Put it back, you don’t need that! a.k.a. Picking the correct breed is important. Don’t fuck it up.

26 Nov

Every year the AKC comes out with statistics on the most popular breeds. For several years the Labrador has reigned supreme (Much to the chagrin of Labrador people in both the show and working divide) as the most commonly registered dog in the United States.

Popularity sucks.

Unsurprisingly, these statistics have very little to do with the realistic ownership pool, (e.g. people who really can handle the best and worst traits of the breed responsibly, provide adequate exercise and training, and not just let their dog run amok and terrorize the neighborhood).

Fluffy!! Stop chasing Mrs. Jones!

 

Every asshole we know with a dog they can’t or won’t manage put very little thought into their decision to own a dog let alone select an appropriate type, so we’re here to help. Before you get your dog, consider these factors, or we’ll mock you via inappropriate stick figure dramas.

He’s asking how we’ll kill him today.

 

1) Do you actually want a dog or do you want Lassie?

This is not your dog. Stop expecting your dog to be this dog.

We want you to brace yourselves. This may come as a shock. Dogs have individual personalities! We know. It surprised us too (It didn’t). While we’re glad your neighbors German Shepherd rescued a family of ducklings from being eaten by Kanye, and your childhood Collie didn’t eat your homework, but rather he did it better than you were able to, we can pretty much guarantee you that the puppy you picked from the litter is not that dog. Don’t get us wrong, there are certainly one in a million dogs (Heart dogs, usually) who know us better than we know ourselves. These dogs are made, and not born despite what everyone with their magic dog tells you.

2) What is your current energy level?

Are you a couch potato? A runner? Pro-tip, don’t get a dog made for who you are not. There is no shame in wanting to stay home and nap. If you want to sit in the house and do cross-words, get a Pug. A Border Collie will only bring you misery and bring the dog fatness and bad behavior.

Let’s be honest, you’re probably too lazy for this too.

3) Have you ever trained a dog before? To what level? No, be serious, what have you actually done?  

Saying you want a high-drive full-speed dog is all well and good but if your current pets don’t even have manners, it’s like demanding to do a heart transplant after completing that 6th grade unit on “the human body”. It’s just a dumb idea. Some breeds are ‘trainers’ breeds and some breeds are ‘pet breeds’ and most breeds fall somewhere in the middle, and even individuals of breeds can be more or less intense. Aim for what you know you can handle now, not what you’d like to handle in the future.

 

"We've handled this dog really well.  Let's move on to a Chessie!" said no one ever.

“We’ve handled this dog really well. Let’s move on to a Chessie!” said no one ever.

4) Why do you want this breed?

If “because it’s cute” is your reasoning, just go away. Really, walk away. If you can’t give a comprehensive list including the potential (Or extremely likely, depending on how carefully you pick your dog) negatives, you’ve not done your research and you need to go back to the drawing board.

Mommy, why is the kitty in the teddy bear’s mouth?

5) How many have you met in person? How many breeders have you talked to?

If your answer is “Less than one” you don’t need to get that breed. If your answer is “One”, you need to try harder. A reasonable sample size is more than three and talking to 3-5 breeders or breed enthusiasts. Posting a lone question online doesn’t count, neither do breed message boards or Facebook. Make a phone-call, write an email, or just get out and head to a dog show. It’s not that hard.

If you have to ask yahoo answers, you can’t have one.

 

6) How much time (or money) are you willing to put toward grooming?

So you think you want a Puli? Malamute? Afghan Hound? How much money do you have to groom it? None? Go away. Really. If you don’t have a good cost estimate from a local groomer, you don’t have a clue.

I have some Fiskars and a leaf-blower. I got this.

7) Once again, why do you really want this breed?

Really, why?

 

8) Are you on drugs?

Some breeds seem to require it as a prerequisite to ownership.

One of the only valid Fila owners.

 

9) Did someone laugh at you when you said you wanted said breed?

If experienced dog owners laugh when you just mention the breed name… it’s time to walk away.  In the dog world, it’s safe to assume you know nothing compared to people that have lived with the breed for years.

Wait, did you just say FIla? Excuse me while I die laughing.

 

10) Do you want this dog because it’s novel?

