure survival in a threatening world. SAme thing for dobies.. And this is the same trait that will have them PTS despite it should be in my opinion concidered as a natural response in the animal. I can just take Feliz for an example once in a calm enviroment, granted she hasnt eaten yet but she was good with treats in the shelter and her sensitivity to touch and stiff movements dissapeared. I now brush her several times a day etc and she loves it. Shes still bonding and it will take her a while again as is normal for the breed but it would have been a waste of a georgus dog with a very nice mental disposition if she had been put to sleep. Same thing for Midnight, sure he was a bit more extrem, but underneith all that he had a great mentality. It all boils down to trust basically, when these breeds trust you they will rely on you. I just dont think it's fair that a breed trait will be their deathdoom when that is what we breed for for so many years.

and yes Im aware of that there is dogs within the breeds who does resource guarding and other behaviors that are more severe and damaged animals that will be needed to be put to sleep. Im talking about behaviors within the normal breed trait range.

and Im fully aware of that theres a ton of dogs who dont display nothing and they are safer to adopt out and therefor the otherwise excellent dogs like Feliz would be still have to die to give her space up to someone who is rated no concern instead of questionable I still just don't think it's fair..
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:43 PM   #2
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Forget the breed trait, the whole behavior test in general isn't fair. Dog comes in to shelter, scared and confused, gets put into a room with food, toys and bones - gets them taken away, given back, taken away; gets poked with a giant arm while eating - shows teeth, snarls, growls or snaps at hand - death sentence handed down. I understand the necessity of the behavior test but the whole thing in general is just sad. So many good dogs fail that test due to their mental/emotional state at the time.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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I agree Cass, and I know some people are thinking but if they arent strong/stable enough to handle that test what if they come out in real life etc. Its such a difference, they rarely even give the dogs time to settle.. I mean Feliz was in and sentenced to death in 3 days!!!!
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:58 PM   #4
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It's a tough subject that easily could stray into a number of types of breeds. At the heart of things the problem would be eliminated if people would simply research and know what they are likely getting in their dog in the first place which would keep then out of the shelter and in their original homes. Certain breeds, as we well know, need certain kinds of handling for their behaviors to be focused properly. But, we all know that is a reality that will never come true.

Take herding dogs, for example. If one is not prepared for their little bundle of energy to try and round up everything from leaves blowing in the wind to crowds of people to cars going by--the end result can be very tragic from a neurotic dog who desires to herd the world by biting it and can't shut it off thus becoming aggressive--or a dog that gets run over by a car. If one helps the dog to either use the skill or focus it on only certain objects, the dog has the boundaries it needs to stabilize. Furthermore: Terriers are little hunters. Many people see them as cute little dogs and seem to be completely unaware of the original purpose! Thus when their little terrier begins to try and dig out all the area rodents they have no clue even why! An owner who knows what they have is likely to be equipped with the knowledge to either work the skill, or focus it.

There are countless other purpose bred groupings that could be looked at... and it boils down to knowing what the whole package is and being prepared to support it. Does it mean if you have a herding breed they have to herd? No, as long as their is an outlet and a focus for the instinct--such as ball games or frisbee, or running agility. A herding dog CAN be kept in the city in a small yard IF and ONLY IF things are balanced for the mental and physical health. Same with terriers, you gotta have an outlet and focus for their hunting instinct.

