Anatomy of a Dog Forum Shit-Show

27 Jun

We’ve all been there, right?  When a seemingly benign thread on an online dog forum goes from zero to crazypants in 6 seconds flat.   Although it may sometimes seem like the mayhem comes out of nowhere, if you look carefully enough, there are a few universal steps that happen (often in rapid fire sequence) before a thread explodes.

 

1. Someone asks a seemingly benign enough question on a dog forum (These questions may in fact be the work of an advanced troll who prides themselves on stirring up shit or they may actually be some poor sad sack who has no idea what they’ve just started). Think “What type of food should I feed my dog?” or “What is the best kind of training?”. Pro forum users can usually spot these topic from a mile away and quickly run to get popcorn and something boozy while they wait for the fireworks to begin.

 

2. Those who feel the most strongly about that specific topic join in right away and provide black-and-white answers espousing the “truth” as they see it.

 

3.Immediately, another forum user comes on and posts exactly the opposite of what the previous poster just said.

 

4.The first poster disagrees with their new forum adversary (i.e. someone who disagrees) and proceeds to preach the “truth”.  One or more poster is eventually blocked by the other.

 

5. Random lurker pop up out of nowhere and stirs up the pot even more.

 

6. Someone brings up Cesar Millan for good measure.

 

7. Name-calling begins, usually consisting of lame things like “asshole” or “troll” or the occasional “poopyhead”.  May we suggest that if you are going to stoop to this level, you might as well make the names good?  For your convenience, here is a list of Dog Snob sanctioned insults:  shitweasel, assmarmot, douchecanoe, douchenozzle,  twatwaffle, or if you’re feeling old-fashioned, a fucker.

 

8. Back and forth…and back and forth.  This is a good time to go refill on that popcorn or take a potty break.

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9. Someone makes a Nazi reference.

 

10.  Someone called someone else a Nazi?  Now it’s on!  People come out of the woodworks and join the fray.


11. Someone posts as screen-capture of what another poster has said in another forum or group that disputes what they are saying in the thread or brings to light some offensive action.

 

12. A moderator steps in to remind everyone of the community guidelines/rule.

13. The Mod is thoroughly ignored.

 

14. The thread is now entirely off topic.  The OP is likely no longer participating and it has boiled down to two teams of people,  bringing up past offenses with passive aggressive comments.  Other threads/vague book posts have spawned off this one.

 

15. Some non-mod do gooder chimes in with a meme or quip trying to calm everyone down.

16.  Someone posts another popcorn-worthy thread elsewhere and the masses migrate to go through steps 1-15 all over again.

 

So, who’s in the mood for a forum fight?!

WTF Wednesday: Oops they did it again edition

10 Jun

Which blonde wore it better?

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 10.01.23 PM

No, this is not a canine recreation of classic Britney and her unfortunate cameltoe.  It’s the Shed Defender, which according to the website  is a  “lightweight, breathable, form fitting jumpsuit for dogs that is worn to contain any shedding, dander and allergens. “ Just what we always wanted freaks and geeks, a Gimp suit for dogs. We hate to tell you it’s BYOB (bring your own ball-gag) so keep that in mind when you’re measuring your Dachsub or Caning Corso…

It’s also a way to ensure that your dog will poop in your shoe while you’re gone and that you will be shamed hard (and then harder) by The Dog Snobs. No one looks good in spandex.

 

Know Thy Dog

27 May

We have a confession.  Are you ready?  Sure?

Our dogs aren’t perfect*.

Shocked?  Despite being Dog Snobs, our dogs have their foibles.  What stops us from being Dog Hypocrites though, is that we are well-aware of these issues and do our best to manage them.

Training and management are key for pretty much everything dog-related. Is your dog an asshole around other dogs?  Doesn’t like being in tight spaces like elevators?  Wants to eat kids? Hates skateboards?  That’s cool….as long as you don’t sit back on your laurels and let them act a fool.  Training can work wonders, but can only go so far so fast.  Until you have a handle on your dog’s issues, manage the shit out of them.  Putting your dog into situations that you know they are an asshole just makes you an even bigger asshole.

 

The first step, like most things, is acknowledging you have a problem.  We know that you love your baby fluffy-kins more than cheese and crackers, but not being willing to admit that they can be an asshole in certain situations doesn’t do anyone any favors.  Your dog can still be your favorite thing in the entire world…and still be a jerkface at times.

Once you’ve acknowledged that your dog is not in fact the Mother Theresa of the canine world, the next step is coming up with a plan.  Pro tip:  Hoping it just goes away is not a plan.

