The Bernese Mountain Dog Kennel

at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, CANADA

Reality check: The lowdown on what being a breeder is really like

By Naomi Kane       DOGS IN CANADA   September 2007   Page 28/29/30/31

IBreeding is a passion; you won’t get rich in the monetary sense, but you will be rich in dogs and friends.

 

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada Bernese Mountain Dog puppies at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada Cape Bernese - The Bernese Mountain Dog Kennel at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada Bernese Mountain Dog puppies at Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

Berrnese Mountain Dog Puppies sleeping

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies having a nap

Bernese Mountain Dog Senta

retired Bernese Mountain Dog Senta is watching over the Bras d'Or Lake

Bernese Mountain Dogs Moritz and Senta

our Bernese Mountain Dogs Moritz and Senta at our driveway

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies exploring

Bernese Mountain Dog puppies exploring water

small portfolio1 small portfolio2 small portfolio3 small portfolio4 small portfolio5 small portfolio6 small portfolio7 small portfolio8 small portfolio7 small portfolio8
themed object
...in the heart of Cape Breton Island, at the Shore of the Bras d'Or Lake

  • Next Litter: as soon we know details it will be posted here!
  • Stop import of dog and cat pelts in Canada! Parliament e-Petition
get in touch

Beware backyard breeders

 

By PAT LEE plee@herald.ca @PatriciaGailLee

Chronicle Herald 5 January 2015, Page C1, C2

Copyright (c)2015 The Halifax Herald Limited 01/05/2015


Couple shares story of beloved but ‘doomed from the start’ Newfoundland dog

PET CORNER On Dec. 22, Natasha Atkinson and Jody O’Brien made the agonizing decision to have their majestic Newfoundland dog Bruno euthanized.
Unable to sleep in the wee hours of Dec. 23, Atkinson got out of bed, fired up her laptop and wrote a heart-wrenching and anger-filled open letter to the backyard breeder who, in her words, ensured Bruno was “doomed from the start."
Doomed, Atkinson wrote, from lax breeding standards that likely led to the dog’s unstable mental health.
Doomed, she said, by selling Bruno as a puppy to an owner who chose to tie him to a tree during his crucial first year and a half of life; the time when dogs learn to trust and love and be good canine citizens.
“I pity any animal that finds its way to your clutches, and if I had the ways to make you suffer the way me and my family are right now, I am currently feeling venge­ful enough to make it happen," she wrote at 4:30 a.m. that morn­ing.
“The only thing that is keeping me from contacting you directly (’cause I know who you are, and some way, somehow, I will move hell and earth to shut down every backyard breeder I can find) is the memories of my beloved Bruno."
 After she wrote the letter, O’Brien, a photographer and high school teacher, uploaded it to his photography site, where it has been read by thousands of people.
The pair said they decided to share Bruno’s story to warn people about disreputable breeders and potential bad outcomes.
“We’ve had a lot of people, too many in my opinion, tell us they’ve had the exact same situ­ation with their dog, which is very disheartening," Atkinson said last week.
 The couple’s love affair with Bruno, a stunning 120-pound “goofball," began more than two years ago when Atkinson became aware of his situation through someone who rescues Newfound­lands. He was pulled from a shel­ter where he was slated to be euthanized.
“Since I was eight years old, I wanted a Newfoundland dog. From a very early age, I knew this was the dog for me."
 She and Bruno “clicked in­stantly," and early on, it seemed to go well. Bruno settled in with their six-year-old black Labrador retriever, Oliver, and she and Bruno were a source of amuse­ment around town as he probably weighed more than she did.

He loved all he met and was an unofficial greeter at a Truro camera store that O’Brien is a regular at.

The couple knew from the start that Bruno wasn’t from a reput­able breeder because he had no health records, no tattoo, no mi­crochip, was not registered with the Canadian Kennel Club and the original owners had not been screened properly, if at all.

So Bruno was a rescue, and they were happy to welcome him into their home.

“We had no issues until this summer, when our lives were ripped into chaos," said Atkinson, a former veterinary technician.
For reasons they will never know, something changed in Bruno.
He had always been wary of men but began to react badly to ones in hats and sunglasses.
He had also gotten along well with other dogs, especially his brother, Oliver, but that changed, too.
He became food aggressive, and without provocation attacked Oliver and other dogs on several occasions.
The last attack on their Lab­rador drew blood and that was the last straw.
In short, Bruno became an increasingly untrustworthy dog.
Before coming to the agonizing decision to have the Newfound­land euthanized three days before Christmas, they did everything they could to help him with his anxiety issues, including working with renowned behaviouralist Heather Logan and doing everything she suggested.
They even considered finding a new home for Oliver.
Because Bruno’s behaviour had become so unpredictable, the couple don’t believe rehoming him was an option.
In the end, O’Brien and Atkin­son did what they thought was best, shedding untold numbers of tears over it.
The pair believe due to poor breeding, Bruno had mental ill­ness exacerbated by little or no socialization at an early age.
O’Brien, who volunteers as a dog photographer at the SPCA in Truro, said he has learned a lot since he bought Oliver as a pup from a “breeder" in New Brun­swick by handing her $450 in an Irving parking lot.
The retriever turned out to be a great dog, but he now knows it could have been a different story.
“I didn’t know how lucky I was."
The couple are now doing their research on breeders of New­foundland dogs and realize they will be chosen by a reputable breeder, not the other way around.
“Good breeders aren’t in it just for the money," Atkinson said. “They breed selectively and choose who gets their puppies very carefully."
For now, they grieve for Bruno and what might have been.

 

By PAT LEE plee@herald.ca @PatriciaGailLee

Chronicle Herald 5 January 2015, Page C1, C2

Copyright (c)2015 The Halifax Herald Limited 01/05/2015

slide up button