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12 October 2005


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Ah, the AOL message boards. I applied to be a volunteer on the pet boards and was rejected numerous times... I still hold a grudge ;) I actually run a small, private message board for a group of people who were tired of the flame wars on another set of AOL boards -- public message boards are such breeding grounds for discontent. No matter how "nice" you try to keep the conversation, it doesn't take much for someone's nose to get out of joint.

As for the breeding thing, I felt very sad when I neutered my "excellent lineage" Anatolian, but it was the right thing to do. I'll leave the breeding to the professionals, and just enjoy my dog as a companion.

One last thing... my "sort of sister-in-law" (it's complicated) bought her son a dog two years ago. I thought it was just a pet. I mentioned having it spayed and she told me she wasn't going to spay it, she was going to breed it. I told her she shouldn't breed it, as she had no experience, and didn't have the money for any medical care if there were complications. She angrily said to me, "If I don't breed it, how will I get my money back?"

I'm happy to say that she never did breed the dog, but it was never spayed, either. It's a problem just waiting to happen.


After spending a fortune to acquire a show/trial quality golden retriever, and spending a thousand fortunes treating his hip dysplasia, anemia, epilepsy and hypothyroidism, and then rescuing a seriously ill (and ill-tempered) pomeranian who was used for the first four years of her life as a puppy machine, and recently adding a lab/rotti mix puppy born on a farm to an unspayed mom ("well, gosh, we just can't figure out how she could have gone and gotten herself PREGNANT")...

Imagine my joy when my MIL and her otherwise lovely mother said of our new addition "Oh, she's beautiful! When are you going to cut off her tail? How long are you going to wait before you breed her?"

After a sharp look from the hubby, I managed back "Lex likes all her appendages just the way they are, thank-you-very-much, and we also feel that there are already far too many unwanted dogs in the world and we have absolutely no urge to create any more."

And of course, her response was "But at least you could make back some of the money she's going to cost you!"

... at which point hubby thought it safer to remove me from the room...

Christie Keith

I just love the "get my money back" folks.

I have written before that the acid test of a good breeder is, do they take the dogs they bred back at any time and for any reason. However, an equally good one might be, "Do they make money or lose money breeding dogs?"

If they make money, they're doing something wrong. Or as one of my favorite sayings goes, "Want to make a small fortune in dogs? Start with a large fortune."


......snort. Oh yeah.

.....You forgot a couple of things.

"My dog has such a wonderful personality that everyone wants one of her puppies. They can't wait to have a dog just like her!"

"My dog might be getting ready to have her puppies. How long does pregnancy last anyway? Should I take her to the vet or can she have her puppies at home?"

.......There's an old beagle that wanders the neighborhood a few blocks away getting into trash. You can tell by the state of her nipples that she's had litter after litter. I wish I could find her a retirement home. And yes, I'd just pick her up off the street and whisk her away.


Cathy, Leo the reddog angel, 6 kitties, 3 dogs


Where was I when the comments started flying? Neutering a dog has nothing...nothing...to do with whether or not you're a good owner. I'd no more neuter my male German Shepherd Dogs than paint them pink and pass them off as flamingos. Nature created them as they are to function as complete beings as they are; when we chop off body parts to "improve" them or their quality of life, we presume far too much. It does not take castration to prevent litters, it takes a watchful and caring person on the other end of the lead. What's more, in larger breeds like mine...I don't know about smaller ones...castration can lead to a greater chance of prostate cancer later in life.

When you're talking about idiots who breed dogs "to get their money back" or who allow it to happen out of carelessness and disregard for them or their offspring, you're talking a "human" problem that should be solved on that end of the lead, not the dog's.


Not to rock the boat, but what about testicular and ovarian cancers, pyometria, and the overabundance of idiot dog owners out there who not only can't keep a proper watch on their pets, but also can barely handle a castrated dog, let alone a big male with a sex drive?

Myself, I'm torn... we try to bring all our pets up as holistically as possible... and while I do agree that holistic care involves keeping the animal itself whole, how do you shoulder all the potential negatives?


A note for the scientists among you:

While one study suggested an increased risk of prostatic carcinoma in castrated dogs:


(Aside: less than half of the dogs with carcinomas were castrated - 26/56 - which makes me wonder how they worked out that castration actually increases the risk..)

another study proposed that the incidence of prostatic carcinoma was related to the DURATION of exposure to testosterone: 'The vast majority of canine prostate carcinomas affected elderly sexually intact dogs or dogs that underwent surgical castration AFTER sexual maturity'


Why not read both articles? Or wait until the scientific community has definitive evidence for or against neutering male dogs (as they have done in females where it is well accepted that spaying before the second season reduces mammary tumours to approx. 2% of that in entire females).

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