Breed snob, why it takes more than owning a breed to make a good owner.

Shelter workers know the line all too well, ” I am here to adopt a “insert breed here.” They don’t care about meeting the dog, or making sure the dog as an individual is a good fit, they are there and ready to adopt that dog based on breed.

When you ask them why they want the dog they simply state, “I’ve owned insert breed here all my life.”

While some of them make experienced and amazing homes, many are referencing the dogs they had growing up that their parents trained. They may not have experience in fixing preexisting challenges or have never really done much with the dogs they had.

As much as I hate to admit it I am guilty of being a breed snob.

I love the NEOs and the DDBs. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the dogs I work with. I find that a lot of my favorite shelter dogs or actually the chihuahuas and poms, but my whole life I’ve been drawn to Neos.

Like all breed snobs I feel that my breed special, and I feel that we only a certain type of person should own them. When we get them in to the shelter I can’t help but be a little bit more selective on who they go to.

Over the years I’ve begun to wonder does being a breed snob make you a better dog owner? Training professionally, has made me think the answer is” no”.

Hearing dog owners refer to their Cane Corsos as King Corsos makes me want to turn around and walk out of the house. How is it possible that you spent more than $1,000 on a dog without Googling how do at least pronounce the breed? I’m sorry, but the breeder you purchased the puppy from should have at least educated you on how to say the breed name properly.

I also frequently go to a home that’s complaining about typical breed problems.

Great Pyrenees owners complaining about their dogs barking at night and dashound people complaining about their dogs digging, what do you think they were bred for? My favorite is when the owner of a Cane Corso is guarding is complaining about their dog guarding the house and you ask them why they got a cane corso and they say they wanted a guardian. Hum🤔

It’s not so bad when it’s little irritating behaviors, but when you get into the more difficult breeds like the Cane Corsos, the presas and the NEOS you really need to know your stuff.

I have a client that purchased a really nice Neo from a breeder that is beyond amazing. She did her research, she’s had a history of owning giant breeds she has English Mastiff, NEOS, and Cane Corsos.

So, she goes to adopt a new Neo. They ask her, “what do you know about the breed? ”

She gives us that resume it looks really good on paper. History of owning giant breeds. What does she actually know about the breed? Has she brought ANY of these dogs to their full potential?

Since I know her as I client, I believe that she really shouldn’t be owning these dogs.

She didn’t have the time to commit to training she didn’t have the energy for socialization or exercise.

She might have owned multiple English Mastiffs and multiple Neapolitan Mastiffs, but SHE HAD FAILED ALL OF THEM.

Why did she keep going back for the same breed? Why do people keep giving her these dogs?

Her English Mastiffs did pretty well in her home with the exception of some aggression between the dogs in the home.

After her English Mastiff she decided to get her first Neo she did some research she found a pretty good breeder, but let’s face it it’s hard to find a healthy Neo. She brought one home and after a couple years learned he had medical issues and had to be put down. This neo was nice with people, but once again there was dog aggression.

She decided to get another Neo, she starts her research and finds a breeder who really goes through the health testing. She brings him home and does some basic in the house training.

She teaches them not to jump takes him a couple places when he’s young and then around the time he’s 6 months old she decides to get another dog, she brings another Neo into the home. The dogs are getting along famously and they’re getting along along with the kids in the home too. She no longer needs feels the need to take him out to socialize it. He’s socializing with their family dog after all just fine. He’s great with the people in the house. The second neo turns 1, and bites the husband causing 12 stitches. Three months later bites the youngest kid in the face while out in the backyard together. Then bites the husband again. They decided then to have a bbq and not put the dog away, he mauls a child that doesn’t live in the home.

So they ship him off to California and decide to get a cane corso, but their first neo never got socialization or training. That dog attacks the new puppy pretty badly, they get rid of the older dog and then APPROVED by a large breed specific rescue for a neo puppy, so now their two puppies can socialize and exercise each other.

Fast forward they are two years and she can’t control them enough to go for a walk together and they routinely redirect on each other when somebody’s walking by the house.

Just because she is on the breed does not make her a breed expert.

My question is what have done with your dogs? Have you help them reach their full potential? Or they simply yard ornaments?

I’ve owned “insert breed here” all my life.

What does that actually mean?

Have you owned “instert breed here” all of your lifetime and the dogs did nothing but sit in the backyard, go for an occasional walk and jump up on guests OR did you have a companion who you spent time training, taking places, maybe did a Canine Good Citizen with and took on adventures with you?

It is not about how many you have owned, it’s about the time and the energy you wish to invest in the relationship with your dog.

It is about seeking knowledge to develop an even stronger relationship with your dog and meeting your dog’s breed’s needs.

You may have owned 10 German shepherds, but you may have never learned to help them succeed.

Just because you have kids doesn’t make you a good parent and just because you’ve owned a certain breed doesn’t make you an expert.

One thought on “Breed snob, why it takes more than owning a breed to make a good owner.

  1. breeandme4815 says:

    I saw an add the other day for a Border Collie who was being rehomed because “he just keeps herding the chickens.” When I got my BC, I always thought of it as a given that of course she would herd the chickens if given the opportunity, which is why I don’t leave her outside on her own with the chickens. Seems like common sense to me.
    I’ve knows several people who have gotten BCs and left them outside all day with their livestock, expecting them to be livestock guardian dogs. But of course they are not livestock guardian dogs, they are herding dogs, so they ended up constantly herding and stressing out the animals. One BC, bored of being left outside with little human interaction, started killing chickens. Instead of rehoming the healthy young dogs, the owners shot it because of the old “once they’ve tasted blood they’re killers forever” myth.
    All this trouble could have been saved if the owners had done even a little research on the breed, learned that BCs are not livestock guardians, and gotten a different breed.


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