I probably have less of a problem with breeders than some people in rescue, but there is still an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. So long as there are 5 million shelter animals dying in shelters, why do breeders continue? The biggest problem with breeders is that most are not checked out, which means you are dealing with a potential of puppy mill breeders, which I do have a major problem with. Puppy mills should be shut down and the owners of these places should be put in prison as child abusers are.
I received a phone call from a woman the other day, which made me think to write this post. She was referred to me by a local animal control officer. She is having a problem with her Italian Mastiff. Shall we guess what the problem is? Aggression. No kidding. The lady explained that she took the dog to training, but the dog is not responding and has bitten the son and shows signs of aggression toward her. For those of you who have not read my dog training blog or site, I invite you to go to www.blackbeltdogtraining.com and educate yourselves with what I face regularly from people who can not control their dogs.
Mastiffs are a very strong and powerful breed. These are the kind of dogs that when they turn, they will do a lot of damage. And believe me, dogs will turn. Why? Because they are dogs. Its not as big of a deal when your cocker spaniel turns on you, but when your 150lb mastiff turns, you have a bit of a problem. You can’t take a dog like this to your local pet store for training, this requires someone who understands aggressive breeds. And the best time to start training a dog like this is in the puppy stage, and never stop. A dog like this, or any larger dog (or any dog for that matter), should be brought up to understand pack structure. Unfortunately most people don’t understand this themselves. They think the dog is cute when its a puppy, but it grows up.
So, back to my point about the breeder. I’m not slamming all breeders here, but I am slamming the one who sold this dog to this lady.. as well as the person who would be stupid enough to bring a dog like this home with no idea or research of the dogs characteristic. Since the dog turned aggressive, he has to be put down or sent to a sanctuary. Did the breeder offer to take the dog back? NO. Did the breeder offer to send it to a sanctuary? NO. So what happens? The dog gets murdered. Why? For being a dog. The dog has the least fault in all of this. The dog is being a dog. Dogs get aggressive when there is a break in pack leadership. This is what they do to protect the pack and themselves. Please read more of my opinions on my Black Belt Dog Training site. All I want to address here is that every time people don’t think, an innocent dog dies. This dog does not deserve to die, he should have never been brought into a home like this. Obviously many breeders do not qualify the home for the dogs, as long as the check clears. That is BULL&$%). The breeder is responsible. Rescues check out the potential homes for most all dogs they place, almost to a fault. There is no special license people need to get a dog, in fact you can walk into any shelter or pet store and just take one home. If it doesn’t work out, its even easier, just drop them back at the shelter, and they’ll kill them for you.
Please educate yourself and the people you know that an animal is a life, to some of us it is as important as a human life. At the very least, it is entitled to a chance at a happy life. Animals that are turned into shelters for aggression need special attention, they can be rehabilitated, it takes work. Before you get a dog that has dominant tendencies, educate yourself about the potential and what you need to know of the dog. You’ll be doing yourself and the animal a huge favor.
And for those good breeders, I applaud you. I wish there were many more of you!