Choosing a puppy or dog

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Let’s keep this short.

DON’TS:

Don’t choose a dog when you are feeling bad or sad or even excessively glad.  Basically beware making a highly emotional decision.  (I see these sorts of decisions literally come back to bite people years later with their rescue dogs or with the fearful pup that they wanted so desperately to love on).

Don’t choose the dog in the shelter or the pup at the breeders that just “chooses” you.  I know I’m going to get hate mail for this one but doing this is often a bad move unless you don’t mind dealing with rude and manipulative behavior from a dog that desires to lead or control the interaction between you.  This age old belief that “the dog chose me,” besides being emotionally-based anthropomorphism, often sets up the dog as leader in the relationship right off the bat.  If you truly desire to know more about why this is and/or the dog language and how many dogs truly will take a mile if given an inch I’d highly, highly recommend you read Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You!  The book will set you and your canine companion up for amazing success as you walk towards a healthy relationship together in a natural way.  (No food required with training and no harsh handling either!)

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Don’t pick the sickly pup.  I know I’m coming off a bit harsh here but unless you’ve already dealt with several dogs with health issues I’d simply advise steering clear of the weak or sickly puppy.  To be honest with you (as I always am on this fine blog) several dog owners living in these instant gratification days barely maintain the commitment to walk and feed and pick up after their dogs.  Many are not prepared to dole out daily medications and pay costly vet bills throughout the life of their pet.  If you truly are prepared for that then I believe that’s a special calling for a very unique individual but not perhaps the best fit for the majority of us.  This does not mean you care any less it simply means you are using your head as well as your heart – which I think is a marvelous idea to employ towards most situations in life.

Don’t, Don’t, Don’t let the breeder talk you into buying TWO puppies because they’ll “play together!”  This plagues many a household.  What the breeder (who is making a good chunk of change in the exchange) often fails to tell the buyer is that as the litter mates age – particularly if they are the same sex – they can get into serious squabbles and fights over who’s who in the family or what belongs to what in the household!  The breeder also fails to mention what naturally occurs as far as training goes with two pups of the exact same age and litter let me enlighten you here and now…they often ignore you so they can fool around with each other.  They will need to be trained together and also trained apart if you hope to have any form of decent training.  They will also need to be socialized together and socialized apart if you want to make sure they don’t suffer with separation anxiety or other bizarre behavior.

When you finally get one pup to do a down stay guess what happens with the other pup?  He runs over and distracts the one in the down stay and then that one is up and they are both chewing on each other.  Unless you have a farm – I never advise getting two from the same litter.  Double the vet costs, double the crap in the yard, double the trouble of training, double the socialization, double trouble!

(If you want to hear my take on the double puppy issue – get a pup and wait until that dog is either a year or two and already trained and socialized then get another pup.  Over the years I’ve found this a sensible approach that is a win-win for both dogs and the families involved.)

Don’t let your kids pressure you.  As stupid as it sounds this happens.  Be a good parent because, let’s be honest, you’re going to have to take care of the thing when it comes into your home.  Kids often will for the first couple weeks until or unless they are forced to because you made it a daily chore for them.  But don’t make a life changing decision because your kids think puppies are cute.

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Here are the Dos…

Do take your time and make a very informed and thoughtful decision.  Do your research on breed and longevity and temperament.  Do look around at other “good” dogs you know in your neighborhood and ponder what their owners did and why they act accordingly and then ask where they got them.

Do talk to different breeders and ask the right questions and don’t believe everything they tell you!  When picking a puppy Do see and interact with both sire and dam.  If they are aggressive or fearful or injured that’s a clear warning sign waving in your face.  Do heed it.

Do seek out the medium level energy pup or dog.  Energy is so important and folks often get a dog or pup that is terribly wrong for them and their household.  With that being said, all puppies have high energy at several points throughout their day.  Do not assume that because the first couple weeks were calm due to the growing pup’s sleep schedule that a whirling dervish isn’t just a month away from developing.  It is.

Do make doubly and triply and quadruply sure that you can TOUCH the dog or pup EVERYWHERE without a bad reaction from them.  This is critically important and almost always overlooked (of course, because, as mentioned before the dog training industry and vets and other professionals are lightyears behind where we should be on truly interpreting dog language which is incidentally based in touch and spatial movements)!  Do pay close attention to how the dog gives and received touch.  This reveals everything if you know what to look for!!!!

Do your due diligence and understand that any dog or pup is work.  Do the work.  Do.the.WORK!  It pays off in little ways in the present and in big ways in the long term.  Do invest in your future and your dogs and do the work of socialization.  That is probably the most important work one can do with a pup or new dog.  Do the work of training too.  Do the work and you’ll see the results.

Do click to follow this fine blog and do feel free to comment, question or cuss me out.

-G

 

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ATTENTION! ACHTUNG! ATENCION!

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Hear ye, hear ye!  On September 29th at 10:00 am (until 12:00) we are having a Meet the Author event!!!  Join us for a Book Signing and a mini-seminar of sorts about rightly and naturally relating to your dog or pup so that you’ll NEVER NEED FOOD TREATS AGAIN!  You’ll also never need harsh handling again!  (For those that have already read Dog Myths and actually have begun learning the dog language you know what I’m talking about! And we can’t wait to see you!)

