Archive | February, 2014

WTF Wednesday: Butt Floss Edition

27 Feb

That’s right.  Butt floss.

 

9 out of 10 Dentists recommend flossing teeth daily.   After seeing this floss dispenser, we’re pretty sure 8 out of 10 people have just decided that they’re never flossing again.  And what about those remaining two people?  Clearly they’ve never had to ‘assist’ their dog with a particularly stubborn dingleberry or had a dog who ingested string, hair, or actual dental floss.

p.s.  Random lady on the internet, you are the worst hand model ever.  We aren’t quite sure what is going on with your nail polish, but we don’t like it one bit.

 

Video killed the Radio Star…or something. (i.e. we’re going to be on the radio!!)

25 Feb

Howdy minions!

In case you missed our announcement on Facebook, we are happy to announce that we will be making our first radio appearance tomorrow on K9 Sports Konnection tomorrow night (February 25th) at 8 pm EST.   Ever wondered what the Dog Snobs sound like?  Want to hear our dulcet tones of rage?  No?  Fine.  Want to hear a **REALLY big announcement?**  Great, then tune in tomorrow for the news!    We will be answering questions from the host as well as fielding caller questions, so if you have any burning questions (burning sensations are different.  Please see a doctor for that), this is your shot!

See below for information on how to access the show tomorrow!

website: http://www.k9sportskonnection.com/
web show link: http://www.k9sportskonnection.com/#!current-episode/c77b
direct link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/k9sportskonnection/2014/02/26/k9sk-the-dog-snobs
Call in number: (can be used to just listen in also) (347) 850-1554

Phone phobic? Try the chat at http://www.k9sportskonnection.com/#!chat-room/cj61

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A Year of Snobbery Photo Contest Winners

22 Feb

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner.  Or maybe Indian Food.  We much prefer that.   Mmm…paneer.  Naan…..Ok, sorry.  Back to the contest.   In honor of our one year anniversary at the end of this month, we were looking for photos of how your dogs would celebrate a year of Dog Snobbery.   Without any further ado, here are our winners:

 

The grand prize winner, chosen by us, and the recipient of a gift certificate to Paco Dog Collars, is……….Chuck!!  Between the hand-painted Dog Snob party hat and the cupcakes spelling out Dog Snob, we were thoroughly impressed.   Congratulations Brittany & Chuck!!

The second winner, based on number of likes, is adorable Daisy, whose owner Georgia, has won the right to be our profile photo for the month of March and the ability to suggest a blog topic of her choosing for us to riff on.



Finally,  although we received tons of entries, we were particularly impressed by a few people who must have excelled in grade school reading comprehension, as they submitted photos that were tailored specifically to the Dog Snobs and our one year anniversary.  Therefore, we have three “Honorable Mentions”, whom will be rewarded with dehydrated bull penises (yay!) for their efforts.   Congrats to:

 

           -Molly and her Poodle Chaco

           -Christine and her Doxie Crew

 

           -Nicole and Tater


Congrats to our winners and honorable mentions!  If you could please all follow up with us at thedogsnobs@gmail.com within two weeks with more information on how to claim your prize, that would be fantastic.

 

Old Dog Blues: A Rant on Assholes That Surrender Seniors to Shelters.

17 Feb

In the past month, BusyBee has seen two pairs of bonded senior dogs surrendered to her shelter along with countless other elderly canines.  The most recent one cycled her off into a rage that quickly set off the other Snobs as well, and given how often we’ve talked about this privately, it was naturally time to share it with the rest of you.  Look, we get that shit happens and sometimes people can’t keep a dog, but we would REALLY like to think that you’ve explored every last possible option before leaving your elderly dogs at a shelter.  Call us cynical (we like to call it realistic), but we simply don’t think that’s always, or even usually, the case.

We’re going to talk about two different scenarios that we’ve seen play out regarding senior dogs being dumped at shelters.

1) The first is when owners drop off dogs they’ve had for their entire lives because of “lifestyle”  issues. Can you imagine being in a home for thirteen years and given up because owners didn’t want to deal with typical senior health problems like sore joints or because the owners couldn’t find a way to bring along the creatures that love you more than anything to a new home?  Depending on the shelter that you drop a dog at, you may very well be dumping that dog at a shelter to be euthanized. And even at a no-kill shelter, you have to realize that senior dogs don’t fare well in shelter environments and can be more difficult to adopt out because many people don’t want to the emotional and financial cost of taking home an older dog.  And if you’re dropping off a bonded senior pair that needs to be adopted out together?  Let’s just say that thankfully there are some VERY kind-hearted people out there that will open up their home to such a pair, but they are few and far between.  Your life-long companions deserve better.

