How Many Dogs Are Too Many?

I'm a pariah among the dog fanciers in my community. Why? Because I testified in support of a new regulation to limit pet ownership to no more than a total of three dogs and/or cats, older than six-months of age, in one household.

The reason for the age threshold is to give people time to place any puppies or kittens that their family pet has.

Every major dog/pet organization I'm familiar with opposes such regulations or laws. That includes not only the animal rights people but mainstream groups such as the American Kennel Club (AKC).

So why would I break ranks and support it? Reality.

I support limitations on the number of pets in one household for the following reasons.

1. Nuisance laws are difficult and expensive to enforce.

In one instance in my town ? that has laws on nuisance dogs ?the city police had been to a house three times after calls from neighbors. In each instance, the dogs were quiet when they arrived and no ticket was issued.

That's the problem with the type of enforcement other dog-owner groups want. It requires catching the animal/owner in the act. Then both have the right to protest and appeal any fines or other punishments.

How much of a city's budget should go to this type of effort?It is much more cost effective to enforce limits on the number of pets as this can be more readily identified and controlled.

2. The worst pet owners are beyond caring about the law.

They fall into two categories. One is the drug addict, gang members or other criminal who breeds big, dangerous dogs for protection. An example is a homeowner who had 14 Pit Bulls in his metropolitan home.

The other is the disturbed pet collector such as a woman who had40 cats in her suburban house. She had no recognition of why this should be a problem and was surprised that her neighbors called the police because of the odor from her house.

Neither of these types of pet owners are going to be deterred by a misdemeanor fine.

3. Dogs in packs are difficult to control.

The more dogs in the home, the more problems you have. Initially it may be as the dogs joust among themselves for positions in the pack. Even once that's been settled, outside events ? such as a dog coming back after a hospital stay ? can trigger another round of fighting for position.

There's always a danger the dogs may get lose. Having three or more dogs in one backyard can be intimidating to neighbors and other small pets in the adjoining homes.

A neighboring community has a dog park near a beach and people are often knocked down by packs of dogs. The dogs aren't attacking them; they're just running together and oblivious of their impact when they knock down a little one or older person.

When dogs are in groups, they work together and mob psychology rules. They may attack and kill smaller animals not for food but for sport or territory. Even dogs that live with cats will kill other cats when working in a dog pack outside the home.

4. Dogs in packs are more susceptible to illnesses.

As a former breeder, I truly appreciate how difficult it is to prevent the spread of diseases when you have many dogs in one home or kennel. There's a reason it's called "kennel" cough.

5. Some dog owners have lost perspective

One of the objectors to this new rule participates in a rescue organization. She had six people testifying on her behalf as to how needed her service is (I agree) and how well she manages her household of dogs.

None of the six people, however, live near her. When her neighbors testified, it was another story. She had started her rescue work by telling the homeowners group that she would have no more than six dogs at one time.

In one instance when the police were called to her home after a loose dog attacked a neighbor's pet and discovered she had 23 dogs there. This is just a typical suburban home ? not a rural or country area.

I'm sympathetic to wanting to care for abandoned and mistreated dogs but neighboring home owners have rights as well. If you've paid $600,000 for an 800-sq ft home in California (as our Sunday newspaper stated), you are going to be very concerned about maintaining property values.

Too many dog owners are oblivious to the rights of other people. Just walk in any city park and see how many people don't pick up after their dog.

I love dogs but I wish I could have more confidence in their owners. I recognize that I may be assigning many strays to an early death, but I can't waive a magic wand and make all pet owners responsible owners and care givers.

Limiting the number of pets in a household is a cost effective measure to solving true problems.

Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and thecreator of, your online resource toToy dog breeds.


