Bob Barker is Watching!

This is a post directed to dog-owners… or, more specifically, dog owners who are not registered breeders, although I realize there are a few exceptions(so please don’t take offense if you know you are not deserving of Bob Barker wrath).  We walk Sadie, the mystery-lab, for her owners.  She is a very very pretty dog, and very sweet and love-able, but she is, at the end of the day, a very very pretty mutt.  Before the hue and cry starts up – I have no complaints about mutts,  – my dog is a cross… slightly more planned than Sadie, but no less mutt-like, for all his so-called ‘designer breed’ status.  If I wasn’t struggling through allergy issues, I’d have gotten a mystery mix puppy from a shelter.  Unfortunately, my sister would be allergic even to a poodle in a shelter – surrounded by other dogs she is allergic to – and I’m unwilling to take home a dog that I am not sure won’t make her swell up.

Back to Sadie, though.  Her owners claim that they plan to breed her, and this BAFFLES me.  I don’t know where they got her, but I know she hasn’t got any kind of kennel club papers.  She will not be producing the ‘lots of money’ kind of puppies.  She’ll produce very very pretty mutt puppies.  I kind of prefer mixed breeds, because all the puppies turn out so differently… but it isn’t your job to fill the world with puppies.  Your average house-cat’s kittens are adorable and sweet and fluffy… and generally free to a good home.  But they’ve decided that they can make a profit off her, and so, at about three years of age, she isn’t fixed.  And it impacts her life, and I don’t consider it a positive impact.

She's so pretty... but not a show-dog...and yes, that's a zombie arm... we made it for her and she became attached to it

The purpose of this story?  Get your dog fixed.  You are Joe Notabreeder, which isn’t a bad thing (Hi, I’m Jane Notabreeder… maybe we’re related, in the grand scheme of things) and you don’t have the experience to breed your dog on your own (and do it well, and produce puppies you can guarantee will be taken care of and not have huge health issues) and it is unlikely that you will be able to turn a profit off it unless you’re being sneaky or underhanded.  Or running a puppy mill (and if you’re Bob Puppymill, then die.  Slowly and painfully, die.  You are a terrible person), which is something I’d consider 10000% worse than just breeding your own dog at home.  Enjoy your pet dog, but don’t contribute to the dog over-population.

If your breeder has requested that you allow your dog to be bred… sure, fine – but it is your breeder who is finding a good match for your dog, and it is likely that your dog is male, and that you’ll have first dibs on puppies, but no other responsibilities towards them.  And if your dog is a completely random haphazard mutt… no matter how pretty, don’t breed him or her.  There are SO many dogs in shelters, dogs that are pretty and sweet and no particular breed.  Where do you think the puppies you can’t find a home for will go?  Get your dog spayed or neutered, because  not getting them fixed not only incites the wrath of Bob Barker, it is also risking that the few moments needed for dogs to ‘get down’ will end in puppies whose health-background you will know nothing about, and who might end up in a shelter.  Also, it’s cruel to have an unaltered dog and not allow it to mate… they feel the urges, and they want to fulfill them, but you aren’t letting them.  Does Fido or Fluffy (yup, I also think you should get your cats fixed!) really deserve blue balls?  Give ‘em 6 months to a year, more if your vet recommends it, and then do as Bob Barker commands.  If you want puppies of indeterminate breed… go to a shelter, they’re cute, and sweet, and you will find ‘the one’.

Why am I mentioning this?  Last night’s speed-walking with Gwynn and Sadie, while partly due to me being very very busy, was also due to Sadie’s being in heat, and us trying to out-walk a man whose un-fixed Scotty Dog had become quite smitten with her.  I’m not sure how it would have worked between them, logistically, but we didn’t hang around to find out.  Cute as she is, and cute as that Scotty dog is… there’ll be no hanky-panky on my watch!

Sorry, that was a long rant.  I just get pissy during Sadie’s heats, because  it reminds me how much I dislike that this issue even comes up with her.  Check out the Cult of Otis if you’re interested in reading some solid Kitty Commandments and Deadly Sins that could pretty much apply equally to dogs. 

