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anka is not a snob

Until relatively recently, I had decided to keep my online presence as so-called “dog expert” as limited as possible. Over the years, I had grown tired of the online dog scene. Almost everyone I used to cooperatively blog with had either decided I was a “fawkin’ eejit” or had moved onto better things.

In the meantime, it became fashionable for people who thought they knew something about real dogs to use what little remaining lives they have to trash people, to shame people, and to act as the most self-righteous asses possible.

Twice, I’ve tried to have a Facebook group associated with this blog, and twice, I’ve given it up. The first time was when my larger group, which had been in existence for several years, became infiltrated with a bunch of self-righteous Millennials, some of whom are nothing more than dog show wannabes and the rest wannabe “dog whisperers,” who probably shudder that I place them in the same category as Cesar Millan.

The second time comes from the simple fact that I’ve changed my life and changed my mind about a certain prick-eared breed.

It is true that I now co-own a top of the line American show-bred German shepherd.  I don’t think he’s crippled, and I don’t think any objective veterinarian would say so either. I like this dog a lot, even though his primary human is my partner. He is a good dog, and if you hate him, I’m sorry. He has nothing to prove to you.

It has been difficult for me to admit that I was wrong about this breed and to accept that I was wrong about what most breeders in the US are trying to accomplish with their show strains of this breed. Not everyone wants that extreme extra angulation in the rear, but just having that angulation is not indicative of a dog that dog is suffering.

But the problem is that I have spent a decade building up a bloody lynch mob about purebred dogs. My views on extreme brachycephalics remain relatively the same. But I am not going to write long screeds about how German shepherds consist solely of structural train wrecks. I do prefer the really good working line dog of this breed, but I do not hate the show ones. And there is room for both types in a breed this useful and loved. There absolutely are dogs that do have problems, but this is not a universal in the breed.

But I have helped build this lynch mob, and for this, I do feel a great deal of guilt. I cannot walk it back it, and if I try to walk it back, I am fairly certain that I will just become someone to throw into the flames.

I have, however, decided that I do need to be public. If you agreed with me about dogs before but disagree now, that’s fine. Maybe you like all the other things I write here and will stay with me.

But I am not participating or feeding into this toxic dog snob culture. I don’t care from which angle the snobbery comes. It just isn’t good for me. I don’t think it’s good for dogs, and I don’t think it’s helping in any way, except stroking egos.

And we all love to have our egos stroked. I certainly do.

But you know what we have to do to grow as human beings? We have to keep open minds. We have to accept that a big chunk of what we believe at any given moment will be shown to be wrong.

When I was in my 20s, I was much more obtuse and obstinate.  I thought I knew a lot more than I actually did, and deep down, I knew it. And thus, I compensated for my lack of any kind of knowledge by being an insufferable angry young man.

Like this:

At some point, though, the angry young man winds up taken aback. His crusade is revealed not just be folly but totally in error, and when he realizes that he can keep being angry all the time or he can allow himself to make adjustments.

My life in the past couple of years has been about making adjustments. I am re-calibrating what I am and what I should waste precious brain cells into fighting over.

So dogs will be part of this blog to be sure, but this will not be yet another one of those “burn down the AKC” blogs. Those blogs already exist. If you want to read them, go ahead. I certainly do read them.

But my own creative and intellectual energies are over trying to produce that content here.

I am going to focus much more on my actual writing craft. As you may have noticed, I am doing much more experimental forms of writing here than I was before. You may not like my “arting around,” but I am doing it anyway.

I have a profound connection with a dog right now, one that I have not experienced in a very long time. She will be a major focus of this work, and I do think that the “retriever” aspect of this blog will be greatly lacking, probably from now on out.

If I could change my blog name, I certainly would. I have disliked it ever since I realized I had named it without creativity. I was seeking approval and notoriety from someone I did admire at the time, but we’ve long since had a falling out.  (I’m sure he would appreciate it if my blog had a different addy and if I went by a different username, for exactly the same reasons).

Right now, I’ve learned that you just have to have your life happen to you, and sometimes,  if you want to be really happy, you have to admit error and move on.

And if you want to grow, you have to admit that you’re wrong. At the very least, admitting you’re wrong is the first step to being right.

And love to be right.


There is already a “German Shepherd Man,” if you’re suggesting I change to that name. He has a great Youtube channel and has very nice West German working lines.





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Well-behaved doggy

shiny happy doggy

Today was the first time I’ve been complimented on how well-trained Anka is. The fellow who owns the car dealership across the street has seen me out working with her, and he was just so impressed with her.

Now, I still believe she’s mostly in the raw, and we’re working on making her even more dead solid. She’ probably better behaved than most random dogs you’re going to come across, but she’s no top IPO dog, that’s for sure.

I am not a particularly good dog trainer, but this animal and I have just clicked in a very profound way. She is one of those dogs that loves to play ball, but she’s also one of those dogs that really hates to make her owner cross.

And I guess that’s how it works. I have to have a ball crazed nut to build the relationship, because I do not do well with dogs that require constantly cuddling and treats to form the bond.

I wish I had been able to start with her as an 8-week-old pup, and my guess is she didn’t have a perfect life before I got her.  But she is a dead solid German shepherd, with lots of drive and great nerves. She also has defense drive, but it having a brain and good nerves tempers all of it.

Genetics does play a big role in creating the dogs we have. I wish I could have had her as a little puppy so that I could bring about a very strong foundation on what really is an awesome dog.

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This is a documentary I’m going to have to see!

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Patreon Revamp


Now that I’m branching out on my own and trying new things in a totally new state, I have decided to revamp my Patreon.

The most important difference with my Patreon now is that I am now offering a “Cash for Questions” reward. The way this will work is that if you pledge $5 a month, I will allow you to send me questions, which I will answer in a Youtube video, that will be part of a Youtube Live. I plan on doing this on the last Friday of every month. The first of these will be held on August 31, 2018 at 6:30 PM Eastern (US).

Anyone who pledges $1 a month will be invited to a private Google Hangout with me on the first Friday of every month, with the first one on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 6:30 PM Eastern (US).  Everyone who pledges the $5 gets included as well.

Also, I am going to allow anyone who donates $10 or more to my Paypal, retrievermanpaypal(at) to be included in the next “Cash for Questions” livestream. The cutoff to be included is midnight (Eastern) on the Wednesday before the Friday livestream. If the donation occurs after that time, I will have to hold it over for the next month. These monthly donations do need a time limit, so I can do research before the livestream. Monthly donations do not get any of the livestreams or Google hangout rewards.

Questions should focus on the topics covered in the blog. I know I am fascinating, but I am a square.

I am going to be blogging a lot more, as you may have noticed from the increased activity this month.

Once I get 100 patrons, I will post one Youtube video per week on topics related to this blog.

So if you can donate using Patreon or my Paypal, it will greatly help high quality content on this space. Thank you so much for reading and commenting all these years. We are beginning a new adventure together.




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She can fetch the ball, but she can also split it with her carnassial teeth.

anka ball

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Podcast canceled

I couldn’t upload my sound files with Lib Syn, so I have canceled the podcast. I’ve been working on it all morning, and I just couldn’t get it to work

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Retrieverman Podcast

Tomorrow I will be releasing the first installment of “The Retrieverman Podcast.”

I should be up by 12:00 PM Eastern, and I plan on having a new installment up every Sunday at about the same time.

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