Wednesday, August 21, 2013

They Shoot Service Dogs, Don't They?

As a moderator on a popular dog breeding page I receive a wide variety of interesting messages from people.  Some are insightful- those are usually shared on the I Love Responsible Dog Breeders page.  Some not so much.

To that end, I have decided to highlight ten of the most insane things extremists believe to be true as posted on various dog breeding pages.

Unfortunately all of these screen captures are of real comments that I have come across on Facebook:

 1. They shoot service dogs, don't they?

In the midst of a debate about the importance of breeding, this bright little bulb stepped out of the box to shed light on the fact that natural selection is obviously no longer working.

This is my service dog.  I have no plans to shoot him.
I can't even believe that I need to explain this but no, there is not an epidemic of disabled handlers killing their service dogs when the dogs are too old for their job.  In fact, most disabled handlers keep their dogs as pets.  Some are returned to the program that trained them where they are adopted out to enjoy a loving bullet-free retirement.

2. Dog breeders don't love dogs.

I personally decided to work with dogs all day because I don't like them.
 All I can deduce about this one is that it makes these people feel incredibly special to claim that they love their dogs more than I could ever love mine.

I don't particularly understand this aspect of human nature because, last I checked, compassion isn't a competition.  Given that most of the dog breeders I know are heavily involved in dog rescue I haven't quite figured out how these people delude themselves into thinking one is only a dog lover if they do not breed dogs.

3. 5000 supporters can't be wrong.

Yes they can.
  Odds are if you have to justify what you're doing by pointing out that everyone else is also doing it, it isn't okay.

 4. Sex is bad.  Dog sex is worse.

 Around the time that school lets out every day our page is inundated with  messages like the one above.

One consistent theme I notice in this particular brand of brilliance is a sheer hatred of reproduction.  This, of course, is really very silly since none of them would be here if their parents held the same view.

As I discussed in the previous post, The P Word, dog breeders rarely make a profit and when they do it usually doesn't pay the bills.  But if I were this determined to hate somebody I would also reject all logic and suggest that somebody have kids so they can run a prostitution ring instead of raising healthy and well-adjusted puppies.  

5. It is always the dog breeders' fault.

There is always a lot of back patting after somebody blindsides us with this insanity.  Other than selling t-shirts, anti-dog breeding pages seem to promote this message the most.  

Since dog breeders claim to always take back their dogs if one of those dogs ends up in a shelter it is obviously all their fault!

Or, since discretely setting up webcams in puppy buyer's homes is strongly discouraged, dog breeders have to rely on communicating with their puppy buyers to ensure that the dogs they sold stay in one home.  Breeders typically do this by including a clause in their contract that restricts resale of the puppy and guarantees the breeder will take back the dog if it ends up needing a place to go.  This, I might add, is the exact same thing rescues do.  Why anyone thinks this is only reliable when a rescue does it is beyond me.

6.  Dogs are better off dead.

So they love dogs more than breeders- but they also believe dogs should be extinct?  If you aren't already aware of PETA's stance on animal ownership please stop reading this blog and go Google it.  People for the Ethical Treatment of (Dead) Animals believes that all animals should be set free to roam the fields from whence they came.

I blame Disney for this one.  Usually being a wild animal doesn't involve harmonizing giraffes, elephants, and hornbills but precious few people seem to accept this.

You see, while animal abuse and neglect is horrible and while it does happen, the vast majority of animal owners treat their animals better than most people treat their children. 

And if you think a dog would rather be doing this:

Than this:

Photo by Saphira Oppedal

Then please get one of these instead:

7.  There is no need for selective breeding.

As an avid supporter of working Border Collies I found this particular comment most exasperating.  Unfortunately this little lie is not limited to extremists.

The reason hunting dogs hunt and herding dogs herd is because of the innate behavior we call "instinct".  Instinct is the same thing that makes your dog spin in a circle six times before he lays down.  This helped his ancestors for so many years that nature decided it would probably be a good idea to make all dogs do it.  Obviously we apply the same concept to hunting.  Dog has to eat.  Dog hunts and kills animal.  Dog eats animal.

"But nature didn't make dogs herd!"

No, thousands of years of selective breeding did that.  Nobody is completely positive but herding is thought to be a modified version of hunting.  The earliest dogs figured out that if they drove a prey toward people, the people would do the dirty work and kill the prey.  The dogs were then rewarded for their behavior when the people threw them leftovers.