 

Sometimes this plan may involve simply paying better attention to your surroundings or advocating for your dog, but sometimes it might actually take some lifestyle adjustments.  These changes can range from changing the time of day you go on walks to avoid triggers, muzzle-training your dog, or accepting that you will have to take the stairs instead of the elevators because your dog turns into Cujo in tight spaces.  Trust us, people will judge you far less if you have to occasionally dive head-first  into a bush to avoid other dogs on a walk than if you let your dog release the kraken on every single dog who passes by as you stand by and twiddle your thumbs.

We get that having a dog who is an asshole can be a work in progress and that sometimes there are slip-ups, but intentionally having your head so far up your own ass that you don’t even admit that your dog is an asshole, well…that’s just shitty.

 

*not perfect, but pretty darn close!

If by Precipitate you mean Asshole, then Yes: Health Testing, Disclosure and you. A Rant.

21 May

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”

You are that chunky bit that looks like the bottom of a park bench right there. That’s you.

Bah dum chhh! Chemistry nerds (or just people who took year 9 science) will get this joke and that’s because it is true and hilarious. One area where “the precipitate” is something even more unpleasant than the gunk floating in your test tube is dog breeding. That’s right kids, if you as a breeder aren’t part of the solution, you’re not only part of the problem you are the problem. Full stop.

What pray tell is the problem? Well, that depends on who you ask, but I’ll break it down for you.

For better or for worse (depending on who you ask) in the United States breeders, hoping to do the right thing by their dogs and developed in conjunction with universities, veterinarians and people who just gave a damn, created tests to quantify the quality and health of their stock. How well that works in the case of OFA hips/elbows is debateable* but the genetic tests and marker tests alone have been a wondrous addition to the world of dog breeding. In educated hands they make what was once a total crapshoot in terms of health, something potentially predictable; as much as these things can be and for breeders who care that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It allows breeders and buyers to make truly informed and educated decisions on where they want their program to go in the case of breeders and functional dealbreakers in terms of what is and is not acceptable, needed or wanted. I truly love what testing has brought to the table in both of my breeds, and this dear friends is the crux of the issue.

Anything short of full disclosure on health testing results is spitting on your breed standard, insulting fellow breeders and defrauding your buyers. Full Stop. No Excuses.

Every Single One

I’m not sure when “A little information is a dangerous thing” became the norm in dog breeding but we need to knock that shit off. Information is glorious. Information does nothing but allow you to make BETTER decisions for your dogs.


“But Fang! People are mean and other breeders are cannibals. One sign of a problem in my dogs and they won’t sell me a dog or breed to mine and I won’t be able to sell my puppies, woe is me poor innocent waif blah blah.”

Ahem


Newflash! People are already trashing your dogs, your haircut, your personality, what you bred, what you didn’t breed and they’re doing it on hearsay. People say your dog has shitty elbows and carries EIC and sneezes lime Jello? Prove them wrong, test and make that shit public. Or prove them right and show you have nothing to hide. You know what sketchy? A breeder who does not test.

Secondarily, you know what’s really sketchy?  A breeder who hides the bad things. Guess what kids, people who care are going to do the research. If there is a lack of a test on one of your dogs but suspiciously everything else has it with sunshine and rainbows flying out its ass? That’s a bad sign. “Why wasn’t “x” done when everyone else was?” To people in the know, I’m sorry but the implication of that is you’re hiding something. Who hides things? Scummy, suspect people.

It really is, dog.

Dog people eat our own. We know we do and we should own that. We hold others to our own, hopefully high standards, and love our dogs, our breeds and our communities to distraction. We want what’s best for all of those and often times, the vehemence and nastiness in those disagreements spirals out of control. This however is no excuse.

I will argue to the ground that any information, regardless of actual result or status, is the only service breeders can offer their buyers and the public at large. You cannot guarantee health, beauty, temperament, titles, or a death date beyond reasonable precautionary measures but you can offer piles of information for those who want to hear it. If someone doesn’t want to hear it, they probably don’t need one of your dogs. You can also offer other breeders the courtesy of allowing them an unvarnished look at other lineages and what they could be risking or breeding in to. Would you not want the same courtesy? I can tell you from just clicking through databases, a single bad result does not remove a dog from the breeding pool. It removes the shock of a bad result in offspring, and forces breeders to be more conscientious about future breeding choices (And what is and is not a good choice to minimize or eliminate a problem). What about this is a bad thing?

In essence anything short of full disclosure on a database such as OFA which is publicly accessible to any and all who may look is morally reprehensible.

Or at least the standard clump and toss in some extras for funsies. Otherwise you’ll be viewed with suspicion, doubt and distrust. It’s up to you, really.