Bike Training Update – the weather last night was a cross between swimming-pool and Sauna, so semi-kind-of-sort-of-air-conditioned gym was the choice I took for increasing my ability to breathe while exercising.  We went to Kick/Punch, which was something along the lines of cardio kickboxing without actual punching bags.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, cardio kickboxing is 10x more fun if you actually get to hit things.  That being said, this class was alot of fun, and she kept things moving so that you had to pay a fair bit of attention to keep up.  Also, at one point, a thing that started as strange lunge-knee up – kicks turned into flying knee kicks, which were super fun, and surprisingly something I excelled at.  Apart from being late for the class (missing the warmup) and entirely failing to keep track of my car keys (luckily, someone is efficient at tidying this gym, because they were already in the lost and found when I realized that they were missing), and probably having at least three earring backs and an earring of S’s (a friend I drove there with) somewhere in my car… things went surprisingly efficiently.  And, as an oh-so-healthy dinner, I had olive cheese melts and potato salad – recipe for the olive cheese melts to follow!

Author: GoneforaWalk

I work... walk the dog... do yoga... read... sleep... and attempt to write interesting things on occasion (but not today)

18 thoughts on “Bob Barker is Watching!”

  1. Thanks for that post, it sickens me the way people are so willy-nilly with their dogs.

    Sampson came from a backyard breeder and he is the best dog ever, but they got their dog fixed after that one litter of pups. Since she had been bred by a dog other than her breed she was considered “ruined.” I’m not complaining because he enriches my life in so many different ways.

    Delilah was a rescue and she came to us “fixed.” Only she wasn’t. We were surprised when she went into heat (totally disgusting experience, never want to do that again!) As soon as the vet deemed it safe, we had her spayed.

    I wish we could get legislature passed to limit breeding and punish people who abuse it. In my opinion you should have to be licensed to breed with strict guidelines about how frequently you can breed a dog and the care required for it.

    Don’t breed or buy while shelter dogs die!

    1. I can definitely agree that when you look at a dog that was kind of an accidental puppy, it’s impossible to think “your mom’s owner should have gotten her fixed before she had you”… and that is DEFINITELY not the case. Sampson seems like a really sweet and easy-going dog, and is lucky to have found such a great home, but still, his mum’s owners were responsible and got her fixed after she had that one litter. I’d never heard that once a pure-bred has been bred by a not-the-same-kind of dog that she isn’t any good for breeding pure-bred puppies.
      a female dog in heat is a very gross thing… Sadie’s owners complain about the blood (*GAG), but I think that part of their not wanting to get her fixed is to do with being unwilling to spend the money for it, so they cope with the gross-factor. I’m really surprised that they hadn’t properly spayed Delilah! I thought that humane societies really took that very seriously! I guess someone down the line screwed up in an examination?
      There isn’t anywhere near enough legislation and enforcement of laws to stop, or even reduce, the puppy mills… and if there were rules about petstores selling only puppies from qualified breeders, that would help immensely. Except that no good, qualified breeder is likely to be willing to give their puppies to a petstore to sell, because they want to make sure the puppy is going to a good home. frustrating. And, unfortunately, people tend to think that getting their dog fixed is too expensive, or a hassle, or ‘denying their dog the right to be as nature intended’… so you end up with generally good people, generally decent dog owners, contributing to the overpopulation and without any guarantee that the puppies will be healthy, or find a good home

  2. Well really, a pet store can still be a pet store without exploiting animals! I wonder about people who want to breed their dogs if they really understand or have seen a dog bred.

    My BIL told me he saw it once, I think I should send you an e-mail….

