Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 10

This just in, the Gosselins have adopted two puppies.

The Gosselins - just in case you live under a rock - are the family whose lives are televised in the hit show Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Through intrauterine insemination, the couple first had twin girls, and four years later Kate gave birth to sextuplets. That's two 9-year-old girls, and six 5-year-olds.

Two 9-year-old girls, six 5-year-olds, and now two puppies.

Okay. I am not totally anti-Jon-and-Kate. They're a cute family.


Not even any puppies. German shepherd puppies! This is a breed that is
a) very active
b) very SMART
c) up to 100lb full-grown
d) sometimes aggressive in the wrong hands.

Did I mention that they're PUPPIES?

This is not using your head.

When you're in any kind of unusual circumstances, it is ESSENTIAL before adopting a dog to do all that thinking ahead. With a purebred you usually know what you're getting into.

Are Jon and Kate going to have the time to socialize two puppies, what with raising EIGHT KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF TEN? Do they have GSD experience? Do they have time to devote to exercizing both dogs? Are they certain their children and puppies will get along? Will they be able to train both litters to respect each other? Do they know if any of the kids might have dog allergies?

Taking all this into consideration, the obvious answer is that they shouldn't have a dog at all. I wouldn't entrust a guinea pig to most nine-year-olds, and apparently these children couldn't even keep hermit crabs alive. But if they must have a dog, why not a whippet from a rescue? I swear whippets are the sweetest dogs on the whole planet: they're notably good with children, healthy, low-energy, and it couldn't possibly be that hard for such a high-profile family to find a mature, already trained dog. Or how about a greyhound (also low-energy and low-shedding)? Or a beagle (cheerful and friendly and great with kids)? Or a Golden retriever (calm and trainable, nonaggressive, and also great with kids)? Why get two German shepherd puppies??

When you're in the public eye like this, people do tend to follow your example. This is not only disappointing; it's ridiculous. Jon and Kate Gosselin, here's your sign.

*The episode Puppies! is set to air next week.


water_bearer said...

Oh I'll openly judge. I don't like them.
Every time I've seen them on tv or managed to stomach a few minutes of that show it's all about the husband being henpecked, the wife being shrill and frustrated beyong belief, and the kids running amok. You've heard of cat wrangling? Yeah. That's what this show looks like.
Two GSD puppies? Not surprised they'd make such a dumb choice. Sorry to hear it because I'll start taking bets right now that one or both dogs will be in a shelter before the year is out.

muttpuppiesontrial said...

To be honest I've only ever seen snippets as well. But I would criticize a couple with ONE five-year-old looking to get two GSD puppies.

Me, I'm banking on the dogs oh-so quietly disappearing from the set...

thus-sung said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thus-sung said...

My opinions about their dog choices haven't changed from when I told you about the commercial, Mutt, and pretty much match yours exactly, but I just want to point out that I really like the show, and I don't even like kids.

I think their kids are adorable, especially the little boy with the one droopy eyelid.

I also want to make the point that after they had their twins, they intended to have one more child, so this isn't the kind of thing with the Duggars where they are having as many kids as "God wants" them to.

edit; just making absolutely certain that people knew their six were an accident, what with Nadya Sulemon having octuplets on purpose.

water_bearer said...

Oh I give them credit for not being a Duggar or Suleman, but now that they DO have this many kids and I have yet to see them handle the stress without being nasty to each other and stressing more, I can't for the life of me think why they would think not one but TWO puppies and GSD's no less, would be a good idea.
Are you trying to drive yourself crazy?

GoLightly said...

Yeah, bad idea, tres bad.
Poor puppies. Won't they look nice in the shelter. The Gosselins must have a lot of money or something.

I never watch them.
Zero interest..
Gr8 Post!

OwnedGSDs said...

I just wanted to reply that the original blog entry doesn't sound like they have had much experience with German Shepherds. Sure they may grow up to be large and "scary," but they are not a bad choice of dogs. First of all, they are great with kids. Second, with the new house, large backyard, and two dogs, the dogs will get plenty of exercise on their own, with only possibly an additional 20-30 minute walk needed each day.

And, yes, their days are already full handling 8 kids, but the kids are getting older and can do more everyday activities on their own. If John and Kate think they can handle raising the dogs for 8-10 months (in addition to their current household), after that point the dogs will be mostly trained and grown requiring little additional "work."

muttpuppiesontrial said...

I admit I'm very surprised that a GSD owner would support Jon and Kate's decision ... and furthermore suggest that leaving them outside would be sufficient exercise! At 5 years old, children aren't getting "older", they're just getting more efficient at running amok and getting into trouble, and I'm sure the Gosselins already have their hands full with that. Puppies are like toddlers, and NOT just for 8-10 months. And it's not as though, once they're trained, they can be tossed aside and require no more "work".

