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I also think that there is an attitude that if your not getting a dog to say work or show.. then you get one from a rescue or your a bad person and contributing to the problem.

Wouldn't dog sports fall into a work or show category? Seriously, I'm usually right on the bandwagon when someone comes looking for a dog for whatever and folks say "why not try rescue?" But if someone has good reasons (not rescue-bashing ones) for wanting a pup from a breeder, I'm not about to judge them, as long as they actually do their homework and get a pup from a good breeder (perferably a good *working* breeder). But if that same person who is so insistent on a pup and has to have it now and goes out and finds one on the internet and then that pup ends up in rescue a year or 18 months later, I'd like to see *that* person shot. :rolleyes:

 

J.

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Wouldn't dog sports fall into a work or show category? Seriously, I'm usually right on the bandwagon when someone comes looking for a dog for whatever and folks say "why not try rescue?" But if someone has good reasons (not rescue-bashing ones) for wanting a pup from a breeder, I'm not about to judge them, as long as they actually do their homework and get a pup from a good breeder (perferably a good *working* breeder). But if that same person who is so insistent on a pup and has to have it now and goes out and finds one on the internet and then that pup ends up in rescue a year or 18 months later, I'd like to see *that* person shot. :D

 

J.

 

One would think that sports would be work/show. But I have had folks tell me that if you want to do sports, rescue a dog and don't buy. Although I did have a rescue lady tell me to buy a dog, not rescue, for sports once. Honest to G. :rolleyes:

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I have received a LOAD of crap from so many people that I am maybe BUYING a puppy when so many dogs languish in shelters, how I am killing dogs with my greed and pride, how could I give a GREEDER money, etc. Its quite amazing, actually.

 

 

 

Sometimes you have to make the best decision for you. Make your own decisions and lead or do what everyone tells you and follow. Heck, I suspect that most of those that are giving you a hard time are followers, their not thinking for themselves or sharing what they have learned, just repeating what they are told.

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Some people dump dogs because they don't go with the furniture they just bought.

Some people die and leave good dogs behind.

Some people buy the most expensive puppy they can get their hands on for the "my dog is a championship-quality dog" brag factor and then stick them out in the back yard and let them rot.

Some people rescue dogs that look hopelessly screwed up and transform them into brilliant athletes, film stars, babysitters or just very happy pets.

 

Life is lumpy.

 

I would tell anyone that gave me crap about carefully choosing a well-bred pup to go pee up a rope.

 

I have a rescue dog. Doesn't make me a saint.

 

I have bought pups from responsible breeders. Doesn't make me a callous monster.

 

Work out what's best for the breed, best for the dog, best for you and make the best choice available to you. What else is there?

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See, this is where I get frustrated. Sport people use the red herring excuses about rescues because all of their dog friends balk when they admit their next pup will be coming from a breeder.

 

I don't find that to be true at all actually. It seems to me it is the norm for sport people to buy dogs, and for their peers to expect them to buy dogs. In fact, I work very hard to show that, in fact, rescues can do just as well as the purchased dogs, which is in part why I put so much effort and time into bragging on their accomplishments. My experience, in a whole variety of sports, for a whole lot of years, is that there is a pervasive attitude that if you want to play for fun, get a rescue; if you want to play for real, buy a puppy. It's a nonsense attitude of course, but completely antithetical to the attitude you seem to come across. Perhaps it's regional, I don't know.

 

As for people not dumping perfectly good dogs, that's just so much horse pucky. Perfectly wonderful dogs get dumped ALL the time, for reasons that have everything to do with people and nothing at all to do with the dogs. There have also been no shortage of CBCA and ABCA registered dogs coming through my doors, some from very well known breeders and some very well known lines. My youngest is from such a scenario, actually. You might ask Ben how his brother is doing on sheep, incidentally.

