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Owner Profile: The Do I Need a Vet Dunce

9 Sep

Description:  The polar opposite of the “Hounding Hypochondriac”,  the “Do I Need a Vet Dunce” rarely, if ever, gets their dog vet care, at least without desperate poking and prodding from friends, family, and internet strangers.   The DINAVD is unlikely to recognize a true emergency even if it literally hits them in the face in the form of pus.


Common Locations:  NOT at the vet, sitting on the couch eating bonbons while their dog hacks up an internal organ,  on Yahoo answers and breed specific Facebook groups asking “How much blood is too much?”

Hey, post on Facebook and see if there is a holistic cure, ok?


Breeds Owned:  Labs, Boxers and other accident prone dogs.  Dogs with protruding eyes like Pugs and Bostons.

And over there...on the floor.

And over there…on the floor.


Skill Level:  Skill level definitely follows a bimodal distribution.  Many are completely inexperienced and don’t realize what a true emergency is, while others are experienced dog owners who think they can take on any malady themselves even when they shouldn’t.


Duct tape: Not just for resetting broken legs and cropping ears.


Catch Phrases:   “It’s just a flesh wound”, “He’ll get over it”, “Do you have any aspirin?”



Anecdotal Evidence:

Potnoodle:  The person that first comes to mind with this Owner profile is not someone I know in my every day life, but rather someone I once saw in an American Bully group I joined, not because I am a fan of the breed but more because I have an anthropological interest in people that measure their dog’s toughness by how large his head is. Anyway, the DINAVD in this situation was a “breeder” and had a bitch that had recently given birth. The bitch had since prolapsed and the Dumbass was asking if he could “shove it back in and hold it with a stitch” himself and avoid a vet visit. I nearly died. Needless to say, I’m no longer in that group.

Better ask other people who don't know what they're doing either.

Better ask other people who don’t know what they’re doing either.


BusyBee:  Among my other vices (mmm…cheese), I admit to having spent an inordinate amount of time on the “Answers” section of a popular dog-centric website.   Despite knowing better, I often find myself stuck in a spiral of stupidity brought on by the slew of DINAVD who routinely post there.  Whether it was asking if a broken leg would heal itself, if it was a bad sign that mama dog had started labor 3 days ago and no puppies had been birthed, or how to best pop a Pug’s popped out eye back into it’s socket , the answer is pretty much always the same… GO TO THE DAMN VET.   And yet, you’ll see people try to justify NOT going to the vet as hoards of internet strangers are pleading for them to seek professional help.   While it’s a good thing to have a working knowledge of canine first aid, it’s even more important that you recognize what is beyond your skill level…and getting off the damn internet to get it taken care of.

Because...the internet.

Because…the internet.

Owner Profile: The Hounding Hypochondriac

5 Aug

Description:  Always convinced that their dog has been stricken by some horrible (and rare) malady, The “Hounding Hypochondriac” is well-known by their beleaguered vets and on  internet forums as that woman who swore her dog had ebola last week because he reverse sneezed for 15 seconds three days ago. We totally understand worrying about our dogs. A little neurotic watchdogging is good for the soul, really.  And obviously it’s better to catch a serious health issue sooner than later, but somewhere between “My dog looked at me funny, better call the vet” and “My dog is bleeding profusely, I’ll just slap a bandaid on” is a happy medium.  A happy medium that the “Do I Need a Vet Dunce” (stay tuned for this owner profile coming soon) nor “The Hounding Hypochondriac” have never known.

Not a dog.


Common Locations:  Vet clinics, Yahoo forums, Facebook Groups not necessarily of the medical variety, and the Facebook pages of veterinary friends demanding medications for issues of dubious seriousness.


Breeds Owned: Inevitably the HH has a dog who could eat arsenic for breakfast, get hit by a car at lunch and be ready for Alpo at dinner. Typically the HH’s dogs are disgustingly healthy in part due to extreme preventative care and a bubble-boy existence but also just because their owners are so aware of potential issues the dogs just don’t come into contact with dangerous objects all that often.

Also works as an effective fart catcher

Also works as an effective fart shield


Skill Level:  Varies widely.  Ranging from the sport dog owner who worries that a quicked nail will ruin their dog’s chances at the next trial to the owner who thinks Fluffy might have the plague because he didn’t want to fetch today, the Hounding Hypochondriac is frustratingly common. Vast majority will however be on the very low to mid-low range. Most experienced owners will have a bucket-full of tricks for the most banal of dog-issues and will see the vet after the simplest fixes have been tried and failed.

Step away from the computer. It’s just a little gas.


Catch Phrases:   “How late is the e-vet open?”, “How do you know if your dog is dying?”, “Is that a pimple or a mast cell tumor?”, “I think I need to google that”, “Is poop supposed to be <shade of brown>?”