The ones that you speak of, Monkey, historically bred for guarding I can see where they are a tough call. I can see where the wrong type of household could destabilize them and the right one (as long as it is not too extreme) could focus it properly. I do wish that people would just be honest and realistic to begin with about the dog they bring into their households... then there would not be as many with their natural instincts driven to an extreme.
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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This type of dog should not be adopted out to first time owners. Only experieced ppl should get them.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techie View Post
This type of dog should not be adopted out to first time owners. Only experieced ppl should get them.
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I am not sure that I entirely agree with this. I was 19 many years ago when I rescued the 1st dog I had ever owned, I had always liked dogs and been interested but my Mother was and is terrified of dogs so we never had one. The dog we rescued turned out to have many serious aggression and posesion issues. However I researched everything I could, took him to training classes, spent hours with him and was very careful with him for the full 15 years of his life. It took alot of constant thought and attention but we never had any serious unexpected problems. However I have known and do know several "experienced" dog owners who I wouldn't trust to look after a goldfish let alone a dog or puppy, they seem completely clueless as regards a dogs needs. I feel that alot more questions should be asked before rehoming and also before selling pups to prospective owners. Inexperience does not make an unsuitable owner, in my opinion but owners who don't want the best for their dogs and are not prepared to learn or listen. If you are interested you can learn if you are not you can't.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Shelters and rescue organizations do and should screen potential adoptive homes. In fact, many people are put off due to the extensive application and questions and home visits. While some organizations can be "over the top" with their processes, I would still rather see that than the alternative. Pet stores and BYB's will sell a puppy/dog without asking anything. It's like buying a gallon of milk at the grocery store. These people could care less where the dog is going, whether or not it is a good fit for the home, etc.

I'm not saying that EVERY Rottweiler, APBT, Staffie, Bulldog, Great Dane and Husky that enters the shelter is only going to be placed with someone that has experience with the breed, but it is evaluated on a case by case basis and if these dogs are displaying some of the "challenging" traits the breed can be known to exhibit, they will put their foot down and refuse to adopt out to someone that has no knowledge of the breed. It is all done for the good of the animal because they want to ensure this dog is going to a forever home and will not be returned.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:02 PM   #8
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When we adopted Lucy from the Humane society in Spokane WA, we were not screened in any way at all.
When and if we get a 2nd dog, I know a lot more questions I will be asking too.
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Old 12-30-2009, 05:10 PM   #9
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A true to temperament rottie should not be excused for resource guarding nor should any other dog. The stakes are too high to risk potential injury to someone who just wants a "loving pet".

"The Rottweiler is a calm and self-confident dog, who has an inherent desire to protect home and family. Personality may range from highly affectionate to extremely aloof. He is not shy nor highly excitable. He is an intelligent and highly trainable dog. He is also very much a companion, often following their family members from room to room in the home. Because of his size and strength, it is imperative that he receive proper socialization and obedience training from an early age. Nervous, shy, excitable or hyperactive individuals are exhibiting traits which are undesirable in an animal the size and strength of the Rottweiler and should be avoided."
http://www.amrottclub.org/rottweilers.htm


Rotties have enough problems as it is without shelters carelessly placing poor and potentially dangerous representatives of the breed in the hands of clueless owners.The Majority of those seeking pets in shelters are looking for a loving family pet; not a challenge that will be a lifetime project. Chances are; if they're looking for a specific breed they know someone who has the same breed and they're looking for "a dog just like that one". The average family looking for a pet doesn't want and aren't prepared to deal with a dog that comes with a history of any type of troublesome behavior.

This is the very reason why there is strong emphasis on temperament in all breed standards. It's also proof of the harm that is being done to all breeds that are currently being overbred.

Herding dogs have been used as one example. Sporting breeds would be another example. A timid or dog aggressive sporting dog would be worthless for the original purpose for which it was bred. The original founders of any of the sporting breeds would never have placed such a sporting dog in a "pet home" any more than the original founders of the rottie would have placed an unstable rottie in a pet home. In those days, such a dog wouldn't have suffered the fate of having been bounced from home to home only to eventually wind up in a shelter on the e list. There would be no discussions like these. The dog (s) would have been spared years of suffering at the hands of clueless owners and millions of dogs wouldn't need to be euthanized every year for no other fault than being born.

The shelters don't have the time, money or manpower to work with every individual "potential" problem dog to determine which ones can be "fixed" and which ones are beyond help. They do the best they can with what they've got to work with and that's all they can do.

When determined people like yourself come along monkey and offer to take the dog and try to save it; it's a plus for everyone including the dog. But for a shelter or rescue to pawn a dog like that off on clueless people who just want a pet; would IMO be extremely negligent!
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:19 AM   #10
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I agree completely Applesmom
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