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Karen

Ex-Breeding Dogs

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Just out of interest really - have any of you adopted an ex-puppy farm breeding dog and if so how "normal" did they eventually turn out?

 

I know that it's really important to socialise puppies with everything going while they are very young. Do older dogs who haven't had the opportunity to live in a house, meet lots of people, other dogs, travel in a car, walk on a lead etc ever adapt to ordinary life?

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I don't have an ex breeding dog, but I do have one that was semi-feral when I got her. She had been living wild for about two months since she was around 4 months old. When we got her at just 6 months old, she was virtually a wild animal, terrified of all humans, didn't understand houses, leads, cars and a killing machine around small furries and birds.

 

She is now around 7 years old and the sweetest, gentlest creature you could ever wish for. It took a long time to gain her trust and eventually tame her - she was probably 5 before she turned into what I would call a normal dog. Certain things will still spook her and she still eats like a wild animal but to all intents and purposes a happy, well adjusted and calm dog. She is also 99% chicken safe (not cats, never cracked that one).

 

Hope that helps your curiosity biggrin.gif

 

Anne, Barty & Chloe - the wild one

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Cassie spent her first 6 years churning out pups to bring in the ££££££ and pass on her hereditary heart and eye problems. Now a bouncy, full on "give me attention you stranger" brat who has to be kept onlead as she just spots a new target for fuss and zooms off after them - closely followed by the rest of the pack!

 

 

Anyone silly enough to come into the house is likely to get a cavalier on their lap whether they want it or not.

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Thank you both that's really interesting :flowers:

 

We've fostered ex-working dogs who had only lived outside, but at least they had seen some of the outside world and travelled in a car.

 

When Rosie was a puppy we made huge efforts to show her the world ( we even went and watched a local football match - not my thing at all!) and I was under the impression that after that puppy phase the opportunity was missed.

 

Anyone silly enough to come into the house is likely to get a cavalier on their lap whether they want it or not.

This particularly made me smile!

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It took a long time for her to get over the fear stage but she lives with 3 big, bouncy dogs and that helped her a lot - they were blatently not afraid of anything so she picked up on that, and when she was worried about people she could hide behind them - whereas now she is out in front.

 

 

I have had Reg for over a year now - very badly abused in the past but fine with me. He has been walking with friends on our weekly beach meets since about June but if one of them bends to him he cringes and cowers.... just used the same principles with him as with Cassie - leave it to the other dogs to do the confidence thing and let him know I am there for food and comfort.... with nobody else around I have a cuddle monster. He will now come and sit in the room if I have visitors - rather than hiding in another room - which is what Cas used to do as well.

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My first dog was a 6 yr old sheltie whose first home was a farm, not a puppy farm but an ordinary one where she spent her time on the yard and slept in the kitchen. Her owner became seriously ill and had to rehome her dogs. Sadie was sold on the condition that she was never sold on again but if she could not be kept was to return to her original breeder. This contract was broken and she spent 4 years being shuttled round puppy farms like a hot potato when each time she came into season she didn't take. Finally she was bought from a kennels which was closing down by some people I knew who felt sorry for her. By this time she was a bundle of nerves. She took a fancy to me so that was that. I managed to trace most of her past and let her breeder know that she was safe with me for always.

 

We did have toilet problems, because although she never messed in our home, we had to watch her anywhere else. She did improve with time but was never 100% reliable in other people's houses. She didn't bark for ages, not until we got a puli who got her started! She was always a bit nervous and never liked children very much if they ran around and played.

 

She was a dear little soul :wub:

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I have never had an ex breeding dog but many years ago took on a 2 year old chihuahua which had never been socialised. A local rescue worker had gone to collect some cats and another dog from a house in Manchester but had been unable to get near the little fellow because he was on the attack! The owner and her 2 bully boy teenage sons were apparently very feared in the neighbourhood; she was allegedly a 'working girl' who had bought the chi as an added attraction! Apparently according to a neighbour she had quickly lost interest in him and he was shut ouside all the time; he had no shelter, had a cat litter tray for a bed and lived in a cobbled back yard; locals were too afraid of repercussions from the family to report her.

I went to collect him after work one evening in winter , taking my elderly mum with me, and to this day 20 years later I can still remember the cobbled back yard , no one at home but a neighbour who had a key opening the gate. I n a corner of the bleak yard under a scrappy bush was a tiny dog, sceaming defiance, pressed against the wall. The neighbour said noone could get near him.

I knelt down (I was much younger and more flexible then!) and to my surprise and hers he made a dash for me, I actually thought he was going to bite.I had a blanket across my lap and he just jumped onto it. I wrapped him up, took him back to the car and mum nursed him all the way back home where we unwrapped a pathetic bundle of bones with a thin covering of fur. He went to my vet next day who was used to my rescues and he was appalled. It took nearly a year for him to recover physically ,and temperamentally he was always unpredicatable, especially around men. He never bit my mum but the rest of the family, including me, felt his teeth at some point! Most of the time he was a settled member of my then pack of 7 dogs, He was a feisty little fellow which is probably what kept him going and how he survived in those conditions we never knew. He lived to the ripe old age of 15.

