This site has
become extremely popular, so before writing to ask me a
question, please take a look here and see if your question
has already been answered. It's not that I don't love
getting e-mail, it's just that I've got to work to support
this free resource.
Now, without further ado....
the Frequently Asked Questions. If after reading all these frequently
asked questions, you STILL need to ask a question, the
e-mail address is provided below.
Will you send me a list
of breeds that fit this description: (fill in the
blank....from "that travels well" to "is
good for people with allergies" to "that weigh less than 20 lbs")?
Usually this request arrives with no more information
that is listed above.
understand that this is a time consuming process.
(That's why I created the site, to share what I learned
along the way.)
There are so many
questions that need to be answered when choosing a dog
from how big of a yard you have to how often you're
willing to groom.
With regards to my
recommendations, I can recommend breeds that appeal to me.
Fortunately, most breeds fall into this category.
However, since I own Field Spaniels, I'm prone to be
attracted to the "out of the ordinary" breeds. Most
people don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a
family pet. I get that.
Note; My family is
full of dog nuts. We "vacation" by traveling for
hours to go to remote places to camp out with other dog
nuts and run around in the elements "showing" our dogs.
Every time we go to a dog show, we find a new breed to
adore. If we're not going to dog shows, we're
reading the AKC Gazette and discovering a new breed to
As for the hypo-allergenic issue.... It's my
understanding that there's no such thing as a
"hypo-allergenic" breed of dog. I know there
are several breeds that claim to be hypo- allergenic. They include Poodles, Bichon
Frise and the Lowchen.
Getting a dog is such a personal choice, I don't know
where to begin on this one. What's
perfect for me may be horrid for you. My husband
(who is also the father
of my three children) and I can't agree on the perfect
so how can I be expected to recommend one to you with
just one line of text and a return e-mail
Purina.com and use their breed selector.
Choose the characteristics you desire and those you
don't. It's a starting point. For
another nice breed selector try
Once you've got a list of
breed to consider, go and visit a dog show. Find
event here. If you're interested in hunting,
visit a hunting trial. If you're interested in
obedience, visit an obedience event. If you're
just interested in a pet for your family, I recommend
you visit a conformation dog show. Dog breeders
who compete in the conformation ring usually are
breeding for health and temperament in addition to
physical standards for perfection in their chosen
breed. (A dog who bites a dog or exhibitor during
an AKC conformation event is disqualified from
What breed of dog should I
get to protect my family from evil doers?
Dogs are not a good choice
for a security device. There are many, many articles about watch dogs vs guard dogs.
A watch dog will alert you to intruders. A tiny Yorkshire
Terrier does a great job this. They bark (and bark,
and bark) to alert you to intruders. A guard dog, on
the other hand, will do something about the intruder.
Unfortunately, unless the dog is specifically trained, you can't be sure
Fido won't think your mother-in-law or
neighbor is a threat and act accordingly. (No
matter HOW distasteful you find your in-laws and/or
neighbors, you don't want your dog physically attacking
ANYONE. I'm certain your insurance agent agrees.)
You can buy a dog who has been thoroughly and completely trained to protect you and your property. You can even TRAIN the dog yourself to do so. In the end, if someone
(a bad guy) wants in, no dog is going to stop them. Any intruder can easily kill
your dog. It doesn't even take a gun. A ball bat will
Rather than spend
thousands of dollars on a specially trained animal that
can die from neglect, abuse or even old age, invest in a high grade
security system. Install a commercial fence and
electrify it for fun if you fear for your
How do I
find a reputable (ethical) breeder?
Oh how I'd like to refer
you to a web page or some other resource where only
reputable breeders are allowed to list their kennel
once you start trying to define "reputable",
then the whole discussion dissolves into a
melee. What I think is "ethical"
another may think is unreasonable. (I think it's
not "ethical" to sell a pet quality dog on a
full and open registration. Other breeders have a different
To find a reputable breeder according to YOUR standards, I recommend you visit AKC
competition events. If you're interested in
agility or field work, then visit those events. If
you want "just a pet", then go to an all-breed
conformation event. Most exhibitors at
conformation events are breeders. At these events you'll meet all kinds of
people who are just plain silly about dogs. Just like
the general population, some are nice while others are
rude. Keep in mind what's been discussed on this
website as you talk to breeders. Just because
they're at a dog show, doesn't mean they're
My dog is a
demon. He's growling, snapping and refusing
commands. I'm afraid he's going to bite
80% of the time this is a
dominance issue. Please, read
Behavior. Then, I'm going to suggest that you
crate train the dog and begin obedience classes with
him. Doing just these two things solves the
problem so often it's almost scary.
Here's the text from an actual letter
and my response.
Now, if you've read this
far and you still have a question or comment, feel free to
contact me at [email protected].
Note: This is not an
e-mail address I check daily, but I do check it several
times a week. The amount of spam I was getting listing
my private e-mail on these pages was truly mind boggling,
not to mention the bombardment of virus laden messages.