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Is Your Dog Perfect? No?   Controversies, Catastrophes and Teaky Moments (Enter at your own risk)

Started Jun-10 by Solitaire13; 267 views.
selzer

From: selzer

Jun-10

Well, mine are pretty much perfect. 

Of course, I have realistic expectations for them.  That is your first step for a pretty much perfect dog. 

And because I work an hour away, a minimum of 8 hours per work-day, I can't be there for at least 10 hours a day.   If they were crated during that time, and when I was sleeping, I could expect some hyper behavior.  Right now, 2/3 of my dogs are in double-sized kennels with another dog or bitch.  If you leave a dog alone, its chances of exercising itself are pretty slim.  But if they are kenneled together or even next to other dogs or bitches, they do pick up heels and moooove. 

Ok, it may not be the mental and physical exercise a dog might get at an agility or dock diving or nose work class.  But it is a lot more than a young dog will get alone in a yard all day, or stuck in a crate all day looking at the wall. 

So when my dogs see me and see that my intention is to open their gate and let them out, they get excited, but the quickly calm down.  When I put a lead on them, and believe me that they have probably had a lead on a let less than even your average pet owner whose dogs drag them around, they do not drag me around.  They have not a load of pent up energy, and they have me well-trained. 

I take puppies out at first with their dam.  They trust me already at that point, because I am a constant in their lives.  But by the time I take them out as puppies without their dam, they have full confidence in me.  So all socialization (what little I do) is good socialization.  So we rarely fall into problems so many folks have.  Of course my dogs do not get that burst of self-confidence that they should get when they leave the nest and sink or swim with their new owners.   

I understand these are luxuries that most folks do not have, but if you are working, consider having an adult dog and a puppy.  Consider building a kennel where they can go in and out during the day (the inside area needs to be limited so they do not take all your dirty laundry outside, etc.  Even a cat can be company to a dog.  But leaving a dog crated and alone for endless hours, I think it makes life more difficult.  

I think taking the dog "everywhere" with you, especially as a puppy is not necessarily a good thing.  Puppies like young children become tired and can easily become overwhelmed when they are over-tired, and a great socialization day can quickly turn into a negative experience, canceling everything you did that day out, and requiring more careful work than before.  

Having more than one dog, kind of having more than one kid takes the pressure off.  This one might be an agility dog, that one more of a flyball dog.  This one might be the dog that is good for lying by your chair at a winery.  The other one might be the one that is great in the woods, creeks, beaches, etc.  The difference is we can cater our activity to our dogs' strengths rather than to our desires for them. 

Lastly, when we shower all of our attention on just one critter, training them every day, walking them all the time, taking them everywhere, well, that becomes their normal.  If you have a down day or are laid up, they suffer.  When you are doing something with them, they are not necessarily driven to learn to work to comply, because I don't know if they are so much spoiled but maybe bored.  My dogs get used to their class and by class 5 or 6, they are still excited to go, but they are used to it.  If Quinnie goes into heat, and I sub in Ramona, then I have a young bitch who is totally focused on me and ready to try anything. 

So, If you have to work, two puppies is not a good idea, but having an established dog and bringing in a puppy is ok, with some thought.  Having realistic expectations, providing them some space and companionship, letting them train you by being patient, consistent, and studying them/learning what they are trying to tell you.  Waiting for the pup to be familiar/confident in you before thrusting him into unfamiliar situations.  Understanding the limits of your puppy and getting them home before they are totally wiped out.  Playing to their strengths instead of trying to jam them into the picture of your ideal dog. 

DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Jun-10

Perfect enough. Mine easily get 2-4 hours of interaction a day, because when I am home, they are with me, negotiating everything.  We do a lot of daily house manners and normal interactions plus specialized training.  I just talked to a trainer about this.  Most people do one quick training session and quit, then assume their dogs are finished enough to be house pets.  Our trained dogs still aren’t perfect but they re far beyond the average house dog.

In reply toRe: msg 2
DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Jun-10

I couldn’t do all that early socialization due to pano and giardia. One trainer said I ruined the dog.  I discovered as he got older and developed better personal coping skills, it was easier to get him used to strange places and people around him than it had been at 3 months.  He is now almost exactly where I knew he could be and I did t have to drag him everywhere like I did with the crazy fosters.

selzer

From: selzer

Jun-10

A dog of good temperament does not need a lot of early socialization. Early socialization is important because dogs like children have period when learning is set or concrete or something.  And if they are exposed to things in that period, it can carry them through later in life and to other similar situations.   A dog with good temperament, solid nerves is unlikely to fall apart under any ordinary conditions regardless of early voids.  But a dog with a less than stellar character can be made much more easy by having positive experiences during that time. 

In reply toRe: msg 5
DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Jun-10

I see. Mine keeps getting better with exposure.  He had some fears as a puppy but I gnored them and instead worked on building confidence.  He is coming into maturity and it awesome!!  People tell me all the time how great he is.  

selzer

From: selzer

Jun-10

He's a good dog and you are doing the right things.  He sounds like a nice dog. 

A dog with poor temperament would still have poor temperament.  You would just learn how to better manage his environment.  He would not be getting better. 

In reply toRe: msg 7
DW (GSDogwalker)

From: DW (GSDogwalker)

Jun-10

He grew into himself, if that makes sense.  He used to be terrified of the vet.  Our trainer said to keep taking him back and showing him nothing bad happens there. We did, and now he thinks it’s his own playground. EHe loves going.  He never minded shots, he didn’t want to be restrained.  He nearly twisted his leg refusing a car harness as a puppy. Now he dances but once I get it over one foot, he stands and lets me clip him into it so he can be belted in.

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