Sometimes breeds are rare for good reason.   Imagine a world with Presa Canarios roaming city sidewalks on the end of flexi-leashes?  Yeah.  We don’t want to think about it either.    If you insist on being a Rare Breed Braggart, at least look into a dog that you can manage using the above criteria.

Having a dog no one has heard of doesn’t make you special, it just makes you stupid.

 

If you made it through our list without running away crying and you think you may actually still want one, you… still need to do a shit ton of research. No, watching Dogs 101 doesn’t count, neither does reading the wikipedia article. Talk to breeders, talk to owners, read the literature on the breed and then, if you still think you want one, pray to the flying spaghetti monster that the breeder is willing to let you have one. Pro tip: If the breeder tries to give you one on your first visit… walk away. A good breeder of a difficult breed is just as difficult as the dogs themselves. You have to work for it.

 You’re welcome.

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142 Responses to “Put it back, you don’t need that! a.k.a. Picking the correct breed is important. Don’t fuck it up.”

  1. Nicole December 4, 2013 at 12:26 am #

    Reblogged this on musings of a pirate and commented:
    anyone and everyone even just *thinking* about getting a new dog NEEDS to read this. It should be a requirement or something…. I share all of these thoughts/ views. Goodness !

  2. Helen Jiggins December 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    What a condescending piece of nonsense! We had a mongrel for 14 years and he was a top dog! Why ALL the emphasis on breeds? Overbred dogs are stupid, fact!

    • Assegai Rhodesian Ridgebacks December 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      Gee Helen, if you are so anti-purebred whay are you reading this blog? U.C. Davis has done a study on purebred vs mixed breed health & came to the conclusion that, with the exception of a handful of breed specific ailments – mixed breeds are NO HEALTHIER overall than purebred dogs. I’m happy you had your wonderful mixed breed for 14 years, but other folks aren’t always that lucky… and it’s no reason to condemn an article that suggests that when selecting a dog you consider more than how it looks!

    • Jennifer Roberson December 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Because it’s a purebred it’s overbred? Proves your ignorance. You haven’t a clue what goes into breeding and socializing healthy purebred puppies.

      • Carla Cowell March 2, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

        You hit the nail right on the head. There are many requirement of breeders, and dog owners alike, socializing IS very important. Puppies get the beginning of “who they are, and will become” by starting socialization. It gives them confidence, changes agression, and establishes personality.

    • Thankana March 7, 2015 at 10:08 am #

      Ummmmmm, there is nothing wrong with having a rescue mutt if that is what you would like HOWEVER responsible registered breeding of dogs is necessary. Without breeders some of these breeds will become extinct for future generations. I know a number of breeds that were pulled back from the brink of extinction thanks to great breeders.

  3. Rena January 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks for posting this! Wish to God the people who should be reading it – would. Was at the dog park this past month trying to do some agility training with my toy poodle. That training consisted of bringing three fake snow wrapped poles (jump stations actually) to the park and asking my dog to run around them in circles. Not a lot of space and not all that distracting to any dog who had half an hour of obedience training or was under the control of someone who could handle them effectively. The dog park area unfortunately does not permit dogs to be off leash although most people will try to unsnap a collar if they think the park patrol isn’t around and the cops aren’t looking. We dog people all have an oath of silence as compatriots in this criminal behavior. Like thieves, there’s a understanding that if you can control your dog and pick up after it and be responsible for it, then let ’em run. In comes this petite older woman – being dragged into the park – by her young male German Shorthair Pointer. Why the hell someone like this would have gotten a sporting dog is anyone’s guess( read your blog post above I guess!). She can’t control this dog ON leash but thinks it’s hunky-dory to get to the dog walk area and – you guessed it- unsnaps the leash. Immediately her crazy sporting dog takes a b-line to my jump stations and I’m waiting for it to either pee, chew or run off with them. My training comes to a screaming halt. I have to pick up my toy poodle from being harassed by this dog (your blog on body space – your dog is an asshole). The woman then has the audacity to complain to ME that I shouldn’t have my jump stations there because . . . wait for it . . . HER DOG ISN’T USED TO SEEING THEM IN THE PARK! She is certain that he wouldn’t be a problem if these things were not in his line of view. I guess we must provide these kinds of folks with sterile environments for their dogs to save them from, dare I say it, TRAINING their dogs? As she is saying this, I turn around to see that he is now running around with my sweat-shirt (I had taken it off after running with my dog for a bit) and then my dog’s sweater. So I guess sweaters and human clothing couldn’t be in the park with this dog running around either. At that point I went up to her and as calmly as I could asked her why she though it was OK to make other people responsible for her dog’s lack of training? All we needed is for her crazy dog to jump on some kid in the park and then the park would turn around and say no more dogs! If she wasn’t willing to take on the responsibility of getting her big athletic dog under control, why not get a Chihuahua instead?