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Aw Goldenoldie I am leaking mecry.gifover your little Chi. Thank dawg you were able to rescue him flowers.gif

 

 

Many years ago - back in the 70's - my grandad opened the door one day to find a friend of his standing there with a pathetic little bundle of bones with a bit of baler twine for a lead.

 

The friend had been called in to do some engineering work at farm when he'd heard an unearthly screaming. It turned out to be the bundle of bones being dragged into a field by the farmer who had a shot gun under his arm. No longer wanted after being worn out with breeding he was going to shoot the little thing. The friend intervened and managed to get the farmer to give the dog up to him. Knowing my grandad had recently lost his dog and that he was very soft hearted the friend brought her straight to him.

 

We never knew how old Kim was but she blossomed with us (I was brought up by my grandparents) got the hang of house training very quickly, became devoted to us 3 and friendly to anyone she met despite her previous experience. She was very tentative about being in the house to start with and was nervous about the washing machine and hoover and that sort of thing but soon came round to it all.

 

As she aged she had bad arthritis and became very stiff with it and had incontinence problems which the vet attributed to her previous living conditions and being used as a puppy machine. My grandad went to a local carpet shop and got the old unwanted carpet sample books. He used these to line her bed and his knee (Kim loved to lie on him) with these samples to sop up the wee. He would then wash them and re-use them half dozen times or so before throwing them out and getting new ones. We didn't know about vet bed! He fitted her bed up with a heat lamp which helped ease the stiffness as well as the meds she got from the vet. Kim was always up for her daily walk and once she got going the stiffness of the arthritis eased.

 

However she then got dementia and soon after that my grandad knew it was time to let her go to the Bridge. She was with us for about 10 years wub.gif There was never a moment when any of us regretted taking her in.

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We adopted Smudge, an ex puppy farmed cocker in March 2006 when she was supposedly 3. It took her a while to be fully housetrained, happy to have a lead on etc, and even longer to start to trust humans, but her doggy communication skills were brilliant :wub:

It took 6 months before she could reliably go offlead, but temperament wise she was much better than Boysie, who had a different background and had not been well socialised either . She was bombproof with children, other animals, though always was a bit wary of adults. She adored Boysie first, OH second, and then put up with me :laugh: She always needed doggy company.

She was a lot of hard work in the beginning, never became a cuddly dog (but then neither did Boysie), but was an absolute joy to share our lives with :wub:

Unfortunately she developed a rare, aggressive, adrenal tumour, and we lost her, aged about 7, in Nov 2010 :mecry:

We know others who've adopted ex puppy farmed dogs who became more 'normal' than Smudge, but several have also developed serious conditions and left this world early. Their poor start probably does nothing for their ongoing health, so it's probably fair to assume that most of them won't make 'old bones'

We still miss her (and Boysie) so much :mecry:

Edited by Maria

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Don't these stories show both sides of human nature at its best and its worst?I don't think that animal cruelty per se has necessarily increased over the years but it has got worse in the levels of neglect and gratuitous violence towaards animals. Because of access to all forms of the media we know more about, however, I do think that there is a new form of neglect and cruelty which leads to dogs and other pets becoming commodities to be discarded. The so-called celeb pets like chis , pugs and teacup yorkies who are bought as fashion accessories with no thought for their needs. I was reading an article yesterday about the steep rise in sales of cocker spaniels since the Duchess of Cambridge acquired hers; these are essentially working dogs which need stimulation both mental and physical - how many of these will be discarded when they become destructive or develop other behavioural problem.

 

Even the smallest dogs love exercise and play and having kept many dogs over years of fostering or adopting rescue dogs my children (now in their 40s) andn their children have been brought up to exercise and play with their pets, including daily walks in all weathers. My friends and work colleagues have similar values.

 

I have always had at least 3 or more dogs which have ranged from GSDs to mini dax and except on very long hikes or bowing to age or infirmity have exercised them together! Equally the so called status dogs - bull breeds, staffies, mastiffs etc.which either end up being trained to fight or to attack and are also either confiscated and pts or are discarded by their owners. Some of these dogs lead miserable existences living shut in bleak back yards with no stimulus or affection which is incredibly sad.

 

What do other people think?

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Never had an ex puppy farm dog but our current greyhound Flash has spent all his 11 years in kennels and never seen anything but that and the race track. I know racing greys get some socializing with other dogs and do see a few different people at the kennels and track, so it isn't quite the same, but he had never been in a home, seen another breed of dog, or children or anything of the outside world really. However, he has taken it all in his stride and is just the best dog you could wish for.

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I haven't but I do groom a blue roan Cocker Spaniel who was rescued from Many Tears. She broke my heart the first time I groomed her, she flinched EVERYTIME I touched her. She has come on in leaps and bounds though, and I can do so much more with her, softly soflty catchie monkey :wub:

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I have an ex breeding Beagle bitch who is now seven. She was rescued at the age of four after living in a shed all that time just churning out litter after litter.

 

She had two homes before we had her but she went to people who expected too much of her and it didn't work out. She went back into rescue with all sorts of bad reports about her but she has been an angel to be quite honest :heart:

Haven't seen any of the so called 'bad' things that were said about her.

 

She is adorable :heart:

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Your little Beagle was lucky in finding her way to you Sheila. You have such an understanding of the breed and are one of the most compassionate and caring animal lovers I know :beerchug:

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