2) The second scenario, is one where a person drops off their dog, asks the shelter to euthanize it and walks away. When you get a puppy, or an adult dog, or whatever…. you commit to that dog. For the rest of it’s life, it is your responsibility. This especially holds true for the when the dog hits old age. We aren’t saying that we are against euthanizing old dogs. Sometimes that is the kindest route. But when you want to euthanize a dog for something that is easily treatable or for something the dog could live with for the two or three years it has left (see Daisy below)… well, we’d like to say we hope no one drops you off somewhere to die when you reach your final years, but we just aren’t that good of people.  If your dog is in the sort of health that calls for euthanization… don’t be a coward. Your dog has stood by you through thick and thin. Dogs are there for you on your worst days and your best days. It’s up to you to stand in that Vet’s office and hold your dog until the end. You hold that dog and you tell her how wonderful she was. You bring up the wonderful times you had. You let that dog eat whatever it wants the day of and you don’t get upset when that dog has an accident because she’s too old to hold it anymore. If you love your dog, you love it up until that last breath and you keep on loving it forever. Dogs enter our life and they love us and they do their best to do what we ask of them. Dogs are our partners and our friends. In that last breath, dogs deserve to be held by the person they have devoted their entire lives to. They do NOT deserve to spend their last hours in a kennel with dogs barking frantically around them and they do NOT deserve to die in the arms of someone they don’t know.

Daisy, the dog that inspired the original draft of this article. She has now been adopted.

Let’s be clear–we are glad that these dogs are brought to the shelter instead of dumped on the side of the road, given away to any old jackass on Craigslist, or disposed of in any other inhumane manner.  At least it gives some of them a chance to find a new home to live out their twilight years in.  Obviously we don’t  know the circumstances behind every story (we’re not psychic, sadly), but we have less understanding of the reasoning behind surrendering a 13 year old Golden who has lived with you their entire life than we do, say, of surrendering a 1 year old Cattle Dog when you realize that perhaps it was not a good match and that someone else is better equipped to raise that dog.  Shit happens, some dogs aren’t good matches, and we can’t even begin to know what is going on in the human end that could be equally heartbreaking.  Therefore, we want to be clear that we don’t advocate blindly shaming anyone who surrenders a dog to a shelter, but when it comes to seniors, forgive us if our hackles go up a little.  If you’ve basically raised a dog through puppyhood, past adulthood, and into their senior years and you can’t or won’t move a mountain to make sure that dog spends every last day on earth with with you, then yeah, we reserve the right to be uncomfortable with that decision.

**Hoping to help out a senior dog by fostering or adopting?  Check out the senior dog network to find local groups near you!  **

Time to put on your listening caps (again): How to choose a reputable rescue

10 Feb

As a companion piece to our “how to choose the right breeder post”, here’s the promised follow-up on finding a good rescue*.  There are a shit ton of rescues out there.  Some are reputable. Some aren’t, even by a long shot. So how does one go about finding the right group, rescue or organization?  Here are some (hopefully) helpful things to look out for when looking for a reputable rescue.


1.  Reputation matters.  Trust us, word gets around in communities about different rescues and their credibility.  If one isn’t on the up and up, people in your area will know.  What does this mean?  Ask around.  Ask your veterinarian, other dog owners, local shelters (many have rescues they routinely work with), and local businesses.  A valid rescue is known and respected by it’s local community. Even a quick google search can yield good information, ranging from informal reviews from previous adopters to formal complaints on the BBB site.  If you either can’t find any information about a group at all, or are only finding disgruntled adopters, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.

I was looking for reviews, not rear views...I swear!

I was looking for reviews, not rear views…I swear!

2.  Although reputation matters, remember that just because a rescue has many followers or “likes” on Facebook does not mean they are legit. It may be that they stumbled into a particularly effective gimmick or went viral due to a particularly heart-tugging sob story.  It may also just mean they are savvy enough to manipulate people’s vulnerable soft spots for animals and their desire to save something.   Before you fall in love with that puppy in the internet browser window, there are many other things you should consider regarding the legitimacy of that particular rescue.



3. Rescues should have a formal screening and adoption process.  Are they asking you lots of questions?  Good.  Are they asking for references?  Even better.  Home visits are ideal, but not always possible.  Ultimately, rescues should care where their dogs go.  If a rescue is willing to just hand over a dog without meeting you, that should raise some red flags.  Once you’ve been approved for a dog, they should also have a formal adoption policy and a contract.  Part of this contract is that they should always take its adopted dogs back if the placement isn’t successful.

