Archive for October, 2011

Specials coat—the ‘drape coated’

October 27, 2011

Zulu was Winner's Dog at the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Chicago Specialty in 2010. I groomed him.

I wrote this, which I gave to prospective grooming clients, about five years ago,  People tell me they never  really understood  how to take care of their dog and grow coat—and manage the coat, until they read this.  Feel free to copy this, or to guide your clients to this blog:

Chances are you acquired a long-haired dog (rather than a Boxer or a Labrador Retriever) because you liked the look of the breed, or because it doesn’t shed.

Chances are—also—that nobody showed you how to brush the dog:  how to train the dog to stand or lie down for brushing, or which brush is best for your dog’s type of coat.

Nobody told you how much professional dog grooming would cost, or how frequently it would need to be done, or that if you didn’t brush your dog correctly and consistently, you’d have to get used to having your dog look NOT like you expected.  Shaved.

Well…this is the first day of the rest of your life.  If you really want to have your dog looking like a ‘special’ (a show dog) AND have a better relationship with your dog, you’re in luck.  I am going to tell you how to take care of your dog’s hair.

Maintaining coat on most dogs isn’t really time consuming unless you have more than 1 dog, or you don’t have access to a bathtub with a hose attachment, and a  dog dryer.  That’s maintaining.  Growing coat actually requires a more conscientious effort.  Why?  Essentially, if you let dog hair grow, your dog goes through the puppy-coat-to-adult-coat stage all the time.  As the dog’s coat grows, it weaves together as the dog moves, and can lock (become matted).  Groomers who have experience with drape-coated dogs (Afghans, Maltese, Bearded Collies, etc.) know that once the coat is at it’s full length, its weight prevents matting to a certain extent.

Several dynamics cause matting because hair has a cuticle—an outer layer.  If the cuticle opens or breaks, the hair is prone to lock (matt) around other hairs.  Dry, cottony coats matt more than silky coats.  Three other factors cause matting:

1). Static electricity (caused by friction);

2). Dirt;

3). Moisture.

These need to be avoided. There are anti-static coat conditioners you can buy to use on your dog’s coat, and different brands work on different types of hair—but they must be used on clean coats and will only prevent matting for a week at most.  Then, the coat must be rewashed and brushed.  All dogs matt in the same places:  the ‘moving’ parts. Behind the ears, under the chin, the armpits, where the back legs attach to the groin, and around the tail are where matts start.  If you check a freshly bathed and brushed dog two or three days after being groomed, you will notice clumping starting in these areas.  If the hair isn’t separated with a comb or brush within a week, the hair may lock and form felted matts.  This happens even if you keep your dog off of carpet, which produces static (via friction), and away from dirt.

If you live on Earth, you can’t avoid dirt.  Your house may be spotless, but there’s dust and air pollution. If the cuticle of your dog’s hairs are open (dryness, static), dirt will get in and hasten locking.  People who wear contact lenses know that miniscule specs of dirt can cause irritation.  Shampooing weekly never gets rid of all the dirt, but statistically gets out enough dirt so you don’t break  the coat when you brush it.

Wetness is a problem because it ‘sets’ the cuticle of the hair around other cuticles.  Shampoo acts as an anti-static agent so you can unlock the hairs.  If the dog gets wet, it must immediately be shampooed or you risk extreme matting.

The way people with show dogs grow ‘specials’ (competition quality) coat is by:

1). Teaching the dog to stand or lie for brushing while the dog is young AND the coat is short;

2).  Using the correct method to brush and comb the dog, with the correct tools, and;

3). Shampooing the dog with a product that:

a. does not irritate the skin;

b. cleans the coat, and;

c. enhances the color and/or the texture.

We all use different products which we’ve come to rely on via the scientific method of trial and error (as well as talking with other dog fanciers).

Are you ready for the first day of the rest of your life?

