Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rare Dog Breeds

Being a dog trainer, I get calls from potential customers asking my experience in working with different dog breeds. This is a reasonable question for an owner to ask. However, it doesn't reveal much to the customer when they are inquiring about a rare dog breed. I figure I've worked with approximately 75% of the AKC breeds at one time or another. However, some of the breeds are pretty rare, and I might never get a chance to work with one of them. I can only work with breeds that my customers have purchased or adopted, and that's not something I can control. Any trainer that says they have worked with tons and tons of every breed is either as old as the hills or is just plain lying.

For example, I've never worked with a Bohemian Terrier. But 99.9999999999999999999% of American dog trainers haven't worked with one, either. So, it isn't going to be of much help to a dog owner to look for that one trainer in town that has.

Similarly, if you own one of the new designer dogs, such as a Puggle, Labradoodle, or Goldendoodle, you won't get much useful information by asking a trainer how many of them have they worked with. These breeds are still pretty new, and there is going to be a wide variation of behavioral types within these new breeds for quite a while. I've worked with these breeds enough to start forming some impressions. I've worked with a handful of Puggles, for example. These dogs have been going for as much as $2,500 to $3,000 per pup, so not a lot of people can afford these dogs, and thus, I'm not going to see that many of them. I've worked with a number of Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, too. I've seen fewer of them in the past year for some reason. I'm suspecting that the fad is wearing off, and people are seeing that they are bigger dogs as adults than many people were wanting. I've been able to get some better impressions of them because I've worked with enough to see what they are all about.

I guess my point is that if you are going to buy a rare breed, then you are better off finding a good trainer than trying to find one that has worked with a lot of the type of dog you purchased. The trainers that say they have worked with a ton of dogs of a rare breed have to explain why they have seen so many of these rarities, when not many exist in the world. In many cases, I'm suspecting, they are going to be telling the buyer what they want to hear in order to make the sale. I figure, instead, it's better to just be honest and let the chips fall where they may. When you don't tell lies, you don't have to worry about them coming back to bite you one day.

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