returning to breeder

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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forever loved
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 3:58pm PST 
What gets me is you claim to be a trainer, yet you can't train a pup you specifically bought knowing it had issues. Then you defend your 'easy out' of considering euthanasia because...you're it for that area? That's as clear as mud to me.shrug To be quite blunt, I don't think you should be giving advice to other dog owners in the other threads...and if I lived in your area I would not use you as a trainer even if you were 'all there was'. But that's just my opinion. Another thing, some of us on here have recommended euthanasia in different circumstances, so it isn't that you brought it up and we are horrified simply because of that...it's that you considered something that should be a last resort for something that is not deserving of it at all. I for one am not defensive, but astounded.confused Prevention is all good and well, but sometimes...sometimes the BEST things in life are the things we work for the HARDEST. I do hope you take that into consideration in the future.

Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 4:25pm PST 
Twister, I have stated many times now that I have no idea this particular dog had these issues, and had I known NEVER would have chosen to bring her home. Period.
I think this subject has become too oversimplified and should be dropped. This is really not something that has been constructive and is only getting heated. Again, sorry for triggering some of your emotions due to something far more complex than I should have shared here.

Edited by author Mon Dec 31, '12 4:32pm PST


Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 4:49pm PST 
way to go

Edited by author Mon Dec 31, '12 5:02pm PST



forever loved
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 4:50pm PST 
I know you stated that several times, and I am sorry you think things are being 'over-simplified' (perhaps sometimes that is for the best?). However, you said several times about how crucial the fear stage is...if you believe so strongly in it, why would you buy a pup you had no control of during one of those times...and were also told had been attacked? Sorry, but I just don't understand the reasoning behind that, it doesn't add up to me.

What I guess I am wandering then is...what you were wanting to accomplish with this thread? What exactly, were you wanting to discuss? We addressed exactly what you were talking about with the situation you described...if you did not want to talk about it or listen to other opinions about the reasoning behind said situation, why bring it up? thinking Maybe just reword exactly what you want to discuss? The fear stage in general?

You get upset that some of us don't agree with you (and btw, just for the record, I am sure in 'real life' you are a good person...any judgment I made against you was strictly made in a training sense..ie, I would not want to use you as a trainer because I do not agree with some things you have stated regarding dogs...though with some things that have been said I can see how you would be upset)...but you basically keep talking down to us and saying what you want to talk about is too complex for us. What I really think is going on, is you simply are not stating what you want to talk about in a clear, precise way, and it is confusing. I don't think you are trying to 'troll', or whatever. I think what you want to discuss is getting 'lost in translation'. It is either that, or some of us simply do not agree with what you are proposing...and if so on that, we can agree to disagree.wink

Edited by author Mon Dec 31, '12 5:01pm PST


forever loved
Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 5:11pm PST 
Cyber hugs...sorry if things have seemed a bit heated around here.hughughughug

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Mon Dec 31, '12 9:40pm PST 
thinking Complex? More like ironic...a series of ironies really. This seems like incredibly poor decision making on your part from the start. (Which you've acknowledged...hindsight being 20/20). But let's review. You purchase this puppy at 4 months of age, not from the original breeder but basically on transfer from Buyer #1 who has only had the puppy for 3 weeks and already is unable to keep her for some reason. In the process, you have little contact with the original breeder, instead "mostly [dealing] with the person who initially bought the dog from the breeder." And it does not occur to you that you may not be getting full discovery about the puppy's background and early experiences by taking on a transfer in this manner? You, who are particularly concerned about fear imprint periods and the inevitability of fear aggression?

So that's sketchy. And then you ask about whether the puppy has had any negative experiences with other dogs -- and are assured "no because she never did in HIS care [Buyer #1]". Ok but did you ask Buyer #1 for very detailed information about how the puppy acts around and toward other dogs? Considering that it is paramount to you (due to your hiking/camping lifestyle, feral and loose dogs regular in your area, etc), you should probably have plumbed the subject in depth with Buyer #1. If Buyer #1 had never in 3 weeks observed the puppy in the presence of other dogs, you should have asked some testing be done so you could have at least some sort of information upon the subject -- considering again the level of importance of this question to you, and that buying a puppy is a rather big decision that should be done with all due diligence.

Oh, and did you ask whether the puppy had any sorts of health issues? Did Buyer #1, your main contact, mention frequent urination? Had Buyer #1 had the puppy vet checked at all?

