Monday, July 27, 2009

People and Dogs

The point of this blog post is to illustrate how frustrating it is for me and my friends to deal with the public as a breeder and trainer. The old timers I am working with gave up a long time ago trying to educate people to the point that they are not breeding to sell, because they don't want to have to deal with the stupidity of the buying public.(sorry, if the shoe fits!) They are for the most part, breeding and giving dogs to the right people such as myself, who they know are going to properly handle the dogs. Many people who call me appreciate that I go to great lengths to qualify my buyers on the phone before I ever show them any dogs. Others get offended that their money is not enough to qualify, and hang up on me. Good riddance! Just because you show up with a pocket full of hundred dollar bills does not qualify you to buy my dogs!

Often when I go to meet someone to make a hunt with my dogs for sale, the buyer thinks I am going there to "show" my dogs. In truth, I am going there to evaluate his facilities, observe how they treat the dogs they already own, and decide whether or not I think they qualify to own my dogs.

For instance, one gentleman was interested in buying a dog and he was in a great area for hunting rice fields about 40 miles away from where I live. Perfect, but... When I got there, he had several dogs tied out to a horse trailer in a parking lot near a tractor barn miles from his house, with cheap WalMart plastic coated cables and one of the dogs had about 5 wraps around his back leg. I waited about 15 minutes to see if any of the 5 or 6 people walking around there were going to observe the dogs delimna and free the dog from the cable wrapped around his leg. I had to control myself to not help the dog right away, but after about all I could take, I unwrapped the cable and thought to my self that if my dogs would be "secured" like this, they would be crippled, strangled or not be here in the morning if this guy tried to tie em out the way he tied his. I didn't tell him, but he was disqualified in less than half an hour after I arrived. The dogs were blue leopards with fur that was about three inches long and he claimed they were catahoulas. Not in my book!

We walked his and my dogs all the way around a field of ripe rice that had a lot of hog sign. When we got to the middle way along the road, and I started seeing less sign, so I cut straight through the middle of the field and made sure none were hiding in the middle of the field. Well, he was convinced that the hogs were still in there. I knew they were there earlier that morning, but based upon tracks, my guess was they had crosssed the road and left that field some time ago. After we made the round, he wanted to argue that "the hogs were still in this field" of about 30 acres, which I knew were no where near that rice field. I didn't bother arguing, and later the neighbor came over and confirmed my guess. He had seen the hogs, as I suspected, cross the road at about 9AM. They had been gone for about 6 hours before we got there.

I do not like to sell dogs tied up in my yard. If it is a woods, dog it should be sold in the woods! Only problem with that is I have to drive an hour or more to get into hogs at the moment.

I am working on a land deal just 20 minutes up the road from my house. That would be very convienent, considering the hog problems they have there and the benefits for the land owner, myself and my started pups.

I am always looking for new places to hunt close to home. I do have hogs behind my house, but a couple thousand acres is not enough and my dogs don't understand trespass laws. So the man I just mentioned above is someone I would love to hunt with in the future because he has a lot of hogs and he doesn't live very far from me, but... it looks like we can't do business, or hunt together.

Too bad.

Most people who call me, want a finished dog, and all they want to invest is money and no time. Even if you are buying a finished dog at 4 or 5 yrs. old, you better plan on spending time and at least get that dog warmed up to you. I like to spend months with a dog before taking them to the woods. And on more than one occasion, I have spent a year or more bringing a dog around that was abused to the point of being terrified of men.

So...I would rather sell puppies than dogs, but earlier this year...

Two of my customers lost the puppies that I sold them at weaning for a simple lack of regular worming. When I asked the first one if he had wormed once a week as I instructed at the point of sale, he replied: "We never had a chance to worm".

I am thinking to myself; you had the dog for 5 weeks before you brought it to the vet and you never had a chance?