Wardrobe:  PJs, Scrubs and a purse big enough to contain an entire mobile first-aid kit.  You never know when you will need to intubate your own dog.

And Vera Bradley Purses

Anecdotal Evidence:


BusyBee:  I feel like I live in two worlds-one in which I am surrounded by knowledgeable dog people with good dog sense (i.e. you all), and one in which I am the most savvy dog person around.  In the latter area of my life, I am usually the one who receives worried texts, emails, and phone calls about Fido’s latest malady.  Whether it’s concern over a dog licking his nether regions (why does a dog lick his balls?  because he can, duh), being concerned because a puppy lost a tooth (it’s something they do), to deciphering doggy diarrhea for my friends, I’ve pretty much heard it all.  In terms of poop, yeah,  I’ve pretty much heard every possible “diagnosis” ranging from poisoning to  giardia to late stage stomach cancer.  Pro tip: dogs get diarrhea sometimes.  Shit literally happens.  And if that shit isn’t happening over an extended period of time, relax and take a deep breath before you give yourself stress poops over nothing.

It’s not a tumor

Fang: So that whole working for dog businesses thing? Yeah, I get these assbags and their internet diagnosing counterpart the “Do I need a Vet? Dunce”  All.The.Time. From the 12 year old labrador mix who was freaking out from the word “boarding” (We informed the owner when he arrived to take her home and usually that is the end of any further poop discussions. Three days later, rather than having taken our advice to keep her on the bland diet and bring her to his vet the next day, he had to drag her to the e-vet at 3am and $400 later informed us that we had Parvo and should be shut down… Umm. Pardon? A rapid call back had us clarifying immediately that the vet had not in fact informed him the dog had parvo it was just “On the list of what the internet said it could be.”) to the person who is demanding I give an opinion on their Golden Retriever’s rash since it’s probably ringworm (No, it’s not but I’m not going to tell them that since I’m not their effing vet!) to the idiot who straight up announced to me that their dog was autistic (They clarified by saying it was Asperger’s no doubt thrilling the ASD community to no end) and therefore would never have good manners… So here’s the deal, don’t call me with your Munchausen-by-proxy-server canine conditions. In fact, if we’re really friends you know it’s best not to call me at all unless you need real assistance with something that isn’t trying to talk you off the ledge of stupid you wandered up on to via Google and Dog Forums. I’m apt to push you off while calling you stupid and hanging up on you.


Potnoodle: Much like Busybee, I do have to occasionally interact with non-dog people. These interactions are typically just me repeating “Take him to the vet” over and over again.  In my younger days, I’d occasionally offer the “Give him some pumpkin” or “Try a benadryl” approach but over the years I’ve learned this is enabling and the next thing you know you’ll be bent over a 120 bloodhound pulling out spay stitches while she tries to remove your arm. True story. Lesson learned, and now I sound like a broken record when I’m called for vet advice… even for the most trivial of things.

Owner Profile: The Dog Blogger

12 May

Okay, never let it be said that The Dog Snobs don’t laugh at themselves. We realize the irony of our mocking, that’s what makes us so hilarious, right? (We are funny… right? RIGHT?) So, in honor of a conference that we recently went to, and in honor of the BlogPaws Conference that we totally didn’t go to (Next year, we’ll catch you next year BlogPaws) today’s blog is about the rare, the elusive, the slightly insane Dog Blogger.


Description: They (We?) really do vary. You’ve got the crazies, of course, that type like dis and tawk for their puppers about how PAWESOME everyfing is. We avoid those types. Those types are our anathemas. They are the reason we don’t tell people we’re Dog Bloggers. Then, on the other hand, you have the serious professional blogger types that write about Dog health and training. We have buckets of respect for those types, but we still don’t fit in there. We’re much more the snarky type, of which there are few. We aren’t here to hand out professional advice… but we’re not here to tell you about Snookum’s day either.

If we ever start talking like this, it’s a sign of the impending death of mankind.

If we ever start talking like this, it’s a sign of the impending death of mankind.



Common Locations:

We walk among you!!  Seriously though, it seems like dog bloggers are everywhere nowadays, lurking behind computer screens in a city near you!  While online, dog bloggers are likely googling to find the perfect meme, checking their site statistics, or working on their latest blog post, all while eating ice cream and intermittently playing indoor fetch with their dog.  Want to see a dog blogger outside of their natural indoor habitat?  Just attend a blogger conference like BlogPaws or other dog-centric events where we talk about…our dog blogs and all things dog and all things blog.  It’s pretty much the same thing dog bloggers do at home, except there is a higher likelihood that we are wearing pants.

So many Dog Snob articles written pantsless. So Many.

So many Dog Snob articles written pantsless. So Many.