Any information is better than no information.

Complete information gives the community at large a better chance at beating back the ever encroaching health problems that plague breeds. Hiding that information is an insult. Do us all a favor and try being part of the solution. It’s the right thing to do.

And now you know.

*But only a little, so no excuses peeps.

WTF Wednesday

21 May

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You know the annoying dog hair that gets all over your clothes and furniture and into your food and makes you question why you got a dog in the first place?  Apparently now you can make good use of it by having a dog hair sweater made.

Given how much time we spend trying (to no avail) to look like we haven’t just rolled around in a giant pile of dog hair, we aren’t sure how we feel about these. On the one hand, maybe wearing an actual sweater made of your dog’s hair is the best way to stop all the nasty comments from non-dog owners about how fur-covered you are.  On the other hand, it might be a sign that you have just given up on ever trying to look nice.

We’re all about bonding with your dogs, but this may be taking it a bit too far.What do you think? Would you wear your dog’s fur as a sweater? Would you still be our friends if we did? Let us know!

**Feeling inspired?  You can buy a handy dandy book here or follow the simple directions here. **

You can’t Google Maps that Shit: a.k.a. That mythical farm is a myth and you’re an idiot. A Rant by Fang.

14 May

So we’ve all seen it. The person trying to home their senior or near-senior outdoor dogs because of <insert bullshit reason here>. Inevitably this dog needs to live on a farm or on a ranch to be a “Working dog” or washed out of being a working dog because they harassed the neighbor’s livestock or can’t live in the house because it’s never been inside and has no concept of what a door is let alone how to ask to go outside because they’ve never spent a night under a real roof. It’s depressing, it’s sad and it pisses me off and here’s why.

Brace yourself for your Thursday dose of sunshine kids….

There is no farm or ranch or outdoor preserve that will take your neglected, poorly trained, stock-chasing, cat-killing, senior who isn’t house-trained, leash trained and whose concept of manners ends somewhere around not actually shitting in their own dish, dog.
Rest assured dear-readers, I am by no means equating these poor pathetic creatures and their careless owners to the real working dogs who sleep in barns, fields or kennels and spend their days making life easier for their hard-working owners. These dogs are treasured members of their teams. The ignorant presumption that any wild dog will be “happier” or “better behaved” on a ranch is as asinine a statement that exists.

The only field available to them is Elysian and it will be courtesy of a rancher when that dog, who you dumped into some god-awful Craigslist slum scenario will escape and go frolicking with those cows and sheep you had so hoped they could live with in their new home. Problem being of course, the rancher doesn’t see it as playful frolic but as harassment, and a danger to their livelihood and it will end quickly and with a literal bang.

I’m truly sorry your priorities have changed and your life is made more difficult by the lack of forethought or effort you put into acquiring your dog in the first place. I’m also sorry you will truly have to struggle if you want to make your dog even remotely re-homeable. But most of all I’m sorry for your poor dogs who’ve not been given the chance to be that adored pet or that treasured working dog, but who’ve been left to fester in ignorance and training neglect. I’m also sorry for the puppy you see no issue in bringing into this den of idiocy because you want it  now and everyone else is a bunch of meanie pants or are totes jelly of your life choices.

With starving sharks…

WTF Wednesday

30 Apr

Our opinion on Flexis is pretty well known, but we’ve stumbled upon perhaps the stupidest version of a flexi we’ve seen so far. That’s right. That’s a flexi attached under a bike seat. Take a moment and imagine the many ways that could go wrong. Did you imagine a toddler being clotheslined? How about severe whiplash when your dog runs on the wrong side of a tree? Oh, you saw a tripping jogger? All of those things (plus more) could happen in the same bike ride with one of these suckers. There’s no way to lock the device,  so your dog could be doing any number of things as you peddle along.  Have fun with that. Honestly, Clean Run, we expected better from you.

The Kinds of People you find in Obedience Classes.

18 Apr

1) The diamond-in-the-rough

This person comes into class having had little to no prior dog training experience, and may even be a first time dog owner.  However, they quickly impress with their common sense (a rarity, it seems) and ability to learn new information. You want to hug these people but you don’t because it’s weird.

2) The doing-it-all-wrong-dipshit

You say zig, they zag…three times…and then tangle themselves up in the leash.   They are often acutely aware of how unskilled they are, but can’t seem to fix it.  Holding a leash and treats at the same time is apparently too much to ask.  Common sense eludes these people, and you are often left wondering how they manage to keep themselves alive, let alone their dog.

