When I take on a rescue, I don’t do it to make money. I rarely do. Yes the dogs I have are sold on in most cases, unless they need a specialist home. I am not a charity and do not get funding help. Every dog I take on is to protect that dog, and it costs me from my own pocket. Anyone who has a dog knows dogs are costly. In many cases the dogs I take on have behaviour issues, and might be those due for death row because of their actions. Or their just the wrong breed to find homes.
People think I make great profits on these dogs. By the time I have fed and done training, paid out on some medication or vet treatment, I am out of pocket.
I don’t do it for the money, I don’t do it to be able to parade round these dogs as amazing cases of training. I do it for the dogs. Dogs that need to find working homes, or need someone to understand their needs before they can become a pet again. Someone who has the knowledge and time to steer these dogs on the right course.
Unlike a rescue I get to pick and choose what I take on. That is my perk, and why I won’t register as a rescue. These are dogs with potential to be a working dog. Either a Security Patrol Dog, or a Specialist Scent Dog. These are the jobs I want them to fill, and often have them succeed in. Sometimes they need pet homes or other working roles, but the reason I pick the dogs I want to work with is so I have successes not failures.
I can see the potential in any dog, their is always a place for them to fit into. These dogs seemingly too aggressive, or fearful, or reactive, or manic or crazy to be pets are the dogs that suit me. The dogs that need my training in order to be the best they can be.
While my dogs are my best friends and companions, they also need to earn me something back. Be that working as a security or drugs do, helping out with my behaviour consults, or helping alert me to when people enter the farm. They have to have a role with me. To some that might seem harsh, or blunt. We bred dogs for a working role, be that guarding, herding, catching, fetching, or companion and I think each dog should fulfil that role.
Yes I charge for them, and they can be into the thousands for a well trained dog ready to go to work, but this takes hours of training time, with not only me but volunteers and other professionals. Often a few hundred pounds is their price, but the cost I have imputed is more than that. Your paying for a well trained dog, instead of for a puppy where things can go wrong. Some people want the puppy, others want the trained. Either is fine, as long as the dog has the right home which will continue its training.
I take on these dogs on my own time, fitting them round my Behaviour Training, Security Work, my own dogs, family life and my rest time. So they come out of my down time. They each get the time they need and deserve out of my own time. Its not 9-5 its 7-11 every day, 365 days a year. Rain or shine.
Sometimes I ask for help off people, donations of blankets for winter are something I ask for as people throw them out, and for me their gold dust. The occasional bag of dog food, or bag of meaty bones never goes amiss either with the dogs loving the food they are given. Everything is used, and the dogs benefit from it all.
I eat, sleep, dream and breath dogs. I’m working hard to provide myself with a dog life, and work towards the dream home for me, but dogs are factored into this all the way through.
Even if I can’t take a dog on I always try to help the owner and dog, offering kennels for a few nights discounted. Offering training for the new owners, to advertise the dog on my website or Facebook page. Offering what ever I can. I don’t know many other industries where people work so tirelessly to help animals and people alike for no financial reward, only that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
So if people think after all the hours I put into training, all the food I feed these dogs, all the vets visits that mount up, that I actually make a profit on these dogs. You must be joking. What I get from it is pride, pride a dog that people didn’t understand is now a trained and amazing working dog. In a role they were bred for and excel at, instead of stuck in a home where their behaviour is labelled as problem or dangerous.