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Do you see a limited number of dog breeds where you live?


Ginevra
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This is purely by anecdote and observation, so nothing scientific here, but I am wondering if others find this to be true where they live. It seems to me that there are pretty much around 20 or so breeds and crosses of dogs that far exceedingly dominate as pets. Like, if I am at a park and people bring their dogs, it is one of these kinds and it is very rare that I see a dog that is not one of these types. There are vast swaths of the dog breed population which I literally never see as pets, and then another handful I see once in a blue moon. I shall attempt a list of the large, overwhelming majority of dog breeds/types I see:

1. Far and away most common is “doodle” poodle crosses, 2. Labs, 3. Golden Retrievers,

4. Poodle, 5. German Shepherd, 6. Bulldog, 7. Pit Bull/mix, 8. Huskies, 9. Border Collies

10. Australian Shepherds, 11. Beagles

Small dogs are almost always one of these: 12. Chihuahua, 13. Pug, 14. Yorkie, 15. Daschund, 16. Bichon/cross 17. Shit Tzu

Once in a blue moon, I see a representative of the following group: Bernese Mountain Dog, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Corgie, Doberman, Sheltie, Jack Russel, Boxer.

But it seems to me that there are large groups of dogs I never see anymore as a family pet. For example, it has been a few decades since I have seen these as family pets: Setters (any kind), Spaniels (any kind), Pointers (any kind). Most terriers - haven’t seen a Fox Terrier or an Airdale in decades. No Bouviers. No St. Bernards. I never see Dalamations anymore. None of the big gaze hounds - no Afghans, Woldfhounds or Salukis. No Samoyeds or Spitz breeds. 

Is this true where you live? Or is the breed pool shrinkage true, but you see different breeds? 

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  • Hmm...I see every day at the park labs, goldens, pit bulls and mixes, german shepherds, dobermans and golden doodles. Often also a basset hound (just the one), great dane, a family with two irish setters, a Bernese puppy, a newfoundland mix, and usually at least one boxer. Oh, and we have a few Vislas that come, a few weimaraner, and several german shorthair pointers. One english pointer. I haven't seen a springer or cocker spaniel in ages, but there are a few portuguese water dogs that come out. Not many dalmatians, lots of huskies. I've met one family of Afghan hounds, seen several greyhounds. Lots of rat terriers and Jack russels and pomeranians and shit Tzus and bichons. Met ONE PBGV and was very excited by it lol. 
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1 minute ago, Ktgrok said:
  • Hmm...I see every day at the park labs, goldens, pit bulls and mixes, german shepherds, dobermans and golden doodles. Often also a basset hound (just the one), great dane, a family with two irish setters, a Bernese puppy, a newfoundland mix, and usually at least one boxer. Oh, and we have a few Vislas that come, a few weimaraner, and several german shorthair pointers. One english pointer. I haven't seen a springer or cocker spaniel in ages, but there are a few portuguese water dogs that come out. Not many dalmatians, lots of huskies. I've met one family of Afghan hounds, seen several greyhounds. Lots of rat terriers and Jack russels and pomeranians and shit Tzus and bichons. Met ONE PBGV and was very excited by it lol. 

A few years ago I was perusing some of the adoptable dogs at local shelters. And I did a double take on one. I forget now what they had it listed as (some kind of mix), but I thought "OMG that is a PBGV if I've ever seen one" (which I actually hadn't ever done other than on TV and in pictures ?). And I thought surely I must be wrong, because . . what were the odds? But it kept nagging at me, so I sent the link to a few dog friends and they all agreed--yeah, it sure looked like a purebred PBGV. So I got my Google foo on and through the national breed club tracked down a rescue contact and sent her the link. And sure enough it was a pure PBGV and they got somebody local to pull her.