 

At any rate, as I keep trying to point out, if someone is going to buy a puppy, so be it. I don't expect everyone to share my philosophy of not buying a dog, but I do wish people would stop claiming they've got to buy dogs because rescues aren't up to snuff ... I don't generally appreciate how it disparages the rescue dog. A good example of this is the people that adopted Dexter's brother and returned him at 4 months of age. I was irritated with them at the time, because they dumped him back on rescue and said "Everybody knows rescue dogs are a crapshoot, Sheena, and this one didn't work out." This one, who in any other circumstances would be considered a lovely and lucrative breeding by a Big Hat, and who was born and raised in the most loving of foster homes, and thus was a completely blank slate when they adopted him at 8 weeks. Okay fine. I was over the top enraged when two months later they BOUGHT a puppy from fairly notorious BYB locally and told everyone "that this one would be better, because it wasn't a rescue." It may have epilepsy or be deaf, as so many of her dogs are, but by golly, at least it's not a rescue dog. THAT, my friend, is the pervasive anti-rescue attitude I fight against all the time.

 

I think this year at Regionals 12 or so dogs that passed through my rescue qualified for Nationals. I consider that a personal success, but I think it also goes to show that the rescue that succeeds is not a one-off ;-) If you want to buy a puppy, buy a puppy! You don't need to justify it, and you *especially* don't need to justify it with the ole "rescue dogs are inferior" excuse!

 

RDM

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Sometimes you have to make the best decision for you. Make your own decisions and lead or do what everyone tells you and follow. Heck, I suspect that most of those that are giving you a hard time are followers, their not thinking for themselves or sharing what they have learned, just repeating what they are told.

 

 

Oh I am. In fact I am going to go look at an older puppy returned to the breeder tomorrow. Hes a few months old but if he's the right dog we will know it and he will come home with us.

 

I just find it amazing that I (*me* the lady who fosters dogs, has been involved in rescue for years, who of the 9 dogs I have owned as an adult, 7 were adopted from rescue) am being villified by some folks because I may choose a different route for this particular dog at this time in my life.

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We rescued a 10 week old puppy from a horrible BYB. Paid $100 and she had no papers. The BYB was going to shoot her as she was going on vacation and didn't want to have any *leftover* puppies.

 

Her name is Tess.

 

Best $100 that I ever spent.

 

One of the top Nursery and Open dog in the USA.

 

Nothing wrong with getting a rescue.

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Here's another view that I'm sure will be considered un PC by most:

 

Every rescue border collie that gets chosen for a good home over a well-bred working border collie means one less well-bred border collie will have a home and therefore less will be bred. What does this do to the working border collie gene pool over time?

 

I understand these are *very* difficult things to think about, but it's a reality.

 

I don't think it isn't PC to aknowledge that there seem to be more dogs than homes, at least that is what this last year has felt like in our rescue. I think this does a few things to the working border collie gene pool.

 

The most obvious, and what you are refering to, is as things currently stand with less homes than dogs, less working border collies will exsist because of lack of space. This is all the more reason to carefully gaurd their heritage and proper breeding. I do believe and hope this will change through working breeders coming in contact with the rescue folk.

 

I hope that rescue will wind up being greatly beneficial to the working gene pool over time. I have yet to see a rescue that adopts dogs out unaltered or without a contract that requires such. Sterilization of the non working population should (ideally) decrease the gene pool of the non working dogs and could eventually lead to a greater percentage of the breeding population being working border collies.

 

Rescue can also help improve the general public's knowledge, understanding, and even add to the homes of working border collies from breeders. I can't tell you how many people I speak to at every event who come up and ask me "So, tell me about this breed." I *always* talk about working dogs with people when introducing them to the breed. My favorite question is about looks and size. I get to explain that border collies are working dogs. They are bred for their working ability so they come in various sizes, coat colors and lengths. By starting people off on the right foot with border collies, if they ever look for a breeder the info I have given them will stick in their minds. I think this aspect of rescue is the most valuable to maintaning the working bred border collie. As I have said elsewhere in this thread, rescues come in contact with and network with a vast number of people interested in the breed. While each home a rescue dog goes to might take the place of a working bred dog now, it could also be one more home educated on the importance of working bred border collies and eventually look to purchase a working bred dog.