Breeds Owned:

Anything and everything. Within most breeds, there are specific bloggers everyone follows but it’s really wide open from the smallest Maltese to the largest Great Dane to the muttliest of mutts. Someone out there is blogging about them.

First the blogosphere, next the world!

First the blogosphere, next the world!


Skill Level: All over the place. At a recent blog related event,  a fellow blogger asked how to keep her schnauzer from barking outside all day. Seriously, you think all that time spent on the internet would teach them something; Less Pinterest, more common sense, Lady.

“My dog may not be able to come when called, but I make a mean organic dog treat!”

“My dog may not be able to come when called, but I make a mean organic dog treat!”


Catch Phrases: “Like me on Facebook!”, “How many new followers did we get today?”

Pictured above, actual BusyBee*

Pictured above, actual BusyBee*

*this is not actually BusyBee.  Know your memes.



T-shirts and other gear that can be customized on Zazzle or CafePress with the blog logo (ahem…*)

We are sorry he couldn't be shirtless and model the shirt at the same time.

We are sorry he couldn’t be shirtless and model the shirt at the same time.

Anecdotal Evidence:


BusyBee:  I’ve been pretty careful to not reveal my identity as a dog blogger to anyone outside of my immediate friendship circle, so I’m always amused when an acquaintance sends me a link to one of our own blogs and tells me that I have to check it out.  The danger of this however is that sometimes their comments that accompany said link are less than glowing (how dare they not love us?!).  Apparently some people really do want dog blogs that detail Muffy’s day from start to finish (did you know that she pooped three times and got a weed stuck in her tail while on a neighborhood walk? Oh, the adventures they had!) instead of sparkling wit, sarcasm, and dog toys that look like sex toys.  That’s fine, because there are a bajillion dog blogs out there, so there is literally something for everyone.  We may be slightly less than mainstream (and we aren’t family friendly, as one pet blogger group informed us), but we sure do have fun and we’ll continue to corrupt the blogosphere one post at a time.

Hide your childrens!!!


Potnoodle: Before writing my own blog (This one.) I sort of assumed popular bloggers were A Big Deal. Turns out, anyone with a working internet connection and a dream can have a blog. Who knew.  There’s a semi local lady that blogs and she is who comes to mind whenever someone mentions dog blogger. She hands out cards to everyone and their brother that even mentions having a dog. Business cards that say her name, and have “blogger” under that…. like it’s a real job.  She also hands out advice left and right…. completely unsolicited advice most of the time.  I have never mentioned to this woman that I co-write a blog myself, so let’s hope she doesn’t read this and figure me out.

Not relevant.  Still hilarious.

Not relevant. Still hilarious.

Owner Profile: The Mascot Moron

15 Mar


What says “I have extreme devotion to a sports team of a college I didn’t even attend” like purchasing a living breathing embodiment of that team? No, we’re not talking about that weird guy that makes his kid dress up like a pirate on game day (though we have a lot of judgement for him too…) We’re talking about the morons that buy a dog breed just because their favorite sports team is represented by one.  The Mascot Moron (MM) has attained a dog solely because they think it would be the ultimate show of school spirit…and stuff.  Things like temperament, exercise needs, and so on are rarely, if at all, considered when a MM decides to get a dog.

Next step:  Become a Mascot Moron.  Possibly add another dumb tattoo

Next step: Become a Mascot Moron. Possibly add another dumb tattoo

Common Locations:

College campuses and cities across the U.S.   The closer to a major sports team you are, the more MMs you are likely to run into.

Breeds Owned:

Most commonly Bulldogs or Huskies although other teams do have dog mascots.  That being said, we highly doubt that entire college towns are being overrun with Salukis (we’re looking at you Southern Illinois University Carbondale).

This image has inspired no one to get a Saluki ever. It looks like a smog covered, pissed off Falcor.

This image has inspired no one to get a Saluki ever. It looks like a smog covered, pissed off Falcor.


Skill Level:  

Low.  So very, very low.  Having done no other research than googling “cool names for a Husky”, the MM is woefully unprepared for the dog they end up with.

That’s still more than your owner does.   (We know this is a malamute. His owner probably doesn’t)

That’s still more than your owner does. (We know this is a malamute. His owner probably doesn’t)

Catch Phrases:

“College was the best time of my life”, “Dude, did you see the game?”, “Do you think we can teach Gumbo to do a touchdown dance?”



Anything with university logos, flip-flops year-round regardless of climate, full body paint at football games. Their dogs are also easily spotted by the jerseys and collar leash sets to match their chosen team.

Damnit. Haven’t we talked about mixing breeds?

Damnit. Haven’t we talked about mixing breeds?