As far as Quill's question--This is what I see mostly around here: Labs, Pits, Chihuahuas and various mixes of those predominate. Poo mixes, beagles, pointing breeds (mostly Brittanys and English Setters), Beagles, Dachshunds, Feists (which is a type, not a breed) and smallish terriers (Rats, JRT) and mixes thereof. We have several local Greyhound rescues, so they're relatively common, too.

I think some of the breeds you listed have never been really popular. And in general lack of popularity is a good thing for a breed. I can't think of a single instance where a breed benefited from popularity.

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I'm in the midwest and see lots of mutts, labs, golden retrievers, doodles, spaniels, pointers, German shepherds, pit bulls, huskies/malamutes, American eskimos, Great Pyrenees, heelers, border collies, collies, shelties, beagles, dobermans, terriers of all sorts (large and small), chihuahuas, various little fluffy breeds and mixes, Aussies, corgis, greyhounds, coonhounds and other various hounds, boxers, great danes, setters.

I occasionally see Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, mastiffs, basset hounds, standard poodles, and dalmatians.

I've only ever known one person that had an afghan, and that was many years ago.

One breed that is very rare around here is the Catahoula Leopard dog. I have an Aussie/Catahoula mix who is the smartest dog we've ever had. I'd love to get another, but have never seen another Catahoula or Catahoula mix around here.

 

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3 minutes ago, Selkie said:

I'm in the midwest and see lots of mutts, labs, golden retrievers, doodles, spaniels, pointers, German shepherds, pit bulls, huskies/malamutes, American eskimos, Great Pyrenees, heelers, border collies, collies, shelties, beagles, dobermans, terriers of all sorts (large and small), chihuahuas, various little fluffy breeds and mixes, Aussies, corgis, greyhounds, coonhounds and other various hounds, boxers, great danes, setters.

I occasionally see Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, mastiffs, basset hounds, standard poodles, and dalmatians.

I've only ever known one person that had an afghan, and that was many years ago.

One breed that is very rare around here is the Catahoula Leopard dog. I have an Aussie/Catahoula mix who is the smartest dog we've ever had. I'd love to get another, but have never seen another Catahoula or Catahoula mix around here.

 

You seem to have more breeds and types where you are than what I see. 

I don’t think I would know a Catahoula if I saw one. 

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On our street and behind us there is a Samoyed, Husky, beagle mix, hound mix, Doberman, medium mutt, small terrier mutt, two Pitt mixes, a Sheltie puppy, three Cavaliers, a Rottweiler, a shitzu, and that tall curly terrier, I forget what you call it. I don’t get the impression people are overwhelmingly favoring a few breeds. 

ETA: Airedale. 

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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Similar mix here.

We lost our Catahoula Leopard recently (cancer), and I was always surprised how many people recognized his breed.  Apparently south of us, by several hours, there are a few breeders and it’s a fairly common breed in VA.  I see them occasionally, but was unfamiliar with them before ours.  He was a rescue, and we learned later he was likely rejected by a bad breeder and dumped in a field.  Something about his markings being less desirable than others.

I do see terriers here and there.  And one of our rescues appears to be a poodle/spaniel mix of some kind but that’s just a guess.

I see lots of pit bulls and pit mixes, and would say that’s the most common breed locally.

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14 minutes ago, Quill said:

 

I don’t think I would know a Catahoula if I saw one. 

It would be the big wild one climbing a tree. 

They are very smart, but VERY good at making rouble, and honestly, every one I've met was a bit loco.

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In shelters and rescues around here there's a strong preponderance of pits, chihuahuas,  and various hunting dogs: beagles, walker hounds, foxhounds, coonhounds of every sort.

Among owners I have contact with, there's a much wider range. In our neighborhood we have a lab, two shelties, two Airedales, a little poo mix, a big poo mix, a Doberman, a cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a beagle mix, a cattle dog mix, a corgi, a schnauzer, a Pomeranian, and probably others I'm forgetting. At training classes I see poodles, border collies, a Belgian Malinois, Jack Russells, a Saint Bernard, german shepherds, more Pomeranians and corgis, mutts, definitely others I'm forgetting.

