|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 11:10am PST |
|Long post to follow And I agree with everything cut-to-the-chase Trigger just said
I think the point is what was expressed and if it is in line with what is informational, as many people read this forum. That's sort of why I can argue a little distanced from my own emotion, Riku. It's not that I don't have strong feelings, but there is a real luxury on this site in that I can reasonably assume regulars here love dogs, have good basic knowledge and so on. That, and people are gonna do what they're gonna do
Puppies I know....pup through two is my deal, and I have a lot of mentorship and real experience behind me. And with that I need to stress that in absence of genetic weaknesses or concerns, young puppies are extraordinarily resilient.
What has been expressed here is a misinterpretation of the fear stage.
So I will try again.
The fear stage, which is nature's design, hits at a time when young pups are apt to exploring at their own away from the den. Anyone around puppies in a litter raising sense....and I will wander off for a sec to say that fostering a young litter is something I recommend to ANY dog lover wishing to expand their knowledge; it is very enlightening, and as a dog person I will never, ever, ever have a trainer who also has not bred and raised dogs. You just GET things more after this, and indeed I find that in times of struggling with a behavior, I find breeders equally helpful to trainers, and often far more insightful...it is always part of my protocol.
Anyway, back on my topic here, anyone familiar with raising a litter knows there is this younger age where they are very clueless and bouncy, and follow you around like the pied piper. And then they get bolder, start wandering off and exploring more. This is the age where typically young pups in the den may be starting to explore leaving the den on forays to explore. There, they will face dangers, towards which they are unknowing at the moment. As they will be facing first exposures of things to be respected/avoided as a life's policy in the future, they have a more acute learning response, and things learned there will be more imbedded than at other times. Stress responses are stronger at this time also.
Now sure....SURELY....nature is not going to program an animal at this stage to have a melt down when exposed to a threat later in life. This makes no sense. Nature would not be that stupid. Odds are, in a natural, wild setting, that animals in fear stages will HAVE unpleasant experiences at this age set. They think the world is a playground and now learn that it is not.
The fear stage generally has been brought up in dog parlance as not the best time to expose the puppy to major stress, as it will be more strongly imbedded and received, but that does not mean that the dog is ruined. Many issues are a combination of real experience paired with genetic influences It's not simply that the dog has a bad experience, but that the dog has a bad experience PAIRED WITH(!!!!!) a genetic predisposition. If a puppy is to have a bad experience, he may react to it, but if he is genetically sound and properly raised has candidacy to overcome his concerns.
We cannot...CANNOT....judge the behavior of a puppy to some incident with some life's sentence of expectation without consideration of his general evaluation and genetic makeup, as puppies are drama kings and queens and can over emote. This is typical. This is a time where, in a natural sense, adults rush to their aid. They are yelling FOR someone. Just because this little girl was screaming is of no consequence to me. I have had puppies scream to high hell simply to hold them still for a moment. Simply with each other, sometimes in the pen you would think they are having their eyeballs ripped out, but it is just a brassy littermate trying to get them to play. You can't put that response in the context of an adult dog. They are entirely different critters.
In trying to address this thread and misconceptions, I have come up with a GREAT example for you.....ear cropping! The ears are usually cropped at or right before the fear stage commences. After that time, your puppy will have taped ears that have to heal, have tape torn off and rods inserted in their ears and then retaped, and be told to stay still while this is done. Not exactly a picnic. Keeping with the OP's interpretation of the fear imprint, this would be sentencing the puppy to a life of issues.
And yet....how often do we hear that cropped ear dogs have handling issues, head sensitivity issues, etc. I can answer that for you....we do NOT hear such things. Indeed, long time in cropped ear breeds, I can tell you it's if anything beneficial to the handling process....my cropped ear dogs are usually the most tolerant at the vet's, the most easily handled. This is because at an acute learning stage they were acquainted with getting handled a lot.
This is an acute LEARNING phase. Bad events are not what you want and make for a puppy who will need more convincing, but it is a puppy. He has many months of vital learning and growth ahead of him and can adjust. Understand that puppies, during the fear stage, are chastised more harshly by their mothers, come into more serious battles with their siblings. It is not as if this impairs their social function in the time to come.
The most critical thing about the fear imprint is that it defines for us the proper age for placing the puppy, for as they experience things that may stress them....and just life at that age may - littermates can tar the heck out of each other, stronger corrections may come, new exposures SHOULD be happening....to be in the bosom of what they know to be safe is far more healthy for them. That and they *will* be exposed to these tougher moments, learning all about stress response at this vital, primed age.
The PRIMARY concern is sound genetics. If the puppy has that, he has everything. In terms of wild animals, some of the most vital members of the pack in future will be the bold ones, whose derring do does lead them to have more uncomfortable experiences at a young age. They weather that fine. It is the ones holding back, not having these experiences, who will be the more vulnerable. To not test your environment, have those experiences and learn from them is far more injurious in the long term.
In terms of this puppy, it would have been beyond a tragedy to have her euth'd....there is absolutely no reason to believe she will grow to be fear aggressive if her genetics are sound. Only that she needs patience, understanding and time. Where this scenario bothers me is that there was this hard line, and that she is now a victim of it, for she has now been rehomed twice. That is BAD for her learning. How seriously is she to take bond, how much will she trust the world? She needed/loved/bonded with two homes, likely felt their dissatisfaction, and was sent away. How sad for her.
Those events in her learning phase, IMO and experience, will bring her far more damage than the dog attack. That happened but once, and in all this time since she has not been reattacked. Whereas now, in her young life, she knows repeated sequences of tenuous rehomings.
And that's really sad. And not fair to her at all.
Edited by author Tue Jan 1, '13 11:13am PST
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