So wrong. It hurts

3) The been-there-done-that bitchface   

We’ve all met this person–the person that has SOOOO much dog experience and isn’t afraid to let everyone else know.  From interrupting the trainer to giving unsolicited advice to fellow classmates, this type of student just can’t help but be a know-it-all.  Even though they may very well be right in some cases, they consistently overstep their bounds and act like they are ones in the charge.  Prepare to see shade thrown between them and the poor trainer being paid to deal with her.

… I sleep talk?

4) The Incessant question-asker

While asking questions is a good thing, this person takes it to an extreme.  They are so bad that you often feel like the trainer spends more time addressing their neverending questions than actually teaching the class.

Stop snickering… Yes I know I’m adorable.

4) The “My spouse is making me come” sad sack

You can usually spot this person based solely on the bored expression and perpetual non-subtle texting on their phone. The kids/spouse just “had to have” this puppy and now the only one not gung-ho is stuck doing the actual work. Often they will come to a class or two before disappearing off in Avalon never to be heard from again. If they stick around it is a painful painful process for all involved if their attitude remains strictly in the ‘not my dog’ camp.

Sometimes it’s loud and yelling.

5) The “He is my therapy dog” Cheater.
Did you know you can fly therapy dogs for free? This guy does and even redirecting to the ADA for clarification on where their un-pottytrained 14 week old shih tzu can enter legally ends in much sighing. Your instructor will spend weeks trying to explain the difference between a service dog and a therapy dog before giving up when the assbag shows up with a vest and badge proclaiming their Service Dog status.

It’s not that hard asshole.

6) The Doubting Thomas    

Hopefully your instructor isn’t literally trying to get you to believe in their reincarnation but the Doubting Thomas takes every bit of purchased advice as a grain of salt to be studied under a microscope before being dismissed because “Tha’ll never work”. Often the Doubting Tomii will have “tried everything” and “done everything” after 45 seconds of concerted effort before giving up in a huff of self-righteous laziness. Their dog will never get it ever and everyone should know it’s because nothing you tell them will ever work never.

So much d-bag.

7) The Future Agility Superstar

The FAS is just here because the stupid instructor won’t let them right into competition agility classes. Their dog already sort of listens… kind of…. well how important is a recall anyway, and they are ready to take on the agility courses they saw on TV now now now! Their dog would be great and the only thing holding them back is your instructor’s inept teaching and a lack of faith in Princess Puffybritches’ adorableness when she jumps up on the counter and eats 14lbs of Halloween Candy. She can dog this and you will hear about it endlessly and how much of a waste of time “remedial” classes are for the savants they have yet to become.

Scramble Princess Puffybritches! Scramble!
8) The Enthusiastic Participant
The Enthusiastic Participant absorbs information like a sponge, has relevant and interesting questions and has clearly attempted their homework every week… they just do it wrong. They are the dream student until you have to watch them muddle through. The enthusiasm and interest is there but the physical skill, timing and sense of appropriateness is totally lacking. Your instructor will spend hours after-class with these people trying to mold them into the savvy dog person they’re trying so hard to be. Equidistant between ‘Doing it Wrong-Dipshit’ and the ‘Diamond in the Rough’ it’s a short leap to either conclusion from that middle-ground.

Goals are good…

Dog Breeds V: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly e.g. Shorty Get Down

23 Mar

Time for more breed profiles, we know, we’re overdue. Tough Titties. This time we’re tackling the breeds whereupon it’s easy to believe there is in fact  a connection between pleasantness and length of leg. That’s right kids, it’s time for the Achondroplastic (There’s a Scrabble word for you) breeds per our selection. Brace yourselves for a lot of short jokes.

Pemmies, Cardis and for funsies their peasant cousin, the Vallhund (Sort of)

Okay, so technically a Vallhund isn’t a Corgi but it has the same shape and can also be a big dirty asshole, so we’re lumping it in, so ha.

The Good:

-Want a sport dog? Drive a compact car? We’ve got the dog(s) for you. There’s a reason you see a ton of corgis at dog sports. They’re good at it, despite the length of their legs. They are generally good with kids and make great junior dogs, in conformation or performance.

-These are dogs bred to take a kicking and keep on ticking (literally). Both breeds of Corgi are dogs that can run with you or go for a long hike and come right back in and snuggle down in your apartment. They’re hardy and fairly healthy. Certainly not frail dogs.

 

-Owning a Vallhund means that you can own a rare breed without people thinking you are a snob.  The flip side of this is that you will spend a great deal of time convincing people your dog isn’t some sort of Corgi mix.

The Bad:

Before we dive in to the bad, we’ve gotta split these guys up. First off, the Cardigan is the one with the tail, the Pembroke is the one with the queen and the Vallhund is the one with the vikings.