Secondly, who's doing this "training"? I'm sure we both realize the extent of a GSD's intelligence and that makes it vital for them to be properly engaged and stimulated, and they're hardly getting that if they're being thrown in the backyard all day. I've been through the puppy wars with smart breeds of dogs, and if Jon and Kate don't have the time to keep their new dogs' minds and paws busy, they're going to wind up with some bad habits.

Thirdly I never said GSDs were scary at all. I like them and that's why I'd rather not see them wind up in a house with eight small children, same as most of the people who read this blog. Your lack of common sense is astonishing.

Barb said...

Another issue is that anytime you get two puppies of about the same age - whether or not they're littermates - some extra effort must be made to keep the two from bonding so closely with each other that A) it interferes with their bonding with the humans in the household, and B) it becomes very difficult to separate them as adults. I know several people who have littermates and as adults it is a HUGE pain if you have to take one dog somewhere and leave the other at home. Separation anxiety out the wazoo.

There have been several times that I've bought/adopted/kept two littermates, and although each time it worked out great it was a LOT of extra work. Every day I'd take one puppy or the other out by himself - even if just for a short walk or car ride. And since I'm fortunate enough to have several very responsible, dog-savvy friends who LOVE puppies, pretty much every weekend I'd take one pup or the other for a day visit or maybe a sleepover at a friend's house. That killed 2 birds, actually: taught the pups that they were OK without each other, and also taught them that they'd be safe with strangers and away from home.

My point is that although you certainly CAN raise two littermates into well-adjusted adults, it takes even more effort than raising one puppy. I just don't see someone who has so many young children as having that kind of time.

thus-sung said...


Barb, I'm looking over at your blog (saw the dane in your icon and had to look further), and your dogs are adorable.

In the future, when I have time and money and stability, I plan on getting a dane.

I'll be keeping an eye on your blog. :3

OwnedGSDs said...

I guess if you want to misread my post and call it a lack of common sense, you are free to do so...

My post centered around Jon and Kate assessing the situation, deciding that they could spare the time and effort during the first 8-10 months of having the dogs to raise, socialize, and train them. At that point, with properly trained, adult dogs, there is little additional work necessary to maintain their training. That is why I said “little additional work,” not no work. And I thought it would be clear that if Jon and Kate were deciding on “raising the dogs” that they would be doing the training themselves (with help from professionals, sure to be highlighted in an episode or two).

At no point did I say that the dogs would be “thrown in the backyard all day”. My dogs have always lived outside, but that doesn’t mean they are isolated or forgotten out there. The large amount of property allows the Gosselins to exercise and play with the dogs easily while still being able to accommodate the kids needs in the house (lunches, nap time, etc.), something that would be more difficult to do if they had to dedicate trips to the local dog park or similar area. Additionally, a large family means that the kids will always be playing with the dogs, engaging them, and keeping their paws busy. They have mentioned on the show several times the efforts they make to find new things for the kids to do. To me this indicates that Jon and Kate will be similarly engaged with the dogs. And not only will the dogs be an additional source of activities, but the dogs will surely benefit from activities with the kids.

My placement of scary in quotes wasn’t meant to indicate that I was quoting you, but rather quoting the average person who sees a large, dark colored dog and decides they are scary.

And I don't understand what you mean by "Puppies are like toddlers, and NOT just for 8-10 months." After 8-10 months, puppies are no longer puppies, so are you saying that all dogs are equivalent to toddlers?

GoLightly said...

"so are you saying that all dogs are equivalent to toddlers?"
Well, yes, actually, they are. They have the same mental equivalency as a young child. For Ever.
What, you think they then go to university when they stop being puppies?
Dogs are a full-time commitment. For life.
"At that point, with properly trained, adult dogs, there is little additional work necessary to maintain their training."
Totally disagree with that.
Especially GSD's!
They need a good interesting job, for their entire lives..
Leave them outside? Let them work off their intellect?
Wow. Just wow.
You can run a GSD all day, but if you don't give him some more equations to work on, he'll eat your furniture.
Don't ask me how I know.

Nicole said...

I completely agree. It's really sad that they decide to use their 15 minutes of fame to promote breeders and irresponsible dog ownership. If they absolutely had to get a dog, they should have done much more research on breeds and rescued an adult dog from a shelter or breed rescue. They make such a big deal about setting an example and doing good in the world, but completely blew an opportunity to do just that.

BTW, does anyone know what happened to the cats they used to have? It seems they never tell you why/how they mysteriously disappeared when they got pregnant. My guess is they did the irresponsible thing and tossed them aside.