Less than a week later, another customer calls and advises me that his puppy died. At this point, I am becoming educated to seriously question every detail of regular scheduled worming and vacination. When I ask about the worming, he informed me that he gave it a seven way vacine at 12 weeks. So I asked "what about the worming?" And he asked me, "Doesn't the 7 way vacine kill all the worms?" No! It doesn't kill worms, it builds an immunity to bacteria and viruses.

And another one bites the dust from pure ignorance and neglect.

How about Shane Kier of Grand Junction, Colorado. Earlier this year, he came all the way from northwest Colorado to buy 2 started cowdogs at about 8 months old to work with his 8 year old aging cowdog Catahoulas. Just to make sure he had some good working dogs for the long haul and into the future, I also gave him free of charge, no deposit, 4 puppies to raise up on his ranch along with the 2 started dogs he bought for about half price. He got my pick of the litter female(meaning, I wanted to keep her for myself) from Patch and Ruby, a fine blue leopard female from Scarlet and Elijah(a son of Patch and Ruby), and 2 blue leopards, male and female from Angel and Handsome.

I told him that he didn't owe me anything for the puppies, and that I owed him for transporting my dogs to Colorado. And when he sold some pups, we could split the money.

I gave Shane, my pick of the litter female, which I could have easily gotten $500 for from someone on my waiting list who put down a deposit before I even spoke to Shane, because I wanted him to have plenty to work with and chose from, considering he came from so far and the logistics involved of us doing business again in the future. The fact that Shane is a working cowboy, whose daddy bought puppies from Amos Mann at Two Diamonds Ranch decades ago, and now he comes back to this part of the world, gave him a lot of respect in my eyes. So.. if you are in NW Colorado and need a well bred Catahoula cowdog puppy born 12/24/2008, I can give you Shane's number if you will give me a call first at 337 298 2630.

Our plan was to sell the one or two that he didn't want to keep, and split the money.

Now it seems he is very satisfied with the pick of the litter female I gave him from Patch and Ruby as he plans to breed her in a year or two to one of his 8 yrs old. Also, everytime we spoke, he tells me the started dogs(about a year old now) are coming on as expected for their age. He has for a while, kept a calf at home in a round pen for training purposes, and will expose these pups to various activities related to cowdog training as they grow.

Now obviously, I have a great deal of faith in Shane to trust him with my 4 pups, no charge, and no money down. But... not to fault him. I do want to share what happened about 2 months after the dogs got to Colorado. And bear in mind I advised him of my worming program and told him to worm them once a week for about a month, and then every two weeks till they were about 6 months old.

He assumed these dogs could be wormed like they do in Colorado, meaning, not till they are six months old! These 4 pups almost all died. Luckily, his wife took in a stoll sample and the vet gave her Panacur. I guess Shane did not realize if you live in Colorado but buy your dog from Louisiana you cannot treat it like it was born in Colorado.

About 20 years ago, consider the registered puppy I sold for $400 and later called the people to advise them that the litter registration papers had come in and they could come and get 'em.

They advised me that they didn't need the papers because they decided they didn't want the dog anymore and had took it's collar off, turned it loose in the front yard, called animal control and reported a stray dog and had it picked up for free!

If they had not lied to animal control and turned in the dog legally, it would have cost them $25. Luckily for the dog, I was able to "rescue it" and paid $65 for the privilege of taking this fine pup back home and saving it from being euthanized.

But...why didn't they just bring the dog back to me if they didn't want it?

Jesse, a son of Bob and Angel, with his son, Gus(14 weeks old).

A friend of mine who is a very respected breeder of Blair bred dogs and life time hog hunter, advised me of one of his customers complaining about the one year old, registered Blair bred hog dog he bought for only $200 about a month ago was not able to keep the hog at bay. Oh, the dog by itself was finding hogs on it's own, then stopping and baying, but the hog would bust and run when the man approached. I have to ask if he was on an ATV and how close, and then my next question is where is the bulldog? What does he expect the hog and dog to do? The dog is only a year old. Give it a few years and I pity any hog that tries to run. Give it a couple more years and it may be stong enough to catch without a bulldog. In the meantime, if any man approaches a one year old dog baying a wild hog that ain't tied, caught or penned and that hog don't bust and run, there is something wrong with that hog!