It all just seems sloppy....bad research, bad planning. It's startling that someone who is a professional dog trainer, and considered the dog expert of the area, made such tremendous mistakes in trying (ultimately failing) to acquire a "sound" puppy. I wonder, do you also advise clients in your area in the puppy/ dog selection process??
Riku (Forever Missed)

Heart of Gold
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 3:17am PST 
It's all right, Tonka. I apologize as well for calling you a troll. That was going a little too far. I think we can all agree to disagree and move past it. I wish you luck with your new dog/puppy when you decide to move forward. At least we all know one thing : We're ALL passionate about dogs here to be bickering as we do!


Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 10:21am PST 
Completely out of curiosity....what would your response have been if you brought the pup home and some random dog while out on a walk "traumatized" it by attacking it once it was in your possession??

My point being that just because a pup makes it out of the breeders home free and clear doesn't then guarantee the dog isn't going to hit unforeseeable blips when he's with you. You can prep and plan and try to prevent all you want, but like it and choose to acknowledge the fact or not you cannot control every single aspect of a dogs environment and experiences.

Raising pups and kids in tandem isn't rocket science as long as you're not lazy. A 5 month old traumatized and steeped in fearful behaviors Trigger came home when my kids were 1 and 2 respectively. Mistreated at best, beaten at worst, left completely unsocialized and abandoned then and STILL, today at nearly 8 he is by far the best dog I've ever had. I am not a trainer in any way shape or form, I had no professional help available to me either outside of the internet, books and videos. Patience and logic was all it took to "rehab" him, and he certainly endured far more than just one traumatic event in his early "imprintable" months.

I would never get a dog from a breeder who's entire personality would be so fragile and fractious that a single event could ruin it's entire life. If a dog from less than stellar breeding can come back from such a heinous start I would sure as heck have to believe a dog from a breeder better be able to. Especially if you're paying for reputable and solid working lines where nerves are literally a trademark of what the breed is supposed to possess temperament wise.

The comparison to cars I personally find more disturbing than the euthanasia suggestion. Living breathing creatures cannot be packaged and shelved as if they were preserved collector items ready to be pulled at a buyers whim as a completely blank and perfect slate. If someone truly believes such a thing to be true they are deluding themselves. Living breathing creatures are the sum of ALL of their life experiences, the good and the bad. And the bad doesn't necessarily ruin a dog. You can choose to look at the not so great as a hindrance or as a stepping stone. The bad that happened in my dogs lives didn't ruin them, it *made* them the awesome dogs they are today. I honestly believe without those experiences they wouldn't be as amazing as they are today.

If you don't agree OP that's fine, and I'm glad then that you returned the dog. Without that level of confidence in yourself and your dog, there is no way he could have ever amounted to much under such dark and heavy presumptions.

I agree with Tiller, if you want "guarantees" stick with adult dogs.

And then perhaps consider keeping the dog as isolated as possible so outside influences don't have as much opportunity to tarnish the illusion of it's perfection.
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 laugh out loud And I agree with everything cut-to-the-chase Trigger just said wink

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 wink

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


Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 12:32pm PST 
Tiller, there is still more to it than that. Sure everything you said is accurate solid information, it is still just a piece of the puzzle.

The incident didnt have anything to do with a mothers correction, a littermate getting too tenacious, a fight over a bone or any of the other normal, expected, sometimes scary happenings.
The puppy was let outside of the breeders apartment into the parking lot area. The neighbor next door has an aggressive dog and she went to step outside just as the pup was squatting to pee and the neighbors dog saw the opportunity and crashed through the door. This dog b-lined it right to the pup and grabbed onto her face. The breeder had to race the pup to the emergency vet in the middle of the night. The poop pup was still screaming when they got to the clinic. This neighbors dog hit this pup HARD out of nowhere and completely traumatized this dog. For this pup, this is just about the worst case scenario to have happened to her.

ANY two dogs put through the same experiences will be effected differently. We looked closely at her temperament, breeding, genetics etc and came to the conclusion that this problem will most certainly have to be managed for the rest of her life. For the amount of exposure and experiences our dogs have access to, she just isn't a good fit for the life we can provide.

I have no doubt we made the right choice for our family, as hard of a choice it was. Sometimes despite all we know and don't know, the best choices come from our gut instinct.
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