 

I really think working breeders should have more contact with rescues. Creating a relationship between the two communities would greatly benefit preserving the working border collie.

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Denise, why would rescue dogs take homes from working bred pups? Just curious, since they have already been in one home, so wouldn't that be like counting them twice? IOW, lets assume most rescues are not coming from the really good breeders, so they already (as pups) took homes away from good working bred pups. How can you count them again as adults?

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Diane, two things.

 

1. Would Tess be considered a rescue, technically? Am I understanding this correctly? You handed the $100 to the backyard breeder? So you bought her, then, yes?

 

2. Assuming she was a rescue, and the money went to a rescue and not the BYB, I think we can all agree she would be the exception and not the rule. I don't know of too many "rescue" dogs that have gone on to run successfully in the upper levels of stockdog trialing.

 

Just sayin' ...

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Liz,

A home is a home is a home. If the home doesn't have a border collie and goes seeking one and gets one from a rescue, then those people are not buying one from a working breeder. I guess you could look at it another way and say the rescue dog took two potential working homes: the first home who chose to buy from a BYB or whatever, and then the home it found once it was in rescue.

 

FWIW, I think probably sport breeders, BYBs, etc., take more homes away from working-bred pups than rescues do, since most people who choose to rescue do so for reasons related to rescue and not as an alternative to, say, buying a well-bred working pup, but that's just my opinion based on no facts whatsoever.

 

J.

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Denise, why would rescue dogs take homes from working bred pups? Just curious, since they have already been in one home, so wouldn't that be like counting them twice? IOW, lets assume most rescues are not coming from the really good breeders, so they already (as pups) took homes away from good working bred pups. How can you count them again as adults?

 

What she means is that if more people go to rescue to get a dog, less people would go to good breeders to get one and so theoretically those breeders would then produce less dogs, which would then affect the gene pool of good dogs, since fewer of them would be produced (because there would be less buyers for them ... because everyone would be going to rescue!). And additionally that the less than stellar breeders, who are the ones that are supplying the dogs that end up in rescue, would be producing more dogs.

 

That assumes that most of the dogs in rescue are therefore not from good breeders in the first place, of course. But what's omitted from that assumption is that this is not even close to true, and I have the stacks of registration papers in my rescue drawer to prove it; and even the not very good breeders are breeding dogs that are one or two steps away from really good dogs and good breeders, because the good breeders don't tend to put breeding limitations on the buyers and can't control where their buyers sell / give away their dogs to down the road, or who they breed those dogs to themselves. I could - but won't - list 4 or 5 local BYB type breeders that got at least one and in most cases some of their dogs from some of the local-ish Big Hat type breeders in the first place.

 

I do have to say that I have never had a "sport bred" dog (ie from one or any of the "big name" agility or flyball breeders) end up in rescue, nor a conformation bred one. That doesn't mean I agree with sport or conformation breeding, mind you ... just that factually, those dogs end up in rescue (at least in my rescue) a lot more infrequently than ABCA and CBCA dogs do.

 

I understand the point Denise is trying to make, but this isn't quite the chicken-or-egg scenario that this proposition makes it out to be. I don't know very many rescuers who get on their knees every night and pray that the influx of dogs just never stops. Hell, nothing would make me happier than to never have to rescue anything ever again. That's when I'd consider going to a good breeder too. But realistically, rescue isn't taking anything from anyone, nor is it in imminent danger of doing so. These dogs don't spring forth fully formed from nowhere, folks.

 

RDM

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Rescue can also help improve the general public's knowledge, understanding, and even add to the homes of working border collies from breeders.

 

This is an excellent point. It was our rescue BC who ultimately opened up space in our lives for three working-bred pups (as well as a dozen or so foster dogs and another rescue member of the pack-I guess she was generally fairly life-altering :rolleyes:)

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Ruedi from Canada has one of the top Open dog in the BC area. He is a rescue. Amazing dog. Ben has Hoot, a rescue that I believe Sheena was involved in placing. Again, another amazing rescue dog. I saw Hoot work sheep at my place a few weeks ago and he was quite nice. Ben was beaming ear to ear.