Anecdotal Evidence:



If I had a dollar for every clueless idiot I saw being dragged around by a Husky in my city…I could afford to send my future child to a private college.   Scratch that.  I could buy like 1,000 Paco Collars.  Anyway,  living in a city where everyone and their hapless mother owns a Husky because they want to show their school spirit has definitely been interesting, because you know, Huskies are such easy dogs.  While there are many qualified Husky owners in my area, chances are that if one is owned by someone under 30, is accessorized in college logo gear, and has a name similar to or the same as the actual university mascot or any of the last 5 incarnations, they’re a MM.  These are generally the people you want to avoid as they literally have done nothing with their dog other than training it to bark to the school fight song (arooooooooo).   These are also the same people who can’t seem to figure out why their dog ate their limited edition throwback jersey after being left alone all day or why it scaled their four foot fence and chased a cat while being shut outside during the fantasy football draft.


I also live in a college town. Thankfully, not a dog mascot. Our mascot is the Gamecock, and while there’s plenty of irresponsible cock ownership going around… that’s not what I’m here to complain about. Nay, friends, I’m here to complain about my neighbours.The Georgians and their beloved UGA. Ah, Uga. That wrinkly face, those stubby legs, that inability to breathe so hindered by humid southern air. You know what’s slightly less of a downer than your favorite team losing the game? Your dog having a heatstroke at the tailgating party. No worries, you can just replace your beloved Uga… that’s what they do with the real mascot anyway! In fact, Uga VII and Uga VIII both lived only one year before keeling over, being buried in the stadium and then promptly replaced by another monstrosity from the same lines because if there’s one thing that the south loves more than football… it’s keeping it in the family. *

*I’m allowed to make incest jokes. I live here.

 Anyone want to admit to being a Mascot Moron? Want to throw a family member under the bus and identify them as a MM?  Going to have Saluki-filled nightmares?  Share below!

Owner Profile: The Distracted Dingbat

3 Dec

Description:  The female counterpart of the Abercrombie & Bitch Bro, the Distracted Dingbat (DD) is more about looking good with their dog than actually doing anything productive with them.  The DD obtained a dog because she thought it would be “fun” or was the thing to do while in their early 20s. The typical DD is a young (usually attractive) woman who can frequently be found sitting on the park bench at the dog park, playing with her cell phones  and checking her caked-on makeup using her iPhone camera.  The DD can spend impressive amounts of time trapped in her own self-focused universe, because heaven forbid she interact with any other humans at the park, let alone her own dog.  Whether Facebooking, Instragam-ing, or just sending snarky texts to her friends, the DD’s focus is always everywhere but her own dog.  As such, she is woefully oblivious to anything going on around her and is the ire of other dog owners who inevitably have to clean up (both literally and figuratively) the mess the DD and her dog leave behind.

Possibly the only way for a dog to get a DD’s attention

Common Locations:  The dog park, where she somehow manages to unleash her dog without ever removing her phone from her ear.  Sitting in front of coffee shops with dog tethered to table and cell phone firmly in hand.  Driving with her dog in the passenger seat while rocking out to Maroon 5.

You’re welcome


Breeds Owned:  Small-to-medium sized “designer” breeds like Puggles, Schnoodles, Frostons, Chiweenies, and Pom-a-poos.

Meet the latest in designer breeds, the Whizzerhunde Pequeno

Skill Level: Low.  The DD may love her snookums, but the only actual training she’s done is getting her dog used to be tied outside of Starbucks while she runs in for her skinny extra-hot soy double-pump chai latte.

Are you sure that was non-fat?



Catch Phrases: “Oh, Cupcake pooped?  I didn’t see, sorry!”, “Hold on, can I call you back?  My dog is humping someone’s leg”, “Can I get a collar to match my Vera Bradley pattern?”



Wardrobe:  The DD generally looks like a walking Lululemon ad, adorned in yoga pants, cute track jackets, and colorful sneakers.  Although at first glance it might look like she just rolled out of bed, the DD has in fact spent quite a bit of time perfecting the “supermodel going out for froyo” look.

I see London, I see France, I see through your Lululemon pants


Anecdotal Evidence:


I frequently see a classic DD “walking” her dog in my neighborhood, which generally consists of her gossiping on her cell phone (“Oh. Em. Gee.  Can you believe that heifer said that?  I die.”) while her dog cavorts on the end of the flexi-leash.  I’ve literally seen them take five minutes to go 500 yards because the girl is so wrapped up in her phone that making any sort of forward progress is next to impossible.   This is also the same girl whose dog I once had to free outside of the local coffee shop when I walked by and saw him completely upside down and hog-tied by the flexi-leash he had been tied out on.  When she saw me trying to untangle her dog, she came running out and was SHOCKED that her pookiebear had managed to get himself into a pickle.  After her dog was freed, I nicely mentioned that *if* she was going to tie out her dog on a flexi-lead, she should at least make sure it was locked with little-to-no slack so that the dog couldn’t get itself into too much trouble.  She looked confused by this comment, thanked me, and then proceeded to re-tie her dog out so she could go inside and finish her triple mochaccino with her bestie.



