Why I choose purebred dogs by Tamara Follett Dec 19, 2014 9:37:10 GMT -5
Post by Sherazad on Dec 19, 2014 9:37:10 GMT -5
Why I Choose Purebreds
Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:52 am (PST) . Posted by:
Service Dog Candidate Selection
I am often asked why I choose purebred dogs to train -- after all, since I pay $1500 - $2500 per dog, I would make significantly more if I chose a needy dog from a local shelter.
First, let me say that I love all dogs -- they are the only species born loving man. You have to handle a kitten or a foal or a chick extensively in order for it to bond with you, but a puppy is born loving man. Dogs are the only species with "left-eye bias" -- neither great apes, horses, nor porpoises have this characteristic which scientists believe developed through a millennia of association with humans. Just like between people, yawns are catching -- 70% of dogs will yawn if they see their owner yawn. And dogs are the only species that will willingly lay down their lives in the protection of ours.
So ALL dogs are special to me and I have done rescue for decades. My Personal Best was 1997, when I saved 42 dogs from shelters and rehomed them into Forever Homes. But I won't train shelter dogs as Service Dogs...why?
There are over 400 genetic diseases in dogs with more being discovered all the time. Mixed breeds are not immune -- in fact, mixes can inherit problems from both their purebred and crossbred parents. Recent studies have re-established that mixed breeds are no more healthy or long-lived than purebreds. Whatever benefit comes from "hybrid vigor" is countered by the lack of the Generational Genetic Screening that purebreds from ethical breeders offer.
A Service Dog is of critical importance to its handler. Whether the dog provides services to mitigate its handler' s visible or invisible disability, the bond between handler and dog goes far beyond "close" . This bond, ruptured early by the dog's ill health, abbreviated life-span, or premature decrepitude, is tragic. I do the best I can to prevent such tragedies by choosing purebred dogs from ethical breeders. That means significantly negatively impacting my bottom line. But I can see no other option. Service Dog Trainers MUST make every effort to offer the healthiest Service Dogs they possibly can.
That's why I choose purebreds.
(Permission granted to repost.)
Tamara Follett, Lead Trainer
Facebook.com/ AssistanceDogs4A ll