A friend of mine is currently looking for a new dog to keep her little spoodle company while she's at work during the day. She came over to show me the website she's been browsing, looking for a dog that will suit her lifestyle, her home and her fur baby. She's a smart lady like that.
As we were looking at the website, we kept noticing some patterns. Like this:
This is a random selection of 21 medium dogs on the website. Notice anything?
4 Staffy crosses, 6 Kelpie crosses and 2 other cattle dog breeds, 3 Mastiff crosses, 3 Staghound crosses, a whippet, a GSP and a Siberian husky.
What do all of these have in common?
They're all working breeds. Hunters, herders, a sled dog, (and... Um, what are staffies meant to do again? LOL) dogs with intelligence and energy. Breeds that get bored easily and find *interesting* ways to entertain themselves.
So why are there so many working breeds in rescue? Where are they coming from? I mean, kelpies, koolies and cattle dogs are worth their weight in gold to a farmer. Ah. How many of these have come off farms? How many have been in suburban backyards, barking, digging, escaping and generally running amok?
Getting a dog can be a tricky decision, partially because its a ten to fifteen year decision. What's going to happen over fifteen years? Work getting more high powered and having less time to spend with your pooch. Moving from a house to an apartment, a property without fences or even a retirement village. Having a baby and finding the dog isn't coping. That cute puppy suddenly isn't so cute, when its big, dirty, bored, too full of energy, noisy, destroying the house or garden, annoying the neighbours.
Its very sad to see so many dogs locked up in pounds and shelters, at risk of being put to sleep, because they've been bred with lots of energy, energy that's got no safe outlet. The quieter medium sized dogs, like Labradors and Airedales, are rarely seen on lists like these, because they make great suburban pets.
When people see a cute puppy, it is so important that they stop and consider that fifteen year picture. That they breed dogs who have guaranteed homes forever. That breeders ensure buyers understand the breed they're buying. That dogs get homes with appropriate space, company, exercise and stimulation.
Otherwise the list is never going to get shorter.
**This article is a quick look at a small part of a large, complex problem. There are many aspects not discussed here. Feel free to suggest other factors in the comments.**