I mentioned this on the last owner profile but it’s relevant so I’m mentioning it again… I’m in college so basically all the dog owners that surround me on a day to day basis are Abercrombie and Bitch Bros and Distracted Dingbats. I encounter idiots with yorkies named Preston or pomeranians named Prada on my daily walks. The most irritating of the DDs owns a Pekingnese named Winifred. Winifred is regularly seen tucked in to her DD owner’s purse or lunging at the end of a flexi lead while her owner laughs at how cute she is. On one of our more memorable encounters, the dog came dashing at my dogs but I was told not to worry (after the DD got off her phone) because “her mouth is too small to do any damage”…


I don’t know what she was thinking, that thing could snag a chunk out of my ankle with the underbite alone.

I don’t know what she was thinking, that thing could snag a chunk out of my ankle with the underbite alone.


Owner Profile: Abercrombie & Bitch Bro

12 Nov


We all know him, most of us avoid him, that’s right, it’s the Abercrombie & Bitch Bro.   Equal parts “bro” and douchenozzle, the ABB obtained a dog with the sole purpose of picking up chicks.  While the ABB may genuinely enjoy his dog, he primarily views it as a means to a (happy) end(ing).

yeah….not so much

Common Locations:

Lurking at dog parks waiting to strike up conversation with female park-goers or sitting outside of coffee shops for extended periods of time, the ABB only walks his dog during peak times when the chances of seeing ladies jogging in sports bras is maximized.

She’s probably a Lesbian anyway….

Breeds Owned:

Labs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boxers.  Basically anything smooshy and soft that women can’t seem to resist.

Bitches love when I snort. Bitches love Brachycephalic Syndrome.

Skill Level:

Low.  Given these individuals put little thought into getting a dog beyond the potential female-attraction quotient, the ABB has done very little research and even less training.  If they have trained their dogs, it’s to do things like fetch a beer (Natty Light, of course) out of the fridge or find a hot woman in a crowd.



“Trust Me I’m a Doctor” t-shirts, Polo shirts (collar popped),  cargo shorts, nautical themed flip-flops


Catch Phrases:

“Chicks love Winston!”, “Oh wow, Mugsy really likes you.  You must be pretty special”, “Did you see those sweater puppies?!”, “Duuuude”

Anecdotal Evidence:


BusyBee: I have a neighbor, let’s call him “Chad”, who is most certainly an ABB.  I’m fairly certain that he chose his dog (and subsequent dog-related pick-up lines) from reading, GQ, and other male-friendly publications.  Everything about him is textbook ABB.  I mean, who walks their dog year round wearing flip-flops, a blazer, and novelty logo tees?   Granted, he never seems to actually walk his dog.  Instead he just kind of mills around the local park waiting for an unsuspecting woman to come up and ogle his Frenchie (and no, that’s not a euphemism).  While I’m sure he thinks he looks pretty slick hanging out in the park all day, he comes across more like that creepy dude that causes parents grab their children and flee.  I do occasionally see him snare a woman into his Frenchie trap, but it never seems to last long.  Apparently even a cute dog isn’t enough to make this guy tolerable for more than a few minutes.

Pretty sure this *is* a euphemism.

Potnoodle:  I go to a university in which Greek Life is a fairly big deal and last semester I was in class with an ABB. Classic Bro, he was a frat boy from his boat shoes to the frosted tips of his gelled hair  His english bulldog (Named Juggs… I wish I was joking) was basically the frat dog and I’m pretty sure he survived on cheetos and beer. He and his ABB owner could often be seen hanging out on the quad, watching the girls playing ultimate frisbee. I often saw girls go up to pet the dog, so apparently his plan was working.

Hey Gurl

Owner Profile: The Nostalgic Nitwit

8 Oct


The Nostalgic Nitwit (NN) believes that dogs come programmed with all the basic skills and obedience required to live with humans.    The NN assumes that a dog automatically recognizes the command “sit” and knows not to shred the latest issue of US Weekly or pull that block of cheese off the kitchen counter.  They don’t remember their family dogs growing up requiring much work, so they are completely aghast that their new pooch requires effort and patience. When their current dog inevitably act like (untrained) dogs tend to do, the NN seethes in frustration and waxes nostalgic about how their last dog never needed to be told how to behave.

And we didn't have legs!

And we didn’t have legs!

Common Locations:

In their living rooms repeatedly giving commands (down..down…just…lay down!) to their confused dogs, complaining to friends over cocktails about how much more work their current dog is than their childhood pet

I’ll sit if you bring me that margarita.