-The Pembroke is spitzier (Cardigans have rounder ears and softer personalities), and everything that comes with that. They can be sharp and reactivity is not uncommon.

Similar to the Kraken, but longer.

 

-Corgis love to get fat. Real fat. They’re easy keepers and usually very food driven, always a dangerous combination. Combine that with their short legs and long back and you’ve got a recipe for the bad back mentioned below.

The Ugly:

-Like every other breed on this list, Corgis are prone to back problem because of their length of back. That’s an expensive surgery, lots of rehab and a long time to keep a normally active dog fairly still and calm.

-The hair. So. Much HAIR. These dogs walk into a room, puffs out their cheeks and Poof! Blows hair on every surface. Honestly, it’s almost magical if you don’t have to be the one vacuuming it all up.  Get used to find  wafting balls of hair in corners and under furniture.   And on your clothes.  And in your food.  And in other places we dare not mention.

Dachshunds

The Good:

-These tiny creatures are a bundle of fun (albeit not always in the way you would want them to be).  Full of spirit and energy, prepare to be kept on your toes by owning one.  They are attention-loving clowns who will steal the show whenever they can.  If you are someone who can find the joy in your dog stealing baby Jesus from a Christmas display (seriously, BusyBee has a friend whose dog did this), then you might be well-suited for this breed.

 

Loyal to the core, Dachshunds bond strongly with their owners and are almost underfoot (literally).  Dachshund owners will tell you that they are sweet, affectionate, and cuddly with those that they deem acceptable, but may not be so with strangers.

Blanket Burrower: Expert

 

The Bad:

Ever heard of Doxie World Domination? Well, it’s a real thing.  Many Dachshund owners can attest that these dogs are cute, they know it, and they aren’t afraid to use it to manipulate you.

 

-Barking is actually bred into this breed. They were bred to hunt small game and bark to alert his human. If you want silence in your home, don’t get a Dachshund.

-They’re like pringles, you can’t have just one.  Seriously, most Dachshund owners start with one and then slowly (or not so slowly) start adding to the herd.   While this may not seem like a bad thing, imagine some of the less desirable traits in multiples.  You might want to invest in some ear plugs.

 

The Ugly:

It should be no surprise that these feisty little creatures are prone to back injuries.  Add in a propensity to be overweight and a love of dive-bombing off of furniture or anything else they can climb up on, you have a recipe for disaster.

 

-If you are looking for a highly biddable dog, you should look elsewhere.  Dachshunds tend to have a mind of their own. They believe they are in charge at all times. They like to decide where they are going, when they are going there and what they’ll do when they arrive.  That isn’t to say they can’t be trained, but it will take a lot of patience and a sense of humor.

 

Basset Hounds

The Good:

Just seeing one toddling along is enough to make anyone smile.  They tend to approach life with a certain joie de vivre that can be contagious.

Herp-a-derp

 

-If you’re looking for a dog that just wants to hangout, take casual walks, and chill out on the couch you don’t need to look much further. Most Bassets are pretty Bro-ish dogs. They’re cool to go on a weekend warrior hike, or hang out and drink some beers., Whatever dude.

 

The Bad:

– Although they are short haired, Basset Hounds shed more than you might expect, and tend to drool after they eat or drink. A Basset Hound may not be a good choice for someone who likes a very tidy house or doesn’t like slobber hanging from their lamps…and their furniture…and their ceilings. 

If you live in a city, or have neighbors who are looking for any reason to hate you, the vocalizations of a Basset will not win you any friends.  They’re a breed of dog made to make noise, and they’re very good at that. People that love them tend to love the baying but not so much their upstairs neighbor.

The Ugly:

-Bassets just aren’t healthy dogs. Yes, yes, we know you have an uncle with a pack of hunting Bassets that are healthy as horses. We’re not talking about those. They’re prone to numerous genetic issues, allergies, and of course the back issues of all the other breeds on this list. Their ears alone are a nightmare, thanks to their general droopiness. They are also another breed that tends towards fat.

-The basset is a breed pretty heavily impacted by BYBs, because of their cuteness. As always, one should be careful where one gets their Basset.

Probably not to standard

 

-Hound Stank is also a very real thing.

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WTF Wednesday

12 Mar

Drink up, bitches.

Because our dogs apparently deserve better than tap water, a company has created sparkling dog water that comes in a bedazzled bottle. Seriously. And, at only $30 for a four pack, your dog can drink in style and empty your pockets at the same time. Wonder how many bottles it takes to fill the toilet up,  if we’re talking about fulfilling our dog’s wildest desire.

Wishes do come true!

 

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