Friday, August 16, 2013

Wrapping It all Up

Fair warning here.
 I'm only wrapping up my thoughts on the poll and the preceding post.
This subject is taking me straight over to horses, but not until next week, because I'm a little fried.
I've been working on a post off and on, for months.
It involves research, trainer brain and touchy subjects, and to be honest, I've been shying away from finishing and posting it.

My family friend, who is still shaken to the core over what went down with her pit bull, brought it to the surface.

So, I'm finally diving in. Next week. Not today.

Today, I want to tell you what our informal, not covering all the bases, but still, very telling poll, told me.

It told me there are waaaaaay too many pit bulls and chihuahuas in the world. The market is saturated.Now there's the understatement of the year. There is only one blanket statement about these two breeds I am willing to make. There are just....too...many...of...them. There, I said it.

Responsible, concerned breeders of quality examples of these dogs must be absolutely horrified by what's happened.

The dogs in the shelters and rescues are the throwaways, the ones that didn't work out.

44.1% of the dogs in our shelter survey, of the almost 10,000 dogs counted, come from two breeds.

Both are breeds known for aggressive, biting behaviors. 

The CDC study on human deaths by dog attack,  so appropriately shared with us by Calm, Forward and Straight tells us this: 

Approximately 25 breeds of dogs were involved in theses deaths; pit bulls and rottweilers were involved in over HALF of the reported deaths.

So, can we quit crying over breed profiling and pointing fingers at Labs and Golden Retrievers? They didn't make the cut, even if we all know there are bad apples in every poorly bred barrel.

Instead, lets move on to human responsibility.

Again, the CDC came up with unarguable statistics:

Nearly a quarter (24%) of the deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners’ property. 

Over half (58%) of the deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property.

Over half (58%) of the deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property.

The following stats came from, as bleeding heart, love-every-puppy-on-the-planet organization you could possibly wish for. The next portion of the point I'd like to make is here:

Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which WERE NOT NEUTERED.

50% of dog attacks involve children under 12-years-old

82% of dog bites treated in the emergency room involved children under 15-years-old.

70% of dog bite fatalities occurred among children under 10-years-old.

Unsupervised newborns were 370 times more likely than an adult to be killed by a dog.

65% of bites among children occur to the head and neck

Boys under the age of 15 years are bitten more often than girls of the same age.

So what exactly is my point?

Research the history of your breed of choice.
Understand what they do and why they do it.

Educate yourself, be honest about your involvement and capabilities when committing to taking a dog into your life. 

 I guess that's about it.

Oh yeah, and this...


  1. YES neuter your dog!!! There is no reason to keep it intact. It's A DOG. It won't feel like less of a dog without balls, it won't feel emasculated for not breeding. It's not a human, it can't reason in that way.

  2. Just to show how twisted some people get regarding neutering male dogs:

  3. When you take the myriad issues with unneutered males, and add in the type of owner who doesn't neuter their dog (I.e. bonehead who probably doesn't know a damn thing about dogs), you can see how things go horribly wrong.

  4. You might find this blog of interest.

    He regularly complies stats of dog attacks. Of note is the poverty level of the area when there is a dog attack.

    There are regularlyosted interesting links as well.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Okay so I'm going to be more honest than I probably should, but here goes.

    Since reading this post I have been having a conversation with myself. It goes something like this:

    Yeah! Those bad people should get their dogs fixed.

    (I look down at my big yellow lab who is currently snoring on the floor next to me. He is laying on his back with all his "junk" proudly displayed)

    Well Crud..I think I just became a hypocrite.

    Why yes, as a matter of fact you did.

    But my un-neutered dogs have never been a problem for anyone. They aren't vicious, and I keep them contained. That makes me more responsible than those other people, doesn't it?

    Think about that statement and then tell me the answer.

    No it doesn't make me more responsible, it just makes me far. Do you think she wrote that post as a message to me?

    Not likely, contrary to what you think, you are not the center of everyone's thoughts...On the other hand, "if the shoe fits".

    Damn...I hate it when the shoe fits!

    So now what are you going to do?

    Quit reading this blog so I don't have to face myself anymore?

    Um, no...I gain entirely too much good information here. Try again.

    *hangs head in shame* Quit stalling and make the appointment first thing tomorrow morning.

    Good girl, now go sweep up the dog hair on the floor and make some dinner for your kid.

    *Shuffles off to get broom*

    (yes folks it is official- I have gone off the deep end. But on the bright side, my dogs will be fixed soon.)

