Posts Tagged ‘Saluki’

California law 485 Banning Sales of Puppies….Controversial?

August 1, 2017

When I started exploring  owning a dog, and learning about the breeds, and what a responsible dog breeder does, I also learned what  irresponsible breeders do. This was in the 1960s.

Ethics   and integrity were not always  factors in breeding dogs, because  ‘way back then’, there was no  testing for genetic defects in dogs.  Some of the  larger puppy mills started operations then…with a mission to provide a reasonably priced  puppy to whomever wanted one…via mass producing them.  Hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, other genetic defects wer considered…bad luck.  It was the  ethical hobby breeders— people who really loved their dogs, who decided to  look for scientific reasons dogs had crippling problems.  they also realized that not everyone who wanted a dog of th8ir breed should have one.

 

My Saluki as a young dog.  Not a cuddler.

Currently, the American Kennel Club claims that ethical hobby breeders are not meeting the demand  for puppies. Could this be true? Well, yes, but just because there is a demand, does that mean every consumer who demands a puppy of a certain breed should be allowed to own one?

The problem with pet stores and 3rd party sellers is they do not screen buyers for suitability. I have posted this fact a few times, but as a teenager, I worked for the Afghan Hound Breeder Fredric Mark Alderman, and  he did not sell you an Afghan Hound puppy (if you had never owned a long haired dog) until you had spent an afternoon grooming with him.  He didn’t want to hear any excuses about you not understanding how much equipment you needed, how often it needed to be done, how long it would take, or that you would keep the dog shaved.

I also know other breeders  who will ask if you own your own home with a fenced yard, and if you work all day, how will you housebreak a puppy?  Or,  when will you have time to groom a dog or train it?  And…  can I meet your children?  No giving a dog as a gift—bring them by for us to meet.

Yet the editors of the magazines aimed at dog show exhibitors and judges—not really breeders or exhibitors themselves, have fallen for  what the AKC old men & lobbyists are telling us:  if we don’t fight this—the restriction on selling pets breeds as livestock commodities in  pet shops—they won’t allow us to breed dogs at all.  There is a solution, but we all have to get on board.

I am a fancier with an education in urban planning.  I know that most fanciers/hobby breeders don’t have more than 1 litter a year.  If you have  more dogs and can afford to breed more and keep more…you need more space outside a high density urban area….a place  zoned for more than three dogs.  That should not be a problem.
There  are people who keep  three or more dogs in small condos .   Some people think that is crazy—but the fact is that  those dogs have more freedom of movement that dogs in many kennels. Great Danes and Mastiffs do not require that much exercise or room—they are sleepers.    Thinking that is a problem is not understanding dogs—but having a fantasy notion of what  dogs need.  That has nothing to do with  having a breeding operation in a small, enclosed space where you share dwelling walls with another household.  Tht’s a long way from your one litter—even maybe  two litters some years of toy breeds….and having a business breeding and selling  through third parties—-and not taking responsibility who they sell to.

Several issues being addresses are : 1. That the breeders/sellers  (of dogs to pet stores/3rd parties) do no screening of buyers, who often  are disappointed with their dogs and dump them;

2.That these dogs are the ones filling our shelters.

Thee is no evidence that the dogs in shelters are mostly from puppy mills & pet shops—or even ethical hobby breeders.  There IS evidence that most shelter dogs are from backyard breeders.   Yes, people lose puppies & dogs, and sometimes they are stolen, but  most pets in shelters  have been bred, and sold by BACKYARD BREEDERS—whom nobody  calls breeders—not the shelters, not veterinarians, not  do-gooder rescue folks. The  animal rights/’rescue community has been flim flammed into  bad mouthing  hobby breeders whose  puppies are  usually spoken for, and which  breeders  want back if the buyers won’t keep them…and so the  problem of unwanted pets  remains. They want me to take a shelter dog and claim that for every dog bred by a breeder, a shelter dog dies. Funny….you aren’t addressing the actual people breeding the dogs ending up in shelters…and I don’t want  anyone choosing what kind of dog I should love…that’s the bottom line.

