Goodness, goodness me. I’m afraid I have another vent/rant session for you today.

Boyfriend, wonderful patient, and accommodating person that he is, attempted to appease my crazy dog lady side and took me on a date to a dog event. It’s the local Dog Fest. (Poor man, still acclimating to the wonderful world of Dog Snobs and having a difficult time. He called it The Dog Show.) I was thrilled!

So, cheap phone GPS in hand we made what should have been a 30 minute venture. It turned into an hour and a half of getting repeatedly lost, aforementioned cheap GPS not working. At all. And finally stumbling across our final destination, which, to our dismay, Boyfriend knew how to get there the whole time.

Upon arriving I slowly descended into Dog Snob hell. Full of dog owners of the following types:

-Loving owners with snappy Fido racing around on the end of a Flexi-lead.
-Gangsta wannabes with their overweight (“I worked hard to get that muscle tone on him! I put him on the treadmill for five minutes a day!”) Pitties on the ends of chains heavier than they are.
-Know-it-all Newbies (Courtesy of the Dog Snobs blog) with a clicker pointed at their dog, prong/choke collar strapped on, and alternately clicking and yanking away to no avail while Fido completely ignores their stupidity.

There were several other types there, but previous listed persons represented most of the group.

Now I know why I am no longer comfortable at dog events like I used to be. Because the majority of the people there are morons. That being said, they are mostly forgivable. They are simply oblivious and rather ignorant.

What killed me was the “trainers/professionals/experts” at this event. There was a protection demonstration event. There was a Dutch Shepherd, German Shepherd and Doberman that were the dogs demonstrating. The Dutch was probably the best one. Overall he was attentive and relatively precise. But at one point his handler ordered him off the “attacker” and he released, then without warning or cue lunged up towards the decoy’s face. Nothing was said, no correction was issued, but his handler (a trainer) had to pry him off of the poor decoy’s bite suit.

Ther German Shepherd seriously concerned me. His handler would go to pat him and he would turn around and snap at his handler’s hands. He was jumpy, unfocused, stressed and seemed to barely hear his handler. It was very disturbing to me to see “trainers” telling large groups of dog owners that these are excellent examples of protection dogs when they seem (a) not trained to appropriate standards (b) not temperamentally suited to it.

As if this were not sad enough the same “trainer” as was working the Dutch Shepherd made sure to inform the crowd that agility is an excellent venue to start dogs out in from the moment they walk in the door, (because heaven knows they need to be jumping and putting lots of strain on their growing bone structure) and it’s a prime place to take dogs with reactivity and focus issues. Ummm……

My thoughts about that went something along the lines of: “Okay, so you’re saying I should have started teaching my giant breed puppy to jump over obstacles when she was 3 months old? What am I supposed to do when she starts having severe joint problems down the road? Oh wait, and people with reactive, unfocused dogs should take them to events, let them loose in an area with lots of other dogs, and attempt to get them to go over/through obstacles?” *FACEPALM*

What a great trainer. Though as a disclaimer I have yet to work Holly or Bri in a protection sport of any kind. It’s probably never going to happen actually, and I have yet to title either of them in agility. Still, the advice and behavior of the dogs seemed poor.

Now, one thing I HAVE done is drafting. That’s something that I know about. Bri is a happy Newf when she’s hitched up. A true example of her breed when it comes to that! Holly, while not a drafting breed, still greatly enjoys it, though she can’t do it nearly as easily as Bri. In training both of them to pull I have never, ever, ever, EVER corrected either one of them. It’s a game. If it ever got to the point where they did not enjoy it then I would pack up the harnesses and carts and move on.

At the event there was a weight-pulling demo and the man doing it was letting people try it with their dogs. A beautiful little Pittie came up and the supposed “expert” put the harness on, hitched him up to a weighted cart with no conditioning, turned the normal leash into a slip lead and started yanking the poor pup along telling him to “work”.

This man seemed to be one of the sorts who let his dog advertise the size of his balls, or the lack thereof. He’s boasting of everything his Pit has done, but in none of it is there a title through the AKC or UKC. He then went on to criticize two “fag Asians” because they had a little Papillon with bows on her ears that they carried around.

All in all, it was a rather disheartening day, full of moments in which I wanted to fly my true dog snob attitude, but didn’t out of sheer pity for Boyfriend, who was already out of his world and likely to shrivel up and die of embarrassment had I said anything.

So, with that rant completed, let me say that my little foster girl, Miss Maya, is getting spayed Monday morning, and has a page on Petfinder which can be viewed here:

Here is my shameless plug for my foster girl. CLICK IT! Please.

So, that concludes my rant/vent/blog update/shameless plugging. Thank you. It’s good to get it off the chest!

Hope you are all doing marvelously!

Until Later,

Kat, Holly, Bri & Maya

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