It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs?

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DSenette
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby DSenette » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
thc wrote:[I don't think anyone is getting holier-than-thou in this thread. There are of course, valid reasons to get a purebred, like what you've mentioned. From a purely pragmatic view though, buying a dog straight from the pet store is probably not the best idea anyway, if you're worried about the dog's character and/or health. Personally, I do think it's worth the extra time and money to find a reputable breeder and get to know him/her before committing. And it could even be fun, selecting for traits and/or rare hybrids. It's almost like pokemon.


AHEM!!!

DSenette wrote:what's the purpose of having a purebred dog to begin with? the only thing i can come up with* is that you're wanting a dog for a status symbol or so that you can make money off of the dog in the future (breeding or showing). it's like deciding to participate in rigorous human husbandry to make sure that you get a child that's "genetically pure". just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Listen Mr. "holier-than-thou", I answered this exactly already. You seem to not understand the drastic differences in dog breeds in terms of space requirements, eating requirements, grooming requirements, and exercise requirements. Also, the angst you seem to be expressing about breeding itself as some kind of genetic perversion is an entirely different topic and should probably be separated off. Obviously if you don't acknowledge and understand the obvious differences between dog breeds, it will be hard to discuss the purpose of breeding dogs I would think.

yeah, uh, where you born a dick or have you practiced?

i understand A LOT of the drastic differences in breeds, i know fair amount about keeping, raising, and training dogs. i completely understand the differences in requirements and temperaments between breeds. HOWEVER, none of that actually changes the fact that you CAN predict behavior in mixed breed dogs based on the breeds that they're mixed with (a lab-cocker will almost always act more like a lab than a cocker while looking like a fun mix of both), you can predict predisposition to common diseases within a breed by knowing the mix.

it is FACT (and not opinion) that even with reputable breeders, purebred dogs are more susceptible to genetic deformation, disease, inheritable defects, etc.. etc.. etc.. it's the same reason why the royal family in england decided it might be a good idea to stop dating their cousins.

i COMPLETELY fail to see how genetic segregation within a species has ever lead to superior genetic stock.

as for being "holier than thou" i never said you can't have a purebred dog if you so choose. this post is asking for opinions and i gave mine, you can choose to agree, or you can choose to disagree, but i never once said "people who own purebred dogs are stupid and should be shot". i voiced my opinion about how I don't like purebred dogs, the practices that lead to purebred dogs, or the concept of buying an animal that is supposed to become part of your family.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Azrael » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:40 pm UTC

If you two don't stop barking at each other, I'll take away the crew toy and toss you both back in your crates.

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Ghavrel
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Ghavrel » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:27 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:You also seem to equating temperament with behaviour, it is not the same. How well behaved they are, depends almost entirely on the trainer. Their temperament is distinct from this, and much more breed dependant. It has more to do with how they initially react to strangers, how territorial they are and so on.


Perhaps I misunderstand, but it seems to me that the temperament can be overridden with training? Perhaps people want dogs that are easier to train, but really... you can train most dogs. And if a person isn't willing to put in a lot of work to train their dog well in the important things (by which I mean potentially dangerous: reaction to strangers, territorial nature, etc.) I'm unsure if they should have a dog in the first place.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Роберт » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Ghavrel wrote:
Ulc wrote:You also seem to equating temperament with behaviour, it is not the same. How well behaved they are, depends almost entirely on the trainer. Their temperament is distinct from this, and much more breed dependant. It has more to do with how they initially react to strangers, how territorial they are and so on.


Perhaps I misunderstand, but it seems to me that the temperament can be overridden with training? Perhaps people want dogs that are easier to train, but really... you can train most dogs. And if a person isn't willing to put in a lot of work to train their dog well in the important things (by which I mean potentially dangerous: reaction to strangers, territorial nature, etc.) I'm unsure if they should have a dog in the first place.

There are still some dog breeds I would not trust around small children... regardless of the training.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby fr00t » Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:27 pm UTC

fictiveLaark wrote:I have a friend who got a Scottish Terrier and sometime after wards I found out that she bought it from a pet store, and to make it worse, she told me what she paid. I never said anything but behind my very calm eyes I thought to myself, "God damn it! Do you know there are hundreds of perfectly healthy and friendly dogs down at the shelter that are waiting to either be adopted for a fraction of the $1000+ dollars you just spent or be exterminated? But no, you absolutely had to have a dog with a mustache. You would be mortified to be seen walking one of those mongrels they've got at the hound, you needed something exotic!"


Yes, that's irrational. You are making the common fallacy often associated with money and resources; assigning currency with a value other than relative. Your friend wants a dog. Would it make you mad if the Scottish terrier were free? I presume not; it's the thousand dollars that bothers you. By purchasing from the dog-seller, you imagine she is "consuming" $1000 of something, effectively signing the death sentence for X dogs at the shelter. But this is not so. The person selling the terrier may turn around and spend this money on said dogs. Or, for that matter, so may you.

In short, I see nothing morally reprehensible or wasteful in having a pedigreed dog. Or, nice clothes, car, or house, which are just as relevant to dogs at the shelter (not very). If allowing these dogs to die is wrong, then all of society is equally responsible.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Роберт » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

fr00t wrote:In short, I see nothing morally reprehensible or wasteful in having a pedigreed dog. Or, nice clothes, car, or house, which are just as relevant to dogs at the shelter (not very).
Certainly you actually can see that some expenditures are wasteful. People tend to do what they can get paid for. If you direct money at designer clothes, you are part of the system that causes people to spend a lot of resources in creating and marketing the designer clothes. Those resources could have been used elsewhere.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby eugene » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:58 pm UTC

Ghavrel wrote:Perhaps I misunderstand, but it seems to me that the temperament can be overridden with training?