  7. anon - so where are you headed with this? Poor people shouldn't have dogs? Only poor people have dogs that kill? None of it matters, who care if poor people die?

    This poster only noted the income level of the dog owners if they were below poverty line. Out of 34 attacks he only described the income level of eight owners.What was the income level of the other 26?

    He also likes to describe dogs located in rural areas.You know, those places where the poor, inbred yokels hang out playing banjos, sleeping with their sisters and feeding the chilluns to their dogs.

    Media bias? When a Husky killed a child here in rural Colorado, why every paper, news show and computer screen I saw discussed it from beginning to end.
    I know you Don't Bad Mouth My Pittie lovers like to feel like rebels, but lets face it, the media loves to report any tragedy,done by anyone or any animal, as long as there is pain, heartache and gore involved.
    I think I'll stick to the CDC.

    The poster only described attacks by dogs chained in yards by heavy chains.
    The CDC reports stated that 58% of all attacks were from UNRESTRAINED dogs on the owners property. Why didn't he discuss the loose dogs?

    Is it because he wanted it to seem only poor people who keep their dogs chained with logging chains in rural areas (did I miss anything?)get people killed with their dogs?

  8. Hey Cindy D...
    I'm in the same boat. We have a male who we keep saying. "Oh ya... You still need to be neutered. Man those things are ugly! Why do you
    still have them anyway!!!"

    He's a good dog, he doesn't do any of things that people associate with male dog behavior. He's just a squish ball of puppy goo so we just keep forgetting to call the vet. We never allow him to run loose he's always either in his run or in the house. We have to do it though he doesn't need those ugly dangly things!

  9. So just make the apt...get r done. Its thevfirstvthing I do.

  10. Fine guys, deflect my righteous rant by making me laugh, go right ahead. sheesh.

  11. A closer reading of the CDC report gives food for thought... [DBRF = dog bite related fatalities]

    "However, breeds responsible for human DBRF have varied over time. Pinckney and Kennedy studied human DBRF from May 1975 through April 1980 and listed the following breeds as responsible for
    the indicated number of deaths:

    German Shepherd Dog (n = 16); Husky-type dog (9); Saint Bernard (8); Bull Terrier (6); Great Dane (6); Malamute (5); Golden Retriever (3); Boxer (2); Dachshund (2); Doberman Pinscher (2); Collie (2); Rottweiler (1); Basenji (1);
    Chow Chow (1); Labrador Retriever (1); Yorkshire Terrier (1); and mixed and unknown breed (15).

    As ascertained from our data, between 1979 and 1980, Great Danes caused the most reported human DBRF;
    between 1997 and 1998, Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs were responsible for about 60% of human DBRF.

    Indeed, since 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attacks on people, including Dachshunds, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever.

  12. Again it all goes back to the Ego of the Owner...or is it the Super ego...or maybe the Id...whatever.

    There is no reason not to spay/neuter the dogs in your care.

    Reasons, Stories, Excuses not withstanding. Everybody has them, they all stink.

    Your animal. Your responsibility.

    But then I am preaching to the choir aren't I?!

  13. So many of the dogs in those fatal attacks were property dogs. The dog who lives it's life on a chain, with food and water tossed to it but not really socialized with people or other animals.
    I hate looking at CL and all the pit puppies for sale and the myriad of chihuahua and pit dogs needing new homes. I posed a link to a forum in one of the other threads and in that forum a very responsible breeder who has extensively titled pits in IPO, and other training, who only breeds select litters for law enforcement and working dogs discussed puppies she had culled out of her litter. Some people would scream about how cruel she was to euth "innocent" puppies when a home could have been found for them but one had a heart murmur and one showed an unstable temperament from an early age. She didnt was either of those dogs in society and with her name attached to it. I say good for her. Of breeders were like her there wouldn't be much of a pit problem. If horse breeders were like her there wouldn't be nearly the excess horse issue either.
    I really believe that any unaltered dog should have a breeding tax imposed on it, I think stallions should be in this category as well. Responsible breeders sell their stock for enough money that it wouldn't be a huge burden and those who are irresponsible would hopefully be pressured into altering their animals.

  14. In Sacramento County (California) the SPCA will neuter your pit bull for FREE, they want so badly to reduce the number of dogs in their shelter. I have been at the shelter having feral cats neutered and seen lots and lots of people, some obviously disadvantaged, bring their dogs in. So at least in some areas, economics is not an issue.

    Personally I think there are just too many stupid people in the world. Animals are only one of the things they're stupid about.