 

 

4. A good rescue will take  the time to know the animals in their care, and will disclose all  information (good and bad) to any potential adopter.  Any behavioral evaluation information should also be used to ensure that dogs and potential adopters are a good match.  If a rescue is willing to send home a hyperactive Jack Russell with housebound octogenerians, there’s a problem.



4. Credible rescues don’t skimp on the basics of health care. A good rescue will spay/neuter and vaccinate all their animals, probably chip, and provide all records to the adopter.  Rescues should also provide basic health check-ups to all animals in their care and disclose any illnesses or injuries to potential adopters.


6. Reputable rescues will never place a dog as a surprise to the intended adopter or place an animal as a gift. They will always involve you, the recipient, in the decision to adopt, the application process, and the selection of the dog itself.  Many reputable rescues will also require that all family members meet the potential adoptee, including current dogs to ensure that it will be a good match for everyone.  They should be invested in your success, and part of that success is knowing that the dog will be a good fit for everyone in the family.

Still a better surprise than a dog

Still a better surprise than a dog

 

7.  Good rescues are transparent. You should be allowed to tour a rescue’s care facilities if at all possible. A quick walk through will give you a sense of the overall hygiene and care given in the facility.  Not all rescues have actual dedicated space, but you should be able to visit the foster home the animal is living in and see how it is currently being raised.  If a rescue is not willing to let you visit their animals where they are currently being cared for, this should be a cause for concern.  Similarly, if you find that a rescue is dodging your questions or making you feel badly for asking for more information, this is a major red flag.  A good rescue has nothing to hide.



8.  Good rescues should not not spend their  time judging or lambasting shelters.  Rescues and shelters often operate on completely different principles (open vs. closed admission, for example) and villainizing the methods of another group does nothing to help the dogs.   Since they’re all theoretically on the same side, rescues should spend their time working with shelters to ensure the best possible outcomes for the dogs.

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Does this come in size “animal welfare”?

9. Good rescues do not rely on emotional manipulation to find a new home for their animals.  If a rescue you are looking at relies on a myriad of sob stories to drive traffic to their website or their tragic tales routinely sound like a bad country song (“We need money because our truck died on the side of the road because a bad man burnt our house down and we have no family and now our dogs are starving, oooooooh”), we suggest looking the other way.   Similarly, guilt should never be used as an adoption tactic.  Getting a dog from a rescue is your choice, and if you feel like you are being strong-armed or guilted into it, please go find a rescue that is mindful of what a big decision this is and how a rushed or improper match can be detrimental to both you and the dog.

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You’re beginning to sound like Taylor Swift

10. Checking on the rescue group’s registration status is an extra precaution you can take if you notice any red flags or if something just seems off. Reputable rescue organizations should want to be registered and licensed on the state level for both tax reasons and credibility. You can do a search on your state’s government website to find out if a rescue organization is in fact licensed.


11. Looking for a specific breed in rescue? Cut out the middleman and go straight to the breed club. Most clubs are very invested in preserving and protecting their breed at all stages and are usually in regular contact with breed-specific groups who can help direct you to the best contacts for breed rescue where you are. Also, if something goes wrong, the breed club of some breeds can make it very very difficult for less than credible rescues they’re associated with, so there’s some recourse.

Donald-Trump-Dog-Youre-Fired

 

12. If it looks like a puppy mill, acts like a puppy mill and smells like a puppy mill. It’s probably a puppymill. If they ask to meet you in a parking lot, run. If they tell you the dog has been abused because it’s scared of everything, run. If the rescue “adopts out” a worrying number of the bitches who’ve been pregnant with odd designer dog mixes in their *cough* puppymilling *Cough* rescue, run. If you are uncomfortable with the organization, just walk away. If something doesn’t seem right, go with your gut and take yourself and your checkbook out of there ASAP.

Bonus points if you can identify this human

Bonus points if you can identify this human

 

With so many dogs in need, you might find yourself wondering why it matters to find a good rescue.  Well, frankly when you get a dog from a less than credible rescue, you are encouraging them to keep operating in their current manner (unethical, irresponsible, etc), and wouldn’t you rather spend your money and time supporting rescues that truly do right by the dogs?   We would.  If you want to see rescues done the right** way, ask your fellow snobs and do your research.

 

*Because some people like to point out every exception and tell us what we’ve missed/overlooked, let us be upfront on this one.  We are talking about rescues in this post.  Not animal shelters or humane societies.  Although some of the same general principles may apply, many do not.  So please, don’t get into the merits of shelters vs. rescue because that isn’t the point of this post.  Got it?  Good.  Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

**Yes, there is more than one right way. Adapt, people.

 

Using Common Sense to Pick a Breeder or, Just Do What The Dog Snobs Tell You.