Depends on the part of the temperament you want to override. If you want to prevent the dog from barking at night, that can (usually) be dealt with by training, regardless of breed. If you want the dog to be obedient, then the breed does matter as some breeds are more obedient than others. Sure, you can get a less obedient breed and still make it reasonably obedient, but you'd have to spend much more time on training than with a more suitable breed. If you know that you value obedience in a dog, and given that suitable dog breeds are available, why would you want to do that?

Ghavrel wrote:Perhaps people want dogs that are easier to train, but really... you can train most dogs.

Again, if by "train" you mean things like "housebreak", then yes, you can train most dogs. If you mean more complicated things, such as hunting skills, then no, some breeds will be much better at it than others.

Ghavrel wrote:the important things (by which I mean potentially dangerous: reaction to strangers, territorial nature, etc.)

Note that your definition of "important things" is not universal. It doesn't include obedience or intellect, for example. These things are definitely very important in a dog for some people.

Ghavrel wrote: And if a person isn't willing to put in a lot of work to train their dog well ... I'm unsure if they should have a dog in the first place.

I disagree. When I invest substantial time and/or money into something, I first think carefully and decide what is it that I really want. At that point, it seems natural to do what is simplest to achieve that goal. If I want a bed, then the simplest thing is to buy a bed. Sure, I can buy a kitchen table, saw off the legs, attach a mattress on top and sleep on that. But why would I do all this extra work if I know in advance that I really want a bed? Same with the dog. If I know in advance that I want obedience, then it seems natural to get a breed that can be trained for obedience easily. It doesn't seem to make much sense to first get a breed that is known to have difficulties with that skill, and then spend an inordinate amount of time training it for the skill with which it has problems.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Ulc » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:31 pm UTC

Ghavrel wrote:Perhaps I misunderstand, but it seems to me that the temperament can be overridden with training? Perhaps people want dogs that are easier to train, but really... you can train most dogs. And if a person isn't willing to put in a lot of work to train their dog well in the important things (by which I mean potentially dangerous: reaction to strangers, territorial nature, etc.) I'm unsure if they should have a dog in the first place.


It can't really be overridden completely. You can train them, and get them to behave properly, but there is some ingrained instincts that you just can't change.

You're never going to get a Ridgeback that trust strangers at once, no matter what you do. You can't make a dobberman to not be territorial. And neither can you really turn a golden retriever into a good guard dog. Those a traits that you can to some extent work around, but they will still be there, deep down.

You can definitely get all breeds to not assault strangers entering your home. But some breeds wont really like the strangers. While on the other hand it actually takes a fair amount of work to get most retrievers to not run over and express the sentiment "Pet me, and I'll love your forever!" at once upon meeting a stranger.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:14 am UTC

Agreed. Some characteristics have been bred true in certain breeds for hundreds of years, and will always revert in moments of stress. My springer is a hunter. He's a wonderful, affectionate family pet, let's the kids behave in ways that I couldn't when I was growing up with labs and retrievers, but he will always hunt small furry animals. You can trust him with strangeres, small bouncy children, people in hats, etc. But if a cat, rabbit, squirrel etc. runs he will chase, and kill it if he catches it. Given that I don't hunt with him it is a character trait that I need to be aware of and take suitable precautions.

The discussion about first crosses was interesting until it turned into handbags at dawn. First cross are great when you get a useful combination of traits, and they can be healthier than purebred. Labradoodles, cockerpoos, etc. are all lovely dogs and excellent family pets. Our dog is half working strain springer and half show strain, giving us a dog with lots of energy but does not actually have to walk all day to stop him eating the furniture. The problem with a rescued cross is that you don't know what combination or character traits you are getting. Combine that with the fact that the vital, early training period is probably past and you have a dog that may need more time, space and tolerance than you were expecting. However, if you are in the position to provide this then I know from experience you can end up with a lovely, and permanently grateful companion.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Waylah » Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:24 pm UTC

DSenette wrote: i COMPLETELY fail to see how genetic segregation within a species has ever lead to superior genetic stock.


HA! Selective breeding 101.

I do know what you're talking about though, but it does read as though you've seen one TV doco about the horrors of purebred dogs and now think you understand it all.

Selection can be for anything. If you're selecting for a healthy animal, you're going to get healthy animals. If you're selecting for congenital deformities, then you're going to get congenital deformities. An inbred population does not automatically mean a diseased one.

Back on topic, I was under the impression that there generally aren't puppies at the pound, pretty much just adult dogs. Is this the case? If so, then that's a pretty straight forward reason why someone would choose to buy a puppy rather than a rescue dog.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:12 pm UTC

Yes, that's irrational. You are making the common fallacy often associated with money and resources; assigning currency with a value other than relative. Your friend wants a dog.


And the fallacy you are committing is assuming that animals are resources. Dogs are not simply property, they are also intelligent beings that are deserving of some rights and our empathy. Even the law recognizes this to some extent.

The point being, there are other values in this discussion apart from the utilitons people get from buying a certain dog.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Vaniver » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:50 pm UTC

Waylah wrote:Back on topic, I was under the impression that there generally aren't puppies at the pound, pretty much just adult dogs. Is this the case? If so, then that's a pretty straight forward reason why someone would choose to buy a puppy rather than a rescue dog.
There are pretty easy mechanisms to adopt puppies; I don't know pounds are necessarily one, but it's pretty easy to find young animals without paying for them.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Plebian » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:51 pm UTC

By suggesting adopting a dog from a pound is the best choice for someone you are telling them that the important factors in choosing a pet are price and the avoidence of euthanizing dogs. It is entirely possible for that person to have different values that cause them to disagree. Maybe the person wants specific characteristics that they could not find at the shelter; maybe they chose the pet store because it was more convenient; maybe they are ignorant of the challenges facing dog shelters and can't be bothered to research it. Regardless, assuming a correct choice for someone presumes their values. Being upset that they do not fit your presumption is, imho, irrational.

