Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
166 Posts
Of course if you are undecided or you think it could go either way, I'd love to know too.
"Large Dog Owning Population within a Country: Blessing or Curse?"
Not 100% sure i understand the question. Are you referring to a population that own large dogs that can be hard to control if they become vicious and go on the attack or a large population where most everyone owns a dog or something else totally...? Either way, for bettter or for worse i'll go with its a blessing, the last thing we need is more cooks in the kitchen...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
166 Posts
Yeah that's what I meant. A large percentage of a country's total population that owns dogs. I'd love to know more why you think it's a blessing, just curious.
Its a blessing to be part of a country that allows all of its population to own dogs. The only way any country would get me to give up my dog is when they pry it from my cold dead hands... 🇺🇲
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,906 Posts
While I do sometimes fantasize about moving to a mountaintop to live with my dogs and goats, realistically I'll always prefer a country (and region of that country) with a large dog owning population. Simply for access to resources. I never have to worry about finding a qualified vet - or even specialists. My dogs can see their general practice vets, dental specialists, and even chiropractic/physio specialist at the same clinic. There's multiple trainers with different approaches and specialties within a reasonable drive. I have no problem finding a variety of food, toys, training tools, gear, etc. locally, which is especially important with things like harnesses where I prefer to have the dog try them on before buying. There's three dog clubs I could reasonably join in the area. I didn't even have to go far to find a reputable and responsible breeder of a fairly rare breed.

I own a dog reactive dog and confess that it can be tiring and stressful sometimes to have to plan outings with him around how likely other people with dogs are likely to be at our favorite walking/hiking spots. It'd be really nice to be able to go anywhere we want whenever it's convenient for us with him. But the accessibility of dog professionals and products far outweighs that, for me. I can't imagine having a medical emergency and being stuck either driving an hour+ to the nearest open clinic or trying to get ahold of the one farm vet that serves the area (no shade to farm vets, they're often wonderful at what they do, but when it's one person taking care of every domestic and livestock animal in a large radius, you always risk them not being available or close enough to help in an emergency).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Man, I always appreciate your comments DaySleepers. I was talking with some friends who are all animal people about this, and they were pretty split on it. The friends who thought it was a blessing pretty much said what you said. The friends who said it was a curse said so mainly because they thought it would be better for dogs, and other highly intelligent animals, to be a scarce commodity that should be kept with the experienced few.

I didn't even have to go far to find a reputable and responsible breeder of a fairly rare breed.
This is actually a really good point that I think often gets missed. Even though the purebred dog market is dominated by the popular breeds, in countries with large dog owning populations, even the less common and rare breeds have sizable ownership populations and aren't constantly on the brink of extinction. It does make me think of countries with much smaller dog owning populations, countries that have to constantly import because there are not enough people within the borders to breed hundreds of different breeds domestically, and/or countries that make it impossible to own a dog unless you import, and how they are doing.

I own a dog reactive dog and confess that it can be tiring and stressful sometimes to have to plan outings with him around how likely other people with dogs are likely to be at our favorite walking/hiking spots. It'd be really nice to be able to go anywhere we want whenever it's convenient for us with him. But the accessibility of dog professionals and products far outweighs that, for me. I can't imagine having a medical emergency and being stuck either driving an hour+ to the nearest open clinic or trying to get ahold of the one farm vet that serves the area (no shade to farm vets, they're often wonderful at what they do, but when it's one person taking care of every domestic and livestock animal in a large radius, you always risk them not being available or close enough to help in an emergency).
That's a good point too.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,319 Posts
I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I live in a rural area, so neighbors are not near. We don't see other dogs or people, and that's the way I like it. I can walk my dog off leash wherever I want. I also live 35 minutes from a metropolitan area, so I do have access to things like agility clubs, multiple vets, an emergency vet, and specialized care if needed, as well as multiple pet stores, I just have to drive.

I used to live in town in a neighborhood where I feel like 50-60% of the households owned dogs...and I hated it. Not because I don't like other dogs...but because people were so careless with their animals. Off-leash dogs who had no business being off leash was the main culprit. I'm sure the number of times I was approached by someone's off leash dog while walking my dog numbered in the dozens...and not all of them were as friendly as their owners would like to believe. Even if I had the type of dog who was 100% okay with being rushed by off leash dogs while he was leashed, it wouldn't be fine. So for me...it was a curse. It was stressful. If owners had been better educated and respected the space of other people and other dogs who may not want to be approached, it would have been fine.

In a nutshell...I think I would prefer to live in a place where not many people own dogs...and those who do own dogs are serious about it and respect the space of others. I don't much care about access to pet stores because of the ability to order anything online these days, although the lack of veterinary care would be difficult if an emergency occurred.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's a fair point too Lillith. I live in a semi-rural neighborhood that's about 45% dog owners, and I would say most are in the ok range (their dogs could have more, but they are taken care of physically and mentally), mostly due to the nonstop work from my shelter and the shelter across town.