  15. Jan - Stupid people do show up everywhere don' they?
    It makes complete sense that pit bulls would be #1 on the bite lists, since they are the primary breed found in shelters.
    While Rin Tin Tin dominated the theaters I'm sure GSD were the main biters. Lassie made collies popular, they were overbred, they started biting.
    It's pretty simple.

  16. Mischevious GreenieAugust 17, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Sooo should we start a new facebook campaign?
    Something along the lines of "Neuter your darn dog those things are UGLY!" or.. "No more fur balls" or... "Fur balls are ugly!"

    Ok... I'm being naughty this is a serious topic...

  17. As I often find at this blog, the generalizations and misinformation are rampant.

    I agree that there are too many bullie types in shelters and I agree that there is probably a reason for that. I disagree that you are going to find Chihuahuas in high numbers in shelters (in general). We have very, very few toy dogs surrendered in our area. Most of the dogs in my area are Lab crosses. It is probably a regional thing, rather than a breed thing.

    I also disagree with those who are on the blanket spay/neuter band wagon. For the case in point (the family friend who appropriately, euthed her young male dog), neutering very likely would have made little difference. What would have made a diff? Don't know. Without knowing the dog it could have been genetics, unfortunate training methods or, as is widely assumed here by posters , maturity. Or any combination of the above, but it is highly doubtful that is was due to hormones. Which is not to say that the dog (or most dogs) should not be neutered, I believe most should be altered, but not for the reasons of behavior change.

    As I have gotten older, and handled many dogs, I've become less and less tolerant of aggression in ANY dog. I've seen it expressed in toy dogs (just recently there was a thread on a horse board about a truly frightening Yorkie), Labs and Goldens (and crosses), herding breeds and working breeds. I've become so intolerant of aggression that when people sign up for classes, if there is a history of any aggression, they must do privates first. In their home. If after the initial consult, I think the owners will not do the work necessary, I walk away. Under no circumstances will I allow a dog who has exhibited aggression to be in class. Period. And if one does slip by me, then shows either people or dog aggression, they are asked to leave. There are no exceptions to this. This would have included the family friend who was profiled in the initial post. I am fairly certain there were probably signs that the dog was going to become aggressive but the owner was either unknowledgable or didn't see them as pre-aggression signs.

    For those who have never heard of her, Sue Sternberg, has her own shelter and extensive experience as a NYC dog warden. What she's found is that the dogs from inner cities are far different in temperament when compared to more rural dogs. The ones from the inner city were far more aggressive and quick to react, while the rural dogs were more marshmallow types. What that tells me is that breeding matters, the inner city dogs are likely bred by people who don't understand or care about things like temperament and breed strictly for aggression. Again, this is not a breed associated connection, tho it is often a Pit Type that is bred for aggression.

    I also think that anything that comes from the media needs to be taken with a spoonful of salt. News articles are written and printed with the object of sales, so anything with some sensational value is going to be more valuable to the bottom line of the publisher than something mudane.

    I, personally, think that a CGC should be required for a person to own a dog, just like a license. I think the test(s) should be administered by the people who live in the area (neighborhood)so there is some personal responsibility for passing or failing. I think that any dog that fails, needs to be handled very differently from Poochy who passed. The CGC would require that people do more than "own" a dog. It would likely increase the chances of dogs being trained and it would increase the number of nice dogs people see on the street(s)

  18. ^^^ Anonymous - what's your blog or profile link? I scanned the first paragraph (and the last, to see if I could find a sig).

    I've made it a personal rule not to read anything from Anonymous people who open with insults, - my internet life has been much happier since I did that.

    Normally I don't mind, but I'm a little curious what your multi-paragraph essay touched upon. Seemed like you might have something interesting to share... but a rule is a rule for me.

    (PS: You don't have to step forward if you're uncomfortable with sharing who you are. It just seemed like a lot of typing to go to waste.)

  19. Becky, I am not interested in feedback to my personal site. I am willing to engage in discussion here. If you choose not to respond due to the layout of the post or the fact that I wish to remain anonymous, that's fine too. :)

  20. My neighbors have a dog.

    18mth, Pit bull bitch. Entire, little training. Shelter dog. Its their first dog.

    It alternates between running free (no fences in the yard) or chained behind the house. It barks, growls, charges. Once it grabbed a little girl by the hair and pulled, refusing to let go until the child s father kicked its ribs in. Nobody cared.