 

Sheena runs an excellent rescue operation up in Canada and places dogs well. Kudos to her.

 

Sheena-did you see your "Kuro" did quite well at the Finals!

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You don't need to justify it, and you *especially* don't need to justify it with the ole "rescue dogs are inferior" excuse!

 

RDM

 

I don't recall anyone saying that rescue dogs are inferior.

 

In my humble opinion, there is a time and a place for a rescue dog and a time and a place for a purchased dog. As long as the owner is educated about both options, it should be up to them to decide which would best meet their needs.

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I don't recall anyone saying that rescue dogs are inferior.

I think whenever someone states that they have rescues and goes on to say they want a well-bred pup because the rescues have X, Y, and Z issues, then the person is *implying* that rescue dogs are inferior. Even if the person making the statement loves their rescue dogs to death, the message that *other people* hear is that rescues have issues, and if you want an issue-free dog, you need to get a well-bred pup. So while it may not be anyone's *intention* to say that rescues are inferior, that's the message most people pick up on (which is essentially what Sheena is saying is the case in her experience as a long-time rescuer), and I have to say that it's a theme that's been repeated on this forum ad nauseum over the years whenever someone comes along and says they're looking for a puppy and someone else suggests "Why not look into rescue?"

 

So, although no one has said outright that rescues are inferior, that's the message that's being conveyed to border collie-interested members of John Q. Public who might be reading these types of threads or hearing those comments from the owner of a rescue dog. When people present a litany of health and behavior problems associated with rescue dogs they have or have known, it becomes the equivalent of saying "rescues are inferior." What gets lost in such discussions is the much higher number of rescues without health issues or behavioral problems (because who's going to come to a forum looking for help with a dog that has no issues or complain about their wonderful dog out in public?) that are successfully placed with people who go on to do wonderful things with their issue-free dogs. And of course sometimes, but rarely, comments will be made about pups bought from good breeders and that those pups ended up with health or behavioral issues. In other words, people are quick to point out the *problems* they've had with rescues, but you don't see the same things with bought dogs, even though I'm sure if someone did a statistical analysis they would find that a certain percentage of well-bred puppies end up with issues too (because nature can't be completely removed from nurture, and because we don't have absolute control over how DNA is replicated, even with the best-thought-out breedings).

 

J.

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Another inferior rescue:

 

 

Some years ago, Shay McMullen was driving along listening to the radio.

 

"I found this dog in a ditch and now I can't keep him out of my sheep and if somebody'll take him, I'll throw in a free pizza."

 

Lad went on to compete in the Nursery Finals win open trials.

 

Donald McCaig

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I think whenever someone states that they have rescues and goes on to say they want a well-bred pup because the rescues have X, Y, and Z issues, then the person is *implying* that rescue dogs are inferior.

 

Absolutely not. The person is being realistic. This is an extremely bold statement for you to make. Blanketing someone because their experience with rescue dogs has taught them that for every exceptional rescue who goes on to do incredible things, there is the rule- those who do come with health problems or behavioral problems. I speak from experience- $10,000 and thirty-two fosters later, I know all about the rules of rescue.

 

My first rescue was a young Pit Bull. I pulled him from the Hartford municiple pound in Connecticut. His only problem behavior was that he kills cats- otherwise, he was just about as perfect as a dog could get. Unfortunately he had major ear issues from infected ears that had gone untreated.

 

My second and third rescues came from Spalding County Animal Shelter in Griffin, GA. I pulled two dogs, and received one- the second dog escaped on transport because she was so feral that nobody could touch her. The first dog was treated for heartworm and eventually euthanized for aggression, despite having passed a temperament test done by ARPH.