You and your dog have to bond.  You have to trust each other.  You work towards this by being consistent with your dog, by training your dog…and this is why you must obedience train your dog (and not have a trainer do it unless the trainer is coaching you).  Your dog may not need obedience training, or so you think, so think of it as behavior shaping rather than training if you feel better.    Your dog must get used to YOU being in charge.  If your dog struggles (or bites) when you attempt  to brush her, you don’t have the bond you need.

If the coat is short, meaning  recently clipped ( or the dog is still a young pup), and you are not hurting your dog (because you’re using the right tools and techniques) (because you’ve asked a professional groomer to show you how to do this), then your dog is struggling for power.  Dog ownership— stewardship—is not a democracy.  You have to be in control of your dog.  If you choose to not be in control of your dog, you should feel blessed that your dog groomer can groom your dog for any amount of money.  Your  dog’s groomer can not groom your dog without controlling your dog.  Since we are incidental in your dog’s life, respect the relationship that the groomer attempts to foster with your dog.

Once you are confident of your bond…

There are a lot of different kinds of brushes.  Professional groomers use well made brushes that are made for the coats we work on.  The problem may be that you went to a pet shop to save a couple of dollars rather than buy a brush from your groomer,  and someone who doesn’t even know all the breeds of dogs there are, let alone the requirements of each, sold you a brush his boss told him to sell.  That’s unfortunate, but you can donate it to your local humane society.  Get a brush from your groomer, or ask her where to get a proper brush.

I show my clients how to ‘line’ or layer brush their dogs while the dog’s coat is short.  I tell them to develop a system and start at the same place every time.  You start at the very tips of the toes and hold up the hair above the hair you’re brushing.  You brush the hair from the skin to the tips of the coat.  You’ll get a feel for how hard you have to brush as you gain experience.  If you have a drape coated dog, once it’s at its full length, you may  be able to go from a slicker (bent wire) to a pin brush. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Initially, I tell my clients to brush their dogs every day (if I had to cut the dog’s hair to an inch or shorter in length….get a ruler or tape measure to measure the hair).  You brush every day to develop a system (I start at the rear left foot, move up, do the whole left side, then I go to the right side starting at the rear, and I do the head & neck last), and ‘shape’ the dog to become accustomed to letting me touch him all over.  All over means in between the legs, armpits, under the chin, behind the ears—-the total dog— having his feet picked up, under the tail. This will take less than five minutes.  After about a month, you can go down to every other day, and after three to six months, twice a week should be sufficient if the coat isn’t too dry.  If your hands feel dirty or sticky after brushing your dog, your dog needs to be shampooed.  This may be once a week.

This isn’t the 1950’s.  There are now shampoos that are mild enough to use every day.  Show dogs usually get shampooed once a week.  People with show dogs know that they have to spend money.  They own a grooming table, buy shampoo by the gallon, and make the time (about 1/2 hour to 2 hours once a week) to keep their dog looking beautiful.  There are self-service dog bathing facilities, and some groomers will let you use their facilities for a fee (I do).  If you don’t have time to do it yourself, you will have to pay a professional groomer

F.A.Q.’s

Q.  The groomer had to shave my dog because it was too matted.  How long will it take to grow back?

A.  “Long” is relative.  In three to six months, if you’ve followed the above instructions, you’ll have grown a puppy length coat on a Maltese, and in eight months a showable coat.  To get the same proportional length on an Afghan Hound will take six to nine months, 18 months to 2 years to a ‘specials’ coat.  This is if you’re brushing your dog, of course.  If you’re not, matting will start in about a month.

Q.  My dog loves jumping in the pond and I can’t afford to wash him once a week.

A.  There is no magic.  Dirt and moisture will matt hair.  Get used to him being cut short.  If your groomer is not shaving your dog, s/he is either putting your dog through torture every time, or possibly not getting out all the matting (but what do you care?).

