I came across Jon Buscall and Kennel Björkwood through Twitter. Jon is a Basset Hound breeder in Sweden, and I am currently arranging a good time to interview him for DogCast Radio. Jon has lots of interesting insights into being a dog breeder, and of course we are often told that the Swedish Kennel Club is a great role model for any Kennel Club to look to. One of Jon's recent blog posts is titled The Ideal Puppy Purchaser and is well worth reading. Many of us approach breeders to buy a puppy, and most of us are thinking about things from our viewpoint. It looks very different from a breeder's point of veiew, and reading this blog will help you think things through, and learn how you can show a breeder that you are worthy of giving one of their puppies a home.
Some people get offended when breeders ask them a lot of questions, but this is a good sign. You are looking for a breeder who cares about their dogs, and so it follows that they are going to be choosy about who their pups go to live with. So answer the questions as well as asking your own. Be guided by the breeder as to whether their breed, and specific puppies, are suited to you and your lifestyle. On that blog post from Jon Buscall, if you scroll down there is a very useful comment from Cat the Vet, Pet Street's resident vet. Her comment is a blog post of hers featuring questions to ask a breeder, and is extremely useful if you are looking for a good breeder.
Having mentioned St. Bernards in yesterday's post, I cam across an article in a newspaper about one hundred of the breed looking to be rehomed. The RSPCA rescued the dogs from a kennel last November, and they were in dreadful conditions. That's an awful lot of dogs to rehome. If you know of a St. Bernard fan or forum maybe you could let them know.
In the same newspaper I read an account by a woman who says her maternal instincts have been awoken and satisfied by her dog. It is interesting reading, and I know that I do look upon my dogs with some kind of parental attitude. They have many roles in my life, and though they are in no way child substitutes, I do feel protective of them. I've talked about this before - the fact that in many ways we fulfill the role of parent for our dogs, so it's no wonder many of refer to ourselves as mom or dad. Having said that I was nodding away whilst reading Charlie Clarricoates' opinions on how the French have got it right when it comes to dogs, in the magazine Your Dog. He reckons that the less indulgent attitude of the French results in better behaviour from their dogs.
So where do I really stand; softie mother figure, or stern disciplinarian? Indulgent - moi? never! Just ask Buddy-wuddy and Starry-woo, but don't disturb them while they nap on their dedicated dog sofa.