 

My fourth, fifth, and sixth rescue came from a hoarder, who gave her dogs to a breeder, who gave the remaining dogs to me. One, a Chihuahua, was bred by the hoarder and had only been socialized with women. Her only (minor) behavior issue is that she now barks at and nips at the heels of men. The Chinese Crested that the breeder had raised as a show dog but could no longer keep was so full of behavioral issues that I had trouble caring for her. She now lives with a woman who can handle her needs. The last one was a Xoloitzcuintli, which I kept. He had mystery pains for the first sixth months and would have spasms that made him scream in pain for half an hour at a time. The vet still has absolutely no idea what was wrong with him.

 

My seventh rescue was Andy, a Chinese Crested puppy purchased from a puppy store. He had no emotional or health issues and now lives happily in a loving home.

 

My eighth rescue was Pilot, the Border Collie I still own who had heartworm and erlichia when I got him, was treated, and eventually developed behavioral issues. He is still the best dog I have ever had and means the world to me.

 

Then there is the litter of puppies and their mother that I pulled from Mercer County Humane Society- $5,000 in medical bills after several emergency vet visits and almost losing three of the puppies to pneumonia. One puppy had a temperature of 106.8 during an emergency visit. Fortunately, that puppy is alive and well, happily working on a golf course. But she had surgery for hip dysplasia before she could go off and chase any more geese. Three of the puppies ended up with hip dysplasia, two severe. The mother of the puppies had seizures with an unknown cause.

 

And on and on it goes. Rescue dogs are not inferior. I would never suggest that. Rescue is what I do- it is what I will always do, and it has become my passion, my life, and my dream. But I am also a realist, and I know that rescue is absolutely never perfect. If almost all rescue dogs were perfectly healthy, rescues wouldn't spend thousands of dollars a month to continue operating. Behavior issues also require money- there are classes to take, evaluations to be had, private training sessions, the works!

 

Even if the person making the statement loves their rescue dogs to death, the message that *other people* hear is that rescues have issues, and if you want an issue-free dog, you need to get a well-bred pup. So while it may not be anyone's *intention* to say that rescues are inferior, that's the message most people pick up on (which is essentially what Sheena is saying is the case in her experience as a long-time rescuer), and I have to say that it's a theme that's been repeated on this forum ad nauseum over the years whenever someone comes along and says they're looking for a puppy and someone else suggests "Why not look into rescue?"

 

Rather than people picking up on the message that rescues are inferior, why not have them pick up on the message that breeding dogs aren't perfect- but rescues aren't either. There will always be problem dogs on either end of the spectrum, and it is a reality that the breeder dogs tend to have less health problems and emotional issues than rescue dogs. Does that mean rescue dogs are inferior to breeder dogs? Absolutely not. It does, however, mean that the family adopting the rescue dog needs to be aware of the potential for emotional and physical problems. Sugar coating it and pretending that rescuing a dog is essentially skipping through a forest is not the right way to go about advertising what it is like to own an adopted dog. The same families that don't bother to do the research then adopt a dog, are more likely to simply give the dog up again because they were not told to expect that their dog would have behavior problems. Instead, that family will think the dog they adopted was defective, place a blanket statement on the entirety of rescue (IE rescue dogs are inferior) and move on to buying a dog from a breeder.

 

What gets lost in such discussions is the much higher number of rescues without health issues or behavioral problems (because who's going to come to a forum looking for help with a dog that has no issues or complain about their wonderful dog out in public?) that are successfully placed with people who go on to do wonderful things with their issue-free dogs. And of course sometimes, but rarely, comments will be made about pups bought from good breeders and that those pups ended up with health or behavioral issues. In other words, people are quick to point out the *problems* they've had with rescues, but you don't see the same things with bought dogs, even though I'm sure if someone did a statistical analysis they would find that a certain percentage of well-bred puppies end up with issues too (because nature can't be completely removed from nurture, and because we don't have absolute control over how DNA is replicated, even with the best-thought-out breedings).

 

Until I see statistical evidence that suggests there is a much higher incidence of healthy, well-adjusted dogs in rescue, I will continue to have the mindset that I do. The reality is that there are just as many healthy dogs as there are sick ones. Rescues who pull from southern shelters set up quarantine before the dog even gets to them because it is expected that the dog will be sick. Rescues from northern shelters tend to have behavioral issues (or are most likely Pit Bulls given up by people who shouldn't have owned them in the first place).