Now, if it were conventional wisdom to  make it the law that anyone breeding puppies & kittens…and selling them  on any media source in your state—  have to chip every puppy or kitten they sell with their contact info, we might start making a dent.  How do we enforce this?  In Illinois, you can be trained to be a humane inspector.  Too bad  all these very large  no-kill- groups don’t pay a stipend to humane inspectors who can go visit advertisers & either chip their  livestock puppies & kittens, or  confiscate them…and havethe breeders pay a fine>  Once yo have to pay $100 for every litter, you will think twice about whether it is worth it to have so many ‘accidental ‘ litters.

The  logical  ADVOCATES for this kind of policy, and for hobby breeders…would be the  registries like the AKC & the UKC…but since they make their money from registrations—including  registrations from puppy mills—they have no incentive  to advocate for responsible policies.  I would think the parent clubs particularly would, but they seem to be afraid of the AKC.

If you are going to drink the Kool-ade and  accept that consumers have the right to buy from 3rd parties, and it is ok to sell your carefully bred puppies  to 3rd parties to resell…you may as well  just forget about testing for genetic defects and  forget about showing dogs.  It doesn’t make any sense. You will make much more money being unethical…and according to policy makers—that is ok.  Already, the top 30 breeds are  2 separate breeds—dogs bred by hobby breeders….breeding for the betterment of their breeds, and AKC/UKC/APRI /CKC registered  dogs of their breed.  As it is, there  are fewer and fewer fanciers who can afford to breed or show good dogs.  Their children have no interest.  We are going to lose breeds, but we can hasten the inevitable by  conceding to this  terrible notion that it is ok not to screen puppy buyers.

Good-bye, Reggie, Good-bye, Luke

February 9, 2012

In my small community of dog lovers who have also  competed in performance events with their dogs, we’ve lost 2 recently.

I met Luke, the Whippet, well, it had to be about 14 years ago. His people , Nancy Fagin and Ron Weber, booksellers, came into the resale shop I worked at and he came along for the walk.  Since I had had a Whippet, I was just immediately charmed.  Luke was extremely well behaved.  I lived with  a Saluki at the time, and it turned out Ron & Nancy knew Gregg Gammie, and Nancy was very  interested in straight racing. We became good friends, often having dinner together, bringing our dogs to each others homes.  Apparently Luke came some racing bloodlines, but along the way, his first owner could not keep him.  That’s sort of how I got my second Whippet, Bebop—but his owner had died, and that was how he wound up in rescue.

In any case,  Nancy made the very tough decision to euthanize Luke a few weeks ago. He was  about blind, almost deaf, and more importantly, he was hurting. His digestion was no longer  good, and poop just came out of him, and he had tumbled down the stairs a few times and was no longer putting weight on one of his front feet. He was 16.

This was just a few weeks after Janie Wondergem lost TSH Crystal Payday, UD (“Reggie”).  I met Janie at one of the International Kennel Club benched shows.  It was where my dog, Dazzle, took his first AKC point. We had to be there all day, that’s how it goes, but I was hoping to meet other  Saluki fanciers by being there.

We got together a few weeks later.  I was a bit adrift at the time.  Ans there was tension among us about buying a grooming shop together.  I understood her hesitation completely, but felt the  business was a good one.  I didn’t think she would ever get Reggie trained, as Janie is  a small-boned woman, and Reggie was powerful.  I was working with Dazzle, but I  knew he wouldn’t be ready for any  obedience competition in the foreseeable future.  He just didn’t have the personality for performance.

Reggie was an extremely  smart dog, but a Saluki.    Janie was taking him to conformation classes, to get him used to strange dogs, and to being touched. He’d lean all the way over rather than allow himself to  be touched in any way.   From that, and her perseverance, and  just keeping at it—-all with positive re-enforcement, she got Reggie to the point that he could be left in the  obedience ring, on the stand for examination, and not flinch.  Janie said that obedience was  Reggie’s job.    She was  campaigning  Reggie for an obedience championship, but she felt the jumping was really getting hard on his hips and knees, so she started training him for tracking—Janie said to keep his mind engaged.

She called me and told me she could tell by the way he was standing that she knew he was dying. Her husband scoffed, but Janie took him to the emergency veterinarians (it’s always on Saturday night, right?), and they said he was bleeding internally.  They said it could be a few days to maybe a few weeks, and Janie had him about 2 weeks more, when he was just too weak to get up.  She allowed him to die on his pillow.