For what its worth I wish more people thought about adoption rather than buying pets. I also think that it is better to adopt than procreate but I can hardly begrudge people's right to have children simply because there are children who are being poorly cared for.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Bluggo » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:02 pm UTC

Plebian wrote:For what its worth I wish more people thought about adoption rather than buying pets.

These aren't really comparable activities: the amounts of time, effort and money necessary to raise a human being are ridiculously greater than the one necessary to care for a dog.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:17 pm UTC

By suggesting adopting a dog from a pound is the best choice for someone you are telling them that the important factors in choosing a pet are price and the avoidence of euthanizing dogs. It is entirely possible for that person to have different values that cause them to disagree. Maybe the person wants specific characteristics that they could not find at the shelter; maybe they chose the pet store because it was more convenient; maybe they are ignorant of the challenges facing dog shelters and can't be bothered to research it. Regardless, assuming a correct choice for someone presumes their values. Being upset that they do not fit your presumption is, imho, irrational.


Here's the TLDR of your post: It is entirely possible for that person to have different values that cause them to disagree.

Okay? Yes? It's possible that Timothy McVeigh had different morals as well.

Being upset that they do not fit your presumption is, imho, irrational.


However, this does not follow. It is entirely rational to be upset if an action goes against your moral prerogatives.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby fr00t » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:33 pm UTC

thc wrote:
Yes, that's irrational. You are making the common fallacy often associated with money and resources; assigning currency with a value other than relative. Your friend wants a dog.


And the fallacy you are committing is assuming that animals are resources. Dogs are not simply property, they are also intelligent beings that are deserving of some rights and our empathy. Even the law recognizes this to some extent.

The point being, there are other values in this discussion apart from the utilitons people get from buying a certain dog.


Something that can legally be bought and sold, confined to a restricted area (with a chain around its' neck if need be), and have no say in what or when they eat, when they get medicated or euthanized, seems to match the description of "property" pretty well. Dogs are protected not for any amount of intelligence they may have but because our society and lawmakers are warmhearted towards them. I don't see why you had to interject with "DOGS R PPL 2" anyways, I'm not suggesting that dogs be treated badly, merely that it is not irrational to pay alot of money for a dog. For that matter, assuming dogs are deserving of empathy, why does a dog in the pound deserve more empathy than a pedigreed dog?

Роберт wrote:Certainly you actually can see that some expenditures are wasteful. People tend to do what they can get paid for. If you direct money at designer clothes, you are part of the system that causes people to spend a lot of resources in creating and marketing the designer clothes. Those resources could have been used elsewhere.


Right. I was saying that large sums of money are spent in all manner of (arguably) extravagant ways: food, clothing, vehicles, etc. Are not all these people equally at fault for neglecting to adopt needy dogs? For example, is it irrational to buy $200 jeans when a $15 pair is clearly just as good and 10 more pairs could be sent to needy individuals, or a homeless dog adopted? It comes down to the old question of whether or not we have a moral obligation to share our wealth with those less fortunate.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Plebian » Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:55 am UTC

Bluggo wrote:
Plebian wrote:For what its worth I wish more people thought about adoption rather than buying pets.

These aren't really comparable activities: the amounts of time, effort and money necessary to raise a human being are ridiculously greater than the one necessary to care for a dog.



I was referring to adoption of a rescue dog which may be a more local turn of phrase. My apologies for the ambiguity

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Plebian » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:40 am UTC

Bluggo wrote:
Plebian wrote:For what its worth I wish more people thought about adoption rather than buying pets.
These aren't really comparable activities: the amounts of time, effort and money necessary to raise a human being are ridiculously greater than the one necessary to care for a dog.

I was referring to adoption of a rescue dog which may be a more local turn of phrase. My apologies for the ambiguity

thc wrote:Here's the TLDR of your post: It is entirely possible for that person to have different values that cause them to disagree.
Okay? Yes? It's possible that Timothy McVeigh had different morals as well.
Being upset that they do not fit your presumption is, imho, irrational.

However, this does not follow. It is entirely rational to be upset if an action goes against your moral prerogatives.

Was it your intention to compare purchasing a dog with terrorism? I see willfully destroying lives/property as separate from not preventing others from willfully destroying lives/property.

I believe it is irrational to be upset at people for disagreeing because I think that my morals only reflect how I wish to act. I enjoy being able to make up my own mind and can not begrudge others for doing the same in cases where they are not actively denying my rights.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:33 am UTC

thc wrote:Here's the TLDR of your post: It is entirely possible for that person to have different values that cause them to disagree.

Okay? Yes? It's possible that Timothy McVeigh had different morals as well.


Frankly, that's a cheap shot. Over the last two pages we've been having an interesting, and largely adult debate on the moral and economic benefits of bought versus rescue dog ownership. Both sides of the debate have a valid opinion and have endeavored to express it. The behavior of either side can not be compared to the activities of a sociopathic murderer without descending to childish name calling.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:24 am UTC

Jumble wrote:Our dog is half working strain springer and half show strain, giving us a dog with lots of energy but does not actually have to walk all day to stop him eating the furniture.

I have a springer who is 100% working stock, and boy does he get bored easily (and the sound of a pheasant squawking is like a Berserk Button for him, which is quite funny to watch). 5 miles of walking per day is an absolute minimum or he'll whine with boredom, and I know there are dogs with even higher requirements than this. This is why getting a purebred is often the best option. If you do the research, you can choose the breed to match your lifestyle and what you're able to provide for it. A mutt or a pound dog will be an unknown thing, and it may turn out you'll have a hard time providing for it. Especially a pound dog if you don't know its history, it may take a lot of work to get to adjust to a happy home life.