 

Across the board, neither a breeder or rescue dog is perfect. But the fact of the matter is that people who rescue need to expect that their dog will have something the prevents them from being "the perfect dog".

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Rather than people picking up on the message that rescues are inferior, why not have them pick up on the message that breeding dogs aren't perfect- but rescues aren't either.

Probably because the default understanding is that rescues aren't perfect. Does Jane Q. Public believe that "breeding dogs" aren't perfect but rescues are?

 

There will always be problem dogs on either end of the spectrum, and it is a reality that the breeder dogs tend to have less health problems and emotional issues than rescue dogs.

Reality. Empirical reality? From my personal experience and observation of my own and close friends' dogs - rescues, pups bought from breeders (can't quite call them breeder dogs) and foster dogs - the rescue dogs have fewer health problems and emotional issues than the dogs bought from breeders. But I'd hardly make a blanket statement about rescues vs. dogs bought from breeders from that data, much less call it Reality.

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Absolutely not. The person is being realistic. Blanketing someone because their experience with rescue dogs has taught them that for every exceptional rescue who goes on to do incredible things, there is the rule- those who do come with health problems or behavioral problems.

 

Rescue dogs are not inferior. I would never suggest that.

 

Rather than people picking up on the message that rescues are inferior, why not have them pick up on the message that breeding dogs aren't perfect- but rescues aren't either. There will always be problem dogs on either end of the spectrum, and it is a reality that the breeder dogs tend to have less health problems and emotional issues than rescue dogs. Does that mean rescue dogs are inferior to breeder dogs? Absolutely not.

 

What would you say it means?

 

I understand the frustration you have been expressing in this thread and I certainly think you should get the dog you want for whatever reason; however, it seems disingenuous to me to repeat over and over your experience of problem rescues while also saying that that doesn't imply that they are inferior. How could it not?

 

It does, however, mean that the family adopting the rescue dog needs to be aware of the potential for emotional and physical problems. Sugar coating it and pretending that rescuing a dog is essentially skipping through a forest is not the right way to go about advertising what it is like to own an adopted dog.

 

True--and the same is absolutely true of getting a puppy from a known breeding--though it's also true, you may have a bit more leeway in stacking the deck in your favor.

 

Until I see statistical evidence that suggests there is a much higher incidence of healthy, well-adjusted dogs in rescue, I will continue to have the mindset that I do.

 

Do you have actual statistical evidence for your mindset? You haven't presented any evidence from dogs of known breedings and thus seem to be making an attribution error. My experience with rescue dogs and dogs of known breedings suggests to me that the problems, health and behavioral, are fairly evenly distributed--not that I would claim that to be actual statistical evidence. I also suspect it's likely that there will be breed differences. You seem to have a lot more experience with rescues of different breeds; my experience is really only from Border Collies.

 

Again, I don't think you need to justify in any way your decisions about the dogs you bring into your care and it's great that you've done so much to help dogs in need of rescue. But, I really don't understand how you can claim that the discussion of rescue dogs that you've presented here doesn't imply that they are inferior.

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Absolutely not. The person is being realistic. This is an extremely bold statement for you to make. Blanketing someone because their experience with rescue dogs has taught them that for every exceptional rescue who goes on to do incredible things, there is the rule- those who do come with health problems or behavioral problems. I speak from experience- $10,000 and thirty-two fosters later, I know all about the rules of rescue.

 

And I, twelve years and EIGHT HUNDRED DOGS later, disagree with you absolutely. There is certainly no rule that rescue dogs come with behavioural and health issues as a norm. I have offered so very many examples of this in this thread, but you opt to disregard them. While this is your choice, I hope other people reading understand that "exceptional" rescues are not unusual.

 

4855051203_e577bca3bf.jpg

 

RDM and 5 rescues:

Tweed - FDC, ATCh, MSDC, 5 times Nationals Qualifier and 5th place podium 2010 BCYRC

Piper - FDCH-G, MADC, 20th place BCYRC

Mr. Woo - look for him on your nearest TV!