In a nutshell...I think I would prefer to live in a place where not many people own dogs...and those who do own dogs are serious about it and respect the space of others. I don't much care about access to pet stores because of the ability to order anything online these days, although the lack of veterinary care would be difficult if an emergency occurred.
This is an interesting discussion. I have some friends who also have this position. Some questions do come to mind.
1. Do you think you would be a part of the few that are able to own dogs? If you were deemed unfit to own a dog, would your opinion change?
2. Do you think countries that have controls (can't own unless you import, breeding regs, etc.) to prevent the dog ownership level from reaching it's natural level with supply and demand have it right? Popular breeds will be taken care of, but what about the more rare breeds? Concerns about genetic bottlenecking?
3. Assuming you are in the USA, do you think the current dog ownership level has already gotten out of hand? Should it be lower?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
166 Posts
That's a fair point too Lillith. I live in a semi-rural neighborhood that's about 45% dog owners, and I would say most are in the ok range (their dogs could have more, but they are taken care of physically and mentally), mostly due to the nonstop work from my shelter and the shelter across town.


This is an interesting discussion. I have some friends who also have this position. Some questions do come to mind.
1. Do you think you would be a part of the few that are able to own dogs? If you were deemed unfit to own a dog, would your opinion change?
2. Do you think countries that have controls (can't own unless you import, breeding regs, etc.) to prevent the dog ownership level from reaching it's natural level with supply and demand have it right? Popular breeds will be taken care of, but what about the more rare breeds? Concerns about genetic bottlenecking?
3. Assuming you are in the USA, do you think the current dog ownership level has already gotten out of hand? Should it be lower?
i know this is a dog forum but just to off script for a fast second, i find my moring commute whether its via car or mass trans would be sooooo much faster and safer if we could limit the amount of vehicles on the road...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,319 Posts
This is an interesting discussion. I have some friends who also have this position. Some questions do come to mind.
1. Do you think you would be a part of the few that are able to own dogs? If you were deemed unfit to own a dog, would your opinion change?
2. Do you think countries that have controls (can't own unless you import, breeding regs, etc.) to prevent the dog ownership level from reaching it's natural level with supply and demand have it right? Popular breeds will be taken care of, but what about the more rare breeds? Concerns about genetic bottlenecking?
3. Assuming you are in the USA, do you think the current dog ownership level has already gotten out of hand? Should it be lower?
1. Depends on what the "requirements" were for owning a dog. I don't know why I would be deemed unfit to own a dog, other than I work away from home. I don't really care what people do with their dogs as long as their basic needs are met and they control their animal and prevent it from messing with my animal. If you can't demonstrate control of your dog, at the very least, you probably shouldn't have one.

2. I am not familiar with the dog ownership laws of all the other countries in the world, so I can't give a general answer, but based on my limited knowledge it sounds like I would wholeheartedly agree with some and disagree with others.

3. Has ownership itself gotten out of hand? No, I just think owner education and understanding of dog behavior is very much lacking. I believe in the right to own a dog whether it's simply your companion or a performance dog, whether you stay home all day or have to work, whether your dog knows 100 tricks or just the basics, but you don't have the right to make it everyone else's problem, too. And, you know, maybe not purchase from a shady backyard breeder who pumps out 12+ litters a year, but one step at a time.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,906 Posts
I'm not personally familiar with any areas that have low numbers of dog owners because there's strict regulations on dog ownership in place (though I'd love to hear more about that if anyone has experienced that!), but I do worry about the availability of good, accurate information in areas without many dog owners. I had a high school roommate briefly who was from somewhere in China (forgive me, it was years back), who absolutely insisted that everyone knew you didn't let a dog indoors because they all had fleas and ticks. As in, they fully believed that ectoparasites on dogs were omnipresent and permanent and there was no way to treat them. I can't imagine the perception they had of US dog culture with dogs inside (and often on the furniture) before I explained flea treatments to them!

Now I don't know if this was cultural or if that specific person was just... especially uninformed, but I do worry that it's so much easier for misinformation or misconceptions to spread in areas where few people are experienced with dogs, up to and including the legislators who make the rules regarding dog ownership. Just look at BSL: in cases like Norway, where the banned breeds are nearly nonexistent and every dog has to pass through customs to be allowed in the country, so many people - even experienced dog people - believe that breeds like the APBT are unpredictable and dangerous, because they're never exposed to the breed. In the US, where BSL is often enacted only at regional levels and against breeds that already have substantial populations in the region, more people have personal experience with the breeds and understand that the bans are inherently flawed and ineffective, so there's way more social push back. Heck, look at how difficult it is to convince people that dominance theory isn't correct, even when so many people and organizations are actively challenging it.

