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Wholesome Rott'n Goodness

So Galen and I have decided to pull the trigger on raising a Rott'n puppy. No that's not ours, just a pic I found on the net.

Several requirements: Parents must be OFA Good/Excellent. I'm not dealing with hip dysplaysia. Refunds are unimportant, and if I find a breeder that starts talking price before anything else I will just keep looking. This will be a family member, not a commodity.

It'll be a She. And we'll probably have her spayed. Yeah, I know, goes against my do-not-alter philosophy but Saku is intact and we don't exactly need any Mala-Rottys running around.

Her tail will be undocked. I'm hardcore on this, I do not like rotts with cut tails and it's outlawed in many countrys even. I think their tail wagging produces a friendlier looking dog with less intimidation to strangers. Rott tails are much like black lab tails. Thin and long and always full of excitement!

My last rott, Hilde, was the nicest dog I've ever met. I do miss her still and will never forget Dec 13th, 2002 .. which marked her last day. She was a rescue, was very old for a Rott, and was suffering catastophic knee joint failure. I cannot thank Phyxis enough for insisting that I stay with her until the end. Tough as it was, it was for the best.

Rotts are not mean dogs. They are not aggressive. They are not the demons that many people make them out to be.

Canines are however predatory killing machines. There is no avoiding this fact. Take a large breed with a lot of weight and muscle, train it to attack people, and it isn't rocket science what can and WILL happen.

What does seem to be rocket science is the ability for people to grasp that concept, along with what a temperament really is and what it means to get a puppy from a good set of parents.

*laughs* Maybe because so many people ignore how important the way they raise their own children is and the impact they have on their kids lives, they don't make the connection between raising a dog and the final outcome. Perhaps with all the talk about intelligent design, people have forgotten that genetics really do exist and that a predisposition towards certain behavior is unavoidable from parents with a poor temperament.

I guess ignorance is nothing new, but I'm not going to cater to it and I'm not going to accept a bit of lip about it. I've been so far as told that one particular person has stated they would never come to our house again if we got a rott puppy. To which I say.. nice knowin ya. Have a nice life.

That being said, what's the timeframe for this? Don't know. Depends on the responses from various breeders I've contacted, which as of now is about a dozen.

Saku took a year to get, for reference ...

- Keman


( 37 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Come on...
Are you going to deny that some breeds are more aggresive/violent than others? Dogs of all kinds are presumably raised poorly at the same rate, and yet we the fact of the matter is, some breeds maim and kill people at many times the rate of other breeds. The explanation is simple: some breeds are, by their nature, more agressive/violent. That is what is not rocket science.

I don't know enough about Rotts to say, but I wonder why people who get Pit Bulls expect society to trust them to raise the dog properly.

I recommend an English Bulldog. They are fun but not aggresive, mean-looking but not mean, affectionate but not needy, expressive but not yippy, etc.
Aug. 30th, 2005 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Come on...
Just a note, you don't have to write anonymously to post something with a dissenting opinion with me. So long as it isn't something designed to piss me off I welcome all debate.

I will go out on a limb to draw the analogy between the behavior of certain breeds of dogs and the behavior of certain races of humans.

This is a powerful analogy, with many facets which I had to think about for a minute. And I do believe it to be correct.

In it you will find predispositions, inherited traits, right up there with cultural discrimination and the oft-hated prejudice.

You can be prejudice about a rott, but to judge a dog based on it's breed and not how it's been raised or the inherited temperament from it's parents is no better than judging someone based on their race.

Big words, truth, and hopefully a lot for you to think about.

- Keman
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: Come on...
I don't know about that analogy. It may be useful in some contexts, but the fact of the matter is the physiological and morphilogical differences between races of humans are minuscule compared to those between breeds of dogs. Human races have evolved due to natural selection; dog breeds have evolved due to unnatural selection - humans intentionally manipulating their characteristics in exaggerated ways.

