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Friday, October 3, 2014

I am A Dog

I wanted to write this mostly out of frustration due to the amount of questions I hear about dogs behaving badly. People are looking for medication and quick fixes for a dog's personality problem, when sadly some problems cannot be fixed. Because  we as a society,  out of pure greed,  turned our domesticated pet  into a being that sometimes  has altered mental states that they cannot control. So how are we to fix such dogs, and  why do we expect the dog to be fixed?  Remember, you picked the dog, the dog did not pick you.

Days after writing this,  with the intent of trying to make humans  see the reality of a situation caused by what we created over decades of poor breeding,  a study came across the Trainers  Round Table and I could not agree with it more.

"We have created a world of 'live-stocking' dogs that are not to be used as human food such as cows or chickens are,  but as companion animals  to us.  Is it any wonder that we see the problem behaviors we do after decades of doing this?"

The test study which I will link below, was done by  Franklin D McMillan, Deborah L Duffy, and James A Serpell ,and it is a very good read for the general public who adopt dogs, for rescues who seek out adopters,  and for trainers who try to fix the situation.

I am not anti rescue or anti dog pound, all dogs deserve a home, but what I would like to see is  that the organizations  make it known to the public  that when they adopt a dog  it  is a responsibility one  has  to live with,  and that some dogs can only be taken so far in life and need to be accepted the  way they are. I would  like rescues, dog pounds, and other adoption agencies to  ask the adopter if they are prepared for that.  Don't put a dog in a home just to give it a home as it is unfair to all involved.  

Sally Grottini

I am a dog, a domesticated animal that appreciates you taking me into your home, whether you hand picked me from a breeder, a rescue organization, a local shelter, or the litter from a neighbor’s dog.

I am special; I am my own animal and have my own personality.  I may be the same breed of dog you  had in year’s past, but I am an individual and  may not act the same as the dog you had before. I may not act like my brother or sister even though we are from the same mother.

Please love me for who I am, and take me as far as you can, but do not push me into something I am not.
 Your other dogs loved to be around people, but crowds make me uncertain, your other dogs loved to be in the company of other pets, I had to fight for food, therefore I do not care to be around other dogs.  Your other dogs  loved children, but children make me very nervous and I do not enjoy their yells and sudden movements.  

How did you pick me?
Was I cowering in the back of the cage?   Know that I was there because I am fearful.  I can love one family, or one person, but please don’t put me the middle of a party and expect I will like it.

Why did you pick me?
Did you think that if you gave me enough love I could be something I am not? Did you pick me to mold me into your lifestyle? Did you pick me because of my breed?
  Or did you pick me because you like me for who I am?  

Did I meet your other pets before you took me home?
Did I make the first move to engage them?  Did I stand my ground when around them, or roll over onto my back?  Did I hide behind you?  Did I growl or bark?

 Did your pet bring their favorite toy or bone when they came to meet me, and if so, did they share it with me or did they growl when I got near it?

Did I meet your kids?
Was I happy to see them and did I jump all over them, or did I put my tail down and just try to sit there patiently? Did I make eye contact with them?  Did I duck when they tried to pet me? Did I try to hide from them?

I am a domesticated animal, with a unique personality, my breeding standards may have been less than ideal and you have picked me among all the others to be with your family, but please don’t force your lifestyle upon me.  There are some things I am happy to learn and do, but please do not expect me to act  like every other dog you have ever had.   Love me for my unique personality;  love and accept me for being me, just as I love and accept you for being you.

I am a dog.


In short, here are the study's findings pertaining to puppy mill dogs:

Such dogs taken from puppy mills are more likely to:

Show a broad range of abnormal behavior problems and psychological characteristics which would  include  elevated levels of fear and phobias, compulsive disorders such as spinning, pacing, house soiling, and heightened sensitivity to being touched or picked up.

The psychological harm in these dogs showed to be long term and severe which will last long after they have left a breeding facility, and possibly for a lifetime.

Dogs from pet stores  had variables but were more likely to show  greater aggression to family and strangers, as well as to other dogs or animals, had greater separation related problems and greater house soiling  problems.

Below is a quote from information obtained through the  study:

"The chances of a dog developing serious behavior problems is much higher for dogs purchased as puppies from pet stores, as compared to obtaining dogs from small, noncommercial breeders."

Link to the study on puppy mill dogs click here

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