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Old 29.06.2011, 20:25
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Strange question from a cat loving person

I have a neighbour who has a female dog, we are good friends.

But, there is a problem. She barks and barks non stop. She is a lovely pup - but the barking goes on and on. Well not really a pup - she is 11.

With another neighbour we have discussed getting her a collar, which gives a little zap of electricity everytime she barks to train her to not bark.

I find this to be horrible, but for the guy it may be the only solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this collar, cost etc.?

Thanks!!
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:31
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

WTF who the hell invented this collar grrrr I would never put it on any animal that's cruel. How would you like it to have such a collar and if you shouted it gave you a bloody shock.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:39
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

More on the collar here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_collar

and the opinion of the APBC
http://www.apbc.org.uk/articles/shockcollars
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:39
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

Such collars are easily available from all pet stores here. I've seen a couple of people buying them before but I personally wouldnt.

Its a highly emotive topic amongst dog owners. Some see it as cruelty whilst others, see it as a tool to stop that unwanted behaviour.

However, it doesnt stop the behaviour out of respect but FEAR. Dogs are animals who learn their rules, boundaries and limitations by association. If used wrongly, dogs will also associate the pain/shock (squirt of air or water) from the collar with things in environment rather than with their barking behaviour. This will led to fear of certain objects, people etc which can ultimately lead to fear aggression, stress, ultimately reducing their quality of life.

A very good example is an incident that I've witnessed on the allemend recently. A woman was teaching her dog to recall via the shock collar. The poor dog got a zap whenever he wandered too far and came back crawling with his tail between his legs. Effective? Yes. Good for the dog? absolutely not. You want a dog who will come back to you happily. It will take patience and alot of work but positive reinforcement is better for the dog's psyche.

Some dogs will also develop immunity to the pain/shocks and continue barking.

Dogs bark for all sorts of reasons - just like we humans talk to communicate. There are so many reasons but unlike humans, dogs bark to communicate whereas some humans just talk rubbish and wont shut up.

There has to be a root cause - try finding out when the barking started. For how long, and what triggers the barking. Is the dog bored? not exercised enough (old dogs need exercise and stimulation too!)? suffering from separation anxiety? Any new changes in the family situation? New baby? Death? Separation? The list of questions is endless.

I suggest finding out the cause first and hire a trainer who believes in positive reinforcement before resorting to such methods.

Good luck.
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Last edited by summerrain; 29.06.2011 at 20:52.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:40
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

I have only heard of the collars that spray lemon sent or something on the nose.

http://www.softtrainer.de/shop/index...FUMMfAodUQFRaQ

But i have also heard that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:40
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

Patsycat,

there are many forms of behaviour collars. Some vibrate (rather than give a shock) while others emit a spray (water) when the dog barks which dogs don't really like. I'm not sure about the brand of these collars but I have seen them at Fressnapf. Knowing how many regulations there are about animal cruelty, I do not think they would sell them at the large pet stores if they harm animals or cause them pain. A little water spray discomfort is much better than having to find much more unpleasant solutions for both dog and owner.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:42
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

I can also suggest an animal bahaviourist if the owner is interested.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:51
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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Such collars are easily available from all pet stores here. I've seen a couple of people buying them before but I personally wouldnt.

Its a highly emotive topic amongst dog owners. Some see it as cruelty whilst others, see it as a tool to stop that unwanted behaviour.

However, it doesnt stop the behaviour out of respect but FEAR. Dogs are animals who learn their rules, boundaries and limitations by association. If used wrongly, dogs will also associate the pain/shock (squirt of air or water) from the collar with things in environment rather than with their barking behaviour. This will led to fear of certain objects, people etc which can ultimately lead to fear aggression, stress, ultimately reducing their quality of life.

Some dogs will also develop immunity to the pain/shocks and continue barking.

Dogs bark for all sorts of reasons - just like we humans talk to communicate. There are so many reasons but unlike humans, dogs bark to communicate whereas some humans just talk rubbish and wont shut up.