    1. I haven’t seen anything more than the dominance-humping of dogs lacking a basic understanding of anatomy (why are you humping his head?! Stop humping his head!… also, you’re both boys!), but I doubt that actual dog mating involves candles and rose petals 😛

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have a neighbor whose poor kitty produces at least one litter of kittens per year. They unsuccessfully attempt to keep her inside in lieu of having her spayed. Every spring she has a large litter that’s basically turned lose in the neighborhood to be hit by cars or picked up incorrectly by neighborhood children until my other neighbor and I round them up to take to a no-kill shelter for, hopefully, adoption. I’ve told them about a free spaying program in our area, and offered to take their cat myself if they don’t have the time. Their response is that “they don’t want to put her through that!!!” I haven’t seen their cat for a few months, and so far I haven’t seen kittens this spring. I don’t know whether they’re successfully keeping her inside, or if something happened to her on one of her escapes. Very good post!

    1. poor cat. If they’d had a male, they’d have ended up with a house coated in cat hormone smell – males spray everything to mark their territory when they’re not fixed, and it is the most disgusting humid musk ever, and permeates everything in the house. Kind of like punishment for not fixing a horny male cat, but also not letting him go out and procreate… how on earth is that fair for the poor animal, really?!

      1. really… hmmm… I didn’t know that. I might have to drop that into conversation with the owners next time i’m over there, just to see if maybe it is the cost that is their issue.

  4. What a tough issue. As you know, I really really don’t like to judge people but when it comes down to spay/neuter it gets pretty personal for me.

    Honestly, I can’t understand why anyone would want all the hassle. As you said, you can’t even walk poor Sadie down the street during certain times of the year without a major problem. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be having to make sure she stayed isolated for a particular period of days. Stressful for Sadie as well.

    In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, good breeders, breeders worth the title and worth my money, don’t breed for profit. Good breeders breed because they have a wonderful dog with lovely characteristics, physical and emotional, they feel best represent the breed. They breed dogs only with the best genetic line so the puppies will have the best possible healthy start in life. There are so many factors involved. Good breeders also spend a lot of time deciding who should purchase the puppies and are willing and able to keep the entire litter themselves if good owners cannot be found. They are also insistent that the puppies be returned to them if a situation does not work out.
    In my opinion, if a breeder isn’t at least doing the above then well… Maybe they shouldn’t be breeding at all.

    This is just for dogs. Don’t even get me started on cats!

    1. Your description of a breeder sounds exactly right. They put a great deal of time, research, love and money into ensuring that the puppies that they do get are as healthy as possible, and then they go out of their way to make sure that the healthy pups end up with the right family. And breeding well can’t be inexpensive or simple – caring for the puppies up until they find a new home isn’t like storing merchandise in your garage until the time is right to sell Sell SELL.
      A person who just likes the idea of making some of the money back on the pet (PET… not show dog… not money tree…) they bought makes me frustrated. I could figure out how much I’ve spent on Gwynn… a person could also figure out how much they spend on their child from pregnancy through to moving out, but why, for either? Would I value him less? no.
      Gwynn wouldn’t be any happier than he is if he still had all of his equipment. I’m sure he’d be worse off, actually – he wouldn’t be allowed in dog parks, or most off-leash dog play times, and he would be feeling instincts kick in that I wouldn’t be letting him fulfill. And unfortunately, I think Sadies instincts are starting to tell her to go for it – last time, she would run from any dog that so much as tried to sniff her back there, but she was definitely flirting with her new scotty dog boyfriend, and I have a feeling she’d have made the mechanics of it work, given a bit of unsupervised time with him.

      1. Of course, it’s instinct. We humans aren’t that much different, really, other than the fact we have the mental ability to control ourselves. Dogs don’t have that ability so the humans reponsible for caring for them have to do it for them. We have created and manipulated the world our dogs live in. It’s our job to make sure they can live in it safely.

        From what I understand, good breeders generally lose more money than they make. They don’t breed for profit, but for love. I remember reading a post by someone talking about return on investment in pet ownership. Personally, the companionship and joy is enough of an ROI for me!

        Thanks for bringing up this subject. It’s got me thinking now.

  5. Well now, you have sparked some interesting discussion. As an owner of two dogs which are breeding stock, I guess I have a bit to say…lol. There is way more to consider when breeding two animals than I have a cute dog, you have a cute dog…let’s make puppies. One must consider the structure of both dogs, (are they structurally sound?). Their temperament, (will they produce puppies with a steady/friendly, or aggressive/skittish temperament?). Any health issues like hip, eye, other congenital health problems? And before you say, well a mix cannot produce any of these issues…think again, they are out there and not that uncommon. Not every dog should be bred and that goes for purebred dogs as well as mutts.

