sporting-group

Bandit, Nederlandse Kooikerhondje (5 m/o), AKC Meet The Breeds 2017, New York, NY • “When you say, ‘I have a Nederlandse Kooikerhondje’, they say, 'Do you take medicine for that?’ They’re new to the sporting group this year. They were bred to walk down the side of Dutch canals and ponds and have birds follow them, like a Toller. Their tails are attention getters. The decoyman leaves food for the birds, the dog shows up, and the birds associate the dog with food. The dog then lures the ducks into a net trap, where they’re brought to market for food. It’s a 700-year-old trick. There are still four traps being used in Holland, though they now just band the birds for flight research.”

Pet Dogs.

In the dog world (especially the purebred dog world) these days we often hear the word “pet” said with a negative connotation. “Oh he’s just a PET puppy” “Pet people drive me crazy!”. I’ve had people ask me on numerous occasions why this is, so I figured why not make a post about it? (And I went to a dog show all weekend and had to listen to people say “ugh looks pet quality to me” or “pet people just don’t have a clue” - it gets to me.)

I’ll start with what I think of pet people: I believe the right pet owner is absolutely invaluable to a breeder. Truly there is nothing better than a good pet home for one of your puppies. Not every dog is cut out to be a Champion Show Dog, or a World Qualifying canine athlete. But what makes a good pet home vs a bad pet home?

The Good- Is prepared to have a dog and understands all of the care and training a dog requires. Picks the best suited for their lifestyle - Do they have time for a puppy ? Or would they prefer and older housebroken puppy or even an adult dog? They will spend a ton of time researching breeds and talking to breeders. (Or looking into a responsible rescue nearby). Are prepared to meet the emotional, physical, and mental needs of the dog- spending time with the dog daily, feeding a high quality diet, exercising the dog regularly, training and keeping the dog occupied to prevent bad habits.

The Bad- Not prepared for a dog. Thinks dogs require minimal to no training and will just behave on its own. Doesn’t research breeds - just picks a pup at random from a shelter or picks a purebred on looks alone. Is not prepared to meet the dogs basic needs- works long hours, doesn’t want to deal with unwanted behaviors, minimal training. I find many “bad” pet people don’t research food and just buy whatever is cheapest.

We’ve all seen that family that brings home a lab puppy because it’s a “great family dog” and “the kids will love it”. But it quickly becomes apparent that they had no idea that a lab is a high energy breed. They thought their puppy should be a couch potato and not a tornado with teeth. It happens all the time and unfortunately it’s giving all pet people and pet dogs a bad name. I

Through my breeder I know some wonderful pet people. They take their Aussies hiking multiple times a week, they are wonderfully trained and the people understand the breed. They may even dabble in a dog sport which is great!

But at work I see people who wonder why their GSD is leash reactive and fearful. They think because she’s in daycare she should be socialized. I have a client with an Icelandic Sheepdog. She’s wondering why the dog tries to chase cars and barks nonstop- but admits she leaves the dog in a kennel by the road for hours on end by herself. Seems baffled that a herding breed that is known to be vocal reacts this way.

This is what gives all pet people a bad rep. I personally feel that a lot of people just shouldn’t have dogs. If you’re rarely home, unable to exercise a dog or give it any sort of training- why should you have a dog? What’s stopping you from really researching a breed? Look into a lab, you’ll quickly find that they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Maybe a Lhasa Apso or a Shih Tzu is a better fit for someone who just wants a dog to hang out and cuddle. But guess what? Little dogs need exercise and training too! That’s another HUGE problem with people- thinking their little dog is content to sit home and do nothing and needs no training.

Honestly I could go on forever on this topic so I’ll wrap it up before I make myself crazy.

Personally I prefer Performance type dogs. I love that high energy that needs structured physical activity several times a week. I like a challenge. But I understand that isn’t the lifestyle for everyone. You will never ever hear me say the word “pet” like it’s a dirty word and something to look down on. It’s an insult to all of the great pet people out there. You simply cannot lump all pet people into one category. And my dogs are pets too. Sure they may be athletes by day but at night when they’re tired we still snuggle on the couch and watch Netflix. They aren’t somehow better, they aren’t made of gold. I really think it’s time people got off their high horse and stop putting themselves on a pedestal for having a “sport” or “show dog”. Anyone who is putting time and effort into their dogs is deserving of praise. Encourage others to do more with their dogs instead of patting yourself on the back for being better.

Sorry for the rant dogblr, you are all wonderful and encouraging to everyone. I just need to get these thoughts out there after everything I’ve dealt with this weekend.

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If you’re a fan of racing, you likely know all about the legendary Group B rally series. This Audi Sport Quattro is a homologation special of a car developed just for that crazy series, which basically stuck cars approaching F1 levels of performance onto rally stages. Just over 200 of these Audis were built, with none being officially imported into the U.S.