There has to be a root cause - try finding out when the barking started. For how long, and what triggers the barking. Is the dog bored? not exercised enough (old dogs need exercise and stimulation too!)? suffering from separation anxiety? Any new changes in the family situation? New baby? The list of questions is endless.

I suggest finding out the cause first and hire a trainer who believes in positive reinforcement before resorting to such methods.

Good luck.
Too true the cause is the thing to find.

However, There are air blast collars who's purpose is to distract the dog from it's current thought process and mind state rather than than punishing. These, I think, are far better as the work in the same way an alpha would snap them out of a mind set. They need using in conjunction with non aggressive, assertive, calm reinforcement 'tho.
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Old 29.06.2011, 20:57
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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Too true the cause is the thing to find.

However, There are air blast collars who's purpose is to distract the dog from it's current thought process and mind state rather than than punishing. These, I think, are far better as the work in the same way an alpha would snap them out of a mind set. They need using in conjunction with non aggressive, assertive, calm reinforcement 'tho.
Regardless of whether the collar emits air, lemon spray, water or mild electricity, I tend to group them as all the same - a training tool.

Dogs - alpha or not, can be trained and their focus redirectded with calm assertive body language and either a quick tug on the lead or a firm command (some people use "eh!!!" or "tssssch")

You'd want the dog to recognise your leadership, and not hide behind a tool to assert it. My 2 rappens
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Old 29.06.2011, 23:16
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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Regardless of whether the collar emits air, lemon spray, water or mild electricity, I tend to group them as all the same - a training tool.

Dogs - alpha or not, can be trained and their focus redirectded with calm assertive body language and either a quick tug on the lead or a firm command (some people use "eh!!!" or "tssssch")

You'd want the dog to recognise your leadership, and not hide behind a tool to assert it. My 2 rappens
I fully agree with most of this, the air however is a distraction when and only when you are not present to react. I have power breads and I see you too are from the Millan school
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Old 30.06.2011, 11:50
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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I fully agree with most of this, the air however is a distraction when and only when you are not present to react. I have power breads and I see you too are from the Millan school
To be honest, whilst I agree with some of his teachings - like dogs needing exercise, discipline and affection etc, I really dont agree with some of his methods. If you read his books, he doesnt advocate training tools, but does say that if used correctly, they are effective. Some of them which I really cant bear to use, like choke chains.
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Old 30.06.2011, 12:20
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I have a neighbour who has a female dog, we are good friends.

But, there is a problem. She barks and barks non stop. She is a lovely pup - but the barking goes on and on. Well not really a pup - she is 11.

With another neighbour we have discussed getting her a collar, which gives a little zap of electricity everytime she barks to train her to not bark.

I find this to be horrible, but for the guy it may be the only solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this collar, cost etc.?

Thanks!!
Have you tried discussing the situation with your friend/neighbor? Sorry - but if my friend gave me a shock collar for my dog I'd be a little peeved, more like WTF?

If you do some searching on the Internet you can buy a nice little device that looks like a birdhouse but emits a high frequency noise dogs don't like, and it helps with the barking. Lots of reviews from neighbors who have had similar situations and say it helps - but I'm not personally familiar with them.
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Old 30.06.2011, 15:33
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

My dog trainer told me that those electric dog collars where forbidden in Switzerland: it's considered to be cruelty to your animal and you can get in serious troubles if you use one (fine + confiscation of the animal)
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Old 30.06.2011, 16:45
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

We have been discussing this for a few years. I myself wouldn't get the collar, I do think it is cruel. But, she is not my dog. It is his decision on what to do.

She really is a lovely dog and I hope he can sort this out through training. But, as others have said, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Another suggestion was to get her spayed, as this may calm her down. He says he can't afford the operation. But I am sure a deal can be made with our vet for monthly payments.

Thanks everyone for your replies.
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Old 30.06.2011, 17:09
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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......you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Well.......... you can,

but the hard part is teaching the 'owner' new tricks.