I think around here informed owners are choosing from a pretty wide range of breeds, a few of which are very likely to end up in shelters without informed and committed care.

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21 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

It would be the big wild one climbing a tree. 

They are very smart, but VERY good at making rouble, and honestly, every one I've met was a bit loco.

Oh yeah, mine is loco, but I actually enjoy that.:laugh: I love heelers, too, which many people think are a handful.

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37 minutes ago, Quill said:

You seem to have more breeds and types where you are than what I see. 

I don’t think I would know a Catahoula if I saw one. 

Yeah, I run around with the horses-and-dogs crowd, so I see a lot of both!??

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23 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Oh yeah, mine is loco, but I actually enjoy that.:laugh: I love heelers, too, which many people think are a handful.

Oh wow - you are crazy!!!! Those are my two biggest "nope, don't want one, don't want to ever have to deal with one" breeds! 

Now, this may be colored by working in vet hospitals - certain breeds do NOT care for strangers handling them and sticking them with needles and I'd say heelers/cattle dogs are at the very top of that list. I tell people they are not quite fully domesticated, lol. Fine on a ranch where they don't have to interact with a bunch of strangers and have a job to do and room to move. Not good in suburbia. Actually, a nightmare in suburbia. 

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26 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

I've never heard of a PBGV so I looked for pictures. OMG, what an adorable breed of dog!

I fell in love with them watching a dog show one year, I think it was the first year they were in the Westminster show. And I can say that the one I met in person was just as adorable as the pictures make them seem. I was so in love with him. 

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1 hour ago, SamanthaCarter said:

On our street and behind us there is a Samoyed, Husky, beagle mix, hound mix, Doberman, medium mutt, small terrier mutt, two Pitt mixes, a Sheltie puppy, three Cavaliers, a Rottweiler, a shitzu, and that tall curly terrier, I forget what you call it. I don’t get the impression people are overwhelmingly favoring a few breeds. 

ETA: Airedale. 

This did make me realize I do see some Rottweilers or mixes of thrm, and a few Cavaliers now and then. Interesting that there’s an Airedale, because that is one I cannot remember seeing at all in decades. 

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I see Schipperkes whenever I look out my kitchen window because my mom (next door) is part of a Schipperke rescue group. I don't think you see many Schipperkes otherwise. My brother has a pit boxer mix and the mom to my dog (a terrier mix). We have a terrier/pom mix. I see mostly mixes in the neighborhood. 

I asked dd what do we normally see around here, and she said, "the small fluffy kind and the pitty kind and some chihuahuas." She also mentioned the doodle mixes such as the crapadoodle or something?  ? Um, no such dog...I had to google it to prove to her ?.

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I know two people with Airedales.  Within a few blocks of our house I see several beagles, a Spitz, several golden retrievers, two Akitas, some sort of wolfhound, a Pomeranian, a Dalmation, a couple of German shepherds, some Boxer mixes, a hound mix, some pit bull mixes, a toy poodle, two pugs, some Chihuahuas, and numerous fluffy little yappy dogs I can't identify.  There used to be a Schipperke down the street, but it moved away.

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29 minutes ago, jewellsmommy said:

I see Schipperkes whenever I look out my kitchen window because my mom (next door) is part of a Schipperke rescue group. I don't think you see many Schipperkes otherwise. My brother has a pit boxer mix and the mom to my dog (a terrier mix). We have a terrier/pom mix. I see mostly mixes in the neighborhood. 

I asked dd what do we normally see around here, and she said, "the small fluffy kind and the pitty kind and some chihuahuas." She also mentioned the doodle mixes such as the crapadoodle or something?  ? Um, no such dog...I had to google it to prove to her ?.

Crapadoodle!!! ? That cracked me right up!

I haven’t seen a Schipperke in a long, long time. Interesting there are rescues for that breed. 