Breeding Discus ? 3 Ways to Encourage Spawning
So you have a mature pair of discus fish that have shown an interest in each other but there not laying any eggs.
Breeding Your Goldfish
If you are keen on breeding Goldfish, you should know that it's not an easy task. It will take a lot of patience, a lot of space in the tank and quite a bit of money too. Don't get into breeding if you think it's going to be profitable, because it isn't! Breeding goldfish is best left to a professional but if you still want to breed them, here's how to begin:
Essential Fatty Acids for Parrots
You may be hearing more talk these days about "Essential Fatty Acids" (E.F.A.s) and our birds need for them in the diet. (That word "essential" is the giveaway, right?") So, what are they and how to we supply them?
Unusual Breeding Behaviour in Wild Caught Archocentrus Sajica
I would like to write a few words about my experiences breeding wild caught Archocentrus sajica and a surprise that these fish gave me - a surprise that shows the fascinating and diverse behaviour of these animals.
The Grave of Gelert
Just south of Snowdon, in the grey-stoned village of Beddgelert set among the wild mountains of Wales, is the Grave of Gelert. Here, in a beautiful meadow below Cerrig Llan, is a large stone slab lying on its side with two upright slabs which owes its fame to the legend of Prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth and his faithful hound.
The Cat Learned How to Work the WHAT?
When I carried him home, he was this tiny little bundle of fur, approximately three weeks old. He is mostly white, with some mutlicolored stripes, cute beyond belief, but he was being abused and starved at his current home, so I just couldn't leave him there. I tucked him under my sweatshirt and off we went. My husband and son came home from their respective schools, they both fell in love, we named him Machiavelli, and that was that.
Alarm Clock Kitty, How to Stop Early Morning Meowing
Meow! Meow! Meow! I bury my head underneath my pillow. Meow! Meow! Meoooooow! The high pitched meowing persists and penetrates through my feather stuffed shield. Meow! Meow! Meow! My eyes open only with the greatest of efforts. Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face. "Must.... feed.... demon... cat...." I say to myself as I trudge to the kitchen to empty a can of cat food into the little yellow cat dish. The cat has by this time woken up the entire household and I wouldn't be surprised if the neighbors were also awake.
Aquarium Supplies Part 1 -- My First Experience With Bettas
Keeping fish as pets takes more than just feeding them and changing the water every once in a while. Sadly, many people aren't aware of that and they just buy aquarium fish because they're attractive. After a short while the fish start to get sick and die one after the other, and the newbie would lose interest in the hobby and give it up all together.
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
Many pet owners often wonder if it's worth it to purchase pet insurance. The way I see it, there are two main considerations, your opinion when it comes to risk-taking and the expected health of your pet.
Attacking the Pit Bull Problem in Los Angeles-MuttShack Animal Rescue Launches Grassroots Campaign
Twenty-six percent of the dogs at the six Los Angeles Animal Services shelters are "Pit Bulls". American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull are various names used to describe the breed and any mix thereof.
Wisdom... Wolves!
Wolves are magnificent and majestic creatures that have shared this planet with us for possibly as long as 12,000 years. They have a long history as one of nature's large predators. In the relatively short time that people have taken over almost everywhere on this planet, the habitat for wolves and other species of animal has diminished making it difficult for survival but with the help of environmentalists, wolves have been protected and are making a come back.
Top 10 benefits of Natural and Holistic Pet Care
There are a number of reasons for choosing natural pet foods, treats and supplies. First, use of natural products is consistent with a holistic view. A holistic approach considers all factors regarding your pet's health, not just individual symptoms. The top 10 benefits of choosing natural and holistic pet care are listed below.
How To Grow Daphnia For The Aquarium
The benefits of feeding live food to fish in a community tank are many: live food will improve vigor and color, and more closely resemble the food found in the fish's natural habitat. Live food is easily obtained.
Horse Training Facts And Maxims
To the uninitiated horse owner, there are timely facts about horses they should know. In fact, when someone first gets a horse these timely facts should be studied and learned.
Scottish Terrier Rescue - For the Love of Scotties
Purebred dogs of all breeds can be found in shelters, and volunteers can be found in every state to seek them out. Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, and even breeds considered rare, all pass through shelters every year. Those who perform Scottish Terrier rescue are committed to matching homeless terriers with loving new owners.
Materials for Snake and other Reptile Cages
What kind of materials should you use when constructing a reptile cage? This question was posed to me once by someone wishing to build their own reptile cage. They were particularly asking about pine and cedar as they had heard these were no good. But it did raise the question about what are the best materials.
Wormy Dogs? - Understand Dog Worms Infestation and Their Symptoms
Until a very recent period, dog worms were thought to be of a spontaneous origin, brought about by the influence of heat upon decaying vegetable matter, and it was and still is freely asserted that puppies are born with dog worms inherited from the mother in some mysterious manner while still in uterus. This has been conclusively proven an error and in the minds of all scientists there is no question about dog worms springing from individual eggs and having a complete life history of their own.
How To Choose A Professional Dog Trainer
1.) Versatility- A good dog trainer will use techniques and training styles which are compatible with your dog's temperament. Every dog is different, and some dogs respond better to certain approaches. What works for a Rottweiler won't necessarily work for a Poodle.
Successful Dog Training
Dog Training
The Top Five Reasons to Rescue a Boxer
What if you want a Boxer, but cannot stomach the thought of housebreaking, chewed up shoes and boundless puppy energy? Have you ever heard of Boxer rescue? These organizations provide loving care (and sometimes rehabilitation) to Boxers who have been surrendered by their owners, found abandoned or rescued from harmful situations.