Personally I ask the question "Who in their right mind can put up with a dog barking constantly for 11 years?"
(or is this a recent problem?....... if so, nip it in the bud now)

I am glad that you are friends with this lady, so at least the topic can be approached easily.


Positive reinforcement is the only way forward in my books.


The behaviouralist should help you to at least 're-think' how you percieve the dogs world and perhaps just a few simple changes could do the trick.

Best of luck
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Old 01.07.2011, 02:50
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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But i have also heard that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
Well that's a saying: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

It's also complete rubbish. Yes, there are some things (specifically, socialization) that MUST be done while a dog is young, and any training goes a bit faster when a dog is younger, but it is 100% possible to train a dog of any age.

Anyone who doubts this should watch "It's Me or the Dog" with the enchanting Victoria Stilwell (->website). There have also been many episodes that specifically addressed barking, and I assume it's in her book.
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Old 01.07.2011, 12:10
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

Please see the TSchV, article 76: 'Hilfsmittel' such as electric shock collars, citron spray collars are forbidden. Only those who have a obtained a special permit from the canton may use these devises:

http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/4/455.1.de.pdf

(Page 25)

Hilfsmittel und Geräte
1 Hilfsmittel dürfen nicht derart verwendet werden, dass dem Tier Verletzungen oder erhebliche Schmerzen zugefügt werden oder dass es stark gereizt oder in Angst versetzt wird.

2 Die Verwendung von Geräten, die elektrisieren, für den Hund sehr unangenehme akustische Signale aussenden oder mittels chemischer Stoffe wirken, ist verboten.

3 Auf Gesuch hin kann die kantonale Behörde Personen, die sich über die notwendi- gen Fähigkeiten ausweisen, die Verwendung von solchen Geräten ausnahmsweise zu therapeutischen Zwecken bewilligen. Die Befähigung ist durch die kantonale Behörde zu prüfen. Das Eidgenössische Volkswirtschaftsdepartement (EVD) legt nach Anhörung der Kantone in der Prüfungsverordnung Inhalt und Form fest.

4 Wer bewilligungspflichtige Geräte einsetzt, muss jeden Geräteeinsatz dokumentie- ren und auf Ende Kalenderjahr der kantonalen Behörde eine Zusammenstellung aller Einsätze einreichen. Anzugeben sind:

a. Datum jedes Einsatzes; b. Grund des Einsatzes; c. Auftraggeberin oder Auftraggeber; d. Signalement und Markierung des Hundes; e. Ergebnis des Geräteeinsatzes.
5 Hilfsmittel, die zur Verhinderung von Bissen um den Fang des Hundes platziert sind, müssen anatomisch richtig geformt sein und ausreichendes Hecheln ermög- lichen.


Yes, I know that Joe Dogowner can still buy a shock collar here - I have no idea why it this is allowed when the use is forbidden.

---

As y'all might know from my nattering endlessly on...

I reject the use of adversives - that which causes pain or fear - in dog training. I have spent too many years rehabilitating dogs who have been abused; when an animal has been consistently been put in situations causing pain or fear I know how deep the psychological damage can run, how difficult it is to help the animal overcome the damage. No, most people who use electric shock collars do not set out to abuse their animals, what is to me so sad is that they do so thinking they are helping the animal. However, to the dog the intention of the owner is not understandable, the dog only knows that his owner has caused him pain. The bond of trust can be easily broken. Why risk it?

Additionally a problem with adversives is that very few of us are spot-on with timing - you have a split second to associate the correction with the action. For this reason, adversives should never, ever be used when the animal is left alone, as when left alone context cannot be controlled, timing or association end up being pretty much random. Even when the owner is present to administer the adversive, few humans can get timing in canine terms right, and then the dog ends up associating the adversive with something alltogether different than what the human had intended. An example I have used on EF before:

My collie brushed up against an electric fence whilst out walking one day, and got a nasty shock. Did that teach him to avoid fences? No it did not. Just as he hit the fence, a man wearing a hat came round the corner into view - and Melon associated the pain he felt with the man wearing the hat. For the rest of his life, my boy was terrified of men in hats. (OK, Melon wasn't exactly the brightest bulb in the firmament, but his reaction was typical of the dangers of random association.)