Or, you know, something like that.
 So no, Fifi isn't going to just "figure out" how to manage a flock of 1500 sheep.  We need breeders for that!

8. We should stop dog breeding so shelters can empty.  In the meantime we will freeze doggy eggs and doggy sperm until we are ready to start breeding.  Then we can cook them up in a pan, add a little paprika, and commence responsible pet ownership.

 This message was too long to post in its entirety but you can understand the gist of it from this excerpt.

For a moment, let's pretend that this isn't the most bat shit crazy idea: 

This person is actually suggesting that we freeze gamete cells from every single breed for a few years until we are all ready to start breeding again.  

Never mind that there are over 300 dog breeds in the world and we would need that many viable eggs plus more (because if everyone is complaining about inbreeding now, just wait until we have only one specimen of each dog breed available for breeding).  

Never mind the fact that some of the dogs reproduced using this method will likely be sterile.  There goes hundreds of years of hard work.

Never mind the BILLIONS of dollars this would cost (and since we don't have all those hefty dog breeder profits to finance such an endeavor this is just silly!).

There are too many other problems with this idea to write about.  Leave them in the comments if you have oodles of free time like me.

 9. Surgically removing reproductive organs is just dandy but DON'T TOUCH THE TAIL!

Approximately 80% of dogs in the United States have been neutered.  This means the dog was forcibly anesthetized and underwent an invasive surgical procedure to be prevented from reproducing.

This concept is socially acceptable whilst tail docking is considered controversial.  Tail docking involves removing a portion of a puppy's tail when it is a neonate.  Docking is done for cosmetic and safety reasons.  Some kennel clubs require docked tails in their breed standard, which is important if one wishes to compete in conformation.  Many working breeders dock their dog's tails to prevent the animal from being injured while on the job.

Regardless of your opinion on tail docking, please also consider the dangers of neutering before you color only one of these procedures as "inhumane".  

For more information on the risks of altering please check out the NAIA's list of Pros and Cons for neutering your dog:

10.  Compassion need only be extended to animals.

This terrifying revelation is one I hope stays with you long after you finish reading my post.  The same people who have accused dog breeders of lacking compassion posted these comments.  How utterly flabbergasting.

Wagging tails to you all!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah! We appreciate your support!

  2. Wow! I'm completely blown away, but I have to say that I'm not surprised. Hi, I'm a rescue supporter. We have three at home and I adore them. That being said, I remember when I wrote my first article sharing what I had learned about responsible breeders in my area - I was stunned by the viciousness brought about by the mention that there could be reputable breeders.

    I had a super long post ready for you, but I'm exhausted. If we all love dogs, why can't we work together to see that they all have a happy home?

    1. I agree Kimberly. That has long been ILRDB's stance.

      Be kind to one another- even if you disagree on stuff :)

  3. This was timely because I just made the mistake of reading the comments accompanying a Huffington Post article on the Obama's new PWD...oh my god. So, so many people have swilled the Animal Rights Kool-Aid.

    1. Sad isn't it? I feel horrible for the breeder they named. I hope she stays safe- from what I hear she is already receiving death threats :(

  4. i have 2 service dogs. when they are no longer in service, they will just be part of the family. for my next service dog, i have chosen a great pyrenees and want to buy from a reputable breeder with guarantees about the dog's lineage and health. i have no idea how to find such a person. help?

    1. Hi Bevy,
      If you post your request on our page we can share it for others to respond to.

      We are happy to help refer people to responsible dog breeders!

    2. I'd also check with the national breed club:

  5. bevy knona, you may want to rethink a Great Pyrenees for a service dog. While a golden retriever will say, "Yes ma'am," A great Pyrenees will say, "wait a minute while I check to see if there is any dangerous monsters around." I have these dogs and they are wonderful animals, they protect and serve based their assessment of the situation. That's good for those of us who need them to watch out for coyote, but if you really need an obedient service dog I would recommend you go with another of what you have already. Personally I like my daughter's golden retriever for things like that. Good luck in your search.

    1. I agree with you to an extent Ann though I do know a few people who use Great Pyrenees as service dogs and have absolutely no issue. I should hope that any breeder this person goes to will be sure that a Pyrenees is the right fit for her needs.

  6. For me there's nothing wrong to be a breeder as long as you know to take care of them all. Being a responsible breeder in short. I breed chihuahua and for me its priceless seeing them happy together with my family. Anyways, nice post.