Please bring your copy of Dog Myths!  And if any of the more brilliant and beautiful lot of you want to pick up another paperback to give as a gift to a dog-loving loved one in your life or to donate to your local pet rescue, or your vet, or groomer this would be a perfect time to snag one.  Image result for dog myths

It will be held on Saturday morning the 29th at Fort Fido Doggy Daycare in University Place, Washington.  There may even be (hint hint) goodie bags for both man and beast at this event!

We would love your support of this new and local author and for all the work we’ve done over the years, in particular, the successful rehabilitation of dogs after mainstream dog training and behavioral modification methods have failed miserably.

In closing, Please shout this news from the rooftops, tell your friends and fam, inform your grocer, your masseuse, the magician you hire for all your outrageous parties, your friendly neighborhood podiatrist,  the filthy transient on the corner, the good people at the archery club, the evening news, your underwater basket weaving group, the local herpetologist, and, above all, put this date and time down in your phones so that you’ll be there.

SEPT 29th Saturday  10:00am -12:00pm

Fort Fido Dog Daycare  (fortfido.com  6908  27th St W   University Place WA. 98466)

I can’t wait to see your shining, happy face.

-G

Post Script:  Please share this.  Yes, YOU, please share this, NOW, at this moment.  Thank you to that one or two of you that do.

Formal education vs. Self-education

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Thomas Edison only went to three months of school.  During that time his teacher called him, “addled” due to Edison’s mind wandering.  That became the end of his formal education (his mother took over from there)!  This man revolutionized and modernized the entire world!  A prolific inventor, Edison held over 1,093 patents in the US and several others in the UK, France, and Germany.  The Wizard of Menlo Park is credited with almost too many inventions to mention.  “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

 

Henry Ford only had the equivalent of a sixth grade education.  He was known for being obstinate.  Ford helped usher in the creation of the middle class!  He used mass production and the assembly line so well that he lowered the cost of the automobile to make it affordable to the common man.  He literally gave us the weekend!  “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”

 

Andrew Carnegie’s formal education ended after elementary school.  In those days many children would go to work to help support the family and Carnegie was no exception.  He revolutionized how the world developed through the use of steel in bridges, railroads, and skyscrapers.  He literally altered how the planet looks and how we all live our lives.  After selling Carnegie Steel he held the coveted title of world’s richest man.  “The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do.”

 

I could go on and on about the countless amazingly successful, creative, innovative, free-thinking and hard-working individuals who left school or college early to pursue their own dreams and desires and ended up changing the entire world because they pressed on with tireless persistence even with all those doubting, petty, naysayers (many times close family, friends, teachers) blocking their way!  If you have time, it is a very interesting and enlightening study in Forbes -world’s most successful people -seeing how many of the world’s richest men and women forsook the common education of their time for their own bold exploration. I highly suggest checking into it.  I found it shocking how many found self-education through their own business ventures and experiments instead of in the box, run-of-the-mill, standard educations.

“Education will make you a living.  Self-education will make you a fortune.” -Jim Rohn

Today we find many educated idiots…especially in the dog training world!  We live in a world of over-information.  We all have fat heads.  Many of our brains are in desperate need of a good diet!

Did you know you can pay a few hundred bucks and many “pet associations” will happily assign you some reading materials and then give you a certification for dog training?  I even know other “trainers” who received all their training online!  While reading plenty of excellent books is important in studying canine behavior these associations mention volunteering and apprenticing with an established dog training company almost as an aside to getting their pathetic certification!  I think anyone can see they are casting a wide net in order to collect the most amount of cash from the most amount of people.  And as an entrepreneur myself I can see the benefits of casting a wide net but as an honest helper and calm rehabber of dogs it is a horrible method and largely why we have so many poorly trained dogs and even more poorly trained “trainers!”  In reality the apprenticing and the experience of handling several aggressive, fearful, dominant, hyper dogs are the ONLY things that truly matter in actually helping a budding trainer learn to modify a dog’s behavior.  The only certification or qualifications that truly count should be the amazing differences in the problematic dog’s behaviors.  The only thing that should really matter are the Results!

There also is the question of which reading materials these “associations” are suggesting?  Typically they are very biased in their selections and tend towards extremeness instead of more balanced methods.

And I hope everyone is aware that even if someone has years of experience in animal rescue if the rescue is largely run by volunteers (which they all are) then the experience one may receive is largely based on poor techniques and taught by folks who “love dogs” and who are trying their best but don’t really know how to calm, how to correct, how to train, how to rehab real fear or aggression or hyper behavior etc, etc!  Basically even if you have a hundred years of experience training dogs if it is all poor techniques it is a hundred years of helping to mistrain and hurt psychologically more dogs than you actually help!

I’m not trying to be mean here.  I say all this because I see it DAILY.  I hear from my clients constantly how they hired some company or another (or three or four different companies) to fix serious issues in their dogs and still these trainers come out with the same basic “sit, stay, down” for a treat method or occasionally strange new unnatural concepts (such as:  tethering your dog inside your home, or, when folks go for a group class and then -due to their dog’s behaviors- are placed in some cubicle separate and away from the class – just foolish and weird stuff) but clearly methods that do NOT line up with natural calming or with nature’s way or what the older social dog would teach and……. because they are so unnatural they don’t get good results.

No matter what I say, your vets say, your behaviorist says, your trainer says, your groomers say…seek your own answers within your own dog!  Look into nature.  Be super observant.  Always ask yourself…is this what the mother or father dog would do?  How do I calm this behavior out of my dog?  Keep thinking outside the box like Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, et cetera.  You will never regret listening to your own dog for what to do and then making a plan of action.

-G