Can Dogs be Vulnerable?

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Introduction

Dogs will always be vulnerable while under the guidance of humans. Some find happiness with caring owners who cherish their pooch while others are born to a life of hardship with owners that have a dog for all the wrong reasons. Our clever canines are not only vulnerable in the hands of the wrong people but are looking at extinction due to low registration numbers with Kennel Clubs. 

It seems dogs are subject to fashion and the Welsh Pembroke Corgi, a favorite with the Queen of the United Kingdom is one of the breeds deemed vulnerable.  Whats going on? Has the avalanche of designer dogs taken over a desire to adopt a pedigree or rescue dog?

Signs a Dog Can Feel Vulnerable

The shelters are littered with vulnerable pooches and honors need to be given to the many people that set up rescue centers for animals in need. Their call to action has saved the lives of countless dogs giving them hope and a new address to call home. They are the unsung heroes who pick up the pieces of human cruelty with a fostering heart.

Dogs that are abandoned, neglected, or abused find their way to the shelter on a daily basis with a battered soul and vulnerability, that sees their tails tucked between their legs, ears dropped, and no spark of life in their eyes. The day begins with volunteers trying to work their magic on these helpless mutts that whine and howl in distress. Each dog is as precious as the next and volunteers like nothing better than to see a cowering pup feel confident.

Shelter dogs often have a rags-to-riches story as they arrive undernourished, beaten down, and petrified. Some are so depressed, they avert the volunteer’s eyes and shake continuously. Once picked up by rescuers, they have a chance at a new life and for some, the journey to happiness proves impossible, while for others, like Benny, a shy reserved pup waiting at a care center - a brand new start takes place.

The story of Benny went viral on YouTube as he sat quietly in his pen while all the dogs were barking in unison. His name was suddenly called and he began wagging his tail with excitement. A lead was put on and Benny, realizing he had been adopted, started jumping around with his new owners in tow. The sheer exhilaration this pup felt was a joy to see.

Body Language

Signs a dog can feel vulnerabile are:
  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Cowering
  • Howling
  • Ears drop
  • Tail tucking

Other Signs

Things that cause dogs to feel vulnerable include:
  • Finding themeselves in a shelter
  • Being abandoned
  • Being mistreated

History of Dog Breed Vulnerability

The first animal shelter in the U.S was thanks to an enlightened and well-educated animal lover named Caroline Earl White. Having learned of a prominent New York businessman who set up The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866, this animal welfare advocate was inspired to start a similar organization in Pennsylvania.

At the time, horses were used to pull carts, and seeing these animals beaten drove this angel of mercy to enforce changes in the way animals were treated. Today, vulnerable dogs are taken to the Women’s Humane Society, started in 1869 by a woman who cared enough to make a change.

As shelters all around the world do their utmost to help and find dogs a forever home, it is ironic that some breeds could soon become extinct. Looking back at the early days of dog domestication, it's evident there were dogs breeds made redundant in man's bid to create perfection. Once upon a time, there were small Beagles that stood around 9” in height, nicknamed “Pocket Beagles” as they literally squeezed into a hunter's jacket pocket. These cute pups were replaced by a larger version of the breed and were defunct by 1901.

Now, we see a current list of “vulnerable dogs” presented by The Telegraph, UK that may shock dog lovers. Who would think the Bloodhound, famous for tracking Jack the Ripper, could be on the shelf very soon. Others include the Smooth Collie, Irish Red and White Setter, Field Spaniel and Sussex Spaniel. All these breeds have low registrations.

Mankind is fickle and like the latest mobile phone is replaced by a newer model, our dogs are caught in the crossfire. Their usefulness is creating vulnerability in various breeds and like the dinosaur, we could see a time that many of man’s best friends are extinct.

The blatant breeding in puppy mills of designer dogs is an exercise in greed vented by vanity. In an era of social media, the family dog could be lost in the translation. Our reliance on technology could lead to a dependence that denies the beauty of a loyal companion who offers unconditional love - a rare commodity in this day and age.

The Science of Dogs Being Vulnerable

The Irish Red Setter, a grandiose breed featured on the UK, Kennel Club vulnerability list, goes back to the 1700’s and was bred for hunting. This happy-go-lucky pooch appears to get on with everyone, yet in 2017 there were only 70 registrations in the United Kingdom. Are pedigrees now vulnerable due to the crazed breeding of dogs with names like Morkie (Yorkshire Terrier/Maltese) or Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle)?

While many breeders are concerned with good genetics, the backstreet breeders mix purebreds for profit, denying centuries of ethical breeding to produce mutts that have behavioral and health issues. We’ve always had mongrel dogs when the champion stud somehow mated with a local dog, but now, dogs are at their most vulnerable being exploited in order to make a fast buck.

The Institute of Canine Biology is deeply concerned at the future of dogs. Carol Beuchat, Ph.D. tells us our dogs are dying and it’s all to do with genetics. Inbreeding is the cause and has adverse effects on a pooch's health. Have you taken home a cute, designer dog to find years later they were diagnosed with hip dysplasia or congestive heart failure?

Carol Beuchat believes that the early inbreeding of dogs created these problems and needs to be rectified by modern day breeders. The heritage of dogs like Dobermans, Boxers, and Labradors - should be preserved.

Helping Dogs Overcome Vulnerability

Dogs are becoming increasingly vulnerable with laws that promise to protect them but fall short, allowing people with cruel intentions to walk free. Science is screaming from their labs that dogs are emotional creatures who know when we are happy or sad but still the message isn’t getting through. They are working for the good of man as guide and hearing dogs, K9’s for the police, and other service dogs helping folks with psychiatric issues. Sniffer dogs are everywhere finding drugs, cash, termites, and aiding conservation. Still, our animal welfare laws leave a lot to be desired. Why is this so?

The Humane Society of the United States tells us that many households where dogs are neglected or abused are headed by insensitive people who may treat their kids the same way. Different states have varying laws in regard to mistreated animals but a pooch can’t defend themselves in a court of law, so too often the offender walks free.

According to Plant Based News, the United Kingdom is in the process of updating their animal welfare laws with the original prison sentence of 6 months for animal cruelty looking to be 5 years. It’s a long time coming as governments the world over drag their feet on the issue of animal rights.

The law appears to acknowledge that dogs have feelings but bringing abusers to justice is always left in the hands of animal charities that have to pay for their justice. Until governments take a more hands-on attitude, our canine companions will remain vulnerable.

Statista advises that as of March 2107 there were 89.7 million dogs in U.S homes. That's a whole bunch of pooches with many of them living in vulnerable situations. Pups like Lassie made us fall in love with dogs and beg our parents to let us have one. They should by now be protected and recognized for the important species they are.

How to React When a Dog is Vulnerable:

  • Do everything possible to protect them.
  • Adopt more dog breeds on the vulnerable list.
  • Take home a shelter dog.
  • Read articles about vulnerable dogs and how you could help.
  • Share your stories.
  • If you see a vulnerable dog being hurt or neglected, call the authorities.

We Want to Know if You Feel Dogs are Vulnerable!