Breeds Owned:  

Whatever their dog was growing up, because that dog was perfect. Collies, Labs, and Golden Retrievers are common.

Perfect(ly) Devious

Skill Level:

Low.  Having assumed that their family dogs growing up all came perfectly trained, the NN has not bothered learning anything about dog behavior or training.

Either that means he is hungry or he ate the mailman… Which one?!

Catch Phrases:

“He should have known better!”, “Mr. Fluffykins NEVER….”

Anecdotal Evidence:

BusyBee: It never ceases to amaze me how many people come into the animal shelter looking for a dog that will not require any work or effort.  Recently, a young woman came in looking for her first dog as an adult, and seemed horrified that the dog she was interested in, a stray we picked up a few days earlier, did not know that jumping was uncool.  Imagine her surprise when she learned the dog didn’t know how to shake and rollover.  I mean, her “gentleman” (her words) of a childhood dog did all those things, so surely all dogs should do these things automatically, right?  I tried explaining that her family dog probably was trained by her parents, and even though she may not have been involved or remembered it, it was highly unlikely that Fido came out of the womb knowing how to behave.  When I suggested that the dog she was looking at was quite smart and would benefit from some training classes (and frankly, so would she), she scoffed and then asked if the other major shelter in the area had dogs that came “trained”.

She probably isn’t ready for a plant either

Potnoodle: A particular nitwit comes to mind, though I know many. This particular NN had purchased a field line lab “just like the one he grew up with.” He purchased the dog, taking great care to make sure it was the same color as the one he had as a kid. I met him when he brought the dog in for training classes. It CHEWED on things, didn’t come when called and was impossible to house-train. In other words, it was a lab puppy that had no manners.  Absolutely nothing like his childhood dog, despite being given the same slightly racist name. I watched him struggle for six weeks trying to get this puppy to mind. Finally, he started to accept reality and actually train the dog. He visited his family the week after the class ended and came back afterwards to tell us that his new puppy was going to a board and train facility because that’s where the first incarnation went and it came back the perfect dog.

**Know a Nostalgic Nitwit?  Used to be one?  Share below!**

Owner Profile: The Misguided Guidance Counselor

1 Sep

Ready for more sweeping generalizations? Yes? Good.

Ever heard the expression “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? Well for the Misguided Guidance Counselor (MGC), that statement couldn’t be any more true.


The older, more annoying, and far-less-involved-with-their-own-dog version of our Know-It-All Novice, the MGC is a voracious acquirer of knowledge. They have read all the books. They have watched all the movies. They have asked all (and we mean ALL) the questions. In theory, the MGC knows what to do, and they certainly aren’t afraid to tell others what to do. But when it comes down to doing anything with their own dogs?  Well, theory and practice are two different things entirely. Don’t expect to see the MGC actually doing anything with their present dogs.

Or maybe the next day.

The big difference between the MGC and the KIAN is purely in application. While the KIAN is active, involved and downright annoying in their dedication to being the best at their chosen venue, the MGC merely assumes their appropriated knowledge is a sufficient replacement for actual effort and/or experience. If the KIAN is ‘the ant’, the MGC is ‘the grasshopper’s asshole neighbor the Cuckoo bird. She shoves in, stuffs her egg in your nest, and then her asshole crotch fruit steals all the food and attention. Not only did she not work at all, she’s going to steal all the shit you worked hard to acquire, take the credit and proceed to go on and fuck over other nests.

He’s telling you why you’re doing it wrong…

A secondary characteristic is the MGC’s focus on what’s next. Why deal with the dogs you have now, when you can plan for a future that will never occur? Any issues that may mar the MGC’s perfect world are either ignored or never spoken about. They exist in the ‘Fight Club’ of dog issues. First rule of being an MGC? You don’t talk about MGC. Second rule of being an MGC? You broke the first rule.

Common Locations:

Doling out iffy advice on internet forums while ignoring perfectly good advice given to them or accosting random strangers on the street to give advice while ignoring their own dog’s bad behavior.  Basically, they can be found anywhere other than working with their own dog.


Shirts from important competitions they weren’t actually entered. Training vests with no dogs in sight. Athletic attire in inappropriate situations.

Breeds Owned:

MGCs tend to own breeds for fairly experienced people, but they are always more than the MGC can actually handle. The dog is often commonly seen out and about during puppyhood and then never seen again once adolescence starts. Even their stereotypically easy breeds become Kujo-like per their description. Just assume that any dogs the MGC owns could be fixed with a weekend of good training or a new owner.

Don’t be fooled. He is vicious!

Skill Level: Trick question. While the MGC has certainly read enough to be fairly knowledgeable, it is hard to judge their actual skill as they rarely follow through with any advice they are given or training tips they read. It will just take one little incorrect fact pinging your radar. After that you can hear your ‘bullshit’ detector going haywire as their lies and faux-grasp of concepts build.