    The dog lives next to my horses. As we lease the pasture, we are not allowed to make the fences dog proof. The dog often comes into the pasture to bark at me. Luckily, it is terrified of the horses after my mare kicked it into a high voltage fence.

    Whenever I walk my dog, the bitch refuses to let me pass until it has body slammed my lab several times. Hayley (my dog) doesn't like walking past its house.

    This is not an evil pit bull. This is a poorly trained dog with novice owners. I think it will soon become part of Mugwumps shelter statistics.

  21. Blu,

    Do you know what shelter that dog comes from? No shelter should ever adopt a dog like that to a first time owner. And they should have someone who knows what they're doing who would have evaluated that dog before it was adopted out. I've also never heard of a shelter or rescue who would allow any animal to be adopted without being neutered or spayed first. There's a major fail at that shelter. I would call the police every time I saw the dog loose. The behavior with the child is a big huge red flag. Evil or not that dog will be dangerous and kill someday, either a child or a dog.

  22. Blu, I think you should call that one in. A/C, bylaw or whoever you can in your area. That sounds like a disaster just waiting to happen. They won't tell the people who called them in. They'll likely talk to the people at first and try to get them to fix the problem. If they don't keep the dog contained after that keep calling.

  23. Gosh Anon. - you caught me. I am so ashamed.
    Out of the information gleaned from our random survey only 17% of the dog population at the shelters were chihuahuas.
    What was I thinking? How could I generalize such a thing? Out of the 400 odd available purebreds and the myriad of mixes in the world, a mere 17 frigging percent of them were chi's.
    These numbers came within 24 hours, from all over the US and what, three other countries.
    No, wait, in reality, I set the whole thing up, skewed the numbers in my favor by secretly contacting every single person who reads my blog and asked them to lie like your daddy when the child support payment is late.
    That's how I found out the chi is the second most dumped breed in American shelters.
    My bad.

  24. Blu: I have a statistic-dog in the making in the house next to me, but at least the owner TRIES to keep it in their backyard (although we're still figuring out fencing issues.)

    In your case... well....

    I dunno. There's nothing wrong with a creative relocating to help the dog, your dog, your horses, the little girl next door, and your own life.

    At the very least, please be safe... maybe walk with some wasp spray to keep the dog at bay. It's cheap, and highly effective.

  25. Dear Anonymous,

    Your arrogance irritates me more then the subject matter.


  26. Mugs your survey did not come from any of the following states, VA, NY, WV, Oh, NY or PA. Nowhere did I state that you set this up or were wrong, you probably are not, but it is a limited survey which may make the breeds listed a regional issue.

    Your sarcasm is not lost on me, but it does prohibit conversation and that is why I choose to remain anonymous.

  27. C'mon least give us a made up name so when we're making fun of you we can use something other than dumbass anon #4.
    When you wade in looking for a fight, I think it's only fair you give us a name to go with your ignorance.

  28. Well deserved harassment aside, Anon#4-
    if the purpose of these posts were to come up with dead accurate stats, you would have an interesting point.
    But, it was not.
    It started out as a commentary from me, about a family friend who put her dog down after she lost control of him. Over the course of three days, he SEVERELY injured two dogs, and hurt another. Then he bit the sister of his owner.
    The dog was a pit bull. If it had been a GSD, a Golden Retriever, or a chihuahua, I would have said so, but it wasn't.
    The point of the post was to scream from the roof tops the need to spay and neuter pets, I used the high over population of pits and chi's as my example, to learn about the breed we've taken on and be prepared to properly train it, and to keep our dogs under control. I used the pit as my example because again, that was the breed involved in my example.
    The rest, if you actually read the posts with an open mind, came from you guys.
    I stand very firm by what these posts taught me, as a matter of fact, it may very well become my dog mantra.
    Know your breed.
    Educate yourself and train your dog.
    Spay and neuter everything, unless you actually know how to breed quality dogs.

  29. Mugs, you seem to want the fight, not me. I was simply presenting a different point of view.

    You can make up whatever name you wish.

  30. "As I often find at this blog, the generalizations and misinformation are rampant."

    My apologies Anon#4. Please forgive me for appearing combative. What was I thinking?

  31. Mugs the point of my comment on the stats, was just to say that the breeds listed could be regional. That's it.

    You said: the point of the post was to scream from the rooftops to spay and neuter.

    My point, it may or may not have helped. The problem could have been maturity, which is to say that neutering would not have made a difference as maturity happens to neutered dogs as well.