And as has been mentioned previously, if you want a dog to fulfill a specific purpose such as a guard dog or a gun dog, you're going to be looking at pure-breds from a good breeder.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:12 pm UTC

Something that can legally be bought and sold, confined to a restricted area (with a chain around its' neck if need be), and have no say in what or when they eat, when they get medicated or euthanized, seems to match the description of "property" pretty well. Dogs are protected not for any amount of intelligence they may have but because our society and lawmakers are warmhearted towards them. I don't see why you had to interject with "DOGS R PPL 2" anyways, I'm not suggesting that dogs be treated badly, merely that it is not irrational to pay alot of money for a dog. For that matter, assuming dogs are deserving of empathy, why does a dog in the pound deserve more empathy than a pedigreed dog?


First of all, I never stated that dogs are equivalent to people in intelligence or moral value or any measure at all. Let's get that strawman outof the way. Secondly, your argument seems to be that dogs are property because the law says dogs are property. Do I really need to point out the flaws in this argument?

To be fair, I think you misinterpreted my point a little. I'm not saying that buying a pedigree dog from a breeder is an egregious act. I see it as equivalent to going out to a fancy restaurant every once in a while, which I'm sure most of us do. Analogously, it would probably be "more moral" if you stayed home and ate a simple dinner and then donated the money you saved to charity that fed hungry children.

There is an increase in suffering due to buying a pedigree rather than buying a pound, as analogously, there is an increase in suffering by choosing to eat out at a fancy restaurant rather than using that money to feed hungry children,strictly speaking. As I stated, there are other values involved other than your own utility.

To reiterate, the overarching point here is that currency does have definite value. Consuming $1000 on X means you can't spend $1000 on Y. If X were "blue dog" and Y were "red dog" then X and Y would be morally equivalent. This is not the case being discussed.

Frankly, that's a cheap shot. Over the last two pages we've been having an interesting, and largely adult debate on the moral and economic benefits of bought versus rescue dog ownership. Both sides of the debate have a valid opinion and have endeavored to express it. The behavior of either side can not be compared to the activities of a sociopathic murderer without descending to childish name calling.


You're right, that would be a cheap shot, kind of like the underhanded comment implying that I'm immature. Good thing that's not what I said.

The statement I disagreed with was this: because people have different moral values, if person A does X which is aganist person B's moral values, person B should not be upset because X may be okay by person A's moral system.

My argument is this: of COURSE person B should be upset. If person B is not uspet, then he is either dead or jaded.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:10 am UTC

thc wrote:
You're right, that would be a cheap shot, kind of like the underhanded comment implying that I'm immature. Good thing that's not what I said.

Oh, I wasn't implying anything, and I don't think I was being underhand. I was making an open and clear statement that introducing a name like McVeigh into an adult debate about dog ownership is cheap, childish, unecessary and, if you like immature. I know nothing of you or your character, only of the words you type. Unless you intend to troll I would beware the impression they give.

@Sly - I was ammused to hear that your Spaniel gets triggered by pheasant calls. Ours does that same, even with the show strain element - it's hilarious to watch. Particularly as, possibly thanks to the show element he's a useless hunter and never chases anything he can see. He only follows his nose and has been known to run into trees. (we had his eyes checked but they're fine). Do you have the same problem with cats?

Final point, apparently every pedigree breed has a rescue and re-housing organization, at least in the uk. Must admit I don't know why anyone would spend that much on a dog and then throw it away, but apparently it's true. The problem is, you are unlikely to find a puppy there. If you want to adopt a puppy then you will need to try a dogs home, but then you have the breed/background problems discussed earlier. However, I repeat the point at if you do adopt responsibly (for you and the dog) then it is rewarding and worthwhile.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby aaronasterling » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:58 am UTC

Just to vibe with the current trend of the thread, I'll note that I vastly prefer mutts for the simple reason that I don't endorse inbreeding and that is at the root of pretty much every modern breed. If I was to get a purebred, it would either be a Jindo, Carolina Dog or other primitive hunting dog.

Ghavrel wrote:
diotimajsh wrote:At the risk of derailing this into a debate about meat-eating, I'm curious what the moral difference is based on, or what explains it. To try to stay relevant to this thread, let me generalize the question: why is some animals' suffering/mistreatment more worthy of concern than others'?


Good (i.e. tricky) question. Basically, the purpose of the animal justifies its treatment. To an extent. So while it is definitely not kosher to slit your dog's throat and eat it (true in more ways than one), it's okay to do so to, say, a cow. This is also why I am okay (albeit admittedly squeamish) with the use of dogs as food in other nations. It is why they are raised.


I'm not sure if this is still on topic but I have to respond to this.

Suppose that I go to a third world country and buy a bunch of homo sapiens children1,2. I then raise and breed them for food. Am I justified in saying that it's acceptable to hold my treatment of them to a lower standard because their purpose is to be eaten? Suppose I don't want to eat them but rather have them labor for me without pay? Does that change the expected standard of treatment? Or what if I just want some land and I decide that the homo sapiens living on it serve no purpose. Am I then justified in killing them and taking the land for myself? I mean, they don't have any purpose, right?

Asked in more direct but less illustrative way, where does an animal get its "purpose" and who gives it to them? I don't think that your theory even begins to answer the question that it was in response to.

Directly on topic, the "purpose" of a puppy in a puppy mill is to make money for the owner(s) of said puppy mill. The puppy can best serve "its" purpose by being inbred, cramped, diseased and just generally all around miserable. Is there a problem with this?


1 I'll find a reference for this if somebody really wants but this happens fairly frequently. The sex trade is probably the context where it most (disturbingly) occurs.

2 I'm also assuming that we're in agreement that homo sapiens is just an ape, i.e., an animal on the same footing as any other with no mythologically endowed properties.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:00 pm UTC

Jumble wrote:
thc wrote:
You're right, that would be a cheap shot, kind of like the underhanded comment implying that I'm immature. Good thing that's not what I said.