Q.  So what if my dog is matted?  What did they do when they were wild?

A.  Afghan Hounds date back, as a recognizable breed 5000 years, but the modern coats we know are only about 60 years in the breeding.  Coats on all the breeds, as we know them, are the results of groups of fanciers all breeding for more dramatic coats.  These dogs were never wild.  If your dog stays matted, and his skin can’t dry, it can be prone to mold and staph infections that can be spread to humans.  It is also easier for him to become infested with parasites.  Allowing a dog to live like this is inhumane, as well as a public health hazard.

Q.  OK,  but I can’t afford to have my dog professionally groomed once a month.

A.  Then let the groomer put your dog in a ‘kennel’ cut—the same short length all over.  If you keep your dog dry, your dog shouldn’t be too uncomfortable after  three months.  If you don’t brush your dog, however, how will you know whether your dog has a skin problem?

Q.  I want my dog in a ‘puppy’ clip—not totally long, sort of half and half.  How often does my dog need professional grooming?

A.  The only breed for which there is an official puppy clip is the Poodle, and that is because of the unique nature of their coat.  Most Bichon Frise, Portuguese Water Dogs, and even Pulik can be kept in this ‘in between’ clip, but for most of the other breeds, you’re really not saving any money or brushing time because of the nature of their coats.  The full coat actually matts less than a puppy trim.

As for poodle mixes, as they don’t ‘breed true’, each dog is different.  The ‘in-between’  you want your groomer to do actually takes more time to execute than the full coat, because it takes more time to scissor your dog’s coat to make it even.  Many of us charge less for a dog in full coat because of this.

Q.  If this is so, why does my groomer not leave my dog’s hair long?

A.  Because you have demonstrated that you can’t or won’t take care of it.  The compromise is the haircut, and what her time costs as a groomer.  You probably have to have this grooming every four to eight weeks.

Q.  Well, I really do want it long, so how often does it need touching up by a groomer  if I am not a good brusher?

A.  At a minimum, the dog needs to be bathed every two weeks.  I suggest every week for clients who can afford it.  For the small breeds, it’s about the price of a carton of cigarettes, or what you can’t account for in your budget every week.  I touch up the coat as needed:  the hair in the pads of the feet, private parts, perhaps rounding the feet and cleaning ears and cutting toenails.  Still, I instruct my clients to NOT let the coat get wet unless they can shampoo their dog immediately.

Responsible dog breeders instruct their puppy buyers on how to groom the puppies they buy,  This is indigenous knowledge:  something we learn from others, like folklore, that is not usually written in books.  This is why you should get a dog directly from a breeder or breed rescue.  If you get a dog from a shelter or an owner who neglected the dog, you will need to find an experienced professional groomer to coach you along.

Be realistic.  Caring for a coated dog often requires a lifestyle change.  Many of us groomers, after being ‘married to the hair’, opted for lower maintenance breeds as the high maintenance breeds died.  A long haired dog in specials coat can be a work of art, but there is no magic. It’s deciding you will do what you need to do.

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Capitalism won? (The Occupy Wall Street movement)

October 19, 2011

This is a bit or a reworking of a post I made about a year ago.  I decided to do this because…just when you think the economy can’t get any worse, it does.  & for those who  thought  Obama was a socialist, the whole Solyndra fiasco (coupled with AIG & bailing out the auto industry—again—-) should prove  he is either clueless about economics, or as greedy as any other capitalist on the Hill.  Add to that  a continuation of  foreign military aid to dictators.  There is no excuse for this, & he put  the  means of getting to energy self sufficiency further back than any of the tea partiers could possibly have.

The problem is that our math & science education in the US is so terrible, but we do a wonderful job of making people patriotic. What does this have to do with anything? Well, most Americans  can’t do more than add & subtract, and they even have trouble with that.   They  don’t understand where all the money we pay in taxes goes. It’s supposed to pay for infrastructure, salarlies for elected officials, pensions,  and the people who  provide services that don’t make money for us directly—but whom we need so the rest of the economy that does make money can function. But  the  politicians/elected officials   make it pay for pork.  In many communities,  any warm body in a classroom will do—even if that warm body doesn’t know math or science.  Part of the problem is that many people who are specialists in math & science can get much better paying jobs in  industries:  computer science, medical, engineering… with a lot less aggravation….