    The problem could have been breeding, which is to say that temperament is highly hertiable and neutering would not impact temperament to the point of changing it. On the breeding point, as well, what Sue Sternberg found is also pertinent as breeding FOR aggression happens more often in cities than in rural areas. Which again ties into the regionality of what type of temperament in dogs any one of us may encounter.

    Environment will also impact reactions in dogs, as a dog who has been handled in such a way as to fear people will often react badly.

    So my point in the first comment (from me) and in this one was that neutering may or may not have had much of an impact in this situation. It also may not have done any harm.

    I am not a fan of blanket spay/neuter as it is becoming more evident that holding off altering a dog may have some beneficial consequences for the length of life of dogs and may prevent or inhibit some disease processes. This does not equal never neutering or spaying. I am especially a proponent of spaying bitches, early if necessary, as pyometras are a serious and life threatening process which can be mostly eliminated by spaying. But waiting till a dog is 18-24 months may have some benefits as well.

    I do not want people who read your blog to think that neutering will fix aggression. It will not. It will absolutely prevent those genes from being passed on, which is probably worth considering as well.

    I think you are correct in saying that understanding breed tendencies is important. Unfortunately, I think that will not happen, with dogs any more than it does with a person who buys a horse because of color or some misconception or misinformation about a particular breed.

    What I also think is important to point out, are humane training methods. How you train your dog matters. Humane methods will increase the chances that the dog will respond appropriately in a high arousal situation. Again, note I did not say it will always respond appropriately, but a dog who has a history of responding well, is more likely to do so in the future. It is important to actually train the dog, so many people wait until the dog is a problem that it becomes much harder to do the work, which makes people give up too soon. Caveat: I don't know how much or what type of training was in place for the dog in your original post, so I am not commenting on that. I am certain she made both the correct and responsible decision when she euthed her dog. There was, no other solution at that point.

    The CGC comment was to address the training and lack of it that seems rampant where I live. A CGC is fairly easy to put on a dog and done the way I suggested (with testers being neighborhood residents) will put some responsibility with people the dog owners may see frequently and thus add some social pressure.

  32. redhorse- I'm not sure what happened. I heard were going to neuter it but something went wrong with a surgery when it was younger (some kind of reaction?) so they didn't want to put it under anesthetic again. The police in our area want nothing to do with dogs, some person on our street shot and killed our friends dogs while they were in our friends yard. Police didn't care.

    Greenie- Our council has a policy with loose dogs, if it has tags, then they will probably eventually wander back to their owner and there is no reason to interfere. If it doesn't have tags, it can stay in the pound for 6 hours (SIX, the stay is longer for non pit dogs tho.) then gets shot. They don't even try rehome. We have an SPCA but they have been full for months.

    Becky- Some find of wasp spray does sound like a good idea. What do you mean by creative relocating? We are moving in six weeks so not going to be a problem for too much longer...

  33. (Me, iRide ArabPony and Blue Horasi are the same person, BTW. Not sure how I ended up with two blogger accounts...)

  34. Creative relocating is a polite way of "Whoops! Oh, man, the dog got out and found its way to the pound...."

    It's a last ditch effort, and I've never had to use it yet, but your situation sounded hairy.

    If you're relocating in six weeks, then hunkering down is probably the best bet -yeesh. What an uncomfortable situation. I don't envy you.

    I like carrying a big stick if I'm nervous (even holding it up over your head, or out to the side, seems to freak dogs out), but the wasp spray is definitely way better than pepper spray - better range, accuracy, and cheaper.

  35. Anon- New thoughts, comments and ideas are welcome here, when they are presented with consideration, manners and an attitude of wanting to help.
    For me, your first sentence said it all.
    I did read through the rest of what you said, and would have been interested in discussing some of your points. Unfortunately, you drove home your intentions, which were to lecture,not educate, chastise, not explore, and be aggressively "right." You say you have the credentials to back up how right you are and how wrong everyone else is, but won't supply them.
    Personally, I would never, ever go to a dog trainer who refuses to help people with aggressive dogs. If the only horses I trained were the good ones and the only people I helped were the ones that already knew how to handle their horses, I wouldn't consider myself much of a trainer.I would have missed out on some good stories too.
    " I've become so intolerant of aggression that when people sign up for classes, if there is a history of any aggression, they must do privates first. In their home. If after the initial consult, I think the owners will not do the work necessary, I walk away."
    I truly think, if you want a soap box for your theories and to run down what other people do and say, you might want to keep it to your own site, blog or kitchen. That's where I keep my sarcastic comebacks.On my blog.
    This is the last time I'm engaging in discussion of any kind with you unless you lighten up and write in a decent tone.
    I have a sign in my kitchen.It says, "Be Nice or Leave." I'd send you one, but wait, you refuse to let anybody know where you are.
    It applies here too.