Oh, I wasn't implying anything, and I don't think I was being underhand. I was making an open and clear statement that introducing a name like McVeigh into an adult debate about dog ownership is cheap, childish, unecessary and, if you like immature. I know nothing of you or your character, only of the words you type. Unless you intend to troll I would beware the impression they give.


The part where you disagreed with the usage of a certain name was clear, the insults were not. Saying "we were having an adult conversation until you came along!" can only be interpreted in so many ways. The distinction between calling someone immature and calling someone's actions immature isn't exactly profound, especially on a message board. Let's not play innocent.

Besides, you didn't even address my point. I'm not sure how anyone could get that I was comparing buying a purebreed to mass murder. The purpose of bringing up TMcV was to illustrate a clear example of why a certain line of thinking is wrong. I think it does that. Do you disagree? If so, then I think it's usage was justified.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:53 am UTC

aaronasterling wrote:Directly on topic, the "purpose" of a puppy in a puppy mill is to make money for the owner(s) of said puppy mill. The puppy can best serve "its" purpose by being inbred, cramped, diseased and just generally all around miserable. Is there a problem with this?

You make a good point in your wider illustration of the 'value' of dogs compared to other domestic animals and wild animals (including homo sapiens) and I really like that way of illustrating it. Being a consultant by trade I will undoubtedly shamelessly plagiarise this later, which is the sincerest form of flattery.

With respect to the 'puppy mill' discussion, I'm not sure I have that much experience of this. I'm not sure if they are legal in the UK, and I wouldn't go near one if they were. I've only had experience with small, regulated breeders, affiliated to the Kennel Club. On the whole these breeders are motiviated by interest rather than money, and breed dogs because they like to show, to hunt or because they love dogs. Incidentally the Kennel Club provides some useful guidance on selecting a breed and adopting a rescue dog. I'd better make clear I'm not a dog breeder, have only ever had dogs as house pets and the poor fellow pictured on the right (currenty on the sofa beside me with his chin on my knee) had his nadgers whipped off as soon as he grew old enough to hump the furniture.

However, that doesn't get around your other valid point regarding inbreeding, and I think that is a real concern. There has been a lot in the UK press on this and it's caused real trouble for the Kennel Club, which I don't think they have been able to answer. Undoubtedly (to me at least), some breeds have been inbred to the point of cruelty (to change the shape of a breed to the point where the bitches will die if puppies are not delivered by section is, to my mind, unjustifiable). I think the responsibility falls to the individual to choose breeds and breeders that minimize inbreeding and promote the health of the dog over cosmetic interests, but I'm aware that this is only half of the answer.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Intrigued » Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:30 pm UTC

thc wrote:There is an increase in suffering due to buying a pedigree rather than buying a pound, as analogously, there is an increase in suffering by choosing to eat out at a fancy restaurant rather than using that money to feed hungry children,strictly speaking. As I stated, there are other values involved other than your own utility.

To reiterate, the overarching point here is that currency does have definite value. Consuming $1000 on X means you can't spend $1000 on Y. If X were "blue dog" and Y were "red dog" then X and Y would be morally equivalent. This is not the case being discussed.


Of course currency has a definite value, however that "definite value" doesn't just disappear into creating a dog. The $1000 is now in the hands of a (hopefully responsible) dog breeder, who will consume other items with it. If that person uses enough money to feed themselves, raise their dogs well, and donates the rest to charity, then spending $1000 on dog X certainly seems to be at least as permissible as adopting a dog and spending the rest on charity. It's not as black and white as you seem to want to make it.

thc wrote:
Frankly, that's a cheap shot. Over the last two pages we've been having an interesting, and largely adult debate on the moral and economic benefits of bought versus rescue dog ownership. Both sides of the debate have a valid opinion and have endeavored to express it. The behavior of either side can not be compared to the activities of a sociopathic murderer without descending to childish name calling.


You're right, that would be a cheap shot, kind of like the underhanded comment implying that I'm immature. Good thing that's not what I said.

The statement I disagreed with was this: because people have different moral values, if person A does X which is aganist person B's moral values, person B should not be upset because X may be okay by person A's moral system.

My argument is this: of COURSE person B should be upset. If person B is not uspet, then he is either dead or jaded.


By definition you DID make that comparison. Just because it brings up a point about how there are times to be offended based on actions against your own moral code does not mean that you didn't also make a comparison between someone's argument and Timothy McVeigh, and, on the internet, at least, you have to understand that a comment like that will instantly come across as ad hominem. It may not be your intention, but it's what people are going to read from it, and if you want to have a serious debate, you need to take into account the fact that people are going to read what you say and take its common meaning if you don't explain your example more and properly note the difference(s).

There's a problem between theory and practice here as well. Theoretically, it would seem right to respect other people's moral systems... it's obvious that there isn't one strictly right moral code, or at least one that everyone agrees on. If you think there is, then there's no room for debate anyway. In practice, we as a group need to make certain judgement calls on how "different" your moral code is allowed to be without being ejected by society (and possibly punished for disrupting it). So yeah, it becomes a gray area where there need to be times that you say "I'm upset that you act against my moral codes" and other times where you say "our moral codes are just different, and I accept that". Your comment here seems to imply that person B should always be upset if you go against their moral code.


DSenette wrote:
mosc wrote:
DSenette wrote:what's the purpose of having a purebred dog to begin with? the only thing i can come up with* is that you're wanting a dog for a status symbol or so that you can make money off of the dog in the future (breeding or showing). it's like deciding to participate in rigorous human husbandry to make sure that you get a child that's "genetically pure". just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Listen Mr. "holier-than-thou", I answered this exactly already. You seem to not understand the drastic differences in dog breeds in terms of space requirements, eating requirements, grooming requirements, and exercise requirements. Also, the angst you seem to be expressing about breeding itself as some kind of genetic perversion is an entirely different topic and should probably be separated off. Obviously if you don't acknowledge and understand the obvious differences between dog breeds, it will be hard to discuss the purpose of breeding dogs I would think.

yeah, uh, where you born a dick or have you practiced?