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52 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Oh wow - you are crazy!!!! Those are my two biggest "nope, don't want one, don't want to ever have to deal with one" breeds! 

Now, this may be colored by working in vet hospitals - certain breeds do NOT care for strangers handling them and sticking them with needles and I'd say heelers/cattle dogs are at the very top of that list. I tell people they are not quite fully domesticated, lol. Fine on a ranch where they don't have to interact with a bunch of strangers and have a job to do and room to move. Not good in suburbia. Actually, a nightmare in suburbia. 

I've found that the herding breeds tend to be great family dogs but they don't care for outsiders one bit. Often, they are super-devoted to one member of the family and would follow that person to the ends of the earth.

Heelers definitely have that wild streak. They originated when dingoes were bred with collies, and they still have a lot of dingo in their personality. You are absolutely right that they are not suited for suburban life at all!

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

Oh yeah, mine is loco, but I actually enjoy that.:laugh: I love heelers, too, which many people think are a handful.

My oldest son has a dog that is some kind of heeler mix. That dog is really smart and quite a handful. He *loves* coming to my house because I have a fenced back yard and he can run around like a crazy animal and bark at the neighbor dogs. They bring him in the front door and he walks right through the house to the back door.? He also has a favorite spot on my couch and if anyone sits there he'll stand there and stare at them until they move. My son has over an acre of land, but they can't let the dog run because he has to chase every squirrel and rabbit he sees.

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5 minutes ago, hippiemamato3 said:

The most popular dog breed where we are is "rescue." Dogs are constantly transported to New England from shelters in the southern states, and almost everyone I know has at least one rescue dog.

The shelters here in the Midwest have a constant influx of animals from the south, too. We have one dog that came up from Louisiana and two that came from Tennessee.

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In Arizona over half the dogs I see are pit, chihuahua, pit mixes, or chihuahua mixes. My own rescue dog is a Boston chihuahua mix. The vast majority of rescues have one or the other. It’s annoying because I like rescues but neither pit nor chihuahua is an ideal breed for families with cats, kids, and a lot of activity. 

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2 hours ago, Quill said:

Crapadoodle!!! ? That cracked me right up!

I haven’t seen a Schipperke in a long, long time. Interesting there are rescues for that breed. 

My neighbor across the street had one when I was a little kid. Had totally forgotten about them, and I have never seen one since. 

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I see more mixed breeds than anything else. There seems to be a lot of social pressure to gonthe rescue route. My dog is a Saluki mix. I can see why this breed isn’t for everyone. He just keeps getting weirder as he ages. He’s 11 so he’s especially strange now. 

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I live in a city... as far as I can tell about 80% of all dogs are pit bull mixes. It's the overwhelming majority. I do see the other breeds mentioned above - especially spaniels, beagles, and various doodles and labs... but the number of pit bull mixes is so dominant.

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I see small numbers of a lot of dogs, but but they are really dominated by certain more popular breeds.

It kind of makes sense - the rarer breeds just don't have the numbers to propagate themselves.  If people want them, they need to go buy them on purpose, maybe even import them.  And if they are pets the breeders usually require them to be fixed.

The dominate breeds are ones that escape and spread their wild oats.  Pit bulls, lab mixes, beagles, Shepherds, northern type dogs, are really common in mixes. Boxers and rotties to some extent though they can be difficult to differentiate from the pit bull types - I used to have a dog that I think was a boxer pit cross.   For small dogs poodles, and little dogs that look like mops like Lhasa Apsos (sp?), and some others - they seem less likely to get away and more often bought on purpose, even as crossbreeds.  Havanese are suddenly popular as of a few years ago, which always makes me think the breed might have troubles.

We have an airdate down the street, I know a family that keeps Newfies (it seems like a new one every 7 years, or even less, terrible health issues) some Cavaliers, some Duck Tollers, and some other rarer dogs.  The other day I saw two Mexican hairless, and a lady I know at church keeps some rare show dogs.  But they are much less evident in terms of numbers.