The "inherited temperament from its parents" is, considered over all the individuals of the breed, simply the breed's characteristic temperament.

I assume you would agree that different species of animals have different propensities to violence. If you agree with that, you ought to agree to the same about different breeds. The development of breeds - or races or subspecies - is nothing more than speciation writ small. Yes, the definition of species is all the members of a species can mate. But actually this definition is problematic. There are lots of examples of animal distributions that are not separable into discrete species. That is, the gecko at location x can mate with the geckos between x and x+100 miles, but no others. The gecko at location x+100 miles can mate with the geckos from between locations x and x+200, but no others. The gecko at x+200 can mate with the geckos between x+100 and x+300, but no others. x+300 between x+200 and x+400 but no others...etc. In such a scenario - and they exist and are actually the rule not the exception - how does the traditional definition of "species" work? It doesn't. There is no line between on species and another, but rather a continuous blur. Similarly, there is no line between breed differentiation and speciation, but rather a continuous blur.
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:23 am (UTC)
Re: Come on...
Sure, that's all great, but I'm afraid that I no longer see your point. Care to summarize?

- Keman
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Come on...
The explanation is simple: some breeds are, by their nature, more agressive/violent.

Actually, no. That explanation is simplistic. Breeding does factor into it, yes. However, it's not the only (or necessarily dominant) factor in canine aggression. Instincts can be powerful, but they can be controlled while raising the dog.

Also, you have to be careful with mistaking social instincts for outright aggression. Wolf-dog hybrids, for instance, still display more wolf-like social instincts, but that backfires when in the presence of humans (since most humans don't respond "properly"). That leads to confusion & uncertainty in the animal, which can lead to "aggresive" behavior as the animal tries to assert its dominance and/or protect itself.

As a final aside: ever seen a poorly raised pekingese? Now that's a dog bred for aggression! ;)
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 30th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Come on...
true 100% wolf-dogs can be had, though they are rare and can be very expensive to own.

Galen found his in Michigan, and time still stands to be seen if he can handle taking care of him.

- Keman
(Deleted comment)
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 30th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 30th, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Come on...
Thanks. Yes, that was very abridged, but I'm hoping my point came across. :)

I've studied* wolves for at least a decade now, so I think I understand as much of their behavior and social structure as any layman could. I'd love a chance to see them in the wild, which I didn't get a chance to do when I lived in Alaska. I did, however, see a few hybrids up there. Among all the several-generations-down hybrids, I saw one or two that looked to be authentic first-generation wolf-dogs and their behaviors (as well as physical characteristics) were remarkably more like a wolf than a domestic dog.

* By "studied" I'm referring to books, documentary videos, biology and behavioral papers, etc. I'm just a geek by trade, but I've always been fascinated by canids, wolves in particular, so I made a point of learning all the facts that I can.
Aug. 31st, 2005 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: Come on...
The explanation is not simplistic, no. It is intended to explain why a disproportionately high percentage of vicious attacks against humans are committed by certain breeds. Unless you are going to claim that people tend to raise, say, Pit Bulls more irresponsibly than they raise, say, Retrievers, the explanation is valid.

Why is it, that with everything else equal, a disproportionate percentage of attacks are committed by certain well-known breeds? You haven't offered an explanation. The key here is everything else being equal. If all the other variables are controlled, then the correlation - and in this case I would argue the causation - is with the single uncontrolled variable. There are hundreds of thousands of data points for this remember so such analysis is valid. If you want to argue everything else is not equal - that is Pit Bulls are for some reason raised more irresponsibly than Retrievers - I'm open to that. Maybe Pit Bulls' reputation is somehow a self-fulfilling prophecy...for instance certain types of people - people who tend to be irresponsible - are drawn to Pit Bulls. That is possible I suppose

But when I see a story of a Pit Bull killing a child, I believe that if the Pit Bull had been replaced by a more gentle breed - raised in the exact same way, with the exact same experiences - the child would not have been mauled to death.
Aug. 31st, 2005 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: Come on...
Someone who buys a pit bull or other "aggressive-looking" is more likely to train that dog to BE aggressive, yes. Someone who buys a dog to be an attack dog is more likely to train that dog to be aggressive, and/or to mistreat the dog.