May thy posterior be stung by the traitorous wasp

Catch Phrases:

“If I were you..”, “Well my reading tells me…”, “Have I tried this with my dog?  No, but I plan on it…someday”


Anecdotal Evidence:


    Last year after Mr. T was attacked by another dog he became reactive toward dogs of the same breed.  As such, I actively sought out advice from experts and once we were cleared by his vet for physical activity (i.e. more than just walking out to potty and going back in), I began to work on his reactivity.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a reactive dog knows this can be a process, and that at times your dog will have a particularly bad day.  Given that I live in the middle of a large city, lots of people were witness to our training sessions. During this time, one particular neighbor staked her claim as being a major MGC.  This woman has one of the most ill-behaved dogs I have ever met and openly admits that she has been too lazy/busy to take steps to improve it.  However, she was more than willing to dole out unsolicited advice and chastise me for “letting” Mr. T react.  Apparently because she can quote pretty much every dog training book ever written she is an authority on training despite never having actually put any of it into practice.  Whenever I saw her she told me what I should be doing differently and seemed unimpressed with our progress.   Each time she lectured me, all I wanted to do was tell her that maybe instead of focusing on my dog, she should put an ounce of effort into hers.

All up in there.


    One of these is the bane of my existence. They literally make my life a little bit worse every time they breathe. This particular MGC has several dogs of fairly easy pet breeds (Poodles, Shelties etc) none of which have any overwhelmingly extreme personality traits. Similar training groups bring us into regular contact and every time is worse than the last. Incessant bad behavior by her pets is ignored in favor of the mythic “next dog”. This next dog will be everything her current pets are not. This fantasy canine will be stronger, faster, a better listener and will bring her flowers on her birthday dog damn it! Seriously though, no matter what you suggest (per her request) the advice is never applied. She’s more than happy to hand it out inappropriately to others though. She then usually has the gall to correct the original advice giver despite having no actual experience, anecdotal or otherwise.

Yes, you really do.


    Because I’ve been in dogs since I was very young, and since I’m still younger than a good majority of sport dog people… I get a lot of MGCs. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome advice from all experienced dog people. I’ll gladly sit and listen to old hands for hours because if you think you know everything about dog training, you are the worst sort of dog trainer. Still, nothing annoys me worse than advice from someone who is parroting something they’ve read and not applying any practical knowledge. The first one that comes to mind is a “trainer” that came in for dog food in a local feed store. She had shepherds, of the German variety, and truly believed she was god’s gift to dog training. Thing is, her dogs were godawful. She did “protection training” which as far as I can tell mostly consisted of antagonizing an already nervy dog until it bit the helper. She even had the nerve of bragging about one of her dogs almost biting someone that “walked up too quickly”. Obviously, the woman had no idea, yet she was always ready to hand out advice to anyone that would listen. Covering every  topic from basic puppy obedience (and she made Koehler look like Karen Pryor) to agility (she ran a fun class with tunnels made out of black pipe) to how to teach your Great Dane how to bite someone and she was more than happy to hand this advice out to anyone dumb enough to listen. She now works as a trainer at a big box store, which has expanded her listening circle exponentially.

Everything. All of it.

Dog Owner Profile: More Money Than Sense

20 Aug


Not uncommon in the dog world, most of us are familiar with the More Money Than Sense (MMTS) owner. The MMTS is the love-child of the Know it All Novice  and the Baffled Amateur. While they may not have the answer, they know who does and his name, ladies and gents, is Benjamin.


Mr. Franklin did love him some bitches.

That’s right kids. While the rest of the unwashed masses are finding ways to cut corners or DIY-it, the MMTS is tossing out money like a broken slot machine.


Common Locations:

Erm. Where do rich people go? The country club? Ibiza? Basically anywhere other than working with their own dogs. Is In The Company of Dogs a location? How about Drs. Foster and Smith? The MMTS’s credit card certainly gets a workout on those sites. The MMTS never bothers to shop around, if it’s expensive, it must be good… right?

Do they make housecalls?


White linen pants and other completely impractical clothing for being around dogs.


Breeds Owned:

Hypoallergenic breeds, rare breeds, breeds that match their upholstery

“He matches perfectly! Winston, write a check!

Skill Level:

Low with strange savant moments. Having thrown money at just about every dog-related issue, the MMTS owner lacks the most basic of dog skills.   They are, however, skilled at hiring people do the work for them and then complaining when it’s not done to their unrealistic standards. That being said though, they will frequently surprise you with their vast knowledge on one particular aspect of dog care.

“and stop trying to give me advice!”

Catch Phrases:

“Surely we can hire someone for that”, “I paid good money for this”, “If I pay you more, can you teach him to love me?”

There isn’t enough money in the world.