I’ve been told that it’s the teachers unions that prevent math and science teachers from being paid more. But that is not the  only reason. I did my master’s project on implementing  better  math and science teaching for  development, & the reason the qualified math and science teachers do not get paid more, or better working conditions is…there is no political will…& the reason for that is,  the people who could address this:  you, me, our neighbors,  are too lazy to  be organized and meet, and nag—for  a pay differential to  attract better qualified teachers,  In  Chicago,  if  the Chicago Board of Education can’t find teachers, they either  have a literature teacher teach science, or  don’t offer the course.  That’s also how the Chicago Community Colleges deal with the issue:  courses not offered.  Meanwhile, the principals, chancellors, and the  higher ups in the bureaucracy can find plenty of cash to pay themselves…just no money to pay for people offering to teach scarce skills.  Makes all the sense in the world, right?

This is important, because if you don’t know math, or basic science, you can’t understand economics.  Economics is the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth.  But it’s nor really a science—it’s more of a philosophy.

About 10 years ago, looking for a better way to make money without spending years in school, I looked in to brokering cash flows:  payment streams. They are traded among investors.  It works like this:  Say you agree to  payments—like a mortgage.  A 20 year mortgage  is 240 monthly payments.  It was—& still is— legal to by certain payments in that stream. You could buy payments 15 through 125, or  payment numbers 128, 146, 238, etc.  It didn’t matter.

My question was….what if the mortgage got paid off early?  Or was defaulted on?  Would you get the principal and  no interest?  How would you ensure this if the mortgage was sold several times?  Ah…this was the rub.  I realized that I didn’t have the back up capital to be involved in this industry.  I chalked up what I spent on learning this to ….education.

Years passed, and the  mortgage/cash flow industry (as it was known) continued to develop  creative financing, and it was legal because it was not illegal.  The  real estate appraisers were in collusion with this, and the term for this slice and dice was ultimately called the credit default swap.

The only ones who made money on this were the investors who  hedged bets against this—like Michael Burry (who was profiled by Michael Lewis in his recent book. The Big Short).  Because we are innumerate, and can get high school…& then get college degrees without being able to balance a checkbook,  we and our neighbors were tricked into buying houses we and they could not afford because  the mortgage brokering foxes running the henhouses told us and them  they COULD afford those houses when common sense said we and they could not.

Never mind that if they added up what they paid for utilities, groceries, clothing, insurance, CABLE TV, gym membership, eating  out, vacations, GETTING THEIR HAIR & NAILS DONE,  saving for retirement—and my very favorite:  getting the dog’s hair cut—- they’d see  that all this cost more than they brought into their households as income.  They could not afford the house (tho the dog’s haircut was the first casualty of real life in their faces…)

Nobody ever brought up:  what if the prices of gas, insurance, food, PROPERTY TAXES. or a repair to their homes—went up faster than their pay?

Nobody counseled them, or us.   This just could not happen. It’s a free country.   Bit,  this is how capitalism works.

When I started making mortgage payments over 30 years ago, I was not living so close to the edge…and since the  economic crash of 2008, I am living precariously close.  I’ve had to do some fancy footwork.  I can see right now, though, that  I can’t afford to  live in the house I live in now when I retire unless I win the lottery.

My biggest concerns are energy costs and property taxes.  Our governments are too bloated, and our elected officials are really too clueless.  Otherwise, how can you explain that , despite a federal deficit, we have money for wars, foreign aid, and to bail out banks & large industries?  What would have happened it AIG —too big to fail—had failed? How would that have affected me?   Locally, how did the city of Chicago, and the state of Illinois set up pension programs for themselves & state workers, based on a funding dream, not reality?  In fact, in Chicago, how did the union officials who  ‘worked’ maybe a week,  become eligible for both government & union pensions?  How could that possibly become legal when  virtually everyone else has to be on a job at least a year to be eligible for a pension?

