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Part 1: It’s the breed NOT the dog?

Over the past few months, I have delved into a variety of articles (academic, to news articles) regarding negative canine behavioral issues where the ultimate result for Fido is being surrendered simply because ill informed owners have not educated themselves enough on the specific breed, regardless of whether or not it’s a full breed or mixed.

The mixed breeds are a bit more complicated to identify, and I’ll offer you some suggestions in this blog. Ask yourself, “Is this the right breed for me and my/our needs?” However, if you do decide on a mixed breed from a breeder, friend or a puppy/dog from a shelter, you can ask questions from the breeder/friend: “May I visit her parents or do you know what breed the parents are?” If you are still curious about the mystery doggy breed, ask the friend if you can cheek swab the puppy maybe 3-4 weeks before it’s due to leave mom and send the sample off to a genetics lab (there are many you can choose from!). It usually takes anywhere from 3-4 weeks to get the results back. I recommend this ONLY if the breeder doesn’t know what her dogs are mixed with. If you are feeling extra curious and both parents are on site, swab each parent versus puppy (however this will require 2 separate test kits), go to the source(s).

Other important questions to ask is whether or not the parents have a history of biting, are the puppies parents accustomed to being around other animals, children etc…I want to add that regardless of whether the dogs have been around children or animals, not all human parents are willing to admit the negative issues they have experienced with their own dogs and their children and/or animals.

Now, if you decide to adopt from an animal shelter, many animal shelters will allow you to visit several times with or without an appointment, but I advise a scheduled appointment and prepare to have some questions you can ask during your visit, whilst viewing their dogs/puppies. By law, they (shelter) have to disclose the information as to why the dog was relinquished, but only IF they themselves have the information available, and they usually do. This is probably a safer path to take if you want some back history on the dog’s behavior.

If you make the decision to adopt from a shelter, and they have no idea what breed the dog might be, I would be much more concerned about the “Why is the dog here?” Versus “is it a Labrador, Border Collie etc,…”

This months blog will be focused more on the ill prepared dog owners and the fate of their dogs simply because they binge watched a YouTube channel featuring a specific breed, and “I just HAVE TO HAVE IT!” Set in. I’ll also share some my own personal experiences, and questions I’ve been asked!

I’ll leave you with this. Sit! Stay….Tuned for part 2.

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