Dexter - training for World Team

and TWooie, mole hunter extraordinaire.

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Do you have actual statistical evidence for your mindset? You haven't presented any evidence from dogs of known breedings and thus seem to be making an attribution error. My experience with rescue dogs and dogs of known breedings suggests to me that the problems, health and behavioral, are fairly evenly distributed--not that I would claim that to be actual statistical evidence. I also suspect it's likely that there will be breed differences. You seem to have a lot more experience with rescues of different breeds; my experience is really only from Border Collies.

 

Excuse my buttinski here, but when I was working at various veterinary clinics we saw a lot of dogs (purebred, carefully chosen, and mutts that were fished out of the pound, and everything in between) with inherited disorders as well as allergies, "bad wiring" etc. In well over half the cases, when faced with a problem that would require expensive, and especially long-term care, the owners of mutts and purebreds fished out of the pound would commonly opt for euthanasia over treatment.

 

Of course there are lots of people who do treat these dogs. But part of the reason you see all these gloriously healthy mutts (and purebreds from pounds) walking around is that the ones that developed problems were often destroyed. People who have the money to treat these problems often do - especially if they paid a stiff price for the dog/pup to begin with. So you see the expensively purchased purebreds with problems walking around because someone could afford to treat it, and the dog is sub-optimal but functioning well enough to keep alive.

 

Certainly there are specific problems that crop up repeatedly with certain breeds, especially if they were not bred to do a job like stock work or hunting or any other task that requires health, soundness and stamina. The AKC has shown us that in spades. But what happens to dog that were purpose-bred for a job, and turn out not to be good at it because of some deficiency of soundness of body or mind? They are often sold to pet homes at a reduced price, turned over to rescues or dumped in the pound.

 

The person who can walk into a pet store and plunk down $1,000.00 for a puppy-mill bred (AKC!) Shi Tzu will probably have the money to treat it when it starts falling apart.

 

Does all this mean that expensive pups/dogs from breeders have more physical/mental problems? No, I don't think so. Does it mean mutts in general or rescue dogs/ pound hounds are generally more healthy than the expensive and carefully chosen purebred? I don't think that either. Does it mean that the clients that chose to euthanize their Shepherd/ Lab mix loved their dogs any less? I don't think so. But it is a reality that poor or relatively poor people tend to get "free to good home" purebreds and mixes, or go to the pound partly because they don't understand the math in the equation about costing out a dog's lifetime expenses. Most people don't realize that the animals purchase price will be a lot smaller than what it costs to feed it, or vet it, or buy all the other stuff that dogs need over their lifetimes. And often they simply can't afford a long-term costly veterinary treatment. I can't tell you how many times I have watched the dawning look of comprehension overspreading the features of a person who was balking at the two or three hundred dollar adoption fee of a Collie I was placing, when I explained that the adoption fee was likely going to be the single smallest chunk of money they would be ponying up in the next 12 to 15 years.

 

Should those people not get dogs? Maybe. But if you are some guy who works at a low-wage job, and your kids are pestering you for a dog, you will probably cave in and go to the pound, or take that swell dog that "the mean old breeder" is kicking out 'cause it won't hunt. If that dog turns out to be seriously defective you won't like it, but you'll have it put down, and hold your kids while they cry themselves to sleep for the next two weeks. (And it's convenient to trot out that old chestnut "it's wrong to let them suffer when they're sick" - never mind that the dog may or may not be "suffering.")

 

All of which is to say that I agree that inherited problems, whether physical or mental crop up with similar rates of incidence in purebred dogs and random bred dogs. There are exceptions of course. If you buy a German Shepherd Dog you are playing "dysplasia roulette." And if you buy a working-bred Border Collie form a breeder who is careful and conscientious, you have a better than average chance of getting a dog that is sound mentally and physically (but perhaps more dog than you bargained for if you are unfamiliar with the breed! :rolleyes: )

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