How about this one; I meet a very good friend I have known since he was a boy and we are to hunt on his land, so I thought.

When we get there, we are on someone else's land, and the owner of the land we are to hunt on is riding around on an ATV goofing off, racing, cutting donuts, making loud blasts on the exhaust, etc., and there are two women also on ATV's who are laughing and smoking cigarettes. Which is like playing a loud sound system while hunting hogs in a pick up truck with a mesquite grill burning on the slider hitch, with one or two loud mouth Plotts anouncing our intentions of grilling pork asap.

As we are going into the woods, I put out my youngest, spayed,(2 yr. old) by herself, so she could warm up behind the pickup as we drove into the woods. I really didn't expect she would hunt by herself, as she never had before. But she was right at two years old and she ain't the puppy she used to be. We had gone maybe a couple of hundred yard and she picked up a scent, took a 90' turn and went into the woods. I asked my friend who was driving to stop so we could let her hunt. He said they(on ATV's behind us) would pick her up. I am thinking to myself, 'no one is gonna catch my dog'. So we get to the woods and I have to ride back on the ATV to call my dog out. When she came out with her tail between her legs, acting like she knew she done something wrong, I praised her because there is almost nothing worse to mess up a young started dog who is leaving on their first trail by their self than to be called out.

If you are ever working a started dog and it leaves on it's own for the first time, let it go and and hunt as much as possible, then praise it when it comes back. Encourage it to hunt some more if it wants to and if it leaves out again, don't move until it comes back unless you are following it into the woods and encouraging it to go and find the hog.

OK, so we get back and join the gang in the woods already, where there is fresh hog sign and I turn out my two oldest(4and5 yr. olds). They leave on track and are working fine and then the leader of the gang starts hollering for me and my dogs to move up and follow them. I being on someone else's land, follow the lead and call my dog off fresh scent for a second time in less than fifteen minutes. I am starting to wonder if they are ever gonna let my dogs work.

The most amazing stupid thing was the one dog he brought must have just been in heat or soon coming in because I had to leave the 5 year old in the box on account of he keep sticking his nose in her rear end. When I questioned him about when was the last time his dog was in heat? He said about a month ago, and if I had good dogs that shouldn't matter! OooooKay! So I persisted in questioning him and said why did you bring a dog that was in heat just one month ago? And he commented that they come in heat every 30 days don't they? No! Horses do that, cowboy. A dog comes in heat about every 5 months.

These "hunters" are really taking me and my dogs for a Sunday walk. Repeatedly I asked them to wait when my dogs would hit fresh sign and scent. They replied that they didn't want to have to baby sit some dog. If it hit a scent, it should be gone even if we were on the move. And my question is why should we be moveing away from the dogs if they are on fresh scent?

Well I am sure the hogs were long gone, considering all the commotion from ATV's and fools hollering at me and my dogs.

But everytime my dogs did leave out that day they made me call them out to follow the "leader" who thought he would lead my dogs to where the hogs were supposed to be. At least in his mind he thought he knew.

Well I couldn't agree with that more, if at that point my dogs weren't thoroughly convinced that I didn't want to hunt on account of every time they started to follow a trail that day, they were called off!

Wait a minute! I thought the dogs were supposed to take us to the hogs!

Later the organizer of this "hunt" tells his dad(the publisher of a baydog magazine), what happened and his dad asks him; "Boy, are you so stupid, that you done forgot, them dogs don't leave out, until you stop?"

I rest my case on this one.

From where I stand, it looks like I have been too nice and to trusting of people for too long. Even though this post has only been up a short while, I am getting the right people calling me.

1 comment:

Hog hunter said...

Tell you what you did good to keep your temper I dont think I could have handled that situation as well as you.