    • Fred's mom March 2, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

      I agree. But sadly they won’t because it isn’t informative or funny…it just comes across as so condescending and angry.

      I have to assume it was never written for those who need to read this, but instead it was written for the author’s self-satisfaction and whining to the converted. In other words, pointless.

      • TheDogSnobs March 3, 2014 at 12:43 am #

        I prefer preaching to the converted but it is an incredibly accurate summation. Unfortunately not all of us are as wonderful and free of judgment, and pointless commentary as you so clearly are.. wait a minute…

    • KaD February 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

      I think a big part of the problem is a society which pushes the idea that everyone MUST have a dog. Look at the commercials lately that don’t have a dog in them-for faucets, cars, cancer treatment, everything. It sends a message, the wrong message. A dog is ALOT of work and no small amount of expense.

    • Jackelyn June 21, 2016 at 12:25 am #

      I’m sorry honey, but I really don’t think a Chihuahua would be good either. Not the nicest of dogs. I do however agree that a German Short Hair is not either. My father-in-law raised them and people would come from miles around, because he trained the dogs before they left his possession. AND he chose the right owner.

  4. Fred's mom March 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Even though I believe you make many very good points, the tone and style of your article merely made you feel good, and turned everyone else off. Honestly, you wrote this as if you are a mean spirited, angry and condescending jerk. And while it may have felt good to get that off your chest, you actually accomplished zero. Why? Because no one would listen to someone like this. Do you really believe that people read articles they feel are insulting them? Of course not…they get to your first point then ignore you.

    • TheDogSnobs March 3, 2014 at 12:39 am #

      “Everyone else was turned off” Said the one person on a blog with more than one follower…

      • KaD February 7, 2015 at 11:28 pm #

        That ^

    • TheDogSnobs March 3, 2014 at 1:18 am #

      Also, please get it right. We’re Mean spirited, angry, and condescending jerkS. It hurts our feelings when people don’t realize there are more than one of us.

      • Assegai Rhodesian Ridgebacks March 3, 2014 at 3:43 am #

        Gee, I kinda got that there was more than one when I saw the S on the end of DogSnob… I come here to get my fix of Snarky, condescending (and usually painfully accurate) humour : )

    • nuviyamals November 4, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      Okay, so I’m half a year late seeing this, but really? You did know you were reading a blog called The Dog SNOBS didn’t you?

      The sarcasm is implied in the title. And there’s a whole generation of sarcasm loving idiots out there who really NEED someone to give them advice in their language. (Trust me, I know, I have teenagers.)

    • Marta March 7, 2015 at 10:48 am #

      You are right Freds mom. I felt exactly the same. Nobody would ever have a dog if they would listen to this know it all. By the way most pulis never see a groomer. The owners deal with the cords or could keep it short if this is to hard. Yes there are some valid points, but who can you convince with this arrogant tone.

  5. loveabull January 3, 2015 at 3:06 am #

    Drats, I’m always behind on reading these things. But yes far too many people get whatever fashionable breed, perhaps cough up big bucks for sniff sniff the proper dog…and don’t have the slightest what they’re getting into. Likewise the pea-brains who are looking for a “protection dog” and end up with a miserable beast that they are afraid of instead. N’ don’t get me started on the dirt bags who think a bully will enhance their minute sized weenies…

  6. elizabeth pinkerton December 2, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    Isnt it funny I have a friend with Wolfhounds and she gets the same comments here in Australia.I love them but would never have one, I don’t have a mound of cash to spend on vet visits. IWHs are wonderful dogs gentle and loving but very very big especially when they lean on you or stand on your foot for a while!

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