Summerrain's example of the woman using a shock collar to train recall is another good one. The woman was teaching exactly the opposite of what one wants to do. The key to teaching a good recall is to make the dog understand that über good things come from returning to the owner, if a dog knows that coming back when called brings something good he will do so again and again. If a dog associates pain with being recalled, he is likely to avoid coming back whenever possible. And if he associates the pain with his owner, why on earth would he want to come back?

Philosophy aside, using positive reward-based training is simply more effective. A dog learns what to do more quickly when rewarded than learning what not to do when punished. Why use ineffective techniques that pose an inherent danger when there is a far better training tool (ostrich sticks, in our case ) at hand?

---

Barking is a very difficult behavior to train out, as it is so hard-wired into a dog's brain. Training takes a long time - so in the short term management is necessary.

Since the Extreme Belltie joined our family I have been struggling with barking, and I understand what a difficult problem this can be - for owners as well as neighbors. I have had shelties and collies - herding dogs, so instinctive barkers - for 20+ years, have spent 20+ years successfully training 'normally barky' dogs to be quiet - but have never had a dog like EB before. I honestly think he is simply wired wrong - it's almost as if 'I bark, therefore I am' . But that is neither here nor there - the problem of his love of the sound of his own voice remains, and must be managed. EB is broken, he cannot control himself, so I must do so for him.

First step is to understand the situations where EB is likely to bark, and to orchestrate those so that he doesn't have the opportunity. I've learned that EB mostly barks out of jealousy and out of excitement.

Excitement is easy to anticipate and thus manage. For instance, when we go out into the garden he is first put on lead, he is not allowed to rush out with the others. Once we are outside and he is quiet, he is let off lead. My husband returning home in the evenings is the highpoint of his day, so he goes on a house line before OH gets home. He is sent to his bed, as my husband walks in the door he is given a squeeky toy or a kong to chew, to work off the excitement. Only once he is quiet and calm is he allowed to greet my husband. We keep the house very low key, no excited voices, no unexpected wild movements - this keeps EB calm.

Jealousy is pretty much the same - EB will throw a hissy fit when I carry my ancient guy upstairs, so he is put on the house line before I pick Haifisch up. EB must sit, and once calm must walk behind us as we go up and down stairs. We practice walking calmly up and down stairs every day.

All hell can break loose when the doorbell rings. If I expect a visitor I have everyone in place in anticipation but random visits can be a problem - so I have a sign up on the door asking visitors not to ring, but rather to call me on their cell phones.

Yes, it's a royal pain to run my household this way. But when you have a problem barker you must manage the situation - or move to an isolated mountaintop. (Which is what I dream of doing.)

Fortunately EB does not bark when left alone - but nonetheless I do not leave him alone, just in case. The situation with the neighbors is too dicey to take chances.

---

My 'normal' dogs have been trained out of barking by teaching them an alternative behavior. They have learned to self-pacify by picking up a toy to squeek rather than barking. At the first bark, I offer the toy, click and reward when the dog takes the toy rather than barking. Repeat repeat repeat. Once that is learned, at the first body language sign of excitement that usually leads to barking (ears pricking, tail up - whatever the dog does) I offer the toy, click and reward when the dog takes the toy rather than barking. Repeat repeat repeat. Once that is learned, I put the toy on the floor. At the first sign of excited body language, I give a 'get your toy' command. Click and reward when the dog picks the toy up himself. Repeat repeat repeat.

The key is to identify likely barking situations (visitors, garden border patrol, planes flying overhead, trespassing cats, etc.,) and teach a self-pacifying routine as above.Teaching an alternative behavior is often more successful that simply rewarding 'quiet' because many dogs can back-chain. "Hmmm... I fancy a biscuit. I know: I'll bark, then she'll tell me to be quiet and when I stop barking I'll get a biscuit." (Clever, those mutts... )

----

For the problem barker in the OP - I would counsel working with a behaviorist to help the owner identify why the dog barks, and to come up with a management plan in the short run, and work then towards training for long-term success.