    Why do we have a purebred? Because we want a dog with correct structure and correct temperament, as free of health issues as possible, and that can do the job it was bred to do.

    Breeders rarely make any money on litters that is not put right back into the next litter. There is the cost of health screening and the cost to care for the dam/puppies and any stud fee. It is not cheap to have a litter. Plus there is the time investment, including the time to socialize those puppies. The breeders that I know do it for the love of the breed and to improve the breed. So even though we have 2 dogs that could produce some nice puppies, as of now we have no plans to do it. Their breeders have breeding rights, so if they choose to produce a litter out of either of them, then that would be up to them. (Actually Thunder has already sired one litter.)

    All that being said, I am not in favor of any legislation aimed at any breeders (yes even those dreaded puppy mills). So often it happens that a well-meaning government sweeps up the good with the bad. I would rather people think for themselves and not buy a purebred puppy without proper clearances and only from actual breeders (not a pet-store). The best way to end puppy mills is not to buy their products. Rescue is another alternative. Although I know of two rescues recently with serious temperament issues and one had to be put down because it was so dangerous. I also know a lot of people who have great rescues, so again I would say check out the shelter, their philosophy and track record.

    By all means spay and neuter, (although do some research as to the appropriate age because younger is not always better and there is some research to back that up). Oops an essay…told you I had a lot to say. BTW we don’t ever seem to have issues walking Storm while she is in season. Thunder goes a little wonky…but he lives with her. 😉

    1. this is great! You are exactly the people who fall into the “exceptions” part of things – non-breeders who are fully educated and aren’t irresponsible about their dogs being unaltered.
      You make a very good point about legislation. Unfortunately, it would likely add additional costs and time consuming paperwork to the already heavy workload of good breeders, and require additional costs to pay for the government employees checking in on all these breeders. I just wish there were a harsher punishment for people who are operating puppy mills, because , apart from producing unhealthy and unbalanced puppies, the conditions the breeding dogs live their entire lives in are cruel and terrible.
      I’m kind of jealous that Storm has no issues in season – Sadie gets chased alot more, and the other dogs are a lot more rough in playing with her, which makes her very nervous. Rules in our dog parks dictate that unaltered dogs aren’t allowed in dog parks, but she’s a very high energy dog, and really needs a chance to run every day if she’s going to be able to relax by the time evening comes. Keeping her on leash is kind of like punishing her for something entirely out of her control, but she isn’t my dog, and I’m unwilling to risk running into another unaltered dog (we have some people in my area in a similar situation to yours – breeder has breeding rights, so they’re keeping them unneutered for at least the next few years… the exception to the Bob Barker mantra)
      great essay, and definitely a useful addition to what I wrote 🙂

  6. This INFURIATES me.

    Why in the world do people think they need to bring MORE puppies into this world? Especially super mutts? I mean, I love my super mutts, I really do, but there they were in the pound surrounded by tons of other super mutts and even pure breeds without homes.

    Sure, some of those puppies will find loving homes. But I bet quite a few will find their way into the shelter system where they MIGHT find a new home, or they might be put to sleep with the millions of other pets we have that are put to sleep each year.

    Ugg. Sometimes I want to shake people.

    1. I know the feeling. I’ve had a few people suggest that their (also a mutt, but very pretty) dog should mate with Sadie… luckily, my go-to reply is “She’s not mine” , but all i can think is – “Why do you want puppies from your dog? what do you really know about his genetics? Also, really.. who suggests that their dogs should hook up to a random stranger in the park?!”

    1. When you’re playing with a boy-dog, make sure to leave space for the bible! Or maybe I should take the ‘understanding’ track, and tell her about how I was once her age… and definitely wasn’t having those feelings then, because I was a toddler, and not in heat… hm… might not be able to relate enough…

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