This is something that’s been playing on my mind for a while now, especially when I know most of these so called “dogmen” who do this wouldn’t do half of what they expect their dogs to do, but yet they continue to expect the world from their very young dogs.
I see more and more dog owners trying/working their dogs at a younger age. What ever happened to letting a pup be a pup and allowing it to fully develop before putting it to serious work? This is something I barely hear about in other working breeds but it seems to be the norm more and more when it comes to Bulls and Terriers.
Some of the greatest working dogs of all time were first and foremost family pets, who were able to enjoy their puppyhood and develop naturally without being rushed. I’ve heard of and know of many dogs that didn’t do a days work well until they were three and four years of age. A lot of the old dogmen swore by this but they had a different mentality towards their dogs and the work required of them. They had a certain respect and humbleness about them which over the years has disappeared with the new modern day dogmen. A little bit of research from the reader will prove exactly what I’m saying on the amount of well known dogs that were only tried/worked until they were fully developed.
I keep asking myself what’s brought this on over and over again and in my mind it’s nothing more than peoples egos getting in the way, and a distinct lack of care for their four legged companions. I’ve heard of large terriers, small terriers and Bulls being tried/worked as young as 7/8 months old. This is absolutely mental and speaks volumes about these people, if this isn’t a perfect way to ruin what could have possibly been a very good dog, then I don’t know what is. I appreciate and understand that every dog develops differently and some are much more eager than others to get going, but this is where common sense should prevail and a good owner should know when to hold back and protect a dog until it’s 100% ready mentally and physically.
I remember on my grandfathers farm how the puppies and the young dogs watched on as their elders showed them the ropes in working cattle/fighting bulls and big game hunting. There was several stages before any dog was thrown in the deep end, this allowed my grandfather to evaluate the dogs properly but also it built up the dogs confidence bit by bit. Working fighting bulls and catching big wild boars in a very constricted corn fields is not an easy task for any dog let alone a young or inexperienced one.
There seems to be a mentality of everything is disposable this day age and everything has to be done right now, no one is willing to put the time and effort they should that the dogs deserve. In my opinion there is to many wrong ones involved with the dogs, to many druggies, to many loud mouths, to many money grabbers and way to many ego’s which all contribute to trying/working dogs way before their time. There’s an old quote that Mr Tony Lee used to say “don’t ever expect a dog to do what you wouldn’t do”, too many expect a lot from their dogs but only deliver very little themselves. I think a few should remember this quote and remember it well, so that the next time they think of trying a young dog, they think with their heads and not their egos.