  36. Blue Horsaii - I'm with Becky, the wasp spray sounds like a great idea.
    Although clandestine dog removal is a tempting thought.

  37. "You say you have the credentials to back up how right you are and how wrong everyone else is, but won't supply them."

    no, what I said was I would not supply my personal blog or profile link. I never said anything about credentials.

    There is a big difference between training a horse and training a dog. When you are training a horse, YOU train the horse, and then once you have the horse going the way you want, you teach the rider your cues. If I did that with a dog, I'd have to bring that dog into my home (which would be the same as bringing the horse to your barn). What I've found in class is that I cannot handle the dog more than once or twice or the dog will ignore their owner. Can you imagine what would happen if the dog lived with me?

    How do you hear "tone" on the internet?

  38. Becky, mugwump - Ha Ha! What a great idea, if it wouldn't involve my hand getting taken off. xD.

  39. "Last Word."

    ---Becky Bean

    (Sorry, Mugs, I couldn't help it.)

  40. Anon, you may claim to want to discuss this issue, but when you come here and insult Mugs right off the bat, it's hard to believe you have engaged in this discussion in good faith. You sound like one of the leftover Fugly trolls.

    In terms of spay and neuter, Mugs didn't say that it's a cure-all for aggression, and neither did anybody else. Her exact quote is "NEUTER THE DAMN DOG". True, other factors are likely involved, but it is unwise to ignore the correlation between dog bites and whether or not a dog is intact. Mugs posted six conclusions. You ignored five of them in order to focus on neutering, which you disagree with, sort of.

    As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what your main point of contention is. Do you suggest that CDC statistics are 'misinformation'? Should we not research breeds, restrain our dogs, and train them appropriately, as Mugs concluded? As for requiring dog owners to possess a license to own a dog... no. No no no. That's like using a 12-pound sledgehammer to crack open a walnut.

    No one claimed that Mugs's survey was a totally comprehensive survey of all shelters, so disagree all you want. By nature, this survey did not conclusively answer the question of whether the overrepresentation of chihuahuas is regional. It was not intended to do that. If you really want to find out, perhaps you should research it instead of going on about misinformation and creating unnecessary ill will.

    The conclusions at the end of the post were sensible, and similar to some of your own, so your antagonistic behavior is puzzling.

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. On a positive note.... I loved watching the little Chihuahua doing advanced obedience.

    Takes me back to when I was doing obedience with my Great Dane many moons ago.

  43. Thanks KD! I was hoping somebody would comment on the chi.I thought he was great.

  44. Sorry folks, not every owner with an intact dog (male or female) is an irresponsible idiot. I kept my first show dog intact until he was nine years old. He was trained, had excellent conformation, an outstanding temperament, and proved his value in performance. Never bit a person, never started a fight (can't say he was never in one, he was attacked once), didn't wander, etc...

  45. The anon that's getting beat up a bit made one point that I think is fairly important: there is increasing evidence that early spay/neuter is not good for our pets. So far, all that there's proof of is disease consequences. Personally, I suspect there are also mental development consequences of early spay/neuter.

    My next dog (male or female) will be left intact for at least the first year, preferably until I'm convinced it's achieved physical maturity (up to two years).

    That said: that is not a path that can be safely made 'public policy' because too many people (as this whole thread demonstrates) lack the resources to safely manage an intact male or female dog - adequate enclosure/containment, knowledge for training, knowledge for identifying early signs of heat in a bitch, etc...

  46. I'm late to the party... which is kind of a moot point as this is my first comment. To the Combative Anon:

    I don't know your background or credentials or anything and I don't really care. To say that neutering does not take the aggressive out of a dominant male dog is inaccurate. I work at a shelter and we take in all sorts of dogs. Almost every intact male we get in has an attitude problem, whether it be with other dogs, altered or not, people, or their personal doggy space.

    A few weeks after they lose their junk they lose their attitude. True these are not high quality, well bred dogs with traced bloodlines and proven temperaments, but they are an every-man dog and usually mixed breed - you know, the kind that you can find as most family pets around these parts.

    Of course, you wouldn't see this as you don't help people with their aggressive dogs... which is the only reason I would ever seek someone to help obedience train my canine companion.