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I wonder if it has something to do with rural / urban areas. We have had two breeds that you mentioned in your "rarely seen" column for the last 10+ years. We like larger breeds but have recently "downsized" to a boxer.

I do see labs and retrievers, shepherds and pit bulls but what is noticeable to me is that in my area there seem to be predominantly larger dog breeds (agricultural, more rural area near a city) and in the city I see more small breeds like dachshund - size breeds and smaller.

Come to think of it - I have not seen a Rottie in a while. I think they got a bad rep but I still see pit bulls. I loved our Rottie, he was one smart guy and not aggressive but some people have them for different reasons. A former neighbor had a Doberman to protect his cash crop and he was trained to be so nuts that after 2 years of living next door to us, he still snarled at me when I was outside even though he saw me nearly every day.

We have coyotes where we live so smaller breeds may not work so well even though I have seen some feisty little ankle biters. 

Edited by Liz CA
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Walking in my neighborhood we see a lot of doodles, labs, and goldens, and a few border collies and Aussie mixes,  bulldogs, Frenchie, a few fluffy little dogs like Bichons and Havanese a Papillon, Airedale, a cocker, westie, husky, pit mixes, and some huge fluffy mixes that are probably part pyrenese. My neighbor that just moved had an English Spaniel. My dog is a chihuahua mix but you'd never know by the looks of her. She looks more like the Bichon/Havanese crew. 

I think it's a pretty good range for just my neighborhood but the goldens and large doodle mixes dominate.

My dog goes to school and I've seen so many other breeds there- Dalmations, Maltese, shepherds (lots of German shepherds), beagles, Great Danes, Xolo, Newfies, Samoyed, Shelties, Collies, Bearded Collie (OMG- puppy cuteness overload!), lots of Corgis, Jack Russells, Yorkies, Pomeranian, Cavalier King Charles, and probably more. I love seeing all the babies come to puppy class!

 

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I would say Cavapoo’s, Springer’s, and assorted small terrier breeds are the most common.  Lots of labs and bull dogs too.  We really have a huge range of dog breeds but those are the really common ones where we know of more than a couple.

btw,  A mini Airedale lives nearby and sits by his gate most afternoons waiting for his dad to come home, so cute!  

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5 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I see more mixed breeds than anything else. There seems to be a lot of social pressure to gonthe rescue route. My dog is a Saluki mix. I can see why this breed isn’t for everyone. He just keeps getting weirder as he ages. He’s 11 so he’s especially strange now. 

That’s interesting that you say that because I think what Farrar said: the shelters are packed with Pit/Pit mixes. I do think there is social pressure to get a shelter dog, but I see the lack of variety as a barrier. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Quill said:

That’s interesting that you say that because I think what Farrar said: the shelters are packed with Pit/Pit mixes. I do think there is social pressure to get a shelter dog, but I see the lack of variety as a barrier. 

 

 

I think this is part of a larger issue.  People know they aren't "supposed" to get a dog from a casual breeder.  But they've become suspicious about the practices of dog breeding generally even by registered breeders who take care - (the exception here is real working dogs.)  So getting a dog that isn't from either of those sources seems to avoid all of those problems.  Especially with breeds that are popular but people know have inherent problems, it's easier to justify a rescue pug, for example, rather than paying a breeder to produce a new one for you.

I think there i probably going to be some sort of big realignment about the genetic realities of dog breeding over the next number of years.  Breed clubs seem resistant though so I don't know how it will play out.

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3 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

I think this is part of a larger issue.  People know they aren't "supposed" to get a dog from a casual breeder.  But they've become suspicious about the practices of dog breeding generally even by registered breeders who take care - (the exception here is real working dogs.)  So getting a dog that isn't from either of those sources seems to avoid all of those problems.  Especially with breeds that are popular but people know have inherent problems, it's easier to justify a rescue pug, for example, rather than paying a breeder to produce a new one for you.

