Pet Hates - 'Canine Influencers'
(just like the Marmite Test - you either luv it or hate it.....)
Norwich Dog Training School – Pet Hates
Like most of you I guess, every day I see on my telephone’s ‘news feed’, various wonderous topics by people describing themselves as vets, behaviourists, groomers, dog experts, trainers and all matter of other ‘influencers’ on just about any canine topic you can imagine e.g.:
Best guard dogs
Dogs with the most powerful bite
Mostly cuddly dogs
Most adorable dogs
Most alert dogs
Dogs that don’t like to be cuddled
Dogs with the shortest life expectancy
Dogs with the longest life expectancy
Most powerful dogs
Best dogs to sleep with
Most relaxed dogs
Most healthy dogs
Most aggressive dogs
Dogs I would never own
The most stupid dogs
The most intelligent dog
Most frightening dogs
Dogs that can kill a wolf
Dogs that bite harder than a lion
Dog meets kitten for the first time
Dog meets puppy for the first time
Plus numerous others, not to mention the endless ‘influencers’ who feel they have the expertise to compare this breed with that in a similar vein to the TV series Top Gear, when comparing cars.
However unlike cars, dogs within any breed or type are similar to ourselves – they are all different. While carefully bred dogs within any breed, should share similarities with one another, they are not the same – and here’s the BIG CAVEAT – countless dogs are not carefully bred, so many don’t even have a pedigree or any kennel club registration papers despite being described as a particular breed.
While many mixed breeds show similarities to a particular breed, the sad fact is that most of the parents will not have not have had any health checks carried out – which is one thing that responsible breeders will have done as routine. Complicating the picture further is that if these dogs are ever bred from, then they could easily be mated back to their siblings and the owners wouldn’t even know about it – or even care.
While the list above is almost endless and seems to grow from week to week, as these ‘influencers’ attempt to spin their interpretations, as they seek to gain more subscribers or followers. Many of these ‘influencers’ don’t actually go to work in the true sense of the word, as they prefer to sit back in their ‘office or studio’ with their PC, busy loading downloading pictures from photo banks, as they come up with another topic to debate while watching the cash come flooding in…
The thing to remember when reading, watching or listening to these ‘influencers’ pontificating is that most of which they are stating is nothing more than their opinion. Many ideas have been dreamed up with little or any grounded logic and countless ideas are simply, regurgitated hearsay of other people or even distorted ‘Chinese Whispers’. So while listening, watching or reading it is worth remembering that ‘knowledge is tentative, but it’s superior to ignorance’.
One of my ‘favourite folklores’ that I’ve heard more times than I care to remember – and is no doubt one of the main reasons, the popularity of the Cane Corsa has soared (or what people believe to be one) is the profound statement that a ‘Cane Corso has a bite more powerful than a lion’. While I have felt the power of several Cane Corsos on a padded sleeve, I can honestly say that to date – I have been bitten by a far more powerful German Shepherd. But thankfully – I have never been bitten by a Wild African Lion, so truthfully I cannot compare. However, taking this debate one level higher – while I would have no hesitation about sitting in a living room, watching TV with several well-bred, balanced and trained German Shepherds – I don’t think even for a moment, that I’d feel so brave about repeating the exercise with just one Lion in the room! So here’s the ‘BIG IF’ – ‘if’ indeed there’s a Cane Corso out there that can bite harder than even the most puny, full grown wild adult African Lion then would I really want one in my home? – Well, appreciating that a full-grown African Lion could easily eat me for breakfast ….. then I’m afraid without a moment’s hesitation, the answer would most certainly be “NO!”
As with humans, the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate always rules supreme which in simple terms means that some dogs will live longer; some are stronger; some more affectionate, obedient, healthier etc – than others within a given breed (or type). The careful, selective breeding of top quality animals, that have had all the relevant health checks etc carried out, should logically improve breeds. But alas… many ‘dealers’ simply breed poor quality animals and sell these on – by simply cashing in on the breeds perceived reputation despite the fact that their own dogs are worlds apart from well-bred animals. So just to reiterate the above statement ‘knowledge is tentative but it’s superior to ignorance’.
Do yourself a favour, when researching a breed ‘take time’. Do some proper research, read some good quality books written by respected authorities on the breed. By all means do some educated on line research, but be aware that there numerous ‘influencers’ out there with little real experience of the breeds they are discussing, but whose sole aim is to draw you in to follow them (or their breed) – it’s their way to make a living and pay the bills. Make a big-effort to speak to people at shows, working tests, breed clubs that are true enthusiasts of the breed with some real history with the breed, having had several dogs of the same breed from the cradle to the grave for 20 years or more. Don’t listen to puppy farmers with multiple breeds or someone who has just had the breed for a short-time and has become a self-professed expert, almost overnight, churning out puppies instead of getting a proper job. Producing puppies that are a poor representative of the breed, having no pedigree or official paperwork to show who the parents are supposed to be or failing to provide proof of health checks being carried out such as hip, elbow x-rays; eye and other health tests alongside DNA. For at the end of the day – we want you to have a happy, healthy and trouble-free dog that is suitable for your family and life style that will be your companion; giving you many, many years of enjoyment that will not be a burden to you or a danger to others.