Yeah, uh, this is serious business. Do you really think this is appropriate? I'm not saying the previous quote was either, but I think we can agree that isn't really the best justification. Anyway, you've categorized purebred dog owners into people who need a status symbol or people who want to profit off of dogs' suffering, you had to know that this was going to be directly offensive to the people on the other side of the argument.

DSenette wrote:i understand A LOT of the drastic differences in breeds, i know fair amount about keeping, raising, and training dogs. i completely understand the differences in requirements and temperaments between breeds. HOWEVER, none of that actually changes the fact that you CAN predict behavior in mixed breed dogs based on the breeds that they're mixed with (a lab-cocker will almost always act more like a lab than a cocker while looking like a fun mix of both), you can predict predisposition to common diseases within a breed by knowing the mix.


So you say you understand the drastic differences in breed, but don't understand why people would want a purebred dog outside of as a status symbol or for moneymaking purposes. That doesn't make sense to me... you understand how they are different, and how people can have different preferences, but not why people could prefer those different dog breeds. You say you CAN predict behavior in mixed breed dogs based on the breeds they are mixed with... but that doesn't mean it's the behavior that someone is looking for just because it can be partially predicted.

And in the long run... that's what purebred dogs are - a mix of breeds in an attempt to get a certain behavior and set of requirements. Ok - so what if a lab cocker will usually act more like a lab? What if you can't find a lab-cocker to adopt, and you specifically want a lab, or all they have at any accessible pounds is a dog that looks like it could be a lab-cocker, but they picked it up off the street and that is just a guess? The fact is you really can't predict behavior on mixed breed dogs all the time, and the only reason you're saying you can sometimes is because we have pure bred dogs in the first place. If we no longer have pure bred dogs, we can no longer predict on that mixed factor.

All that aside, I have a pound puppy. We think he's a border collie/lab/german shepherd based on how he looks. All we know is they think the mom was a lab mix. He looks just like a border collie, and acts like a mix, he's definitely got border collie and/or lab energy. I wanted a high-ish energy dog, but didn't have many other requirements.

On the other hand, if someone lives on a farm and needs to herd sheep, they will probably end up with some kind of purebred dog, an aussie, a border collie, a cattle dog, etc. There's a big difference in those dogs in their natural talent and potential to do the job they are bred to do. Of course, I'm probably derailing a little by talking about dogs being bred for work (though hopefully they are generally family dogs as well), but I thought it should at least be brought up. I'm interested to know if people's positions are the same on dogs bred for a particular skillset (whether it's guarding, herding, agility, etc.) vs dogs bred strictly for conformation and personality traits.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

Of course currency has a definite value, however that "definite value" doesn't just disappear into creating a dog. The $1000 is now in the hands of a (hopefully responsible) dog breeder, who will consume other items with it. If that person uses enough money to feed themselves, raise their dogs well, and donates the rest to charity, then spending $1000 on dog X certainly seems to be at least as permissible as adopting a dog and spending the rest on charity.

Yes, some of that value does in fact disappear. Nourishing a completely new puppy requires food and crops which require fossil fuels and manpower. Making sure they are properly protected takes hours of work, which could be spent elsewhere. Etc. All this essentially disappears.

It's not as black and white as you seem to want to make it.

I'm not saying it's black and white. Buying a purebreed from a breeder is fine if it makes you happy, because we all splurge in excess every once in a while. But morally, it's not, well, as you say, black and white. E.g., it's not the difference between choosing one color vs. another.

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By definition you DID make that comparison. Just because it brings up a point about how there are times to be offended based on actions against your own moral code does not mean that you didn't also make a comparison between someone's argument and Timothy McVeigh, and, on the internet, at least, you have to understand that a comment like that will instantly come across as ad hominem. It may not be your intention, but it's what people are going to read from it, and if you want to have a serious debate, you need to take into account the fact that people are going to read what you say and take its common meaning if you don't explain your example more and properly note the difference(s).


An analogy is a comparison between connections, not between the objects themselves. I can't help that people misinterpret what is written in plain english. The argument that can be made is that mentioning TMV at ALL is not kosher. However, I don't think anyone is saying that.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Intrigued » Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:02 am UTC

thc wrote:Yes, some of that value does in fact disappear. Nourishing a completely new puppy requires food and crops which require fossil fuels and manpower. Making sure they are properly protected takes hours of work, which could be spent elsewhere. Etc. All this essentially disappears.


Which should be the same amount as spent in raising a puppy that you got from birth for free. So if you are going to go into the loss of value inherent in owning a dog, I don't know how that relates to the subject, unless the intention in this thread veers towards "people shouldn't have dogs".

thc wrote:
It's not as black and white as you seem to want to make it.

I'm not saying it's black and white. Buying a purebreed from a breeder is fine if it makes you happy, because we all splurge in excess every once in a while. But morally, it's not, well, as you say, black and white. E.g., it's not the difference between choosing one color vs. another.


As above, I'm saying that when you say buying a purebreed is a splurge in excess (as a fact) that's looking at it in black and white. I don't find that necessarily true, most especially in the cases that I mentioned of working dogs. These are the efficient and well mannered dogs that these people need to perform their duties. Their abilities are more valuable to these people than other dogs, and so it's not about a status symbol or about breeding more status symbols for money.

If you still call that a splurge in excess, then I think this eventually boils down to the fact that everything is a splurge in excess outside of the very basic requirements to live, so there's no real need to discuss it. The only reason to ever get upset about someone else splurging in excess would be if you do no such thing until everyone in the world has the basics to survive at least as well as you do. That would imply that the OP therefore has no real right to be upset with someone else "breaking" his moral code, unless he's comfortable with being a hypocrite, since he is almost certainly breaking someone else's limit of splurging to excess.