I think there i probably going to be some sort of big realignment about the genetic realities of dog breeding over the next number of years.  Breed clubs seem resistant though so I don't know how it will play out.

I agree with this very much. For myself, I feel quite ambivalent about even getting another dog, and the question of where to obtain one is a big part of this. Our late dog was a German Shepherd. He was a great dog! But the way he wound up in our lives was sheer luck or Cosmic arrangement. I am very leery of getting a shelter or rescue GSD - I think the likelihood the dog was given up due to aggression is very high. I have potential grandbabies to think of; I will not have a dog who is untrustworthy. Yet breeding is not much better unless I am willing to put down a couple thousand dollars for the upscale GSD breeder (I’m not). And even then, they can’t guarantee the puppy’s health. The best they can do is certify the hips and elbows of the parents. 

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I think it's somewhat eclectic here.  Most common would be Pitts/Pitt mixes and Boxer/Boxer mixes, but a lot of variety after that. 

Breed types I pretty much never see: Dobermans, Saint Bernards, Poodles, purebred Pomeranians.  Actually, I don't see a whole lot of obviously pure bred dogs, except maybe some GSDs, Labs, and a few Huskies. Even Danes and Mastiffs tend to be mixes. All of my own dogs have been mixed/mutts.  We have very active animal rescue groups and rehoming organizations, which might reduce people's interest in show dog quality prices.

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FWIW--I've been involved in rescue on and off for over thirty years. I support adoption wholeheartedly. But I also think that in some situations getting a dog (or cat) from a good breeder is the best option. Despite almost all of our past pets being rescue, two (including the current one) came from breeders. And I had very sound reasons each of those times. I think our tally over the years is eight rescues and two purchased from breeders. I feel good about that. I do not want the good breeders to go away.

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1 minute ago, Pawz4me said:

FWIW--I've been involved in rescue on and off for over thirty years. I support adoption wholeheartedly. But I also think that in some situations getting a dog (or cat) from a good breeder is the best option. Despite almost all of our past pets being rescue, two (including the current one) came from breeders. And I had very sound reasons each of those times. I think our tally over the years is eight rescues and two purchased from breeders. I feel good about that. I do not want the good breeders to go away.

I agree. I don't particularly want another dog ever but, if I have a change of heart, there are certain breeds I'd want to get from a well-vetted (hahaha) breeder.  However, it's HARD to thoroughly investigate a breeder.  I'm closely acquainted with a situation involving serious legal charges and, frankly, unfit animals.  Clubs are actively supporting the accused.  They have no idea of the severity of the situation.  Clubs do not police their own, and regulations are vague and lax.  They perpetuate the problems.

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I don’t understand the idea that the shelters and rescues are limited in type. The shelters around here are quite varied in shape, size, color, coat. There is also a private foundation-run rescue here that often provides emergency transport and shelter for hoarding or puppy mill busts. Those dogs can be anything. And there are rescues for any breed imaginable. 

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5 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

I don’t understand the idea that the shelters and rescues are limited in type. The shelters around here are quite varied in shape, size, color, coat. There is also a private foundation-run rescue here that often provides emergency transport and shelter for hoarding or puppy mill busts. Those dogs can be anything. And there are rescues for any breed imaginable. 

The shelters here are limited in type, I find, and my theory as to why is that the large majority of people who get a purebred dog, or an intentional cross, get those animals altered. So all the “desirable” dogs are not reproducing. Big classist generalization coming up: the people who get a Pit Bull from a breeder don’t spay/ neuter those dogs. I guess they want to have a “cool” scary dog with genitals intact and/or they want to produce puppies for a side income. This is also more likely true for a couple other breeds: German Shepherds, Labs, maybe Huskies. So the dogs left capable of sneaking out at night and having a roll in the proverbial hay are mainly those few breeds, making the mutts and mixes very limited. 