Thanks to the internet, we can now see h0w other countries fare in terms of budgets…especially  when they are not fighting wars.

Let’s get a grip.  For decades, due to the concept of credit, we had the largest/strongest economy.  That is no longer true.  As long as people were willing to pay interest on loans, and had the integrity to pay the loans back, capital kept growing.

My grandparents  were first generation Americans, and raised my parents to believe that the USA is the greatest country.  For decades, we has the strongest and most diverse economy. That is no longer true.

There are a lot of people who have a vested interest in keeping you and your children misinformed.

It makes no sense that our prisons are filled with drug addicts, the stupid, and homosexuals (really), but there is no room for the truly dangerous.  It makes no  sense that the politicians can decide what to pay themselves and how many people to have on their payrolls, yet allow major industries (banking, health insurance, law) to influence what laws we have.  It makes no sense that people at the Securities and Exchange Commission  saw that Bernie Madoff had a huge pyramid scheme going, & nobody stopped the guy.

You might wonder how I started thinking about how all this works.  It started by  having to deal with people who impulsively bought pets they weren’t prepared to care for.  They didn’t have enough information, and  the law didn’t require sellers to give them information. It’s just too easy to acquire a pet animal!  But that’s how capitalism wants. It doesn’t meet needs, it creates wants!

Think about this:  if everyone who graduated 8th grade  had to demonstrate numeracy:  understanding a profit and loss sheet, or a budget, or how to balance a check book, and what diapers cost and how many a child under 2 years old goes through…we might have fewer people having kids and losing their homes.   I guess we’d have fewer people graduating  from high school, too…& college—with thousands of dollars in debt & no job.

Now, what does this have to do with  understanding economics .  The concept is actually pretty simple, to start out:  to run a business—any venture, you need inputs:  materials, knowledge, energy, labor, marketing, distribution, and savings for re-investment . All these inputs cost money.  So you have to charge more for the product or service than you spend to create the product or service. Simple.   So…how do you decide what to charge? Every  industry is different.  In some industries, you charge double your inputs…to make sure you have money to re-invest, and profitsWho gets the profits is the rub.

Karl Marx, the layabout philosopher supported by his father-in-law, Fred Engels, said the bosses  take too much  and exploit the workers (in a nutshell), and that soon, the workers would not make enough to support themselves.  &, by golly!  He was a visionary!

So, after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, & the  newspaper editors proclaimed that Capitalism won (because the  corporation that ran  the Soviet Union had to be bailed  out by the World Bank, who paid the same people who got themselves into the mess , to become oligarchs), we 99% had to go along with it.  We  pay everyone as long as they privatize their infrastructure & the elites can benefit.

But it wasn’t capitalism that ‘won’, as  Naomi Klein documented in her amazing book, Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, because capitalism got an unfair  bail-out from the World Bank that only benefited elites, who, she documented, proceeded to destroy what was left of their economies.   It wasn’t my imagination. It actually happened.   In her book, she also documented what is now called The Third Way—and that is the way of workers cooperatives, that  share the profits left over after re-investment.  The Third Way is also how citizens  keep  elected officials accountable…but  in other countries, they’ve done a lot better job educating themselves than Americans have.

You would think that Warren Buffet and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would now spend their billions helping create that Third Way, but no, alas. it’s not in their interests.

Were I  not  having to make a living, I would be out protesting with the 99% , the occupy Wall Street protesters, who,  as inarticulate as they seem to be—with no ‘leader’— are starting the conversation.They were  born after the civil rights movement, after the Viet Nam War (interesting, that no  Afghanistan & Iraqi veterans against the war have emerged, like the Viet Nam Vets against the War).

We have to make this way of thinking the conventional wisdom.  Now, as for the  people who have lost jobs, who are looking to learn new skills:  if those skills don’t include learning to grow your own food  and do home repairs,  that new learning  will be a waste of time for the foreseeable future.  I really feel for  all the kids getting into debt to pay for college, betting against the future. What a shame.

