There are several things that the uninitiated don’t understand about the stockdog world. We rarely use treats, few of us play fetch, and we aren’t big on constantly petting or snuggling our dogs. But none of those things baffle people more than rehoming dogs. People can’t wrap their head around handlers selling dogs past the age of being a freshly weened puppy. I have some theories why. I also have some explanations on why we move on. The first problem is this whole ‘fur baby’ culture. A culture that looks at dogs as extensions of their family and one of their very own children. Something I don’t believe in and will explain why in a second. Before I paint dog handlers as people who don’t care about our dogs, I should explain. Our dogs firstly are extensions to our ability to handle livestock. They are partners in our tasks surrounding livestock management. Key word being partners. That’s not to say that we don’t care for them deeply or even love them. But we certainly don’t confuse them with our children. As a father, I can say that I would recover from the loss of a dog but I absolutely wouldn’t feel the same of my child. So needless to say, selling a dog is not at all the same as the same as selling a child to us. The second problem is that people believe that their dog loves them implicitly. Not all dogs love their owner. Some dogs may dislike their owner. This doesn’t mean that the owner is a bad dog owner. It doesn’t mean that they are cruel or malleus. Some personalities just don’t jive. I mean there are something like 7.9 billion people alive today and countless others to have ever lived. I don’t think I would have gotten along with all of them. Call me an asshole but I don’t think I would have liked Adolf Hitler. I know, I’m sorry. Dogs are the same. Take my Sweep dog. I’m Sweeps fifth owner and one of the many complaints previous people had was that he wouldn’t link up with anybody. But he linked up with me. We understood each other immediately and the rest is history. Which brings me to the reason we rehome dogs. Obviously there’s financial motivation but it goes way past that. We know that we may not like this dog or this dog may not like us but that won’t be true in every home. We may lose every trial we enter this dog but someone may win every trial they enter. Or this dog will change someone else’s life forever. But if this dog stays with us forever, it may never find the home it’s most needed.