We dog lovers sort of mark our lives by our dog companions.  Many of us are getting older. The age of the average performance fancier is past 50.  We are not attracting younger fanciers.  Most don’t have the patience, and then  combine that with traveling to dog shows or events, we just can’t afford the travel.

This is only important because our dogs have been our partners.  Because of the training, we’ve met our friends, we’ve learned  so much, and we have great memories of the times we had with our dogs.

They think he’s an Afghan Hound

February 26, 2010

I own a Saluki.  I got him when he was  about 17 months old from his breeder, Nancy Badra, who was going to keep him forever if the perfect home hadn’t come along.  My first Saluki, from Bill Brown, had just died of cancer, and there was a big void.  I had just spent about $3000 on cancer treatments for Sadiq, so I could really only afford a dog from rescue, but we worked it out, and Dazzle, as I call him, has been a wonderful pet.

He was quite shy & very overwhelmed when I took him away from everything he knew, but he learned to trust me.  About a year after he came to live with me, Bebop, the Whippet, was offered to me (his owner had died, and he was in rescue).

People  think that Dazzle is a Greyhound or an Afghan Hound.  I rarely bother to correct them.  Let them think whatever they want.  I am not looking to make the Saluki breed more popular.  The only ones who  recognize that he is a Saluki are the people who attended  Southern Illinois University, in “Little Egypt”  at the southern tip of Illinois.

I remember seeing one of Jayne Harpling’s older, black & tan Salukis that had as much coat as an Afghan.  Sometimes it happens, especially when they are spayed.

As a groomer, I see many dogs that people tell me are one breed, and I can see that they are another, or….I had a client with a young Puli, & she wanted him in cords.  Both the breeder and I told her that he was going to go through an ‘ugly’ stage, but to be patient.  Unfortunately, she boarded the dog & asked the kennel staff to groom him. They though—I am not making this up—that he was a matted miniature Poodle. They shaved him & we had to start over.

I currently work at a kennel that boards 2 Lakeland Terriers on a regular basis.  This is a relatively rare breed. They claim these 2 dogs are—get ready—Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers.  If they are—they are the worst Wheatens with the worst coats I have ever seen (but they are mighty fine looking Lakelands!).

I was working with a friend, and  she told me to groom a particular dog, and I remarked that you don’t see many Australian Terriers. She  laughed & said, “Robyn, that’s a Norwich!”  I laughed and said, “It is not!  Look at the shape of his head!  & his ears! Hes not even a Norfolk!”

But my friend told me that this  dog’s owner  went to a pet shop and paid $3500 for this dog.  I said, “I know exactly what happened.  He wanted a Norwich, and they handed him this pup and gave him Norwich Terrier papers.”  We had a good laugh about that.

Usually I can tell the breed of the dog by the head.  In my neighborhood, there are some giant Italian Greyhounds and some teeny weeny Whippets, but  I can generally tell.

It’s very hard to tell the Silky Terriers from the Yorkshire Terriers…at least the poorly bred pet dogs.  Don’t get me started on the Shih Tzu that are actually Lhasa Apsos and vice versa. In the 1970s, there were a lot of them.  Very few of the  novices in the breed had any integrity.  Now, the  well bred ones are very distinct in head type, body, and coat texture (as well as temperament), but we still see ‘Shih Tzu’ from puppy mills that I will bet are not purebred Shih Tzu.  DNA test?  They are not  such distinctly different breeds that anyone  doing DNA testing could really tell.

I have seen many French Bulldogs that looked like Bostons—and I am sure they were mixes of the 2.

Except for their heads, I can’t tell the difference between an American Pit Bull & a Staffordshire Terrier, and it’s getting to the point that there are so many poorly bred Papillons that many look like Long-haired Chihuahuas, with ‘apple’ heads instead of flat topskulls.  I’ll bet the breeders of Manchester & Toy Manchester Terriers are happy everyone thinks they are Miniature Pinschers.

I will always find it hard to tell the difference between a Black Russian Terrier & a Giant Schnauzer.

I’ll bet the GreaterSwiss Mountain Dog owners are glad their breed looks like a mix, and I know people who got Tibetan Terries because they look like unclipped ‘cockapoos’.

Does it matter?  Well, if it’s YOUR BREED, it matters.  But be a bit thankful that the person who is attracted to the ‘look’ or your breed, & who doesn’t want to know anything about the temperament, will go looking for another breed.