Someone who buys a dog to be a family companion is less likely to train the dog to be aggressive.

Most fatal attacks are by pit bulls or rottweilers. Most attacks are not.

The breed most likely to bite is, in fact, not a pit bull or a rott. It's the cocker spaniel.

I would agree with your claim that the pit bulls' reputation is somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And in response to your final comment, a "more gentle breed", raised in the exact same way, with the exact same experiences, would certainly have attacked the same child. Would the attack have been fatal? Maybe, maybe not, depends on the size and strength of the dog.

Just out of curiosity, how many cases are there of a pit bull or rottweiler attacking/killing an adult, in the home? (Ignore for now cases of such a dog attacking a burglar.)

How many cases are there of a pit bull or rottweiler attacking someone while on-leash?

Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 01:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 31st, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
Re: Come on...
Galen likes to use statistics, I do not however.

People DO tend to raise, say, Pit Bulls more 'irresponsibly' than they raise, say, Retrievers. Golden Retrievers have never been breed to fight. Pit Bulls still are, to this day, breed to fight to the death in a ring while people shout and bet money on which dog wins. Those base genetics are still present in a lot of 'backyard breeders' ... who wouldn't understand genetic temperament if it hit them on the head.

There is a concept which you're still not quite showing that you understand:


Dogs which are neurotic, dogs which have seperation anxiety, dogs which bark at every sound, dogs which pace back and forth, dogs which pee when a stranger walks up to them. Dogs which attack anything that moves. These are temperaments. It does not matter the breed. It does not matter the size.

As I said initially: Canines are physically designed to be predatory killing machines. That is what wolves are, and that's what dogs come from.

Fortunately in most cases, they are not. And the big strong ones that hurt and kill people? You can blame the breeder, and you can blame the trainer.

But you cannot blame the breed itself, and you cannot say that the breed is "inherently likely to bite" any more than you can tell me that an african american person is likely to steal just because he's african american.

A domesticated dog, ANY dog... is a wolf that has had a large portion of it's temperament (instincts) breed out of it. What gets put in place? Is entirely up to the breeder.

People who think that certain breeds, ANY breed "just snaps and bites someone one day out of the blue" needs to read, say, the 2' tall pile of canine psychology books that I have sitting in the back room. Those sort of comments stem from a true form of ignorance and as I said, I will not cater to it and I will not support it.

- Keman
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 01:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 02:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - kesh - Aug. 31st, 2005 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - kesh - Aug. 31st, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
I should add this too... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - kesh - Aug. 31st, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Come on... - wolffit - Aug. 31st, 2005 11:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 30th, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Come on...
OBTW, this is a good video that discusses the SERIOUS problem with pitbulls.


- Keman
Aug. 30th, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
I think a Rotty is a great choice. Raised properly, they can be the sweetest, most friendly dogs. Very affectionate, as well.

I would have to endorse having her fixed, though. Unexpected pregnancies aren't just a human problem. :/ And I'm glad you're going to a respectable breeder, rather than a puppy mill. Don't rule out the local animal shelter, though.
Aug. 31st, 2005 03:45 am (UTC)
I love rotts and I agree that they are really nice dogs :)
good luck in the search *hugs*
Aug. 31st, 2005 06:26 am (UTC)
Kewli :)

On the East Coast, you'll also see "Penn Hip" certification, though typically it is done in addition to OFA cert.

A Rottie's tail is more scimitar than single-tail whip, when combed out properly... either way, y'better keep those low areas clear of knock-down-ables, since they carry almost horizontal most of the time. ;-)
( 37 comments — Leave a comment )


Galen Wolffit

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