|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 11:28am PST |
|Mulder, I actually don't agree, but let me explain why.
Raising puppies is hard. If one has exacting demands for their lifestyle, then getting a GSD puppy is not what they should be doing. This is a breed that you only know a shade of when they are pupsters, and as they mature can take you on many twists and turns. That is for all puppies, IMO, but granted with this breed a particular concern.
It really is a bit of a myth that you go to a great breeder and get this great puppy and that everything will be perfect to start. Simply shifting away from their born home can cause changes or problems, and then of course as they continuously grow and go through hormonal shifts as well. You need far more open-mindedness, resiliency and adaptability, IMO and experience, to raise a puppy than to get a shelter dog. You will know what the latter is fairly quickly. Puppies are a package of oncoming surprises with a waggy tail, sharp little teeth, compulsive behaviors and the attention span of a gnat. If they have to be this or that, then get an adult. What you have when you get a great puppy from a great breeder is the genetic knowledge, a huge assist in puppy rearing, and hopefully, if you have chosen your puppy well, some view of the adult version, which becomes something to aspire to as the objective.
Talking about the experience, I can relate a couple of things. The most mighty dog I ever owned arrived to me basically catatonic. I could get no response from him....I was experienced and it was disturbing. I put in a lot of work in those initial weeks to turn him around, the price of which was massive SA when I went back to work, to the point where he could not be crated for fear of continued injury. He then proved amazingly destructive. It was one thing after the next after the next. At age eleven months, he unleashed a powerful aggression out of nowhere. So here we go, yet again. All this is recounted on Pogo's page. My husband couldn't stand him, our life was a mess. But we hung in because I knew his pedigree, totally believed in it, and with puppies that is where my brain is. Enjoy the cute and the promise, roll your sleeves up and be in it for the long haul. I think if as drives come in or the energy ups, etc. you realize this is simply too much dog for you, then you return. But you get that puppy very open to who he is. Much like a child. If your baby is colic-y? Well then ok, raising him is not quite the warm soothing cuddles you envisioned. Obviously puppies aren't kids and I would never say they were, but you don't get puppies expecting them to be perfect or to conform to your expectations. Your expectations are on the adult they will become one day, and you work towards that from day one.
In terms of the fear imprint, the big concern there is transitions. Bad things to happen in novel places. I cannot possibly express how many fearful or phobic shelter puppies I have fostered who came around fast and matured to fine. It is important to understand the function of a fear imprint, which comes at a time where young pups start venturing farther away from the den and experiencing their environment. Here, they will be exposed to potential threats for the first time, and thereby are wired to intensely receive that. This is what will keep them alive in the long haul. To react quickly to those threats and have those lessons stick.
It is also, however, a time in a dog's natural life where they will receive stronger admonishments from the adult population. They will start getting sterner with pups who were well tolerated when five weeks old. Puppies will start brawling with each other more. Competition for food can get a lot more intense. So the concept that getting attacked at age eight weeks is significantly less of an influence in a fear imprint than going to a vet and having a bad experience.
Puppies overall are resilient. That is why I love them. I don't care how big a pain in the arse they want to be....their slate is very clean. When I got Tiller in, two things I can say. One is that his breeder raw feeds....just throws chicken wings into the puppy pen, plenty to go around. But Tiller clearly had had meat stolen from him by his littermates, as anything too big to swallow he frantically looked for a safe corner to get to and was pretty aggressive if you tried to take it from him or simply just approached him. Tense as a ironing board if you even looked in his direction. Today, fosters can stick their faces right in his food bowl. The initial behavior was scary....this is a possessive and RG-ish breed....but he's a puppy. Plenty of time to grow and he's fine. He also was pretty tepid as a pup. Didn't like his walks, didn't care for the socialization process. Was a bit of a homebody. But when he turned a year and half, did a huge 180 and all he wanted to do was be out in the community putting his face into everything and causing trouble. Many twists and turns with that one, but today he reminds me a heck of a lot of his maternal grandma. It was with that image that I could get him to where needed to be, towards that objective. It wasn't near as effortless as I envisioned it....Onion was so much easier and I am so glad he came first....but the point was that we'd work on getting him to where he needed to be. With a puppy, that is the essential frame of mind one must have, to have the time and space in your life for that, understanding that how many curve balls or adjustments they need is on one hand a pain but on another a luxury, as they are so resilient and open to the journey themselves.
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