Even Nixon said, “We are all Keynesians now” and that was back in the 1970’s.  It’s proven..infrastructure does not pay for itself, but there is no return in paying for wars and military aid to dictators, when our  own infrastructure is crumbling…and nobody has asked any of the Republicans how they plan to pay for infrastructure, when you can see, around the world, where infrastructure has been privatized,  everyone’s standard of living has fallen…amazing that the rich think they can buy their way out of a community.

If you think this blog makes sense, please send the link to everyone you know, including your elected officials (who, had they any integrity, should be taking a 50% pay cut, & reset to the 1970s).

The George Peter Murdock ethnic map of Africa

October 13, 2011

a colorized version of G.P. Murdock’s ethnic map of Africa

I became an Africanist for real after a trip I took to Tanzania, in 1985.  However, I probably would not have become an Africanist  has I not  read an article in American Heritage  magazine about the Yoruba of  Nigeria.

It was a shock to me, because it was  a story about a real African culture, and I had been taught (no joke) that the Africans had no culture. You  know how it is in American primary schools:  the Africans were eating nuts  and berries without language or culture or clothes or  religion…. & it was a lie. This was in the 1960’s & 1970’s, when it had been known for a long time that there were hundreds of cultures in Africa.

Why  did teachers teach this? Well, maybe they had been lied to, and maybe the liars know that if you teach the truth about people, it engenders respect for those people.  We couldn’t have white people respecting people of color—now, could we?

As a high school student, with all the mental hassles of being a teenager (and undiagnosed Asperger’s), I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  Train dogs and own a kennel. That was it. However, from looking at college catalogs, I was looking at Black Studies and forestry.  My parents  would have none of that. If they were going to  pay for college, I was to major in education.  I learned to groom dogs and did not go to college….. for 15 more years.

So, that’s how it was until I  took my first trip to Africa (a safari, naturally) in 1984. I returned with a new purpose:  to learn more about Africa to find a way to help Africans!

Well, I learned that what wazungu (white people) do to help Africans doesn’t help that much at all, and really sabotages development.  Google Dambisa Moyo—an African woman it better than I ever could.

In my studies, I discovered the Murdock map.  G.P. Murdock was an early anthropologist.  He  was determined to understand the differences and similarities  about communities…what we call tribes (but when they are white people, they are ethnic groups).  He wrote a book about what he discovered:  Africa:  It’s People and Their Cultural History .  It was published in 1959 by McGraw-Hill, and it is now our of print, but sometimes N.Fagin Books in Chicago gets copies.

In any case, the book is very dry. It is a reference ethnography…and the irony is that the  Murdock’s actual expertise was North America  and Oceana, not
Africa, and he thanks multitudes for help putting it all together.  The book comes with a huge ethnic map, in black line.  It’s actually a cultural artifact, because….in Africa, it’s not like the Middle East, where if you cross a geographic  line…you are dead.    In Africa, if you cross a geographic line, you are ‘one of us’.  Also, in many areas, 2 or more ethnic groups shared the same land…much like Christians, Jews, & Moslems live in cities as neighbors without killing each other.  So, the boundaries of the map are actually fluid…he just  designed it so you can get a ‘longitudinal/latitudinal idea’ of where certain people’s (and practices or languages) could be found.  It’s a jumping off point for discussing Africa.

I had returned from my Peace Corps assignment, was working for a non-profit, and one of the clients was an artist, so I asked her to color in the map (after I had its size manipulated so it would be more manageable), and I thought they’d sell like hotcakes in the Chicago afrocentric stores…but they didn’t. The problem is that our educational system is so bad about teaching Africa—or any geography…that if you don’t know the geopolitical map of Africa—countries whose boundaries were essentially decided after the 1885 meeting to the European colonizers called by the brutal King Leopold of Belgian, who owned Belgian Congo, you don’t recognize this as a map the Africans might have put together had they the means.  It’s just a bunch of squiggles….so…

I have sold the map to universities and libraries, and scholars, but I can’t afford to  keep a website up or keep it listed on E-Bay, as I sell so few.  It has a very niche market, but I still have over  500 copies left, and will continue to sell it at $20 a copy  + postage/handling (keep in mind that mailing tubes are now over $4 each, so $6—7).  You can  respond to this  blog & I’ll generally get right back to you within 48 hours.