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thc wrote:
By definition you DID make that comparison. Just because it brings up a point about how there are times to be offended based on actions against your own moral code does not mean that you didn't also make a comparison between someone's argument and Timothy McVeigh, and, on the internet, at least, you have to understand that a comment like that will instantly come across as ad hominem. It may not be your intention, but it's what people are going to read from it, and if you want to have a serious debate, you need to take into account the fact that people are going to read what you say and take its common meaning if you don't explain your example more and properly note the difference(s).


An analogy is a comparison between connections, not between the objects themselves. I can't help that people misinterpret what is written in plain english. The argument that can be made is that mentioning TMV at ALL is not kosher. However, I don't think anyone is saying that.


Ok, so you're comparing it to something that is morally abhorrent, rather than specifically to Timothy McVeigh himself... I don't see a big difference in offensiveness of these two approaches, and now it just seems like we're splitting hairs. If you feel like you "can't help it" when people interpret things as many people would, I feel that makes it far more difficult to have a serious conversation with you. I can't think of anyone I know who wouldn't find it offensive to a stance to put it in analogy with Timothy McVeigh, whether or not you are semantically comparing directly to him or not.

I'll also venture to say it's an inappropriate analogy, based only on your perspective of the situation. Your analogy uses an example of someone who has directly harmed others outside of self defense to compare to people who are spending money on things that COULD'VE gone to help save people from harm. Obviously there are proponents of philosophical positions that insist that harming vs not helping someone from imminent harm are the same thing, but if you wholly agreed with that, I imagine you wouldn't be posting as you are in this thread.

Anyway - yes, you probably win on a semantic case, and I'll just leave it as saying that I think that extreme analogies like that are not helpful to a discussion, and I think the core of what people were trying to say is they don't appreciate their side of an argument being lumped in with "autolose".

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:40 am UTC

Intrigued wrote:
thc wrote:Yes, some of that value does in fact disappear. Nourishing a completely new puppy requires food and crops which require fossil fuels and manpower. Making sure they are properly protected takes hours of work, which could be spent elsewhere. Etc. All this essentially disappears.


Which should be the same amount as spent in raising a puppy that you got from birth for free. So if you are going to go into the loss of value inherent in owning a dog, I don't know how that relates to the subject, unless the intention in this thread veers towards "people shouldn't have dogs".

The comparison is between paying someone to breed you an entirely new dog and simply adopting a pre-existing dog. Why would someone spend their own time and money to breed a dog only to give it to you for free? If you're suggesting a case where a purebred dog exists as simply a byproduct of another process (example: if there were more dogs in the litter than there are buyers) then yes, there is no difference in lost resources. But that isn't the situation I have contention with.

If you still call that a splurge in excess, then I think this eventually boils down to the fact that everything is a splurge in excess outside of the very basic requirements to live, so there's no real need to discuss it. The only reason to ever get upset about someone else splurging in excess would be if you do no such thing until everyone in the world has the basics to survive at least as well as you do. That would imply that the OP therefore has no real right to be upset with someone else "breaking" his moral code, unless he's comfortable with being a hypocrite, since he is almost certainly breaking someone else's limit of splurging to excess.

Agreed - if having a purebred really does make you more happy for whatever unimaginable reason, then that is what you should buy. But I think in reality, most people would be just as happy, if not more, with a dog from the pound. Most people buy dogs purely for companionship. I feel that it is just some silly notion of "pure" and ridiculous behavior "guarantees" that gets people to buy into the whole system. Sort of like how diamond companies get people to buy into the whole "real" diamond idea, despite the fact that grown diamonds are quite literally identical.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Ulc » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:31 am UTC

thc wrote:Agreed - if having a purebred really does make you more happy for whatever unimaginable reason,


In this thread, there has been posted multiple times what some of the advantages, and thus reasons for, of getting a pure breed. That you seem unable to grasp these reasons (even if you disagree) really speaks volumes about you.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby thc » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:57 am UTC

I considered not responding, but hey, this is the internet where we can insult each other without hesitation and not even care. ...

... you felt like getting kicked out of a thread?

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Sungura » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:20 pm UTC

As a rabbit breeder since 1999, and while it's rabbits, the whole breeder/purebred/mixed breed/pet store/pound thing is still a similar issue (many rabbit breeders I know are also into dogs, as such I have exposure to the dog scene, and so speaking from American experience on similarities).

There are bad breeders, who are there to make a buck. Those would be the mills. Rabbit mills (or, puppy mills). They aren't really breeders in any actual breeder's eyes.

There are good breeders, who are there to improve the breed. Working closely to the Standard which yes while people see "oh so it has to have xyz characteristics" people probably never bother to read an actual standard who judge this - for example the Standard of Perfection (ARBA rabbit standard) there are /pages/ in the front of common DQ's for all breeds - most of them are health/genetic issues. The breed I raised for 10 years, Holland Lops, have very smushy bulldog faces. I forget which dog breed it is...pug? that has the smooshy face nose issues, well kinda like that, Holland Lops tend to have teeth issues causing troubles eating (and ultimately starvation/death if not cared for properly). People would look at this at a glance and say "oh my I can't beleive people would breed such animals that have health problems that could cause death! how dare they!!!!" instead of seeing the real side of things - while it is a problem, any good breeder does not use such animals - so it gets bred out. In 10 years of the breed, I had 3 animals showed up with teeth issues, all related, I didn't continue that line and never had another problem. That's how responsible good breeders work. What was once a very common issue with the breed, is not that common at all any more because breeders bred them out of the genepool.