Honestly strict regulation on dog ownership seems like a nightmare. Imagine living in a world where you might get your dog taken away because you were diagnosed with a physical or mental illness, or because you didn't train a specific way, or because you used (or didn't use) a crate, or because you lost your job, or had to move to an apartment instead of a house with a yard. Defining blanket criteria of what makes a good, ethical, responsible dog owner is so, so hard, and if you want to say that everyone should get individually screened then you have to consider the funds, time, and manpower that would take. Not something I'd ever be in favor of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not personally familiar with any areas that have low numbers of dog owners because there's strict regulations on dog ownership in place (though I'd love to hear more about that if anyone has experienced that!), but I do worry about the availability of good, accurate information in areas without many dog owners. I had a high school roommate briefly who was from somewhere in China (forgive me, it was years back), who absolutely insisted that everyone knew you didn't let a dog indoors because they all had fleas and ticks. As in, they fully believed that ectoparasites on dogs were omnipresent and permanent and there was no way to treat them. I can't imagine the perception they had of US dog culture with dogs inside (and often on the furniture) before I explained flea treatments to them!
Iceland immediately came to mind when I was having this conversation. It's an island with less than a half of a million people. From what I've read, their view on dog ownership is still somewhat narrow. Even if they wanted to, I don't think its possible for such few people to have multiple reputable breeders of hundreds of different breeds within the country's borders. Most of the dog owners in Iceland import on their own dime, which creates a large financial obstacle to own a dog, which limits the people than can own a dog, and completely bypasses the dog filling up shelters. There isn't much incentive to change this setup. It explains why countries with a similar setup to Iceland never had a shelter dog problem to the same extent. They control the inflow more than the fallout.


Now I don't know if this was cultural or if that specific person was just... especially uninformed, but I do worry that it's so much easier for misinformation or misconceptions to spread in areas where few people are experienced with dogs, up to and including the legislators who make the rules regarding dog ownership. Just look at BSL: in cases like Norway, where the banned breeds are nearly nonexistent and every dog has to pass through customs to be allowed in the country, so many people - even experienced dog people - believe that breeds like the APBT are unpredictable and dangerous, because they're never exposed to the breed. In the US, where BSL is often enacted only at regional levels and against breeds that already have substantial populations in the region, more people have personal experience with the breeds and understand that the bans are inherently flawed and ineffective, so there's way more social push back. Heck, look at how difficult it is to convince people that dominance theory isn't correct, even when so many people and organizations are actively challenging it.
I think my friends who had that view only really cared what experienced animal people felt, and the fact that countries that limit dog ownership to the experienced few never have a shelter dog problem to the same extent. At least according to her, if dogs are just kept within serious dog people circles, then you don't have to spend valuable time educating people who don't want to be serious. So, to her, she doesn't mind misconceptions, as long it doesn't prevent the serious animal people from doing what they do. Of course, as you mentioned, it usually does result in BSL.

Somewhat related tangent, if there was absolutely no BSL in Norway, do you think more people would own the currently banned breeds? Do you want people to own the more of them? Do you think more people owning them will result in a surplus of such dogs that need homes? While I do think the presence of BSL affects breeds commonly owned in a country, I also know countries with no BSL like Japan, where breeds like (Akitas are a massive exception here obviously) pits and other bully breeds just never got popular and probably never will. Even though Taiwan does have BSL now, even if it was all abolished tomorrow, the currently banned breeds will still not be popular. Which creates a dilemma for me. I, like you, want people to have personal experience with these breeds so there isn't misinformation, but that would open up the opportunity to be overrun with a surplus of these dogs needing homes in the future.


Honestly strict regulation on dog ownership seems like a nightmare.
I agree.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,906 Posts
Ah, I think I misunderstood - I thought you meant laws about who can or can't keep dogs, not just barriers like needing to import due to low availability!

To clarify my point, needing to import dogs doesn't mean that only serious dog people will have dogs - it's just as possible that people with the money and resources to import will see dogs as a status symbol regardless of their knowledge about their care, or people who see some profit in owning/breeding certain dogs and see importing them as a business venture.

There's also different kinds of 'serious dog people'. If the only people with dogs in an area have imported rescued street dogs and are strongly opposed to breeding of any kind (the 'adopt don't shop' crowd), that could seriously impact the local attitude towards legislation surrounding dog breeding, and how they'll vote should any new restrictions be proposed. So I disagree that it doesn't matter what the non-dog-owning population thinks - how educated they are on dog issues absolutely impacts dog owners. The dog sports community already has to fight against people who believe that all dog sports are cruel and exploitative in areas where there's lots of dogs and dog education, it would be so much easier for misconceptions to become the majority in areas where there are only a few dog owners, and several are extremely vocal about certain issues.

And no, I don't believe Norway would see any kind of overpopulation issue if they lifted BSL. For some of the breeds (Fila, Tosa Inu), I doubt there will be many imported at all, as they're poorly known to begin with and have such intense temperaments and specialized purposes that few would be interested in them over any of the breeds that are already legal in this country. There may be more interest in APBTs and AmStaffs, but as there isn't really a puppy broker/commercial breeder market here, there'd be no incentive to import them en masse without homes already lined up. Norway's far from perfect - of course we still have people breeding dogs irresponsibly or having repeated 'oops' litters because they can't or won't manage their intact dogs, but despite this the dog population is extremely well controlled, with so few homeless dogs that I literally can't find a shelter or rescue to volunteer for within a good 2-3 hour's drive (and I live near multiple large population centers). People are already importing dogs when they can't find a breed or specific lines/traits inside the country, so I don't see how expanding the list of what they can import will significantly impact the balance.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top