Also, when a desirable breed turns up at a shelter, 99.9% of the time, it is likely to be because of a severe issue with that dog. I know someone who just got rid of a Doodle (very desirable dog here) because the dog did a staggering amount of destructive chewing, despite the ways the owners were attempting to avert that problem. (In one case they had the dog in the yard while at work and a worker allowed the dog in the house; in another, they had the dog in the garage where the dog did thousands of $ damage to the car. They were trying to avoid crating the dog all day.) At this point in my life, I don’t want to fix someone else’s problems. 

I agree that there are rescues for all different types of dogs, but I personally have reservations about getting a GSD from a rescue. 

 

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50 minutes ago, Quill said:

I agree with this very much. For myself, I feel quite ambivalent about even getting another dog, and the question of where to obtain one is a big part of this. Our late dog was a German Shepherd. He was a great dog! But the way he wound up in our lives was sheer luck or Cosmic arrangement. I am very leery of getting a shelter or rescue GSD - I think the likelihood the dog was given up due to aggression is very high. I have potential grandbabies to think of; I will not have a dog who is untrustworthy. Yet breeding is not much better unless I am willing to put down a couple thousand dollars for the upscale GSD breeder (I’m not). And even then, they can’t guarantee the puppy’s health. The best they can do is certify the hips and elbows of the parents. 

 

And the other element of that to me is that the breed itself has been compromised by the goals of the supposed good breeders - a "perfect" show winner will have serious hip problems bred in on purpose.  That impacts even the health of pet quality dogs which come out of the breeding circuit one way or another.  Hip and elbow certifications are band-aids to a problem they created, and can even make it worse.

Who wants to be part of that?

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2 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

And the other element of that to me is that the breed itself has been compromised by the goals of the supposed good breeders - a "perfect" show winner will have serious hip problems bred in on purpose.  That impacts even the health of pet quality dogs which come out of the breeding circuit one way or another.  Hip and elbow certifications are band-aids to a problem they created, and can even make it worse.

Who wants to be part of that?

Exactly true. A GSD is “supposed” to have low-slung hips. Until they are crippled at five years old. 

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24 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

I don’t understand the idea that the shelters and rescues are limited in type. The shelters around here are quite varied in shape, size, color, coat. There is also a private foundation-run rescue here that often provides emergency transport and shelter for hoarding or puppy mill busts. Those dogs can be anything. And there are rescues for any breed imaginable. 

 

It's the numbers.  Rarer purebred dogs come from breeders, and they require pet quality dogs need to be fixed.  If they are expensive, people are also unlikely to let them roam.  Smaller dogs are less likely to hop a fence, too.  So these dogs are not spreading their genes around.  Northern dogs are an example here, there are a reasonable number, but also they are very prone to escape and wander really far.

Some dogs, like labs are also just really popular, they are good family dogs and also easy to find, so a lot of people have them.

So while there may be small numbers of many dogs, there is often a large portion of the dog population that is related to the dog types that are less likely to be fixed, are plentiful, and can or are allowed to escape.

The pits are common here I think because they really are the working class dog at the moment, sometimes crossed with other types.  They are not normally from breeders that are showing, they are bred by people who do it for fun, or by accident, or sometimes for fighting.  People get them for free or under $100, and they are nice dogs for the most part.  So there are a lot of them.

If you look back a bit to when dog owning was less commercial, you see something similar.  Dogs had a real geographic element. An area would have a few different types of working dogs, bred purposefully for a job, but they would all likely share family resemblances - if you went over the river our mountain range to another area, you might have dogs doing the same jobs but with a little different look and genetic make-up.  This is why you would get, for example, terriers with different appearances and maybe some other differences doing the same job in different places, and some of those might eventually be codified into "breeds" when the kennel clubs got started, with rules about who you could breed them with and what they had to look like.

It would only be very well off people who were importing exotic or rare dogs and keeping the bloodlines fairly pure.

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