Or take a temperament issue. Few want or have space for a 15-20 pound rabbit for a pet. And no one wants mean animals breeders or pet owners. The dwarfs used to have problems though - aggression and biting and such. Over the years, breeders worked on correcting this by selecting the nice dwarfs for breeding and its rarely an issue with dwarf animals anymore. We kept the dwarf gene, bred out the temperament issues that arose with that gene.

And not all pet stores buy from mills. Around here, most pet stores are local owned and buy the culls from good reputable breeders (exception is the chain pet stores). People may think "eww culls, must be something wrong" nope not at all. Usually it means something like it is a mismatched toenail, or unshowable color, something like that which would not work well for the breeder's lines but there is nothing wrong with the animal. And a lot of breeders directly sell these to the pet people (like I do). And the benifit of buying from a breeder rather than a store or a pound is usually the care and post-sale help. I get emails from people who bought pets from me years ago when questions come up. That's a common occurrence - something comes up and they'll shoot me an email with question(s). I have one family who still can't seem to figure out toenail trimming so they bring it back over to me to trim the nails rather than pay the vet fee visit for something that simple and easy. If a breeder has space for it, they'll offer to take back in a rabbit that is no longer wanted. Case in point, right now I have a mini rex sitting around waiting for re-adoption. I don't even raise mini rex, but that's ok, I'd rather it come to me than go to a pound. Most breeders do this (although as I said, space can be an issue so not everyone can).

Some pet stores are good too, some pet stores are bad. I don't know for example where the Petsmart chain gets their small animals from. I know all their cats and dogs are from the MI Humane Society that they have there for adoption out because they can display the animals and such and tend to have a better time placing them than the shelter does. Their employees know about the animals they work with and are decently knowledgable (I like to go around testing people sometimes...haha). A small local store actually on the other hand is not that knowledgeable and had their rabbits in the hot more tropical animal room - their rabbits were all partially in heatstroke when I walked in and I told them and they didn't seem to care. Which is weird, you'd think local owned small pet stores would be better. Which, some are, there is another local store that is very good, buys their animals from good reputable local breeders, knows about the different animals, etc.

tl;dr the bad things people think about "breeders" no breeder would consider them a breeder, but a mill. Breeders are generally good people who work to better their breed of choice, not only to the standard "look" but also personality and health issues - and health issues are even DQ's in their standard they breed to so to say they don't try and fix issues is a crock. There are good and bad pet stores and it doesn't necesarily have anything to do with them being a large chain or small local owned.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Sharlos » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

I'd say it's not irrational so long as you take a similar view on people procreating when they could instead adopt one of many children in need of a home.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:24 pm UTC

Sharlos wrote:I'd say it's not irrational so long as you take a similar view on people procreating when they could instead adopt one of many children in need of a home.


Ignoring the fact that your analogy is not an equivalent to the OPs position, trying to draw parallels between children and dogs is not a productive or sensible.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby aaronasterling » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:30 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
Sharlos wrote:I'd say it's not irrational so long as you take a similar view on people procreating when they could instead adopt one of many children in need of a home.


Ignoring the fact that your analogy is not an equivalent to the OPs position, trying to draw parallels between children and dogs is not a productive or sensible.


Seems equivalent to me. Am I missing something? Also, could you possibly elaborate about why parallels can't be drawn between puppies and human children? Again, I think I might have missed something.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:10 am UTC

Don't allow unrestricted breeding, stop that and there won't be as many pound puppies. If you love your dog I don't know if it all that important where it comes from. But get it fixed, unless you intend to breed it. Mostly this is an owner problem, people who won't or can't do the things they need to do to have a pet.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:34 am UTC

aaronasterling wrote:Seems equivalent to me. Am I missing something? Also, could you possibly elaborate about why parallels can't be drawn between puppies and human children? Again, I think I might have missed something.

As I've explained earlier in this thread I'm both a dog owner and have adopted rescue dogs in the past. I also have an adopted sister. Although I see why you raise it I don't think this is a valid analogy.

The first, and most obvious lack of equivalence is the fact that homo sapiens have never been subject to widespread selective breeding and artificial selection to develop chosen character traits throughout a population. 99.9% of the time my sister and I don't even remember the fact that we are not biologically related. If I had a ridgeback and a cocker spaniel the differences would be obvious and constant, and my management of the two dogs would need to take those differences into account.

@sungura: one of the sources of difficulty in the pedigree dog field appears to be the breed standards, which seemnto drive inbreeding and excess. Is there an equivalent for rabbit breeding?
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:53 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:But get it fixed, unless you intend to breed it. Mostly this is an owner problem, people who won't or can't do the things they need to do to have a pet.

Sometimes snipping a dog's balls off can have effects beyond sterility. It can make the dog more skittish and nervous, and in some breeds it can make the fur grow coarser. I don't like the idea that neutering the dog should be the default thing to do. If it doesn't go around humping people's legs, why bother? Might as well leave the dog intact and save yourself the vet bill.
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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Don't much care if your dog hunches your guests legs, I care that he doesn't reproduce. If you can stop that without spaying more power to you. As long as you accept the responsibility. Talking about it and doing are all to often a separate thing.

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Re: It is irrational for me to be upset when people buy dogs

Postby Jumble » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

Fair point. If you can't stop your dog from impregnating someone else's bitch then you either need to keep him on a lead or have him done. However, there do seem to be some breeds who are less interested in getting their end away than others. I've had a couple of retrievers and they were easy to control. They didn't hump, they weren't that dominant and they didn't show excessive interest in bitches (or at least they responded when called off). The spaniel, on the other hand would tend to be dominant if he's not kept in his place and certainly doesn't listen to commands if there's food around. So I suspect he would have taken the same approach to sex if it was still an option.

I do think it's a different story with Tom cats. They roam, they aren't controlled and they will breed if they are whole. The responsible thing is to have them spayed, IMO. We aren't short of moggies looking for homes.
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