Did I tell you that you aren’t getting Lassie? We have to address what people think about dogs.

October 6, 2011

For a time there , it seemed that  we dog lovers were making progress in getting the pseudo dog lovers (the ones who claim to love dogs, but have never trained a dog, or read a book about dogs, or gone to  a dog show or even observed an obedience class, or brushed their dog) to understand that neutering or at least not breeding their pet dog was important not only for the dog’s health, but for the community in general.  We were getting people to understand that it was or is  important to control your dog.  However, I know we are losing ground.  People  looking for a dog still have the Lassie Syndrome:  that  owning a dog in real life is like   it is on TV.

I know we are losing ground because of what the  pet ‘rehomers’ post on  Craigslist in Chicago. such as….

1.Puppy doesn’t shed, it won’t shed as an adult dog.  Most healthy puppies do not shed.  They don’t start shedding, generally, until their physiology matures, & this is usually between the ages of  6—10 months.  The NON-SHED breeds: Poodles, Puli, Komondor, Briards, Old English Sheep Dogs, Bichons, Havanese, Crested, Yorkies, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso….don’t shed because of the way their coats are managed….& for the average person this will cost money.

2.  If a puppy is ‘good with kids’ it will be good with kids as an adult dog;  Ah, no…not necessarily. While the odds are better that that dogs will be accustomed to kids if raised with kids, often times, the adult dog personality is different from the puppy personality.  People who have Afghan Hounds,  Salukis, Akitas, Shiba Inu, and Lhasa Apsos know this.  If you don’t want any surprises about personality or the ultimate  size of the adult dog, get an adult dog!

3.  It’s better to get a puppy because it will bond to you, and an adult dog won’t. This is a very sad rumor.  I have gotten  many dogs out of pounds and shelters, & they  bonded to me immediately, they were so grateful to have attention.

4.If I have just one litter, and I know I can sell the puppies, I am not  affecting  pet over population;  Oh, man…that’s why we are inundated with kittens. cats, & Pit Bulls.  Because everyone thinks they are special, and not the cause of the pet over population problem.

5. I am not a breeder if I don’t do this for a living…and/or I don’t make money.

If you own the mommy animal at the time she whelps—gives birth YOU are the breeder. It has nothing to do with making money.  I often refer people to http://www.dog-play.com to  understand the difference between responsible and irresponsible breeders.

6.  I just want a dog.  Great!  If you just want a dog, go to any shelter, & ask for the oldest, blackest dog….maybe one missing a leg. Those dogs NEVER GET ADOPTED.  Why?  Because they aren’t pretty?  Because they are scary looking?  Because people want to get their money’s worth out of a dog & don’t want it to die within a year?  I am not sure. All I know is, those dogs are generally better behaved than all the puppies are.

7.  I know exactly what kind of dog I want….free or cheap.  This is the 21st century.  It is no longer cheap to keep a pet.  If you can’t afford the expense of a pet, don’t get one. Before even considering getting a pet, check out what dog food costs.  THINK.  How will you rearrange your busy life to accomnodate a dog (or any pet).  If you love animals, be mature, and don’t mess them up.

8.  I want a (Scottish Deerhound, Bulldog, Briard, Saluki…) but they are so expensive.  And they never go into rescue, because the breeder take them back!  Don’t whine. Either  improve your personal economic standing, consider a co-ownership with a breeder, or choose another breed.

& then there are the rumors/or misinformation on dog training.  I feel bad for all the puppies bought with some sort of fantasy of what it is to own a dog, & then dumped because they are live animals, not so cute, and need care.  This is what it means to  live in a free country.  Sad.  & this is why  animal shelters will never go  out of business.