Anecdotal Evidence:



An old neighbor of mine definitely fit the bill of a MMTS owner.   Between paying WAY too much for a pet-quality dog, sending the dog off to a 6 week “bootcamp” (TWICE!!)  to improve his manners, and going through dog trainers like toilet paper, this owner spent more time throwing money at the “problem” than actually interacting with his own dog.  He never quite seemed to understand why his dog wasn’t perfect despite having spent so much time in training with the “best of the best”.   Um, dude, maybe it’s because YOU haven’t actually done the training with your dog or followed up on anything the trainers told you to do.   Just a thought…




Much to my own shame, I work for a MMTS owner. Since I’d like to keep that job, I won’t talk about that here. I can, however, talk about another MMTS owner I know. This dog has OTB (only the best) food, collars, leashes… She goes to a vet about two hours away because nothing close by is good enough. When she was told that the dog was getting too fat, instead of exercising the dog like any normal human being, she sent the dog off to a fat camp. Barking problems? Two weeks of board and train. The dog is a short haired beast that could easily be washed in a sink but instead goes to the groomer weekly. When you work in the dog industry, these people can be both a curse and a blessing.

Make him thinner, and nicer… actually just trade him in, It’s time for a new model.

Know a MMTS owner? Willing to admit to being one? Tell us in the comments!

Owner Profile: The Rare Breed Braggart

16 Jul

Description:   The Rare Breed Braggart (RBB) prides themselves on owning a breed that most people will never know what it is.  These same individuals however, tend to act personally insulted when people don’t know what kind of dog they have, or heaven forbid, ask what kind of mix it is.  These are people who aren’t satisfied having a German Shorthaired Pointer.  No, they must go out and get a Braque du Bourbonnaise.  That Bouvier des Flandres?  Not exotic enough in comparison to a Bouvier des Ardennes.  RBBs will brag endlessly about what their rare breed can do (did you know they can solve world peace and are working on a cure for cancer?), and heaven forbid someone ask why not just get “x breed”, they claim that no other breed can even compare to their dear imported dog.

Common Locations:  Breed specialty shows where they mingle with the three other dogs in the region.  Frequenting online dog forums to flaunt their dog’s superiority over AKC registered breeds. Flying to and fro between FCI shows in Europe, you won’t see them in pet stores with the rest of the riff-raff.

…unless you are a Löwchen

Breeds Owned:  The more uncommon, the better.  Bonus points if most people struggle to pronounce it or if there are silent letters in the breed name.

You know where the J isn't silent? Jackwagon.

You know where the J isn’t silent? Jackwagon.

Skill Level:  Moderate.  The RBB generally has done a fair amount of research on their chosen rare breed and has immersed themselves in breed clubs.

I’m here for the Barbet meeting.

Catch Phrases: 
He’s one of only 30 in the United States”, “I’m the founding member of the local X breed club”, “Um, hello, she’s a Pachón Navarro”, “He’s imported”

Praise (imported) cheesus

Anecdotal Evidence:

BusyBee: I live in a neighborhood with particularly strong Scandinavian roots, and as such, there are actually a good number of Swedish Vallhunds and Lapphunds, and even a few Lundehunds.   At least once per week I overhear someone asking one of these owners if their dog is a “Corgi mix”, which almost always results in a gasp of disbelief and then a rather snarky response implying that not knowing what a Vallhund was is tantamount to heresy.  There is one man in particular who owns three Vallhunds that I see regularly out and about in our neighborhood.  The first time I met them I casually mentioned that I had been seeing more and more Vallhunds in the area, and I’m pretty sure I could actually see the wind knocked out of his sails when he realized that he couldn’t “educate” me on how rare his dog was.

A smorgasbord of self-importance

Potnoodle: When I was but a wee lass, I worked in a grooming shop. Among the various doodles and poos that came in to the shop there was a little scruffy yellow puppy. We all exclaimed over the cuteness  of this little mixed breed and were immediately corrected by the woman at the other end of the leash. “Daisy is a Petit Basset Fauve de Bretagne” she huffed. “Oh, is that in any way related to the PBGV?” I asked. The woman was incredibly offended, despite the fact that they are similar breeds. I’m still upset that the dog didn’t have a more exotic name than “Daisy”.

Totally doesn’t look anything like a generic shelter mutt.

Fang: A recent acquaintance has adopted a dog from a shelter and they have dubbed it a Dutch Shepherd. They’ve become instant experts on this breed, despite their dog having no evidence personality or looks-wise of being a Dutchie besides being brindle. Because they’ve read that this is a difficult breed they are also increasingly more knowledgeable about everything then you are and they will elaborate the ways in which this is true. We won’t be friends for much longer.

More Dutch than their dog

**Do you know any RBBs?  Anyone want to cop to being one themselves?  Share below!**