Suspending Specific Breed New Client Enrollment

This is an unpopular position but I can explain:


In the last 2 years we had on-and-off suspended taking new clients, at all. For months we couldn’t / wouldn’t create new records because we weren’t able to accommodate our existing customer-base.

That has eased a little bit as five new veterinary practices have opened up around town. But we are still being careful to add clients conservatively and the primary referral base is the ‘Mrs Smith sent me” and then we’ll take the client, happily, and to honor the sentiment of our referrer Mrs Smith. (Not a real customer name).

If you’re an existing client and want to send a friend or neighbor, have them mention you and we’ll gladly put them on the books!

Then, we started thinking about “Well, if you’re unable to accommodate everyone, WHAT CRITERIA determine who can be enrolled as a new client and who do we turn away?”

And that’s when we considered the decision to stop seeing the [German] Attack breeds and South-American Fighting Breeds.

This isn’t a complete list, but these dogs are associated with the most severe, frequent and avoidable attacks and bites:

Yes Pitbulls do make the list but only thusly: I won’t see adult male INTACT Pits, nor Pits that are engaged in pit fighting or were trained for same. Altered Pits I’ll see from puppyhood are welcome. Pitbulls are typically good with people. The vast majority of Pitbull attacks are intact males running in pairs or more. “Pack-Mentality” coupled with prey drive plus testosterone pushes the liability. Not a “thing” in a single, altered petted (domesticated) male Pittie.

Then some of the rest of the dogs we’re curtailing:

  1. German Shepherds
  2. Chow chow
  3. Rottweilers
  4. Dobermans
  5. Cane Corso
  6. Fila Brasiliero
  7. Anything else that kills stuff for sport
  8. Anything else that was ever bred to possess a Guard Dog disposition and I don’t mean ‘guard against sheep’. I mean bloodlines selected to be ‘inclined’ to neutralize people.

We’ll see practically any other dog until or unless it proves to be more than the owner can domesticate, and then we’ll refer to a behaviorist and probably, close out the record with a personal apology from me.

…if you’re unable to accommodate everyone, WHAT CRITERIA?

Are there exceptions?

There are two parts to the answer.

Recall that we’re at capacity sometimes and have to turn some people away. So even if you were to bring the dog in “in La-La Land” already, we still might not be able to make a new record. But maybe. For example:

If you are a regular client, dead-set on getting an attack dog and enjoying them as a pet – Then maybe we could hammer out an understanding that later as they pass through puberty and start squaring off with people, and getting skittish, and doing the side-eye, and low-growling at human threats – You just bring ’em in with a racing-mask on and maybe a little “Pharmacy” and they’ll have a great time?

If you’re NOT an existing client and DO NOT know a referrer please call and we can probably accommodate you but please be patient if you’re put on a waiting list – or of necessity, declined. If you’ve chosen an attack breed for a pet I salute you but have decided to see practically all other breeds.

We can talk about it, but “in general” we’re just giving up the attack dogs.




Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.