4 Feb

So, you’ve decided on a breed and now you are looking at a breeder**. Did you pick that breed because you saw it on TV and the wikipedia article looked pretty good? If so, we’re going to need you to start over. We’ll wait. Okay, you’re back.  Did you go to some dog shows? Did you speak to some owners of the breed you want? Good, we’re all on the same page then.

You, Breed Educated Minion, are now member of an elite society. A society that’s members know it’s okay to spend over two hundred dollars for a purebred puppy, provided the parents of that puppy were health tested, titled and/or worked.  You know that the most appropriate place to get your puppy is not from the parking lot of your local Walmart, nor from the buy and sell mag where you got your slightly used but perfectly serviceable lawnmower, and certainly not from a pet store.

 

We know Minions, this is a scary step. We are here to help:

 

1) Don’t get sucked in by a slick website. While Paypal may be convenient it’s probably not the best way to pay for your puppy. Websites are advertising plain and simple. View them skeptically and remember that talk is cheap. Verify everything on a website yourself and if something doesn’t quite ring true research it further.

Shopping Dog

Only appropriate way to combine dog and shopping cart.

2. Double check the OFA results. While you’re at it, Google the bitch and sire. Your breeder told you both parents had excellent hips and there were Champions four thousand generations back? That’s great. Now go look it up. Back Yard Breeders are getting wise and they will tell you anything. Trusting your breeder is important, but make sure you have a reason to trust them first.

3. Titles are cool. Real titles that is. CGCs are cool for pet owners, but your breeder supposedly has made the commitment to breed the best {Insert Breed Here} she can. A CGC doesn’t prove the dog is the best, it just proves it was acceptable… on that day… to that evaluator. Instead, look for titles in the sport YOU want to compete in (Yes, we’re considering conformation a sport. It’s like cheerleading) . “But Dog Snobs,” you say, “I just want a pet.” To that we say, go to the shelter. Or breed rescue. Or a responsible breeder so you can have a dog as close to what your breed is supposed to be as possible.

4. Breeder of Merit does not mean what you think it means. AKC’s primary goal, as an organization, is to continue existing. Don’t get us wrong, we love AKC. We send them tons of money, but we know that at it’s base… it just wants to keep on keeping on. The BOM system ensures this, by getting breeders to badger their puppy buyers into registering their puppies with AKC. We aren’t saying being  Breeder of Merit is a bad thing. We’re just saying it doesn’t mean your breeder is god’s gift to the purebred dog fancy.


We use this meme a lot.You guys should be less dumb.

5. Conformation is not the be all end all in titles. That little Ch. in front of  dog’s name does not guarantee a dog that is breeding quality. Given enough time and money, most dogs can finish (barring any disqualifying faults). When the breeder finishes a dog… then what? Does it churn out litters until it’s uterus falls out? We call those Show Mills… and they suck. We aren’t saying the breeder has to be out there competing in other sports, Conformation is an expensive hobby. It’s nice to see a breeder out there having fun with his/her dog that does not involve trotting around in circles though.

 

6. Again, Conformation is not everything. There are perfectly legitimate breeders out there that have dogs that would be laughed out of the ring. Is that the way it should be? No, but conformation is a fickle mistress and not everyone chooses to play her games. Still, the dogs should be sound, working (or competing) animals that fairly represent the breed, whatever breed that may be.

7. How willing is the breeder to hand over a puppy? A good breeder wants to build a relationship with his/her buyer. That means long emails, phone calls, and, most of the time, waiting lists. Good breeders care who their puppies go to, they aren’t going to just let you walk in and pick up a puppy like you’re buying a new car.  Now we aren’t saying you need to pester your breeder with everything from what crate to buy to what colour collar looks best on your puppy, after all, some breeders even have a life outside of dogs.

 

8. Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. If the first thing a breeder does is trash all the other breeders… well you can take one breeder off your list. Dog folks are notoriously gossipy, and breeders may be the worst of them. A good breeder lets the dogs she breeds speak for themselves and doesn’t trash talk everyone around her.

9. If at all possible, go meet the breeder. Nothing can give you a better feel for your future puppy than meeting its family. Hopefully you have already met some relatives at all those dog shows you went to researching the breed but if your breeder is too far away, try to arrange to meet a past puppy closer to you.

In this case, they’re all assholes.

10.  Use your common sense.  If something seems off, it probably is.  If you have any questions/concerns, ask knowledgeable dog friends to take a look at the breeder you’re considering.  There are lots of resources out there to help you decide on a breeder, so don’t be afraid to use them.

