Monday, May 27, 2013

"Just a dog"

There are times new members come on to Doberman Talk, and I truly hope these individuals are trolls. I'm not sure why people troll Doberman boards of all places, but it happens. But, why do I hope they're trolls? Because they disregard things that members, members who are more experienced and learned and all of that than I, who have had the infinite heartbreak of their dogs being sick and dying too early, and only want the best for the breed, and the best for individual puppies. And those new people? They say "You guys are too serious." They say "It's just a dog."

I mean, yes. It is "just a dog". But don't you want the best dog? Don't you want the dog who will last you the longest, have a great temperament, have the fewest health problems?

Not every state has a law about it, but in general, people seem to agree that it's a good idea for puppies to stay with their littermates and dams until they're 6 weeks old, if not longer. This is crucial socialization time, good bite inhibition learning time, that kind of thing. I know what it's like to want a puppy NOW, but sometimes that 6 week puppy isn't the milk breathed angel you'd like, while the 8 week old puppy isn't either, you're stacking the deck in your favor. I actually, while fruitlessly trying to indicate to a new puppy buyer that perhaps they were making a mistake, found a neat layout of puppy developmental stages.

I hoped that person was a troll. I tried anyway, explaining a bit why I feel health testing is so important, and titling, especially because I didn't know any better when we bought Elka. I should have, but I didn't. I don't regret having her. She's practically perfect in every way, as is a dog's duty, but I regret supporting her breeder. I regret not being fully prepared, and I worry about what the future will bring for her health. She might just be fine. I really want that to be the case. A problem with trying to reason with "lol, just a dog" people (and/or trolls) is that when every member of a message board is doing it, it feels as though you're being ganged up on. Then we get the "You guys are too serious! You're all so mean!" and people flounce.  But, y'know, I prefer that to a bad breeder cranking out puppies who may be sick.

A member of Doberman Talk who recently lost her dog got her from a breeder who kept the untested, untitled dam and inadequately fed and bedded litter in an unheated trailer, and gave the puppy to said member because it was assumed the puppy was dying. While it wasn't true at the time (though she did have a head injury and an already healed broken bone), it turned out that she had severe brain damage, and was never quite "right" anyway, noticeably. And she had to be put to sleep this last week, as she'd gone downhill and been having seizures. This member did not pay for this dog, though she did try to save her. This is an extreme case, yes, but it seems only extreme cases, and only personal sorrow, actually make people listen.

I know it's hard to deal with know it alls. I'm sometimes a know it all, and I'm sorry. I guess that's one thing blogging is for? But sometimes, know it alls really do know something important, and they're so desperate for the sake of...whatever. An innocent puppy. A dam who's bred every heat. Something. They're desperate for a cycle like that to end, for somebody to see sense, to help in that small way, across the Internet. And that's why they try. And that's why I'm adding my voice. People who declare they'd never buy from puppy mills still sometimes buy from "backyard breeders", and while that's a step, it's still sometimes not far enough. The United Doberman Club has a Puppy Buying Guide that's a nice read, that talks about different titles, and health testing, and ethics, and questions you should ask breeders. Even if you aren't in the market for a Doberman, it's a useful checklist. Many breeds have this problem, of breeders who make money off the back of their dogs rather than to maintain the breed ideal.


  1. I'm afraid this trolls are everywhere, a bad sideeffect of the internet. It's "just" a dog - ok, but they are "just" humans . Have a great memorial monday

  2. I would hope those are trolls too and you're right; why would they put so much effort into getting doberman lovers angry? Do they not have better things to do with their time? Dogs are so much more than "just a dog". They're a part of the family, or they should be. They love unconditionally and are there for you 24/7. Hell, dogs are better than most boyfriends out there! :P

  3. Yups, either this guys a troll, or just a heartless SOB, either way, you have to just ignore him. These kinds of peeps will just drive you NUTS!! Just ask Ma....that's what happened to her....BOL

  4. Really? The dying old heart worm infested Beagle laying in a crate in my house who's been here only about 3 weeks is more than "just a dog." His name is Ricky; he was used to breed - a lot, and not kept well. He has love here, but I can't save him....don't troll me, you trolls.
    How totally insensitive of people to belittle another's grief and loss...anywhere, anytime. So sorry about your friend's puppy.

  5. Definitely a good checklist for all of us
    Benny & Lily

  6. "Just a dog" is the stupidest phrase I've ever heard. Hrmpph, enough said... especially as I'm rehabilitating "just a dog" who didn't get a good start to life...

  7. There are some people, despite the best efforts of anyone else, who refuse to see things they're not ready too.

    It's frustrating, I know BUT and here's the key, adding your voice is a GOOD thing because it may not sink in today or tomorrow, but you've planted the seed and hopefully at some point 'just a dog' will water that seed and they in turn will plant the seed with someone else.

    I know this for a fact because once upon a time, I thought they were just dogs too.

  8. I'll have to check out the list, quality education is always a good thing, and who knows, with more education there may be less people who use the phrase "just a dog"

    Wags to all,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  9. Sorry....hopefully they are either uneducated or just trolling. Many people don't understand the problems with back yard breeding, and don't see it as "evil" like they do puppy mills. Heck, some people don't see them as bad either, but that's a post for another day.

    My guys to date have all been rescues, but knowing what I do now, you can bet if I ever go the puppy route it's going to be from a well researched, reputable breeder.

    As for the "mistake" you made with Elka. Besides turning out to be good since you love her so much, hey, you didn't know. You do now, and that counts for a lot. I have friends who bought not one, but TWO dogs from a pet store years ago, not knowing any better either...and their dogs were the healthiest best temperamented (yeah I made that word up) dogs I've ever met. Both lived to very old ages too. (Disclaimer: I am NO WAY condoning pet store purchases.) I am only telling you this so that I can wish you as much luck with Elka's future. :-)