Tails of Deception II – Fiona’s Story

Posted by: Kathy Powelson Tags: There is no tags | Categories: News


One of the consequences of bad breeding is that the temperament of breeding dogs are poorly matched or dogs with temperament and behaviour problems are bred. Here is such a story.

Fionna was advertised on Kijiji for $1000.

She came from a litter of all five girls. We were told that her mom was a Boston Terrier, but when we met her, she did not look like one.

We were also assured that the dogs would not be as spunky as Boston Terriers typically are and would be more laid back like an English Bulldog. This is exactly what we were looking for. We loved our old Bulldog but wanted something smaller this time and thought that this would be a good breed for us. They called her a “Frenchton”. We were assured that she would be good for walks and hikes but wouldn’t need the extra work that Bostons are known for.

We were expecting a low key dog when we got her. She was small when we picked her up. The breeder was from Nelson area and had no phone. I could only contact her through email. She was raising the dogs and breeding them for a man who travelled. The night we got her the man drove her down from Nelson and met us at a gas station in Langley. It felt odd but we really wanted her. He showed up in a rundown truck with all the pups and two adult dogs with him. He was also trying to sell us on the other pups that he brought with him and wanted to know if we knew of anyone who wanted a dog.

We took Fionna, after I paid the remaining balance of $800 in cash as that is all they would take. The breeder said that the cost was because it was a bully breed and the expense was also the upkeep, care and breeding of the dogs and pups.

We got her home and she transitioned well. She is very smart. We walked her lots but she was definitely spunky and had a ton of energy. About five months later she started to become aggressive. She would go after my cat and other dogs at the park or on walks. By the time she turned a year, her aggression was a serious problem. We tried training, behaviourists, special collars and travelled throughout the Lower Mainland to work with these experts. In total, we spent over $1500, but our efforts were not successful and her behaviour remained the same.

The vet recommended putting her down but I couldn’t do that. I took her to a dog chiropractor to see if perhaps she was just in pain and needing treatments. Nothing helped. The breeder never contacted us again after we got her. I tried to contact through email but never got a reply. She was MIA. Eventually Fionna bit my daughter and her friend on separate times. She also pinned my cat quite badly and then bit me. Things where getting worse and we had exhausted our resources with her.

It was a difficult time as we felt our only option was to try to find her a home that could deal with her issues and wouldn’t put children at risk. Thankfully, through a series of contacts, we were able to connect with a behaviourist who agreed to take Fionna and work with her.

A Note from Canine Dog Training Academy

So Fionna came to us for an evaluation, we fell in love with her almost instantly and she will remain with us. She is a challenge and it has been about two months that she has been here now and she is still not rehabilitated, but is slowly making progress. She can interact with other dogs now and has accepted being part of our pack of five. She still has her tantrums, but is learning to control herself. Part of her therapy has been to increase her exercise tremendously and even after a full day of playing, training, exercising, running, tugging and other activity, she is still not tired. Certainly not the laid back dog that was advertised on the internet! Of course we love her and are happy to have her with us, but in a less experienced dog home she would definitely have ended up being euthanized for aggression as it is a very difficult breed mix that requires a lot of work.

That is the story of Fionna, a puppy bred for money, advertised on the internet, sold out of an old pick up truck for cash at a gas station and how this one puppy affected the life of an unsuspecting family. It could have ended badly for Fionna and could have been so much worse for this family, had Fionna bitten their daughter more severely. I shudder to think of where the rest of the litter is, hopefully not euthanized for aggression and behaviour problems.

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