**We really don’t want this to turn into a rescue vs. breeder conversation, so please don’t go there. Yes, we KNOW a rescue can do sports. And make lovely pets. In fact,  all three Dog Snobs have rescues and have been involved in rescue, shelters, etc.  This is not about the merits of rescue vs. breeders, but rather if you’ve decided to go the breeder route, how to make sure you are going to a legitimate one.

The Types of People Who Show in Conformation.

1 Feb

In today’s entry, a companion to our earlier piece “The Types of People Who Do Agility” , we will walk you through some of the most common types of people you will encounter in the conformation world.

 

Owner Handler

Easily recognizable by their pant-suits and haggard demeanor, the owner-handler is the bread and butter on the AKC’s plate of money making ventures. Not to be confused with the Breeder Owner Handler, the Owner-Handler owns the dog outright and puts points on their dog the old-fashioned way… dumb luck. And like training, presentation, and having a nice dog and all. These are the people you need to buy a drink. They’re supposed to have done the work themselves, and if they really have? Rain-check. They’re exhausted.

Breeder Owner Handler

The Breeder-Owner-Handler, has a similar status as the owner-handler. Unlike the OH however, the BOH rarely if ever actually lives with the dog in question. Instead, they pawn the dog off on a poor unsuspecting puppy buyer and Co-own till the dog is finished and occasionally bred. These people are more easily spotted by watching the edge of the ring for the dog’s actual owners. They can usually be seen peeking out behind poles and talking about how cute Pookie is.

Pro Handler

You absolutely cannot miss the pro-handler. They are the least flustered people in the ring. Every movement is smooth and designed to highlight the strong points of their dog… at least the good ones. When not performing a figure skating routine with their dog (your dog, Martha Stewart’s dog… whatever) they can be seen shouting at their legion of lackeys and storming around their RV, looking for their perfect sequin jacket to match the sensible pumps.

The Assistant Handler

Less polished than their employers above, the assistant handler is the “alternate”. They are brought in when the Pro has another (better paying) dog in the same class. You can spot them by looking for the person that looks like they have just been shouted at/ is about to be shouted at.

 

Rich Folk

What do Martha Stewart and Bill Cosby have in common (besides being really really rich)?  They both own champion show dogs.   While Martha loves Chows and Bill has a soft spot for Dandie Dinmonts, both celebrities have been involved in the dog world for years and have both had dogs compete at Westminster.  With money to spare, rich folk can hire the best of the best to show their dogs (see pro handler above). You will very rarely see a Rich Folk-type at a run of the mill dog show but they can often be spotted in the stands at the big events, like Westminster or Eukanuba.

Money can’t buy class, but it can buy you a gold-plated Chow

My Kid Outgrew 4-H

These people have gotten in way too deep. It started with the kid taking Scruffy to the local fair and now they’ve spent the kid’s inheritance campaigning their first homebred champion. The kids are often not seen anywhere near a dog show once they graduate out of juniors. “County fairs:  where you can find both Junior Handlers and Deep Fried Butter”


Cross-over Sports People

It starts out so innocently. You have such a nice dog and you want another from the breeder who you have stayed close with all these years, showing your dog in your sport of choice. The breeder is elated! They’ve got the perfect puppy for you, they had planned on keeping him themselves. If you agree to show him, he’s yours. How hard can it be? Way less training than the sport you’re already successful in. You’ve just gotta wear a skirt suit for a few weekends, take a few grooming lessons from the breeder, simple right? Now you’re hooked, you poor schmuck. Might invest in a panel van and a bumper sticker that says “A Well Balanced Dog Has Titles on Both Ends”.

We're

Skirtsuits: Not just for Hillary anymore.

Fabulous Gay Men

Think Stefan and Scott from “Best in Show” (sidenote: if you haven’t seen this movie, you seriously need to re-evaluate your life).  With immaculately groomed dogs and properly fitted suits,  Fabulous Gay Men are a staple in the conformation world.

The Intrepid Breeder
“For the good of the breed.” is their mantra and it’s what gets them out there every weekend, showing their own dogs. They spend money to show the dogs, so they can spend money to breed the dogs so they can MAYBE break even. We’re pretty sure this is the actual definition of insanity.

Pictured above: A Breeder campaigning her dog.

The Rank Novice

You can spot them from a mile away, but no one is really sure how they got there. They’ve got the wrong shoes, the wrong clothes, the wrong dog even. They thought it’d be a fun lark to enter. Now they are in the ring and you can see the “Oh, Shit!” look on their face. Their dog won’t stack, they’ve realized the fashion faux pas of wearing pants that match the dog, and you can tell… they are never coming back. Until next weekend.