But do not - under any circumstances - use a shock collar or any other adversive!

Last edited by meloncollie; 01.07.2011 at 12:52.
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Old 01.07.2011, 12:26
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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I have a neighbour who has a female dog, we are good friends.

But, there is a problem. She barks and barks non stop. She is a lovely pup - but the barking goes on and on. Well not really a pup - she is 11.

With another neighbour we have discussed getting her a collar, which gives a little zap of electricity everytime she barks to train her to not bark.

I find this to be horrible, but for the guy it may be the only solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts about this collar, cost etc.?

Thanks!!
I know a few people that could do with those collars.
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Old 02.07.2011, 10:35
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

Hopefully I am not one of them!!

As I have said earlier, I am against them. My friend was supposed to come round last night but didn't show - I was going to show him this thread, with all the good information.

She does not bark all the time - only when she gets really excited - and jumps up on people (almost took my nipples off the other day!!!) - which can be frightening when you don't know her.

I think it boils down to the fact that she has him wrapped around her wee toe, and he lets her!!! I have dogsat her numerous times and she is very calm, sits on the couch, or beside me. Until daddy comes home...

Also, when she is on heat she sings for days on end. He doesn't want to get her spayed (but also doesn't want puppies), I don't understand his logic there. But, as I said earlier, it is financial.

Hopefully, I and another neighbour (who is daddy to the barking ones own daddy!!) can talk some sense into him.

Her name is Bellisse, by the way. And we all love her to bits. Even Jimbo tolerates her...!!
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Old 02.07.2011, 15:14
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Re: Strange question from a cat loving person

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She does not bark all the time - only when she gets really excited - and jumps up on people (almost took my nipples off the other day!!!) - which can be frightening when you don't know her.

I think it boils down to the fact that she has him wrapped around her wee toe, and he lets her!!! I have dogsat her numerous times and she is very calm, sits on the couch, or beside me. Until daddy comes home...
It sounds like your friend and the dog need to attend some training classes. Afterall, a good class is all about training the owner.

Classes don't necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg; yes, individual classes can run upwards of CHF 100 per hour, but group classes (which might be a better option for her) are much less expensive. For instance, I have a yearly abo at our school for ca. CHF 600 for 40 classes - quite a good value, especially when you figure in the socialization provided for my mutts, and the comraderie for me. All my dogs adopted as seniors attend training classes - as others have pointed out, you certainly can teach an old dog new tricks.

If you can convince him to start with classes, you'd be doing him, the neighbors, and most importantly Bellisse a very big favor.

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Also, when she is on heat she sings for days on end. He doesn't want to get her spayed (but also doesn't want puppies), I don't understand his logic there. But, as I said earlier, it is financial.

Please do everything in your power to convince him to have Bellisse spayed - for the sake of her health, if nothing else. If finances are the reason he is hesitating, use my example:

My healthy ca 13 kg youngster was spayed (ovariectomy) at a cost of CHF 800. OK, a bit steep - but my middle-aged dog, who could not be spayed young because of a heart condition, developed pyometra - quite common in older unspayed females. Although we reacted immediately, she was very close to dying by the time we got to the emergency vet, The resulting operation (ovariohysterectomy) plus extended stay at the intensive care unit at the Tierspital ran ca CHF 7000. We were very lucky - pyo has a mortality rate of ca 75%.

Not spaying for financial reasons is a classic case of being penny wise and pound foolish.

Added to the whole prevention of unwanted litters (which by the way would cost your friend an arm and a leg. Even breeders of top champion FCI lines generally don't cover the cost of raising a litter - they do it for the love of the breed.)

Please, please - do what you can to convince him that having her spayed is the best thing he can do for Bellisse.
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