I ran across the the following blog post
and thought it was applicable to this discussion WRT working dogs. This was particularly interesting to me:
We wanted a livestock guardian breed of dog, and ideally, we wanted to adopt a dog that needed a home. So we went looking on all the usual rescue sites - and found a deep and abiding prejudice against letting working dogs work - or even do the things that they are bred for.
Our first attempt was with a young Maremma who had been used as a livestock guardian - that is, he was trained and brought up to live among sheep, and had a hard time adjusting to the 4x6 kennel he was now kept in - his previous territory had been measured in tens of acres. We approached the shelter about adopting him.
Yes, we had a warm barn for him to sleep in at night. Yes, there would be plenty of human contact. Yes, he would be out with sheep and goats.
No, we couldn't have him. He has to be a house dog, and they didn't want him to be with livestock. Why? Because then he wouldn't be being socialized to humans - he was very anxious in a house with humans and they felt he needed to be there constantly. When I pointed out his entire genetics were designed to live in open spaces, and his youth had been spent among livestock in those spaces, that this was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, they argued that he'd eventually be a perfect house pet - a 110lb, territorial guard dog would make a great living room ornament.
Ok, moving on, we then inquired of a group of crossbred LGD puppies born in an affluent suburban neighborhood near my mother - this is an area of small lots and a high degree of social connection. The pups, half Great Pyrenees and half Anatoiian Shepherd would be huge, strong, and have a strong instinctual urge to range over a large territory - perfect for affluent small yards, really! When we inquired and noted we had a farm, that the animals would be kept near our family and have a lot of human contact but also space to roam and work to do, we were told "there is a lot of interest in these pups in this town, we simply don't think they need to be farm dogs." They probably don't - while they are tiny and cute. My concern is what happens later on as suburban householders attempt to keep big dogs with big territorial needs in tiny suburban yards. LGDs bark a lot - that's part of how they let predators know they are there. They also are inclined to roam - and tough to keep in without 6 foot chain link fence. They are wonderful, gentle, sweet dogs - but all of the breeding is for life as a working farm dog. We were told it was the breed rescue's policy that none of their (all LGD) dogs be placed as working dogs.
I really have empathy for rescuers and some of the stories shared my RDM in this thread have me rolling my eyes back into my head about how totally stupid and clueless members the general public can be. But this seems just crazy to me! How could a dedicated LGD rescue have such a rigid and frankly dumb position? Do you think there are any BC rescues with a similar rule? Could any of the rescue folks see a reason for such a hard and fast rule that discriminates against farm or working placements for these dogs? I mean, I get that some BCs are likely suited for neither farm life or working. But some are also not suited for small apartments or typical suburban pet owners, right?
And to be fair, I am NOT asking rescue folk here to defend all other group's policies. Just wondering if people have run into this before and also noting the number of comments to this blog in relation to some of the resources shared elsewhere in this thread, apparently the public perception of onerous rescue requirements is rather widespread.