Shopping Around For a Dog? Stick With What You Know

I cringe every time someone calls me for dog training and they have a breed of dog that I have never heard of, like a Maremma Sheepdog, Karakachan Bear Dog, or Polish Tatra Sheepdog.   Before people with these breeds get all upset, I am just commenting on my own personal experience.

I had a friend contact me and ask if I knew anything about a Caucasian Mountain Dog. I told him I knew nothing and asked what in the world he was doing looking into this breed of dog? Apparently, it is a Russian Herding dog. My friend has always had Great Danes, so I told him to stick with what he knows.

My experience is that every time someone brings in a dog that is an odd breed, there are aggression or nervous issues. My advice is to stick with what you know. He now has a new Great Dane pup and the puppy is doing great.

I think the Internet is part of the problem. People want something unique, and they will search the world over for that dog no one has ever heard of. Everything can be made to look good on the Internet – Buyer Beware.

About a year ago, a breeder from the area had some unknown breed that he wanted me to test for him. The dogs were not trained in obedience (no control) and were guard dogs. He wanted me to test them to see if they were fierce and brave. I politely declined and told him that it sounds like a liability to me if he plans on placing these dogs with anyone. The general public has enough of a challenge controlling German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pit Bull Terriers let alone a 150lb dog that has had no obedience training and their only job is to protect the family farm.

There are a lot of great dog breeders out there. Stick with what you see on the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club list of dogs and you should be safe. In addition, do your homework. Just because someone breeds a known breed doesn’t mean they know what they are doing. People breed dogs that are nervous, have medical and aggression issues. These issues are typically passed onto the pups. Reputable breeders keep the best pups for breeding and they do not breed dogs that have behavior or medical problems. Meet the Dame and Sire. Are they friendly and confident, or aloof and you are not permitted to interact with them?

There are a lot of fine dogs in the humane societies and dog shelters too. Again, look for happy, confident dogs, not the scared one cowering in the back of the kennel or barking and lunging at the kennel. How do they react when a dog walks by their kennel? Are they reactive, or do they pay no attention? Many dogs end up in shelters because of some sort of issue.

Sometimes, they are found wandering the street, but if you lost your dog, wouldn’t you check with every shelter around to see if they may have it? Responsible dog owners will microchip their dogs. You are almost guaranteed to get your dog back if they are microchipped.

Once you find that perfect dog, all they really want is love, to be taught the rules, and to have some fun activities. Be a good fur parent and provide these three key things for your dog.

If you are struggling and need professional help in West Michigan, give us a call here at Adams K-9. Visit our dog training facility for a free demonstration of what we have to offer.

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I would like a quarter every time someone came in my training facility dragged by their dog in a harness or gentle leader. If they work for your dog, then great! However, we see a fair amount of people asking for help because their dog still leash pulls or is reactive on lead.

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