As I had mentioned in my New Member Intro thread, I've gained so much knowledge from this forum that I want to contribute some of our experiences for others who could be in the same boat as we were in earlier this year.
Hoping to also share puppy experiences and continue to learn from others. Why did we get a puppy (especially during this pandemic)?
- My wife grew up in a dog loving family and all her siblings currently have at least one dog, some have more
- I had two dogs growing up but did not have dogs for a long time
- Both my preteen kids have grown up with our dog - Ace
- We've always talked about our next dog after Ace (not in front of him) but in May, he had a fall and we thought he was not going to make it
- Ace is now 13 years old and we've had him since he was 4 months and the whole thought of euthanasia was very painful
- I also realized that my family will go into a depression without a dog so we started our journey for our next dog Why did we pick a pure bred from a breeder?
- Ace is a rescue and he is a Pitbull Mix (probably AmStaff, Border Collie and Lab - just guessing)
- He has been a really good dog in many ways (kids, obedient, loyal) but he has anxiety (separation and other anxiety).
- We've worked with many people over the years and tried many things (no meds) to help him but looking back, one of the dog trainers at Animal Humane Society said it best. She said, from what we've discussed and all the different techniques we've tried, he will never recover. So, it was up to us to decide if we want to return him (and most likely somebody will put him down) or we'll have to live with it and adjust our lifestyles accordingly.
- She said the lack of socialization during the first 4 mths is going to be hard to overcome
- At that time, we could not believe what she said but now we understand that she was right all along
- I would still encourage others to rescue dogs but be aware of the risk and there is only so much we can do How did we choose a Doberman?
- Unlike 13 years ago when it was just my wife and I, we now have 2 other people with very strong and influential opinions on dog breeds
- With a lot of time in our hands (COVID-19) and stuck at home, we did a lot of research (many YouTube videos), AKC and other websites, books etc. we took a vote
- The more we learn about this breed, the more we like all about it from it's history and how far it has come over the years
- I think the most important characteristics for us were their intelligence, loyalty and strength and of course, looks How did we choose our breeder?
- Since this is our first experience with a pure bred and we thought we were going to lose Ace, we looked at Puppyfind.com to find available puppies at that time
- After talking to a few "breeders" from Puppyfind.com or even AKC's marketplace, it was evident that there are a lot of questionable breeders doing some crazy stuff
- We used DPCA's breeder list and started contacting breeders in our state (MN) and surrounding states
- I also came across DT and this is where I started learning the process of finding a good breeder
- As most of us know, getting a puppy from a reputable breeder is not easy or straightforward
- We found one that referred to another and I think we finally found the breeder that we really wanted How did we get our puppy?
- The more I learned about this breeder, the more I wanted one of her puppies
- We had a little bit of a roller-coaster ride with respect to when we would actually get a puppy but at last, with a lot of persistence and patience we got lucky
- We had to travel across state lines during a pandemic (we are not comfortable staying in hotels yet) to get her but it was worth it. Luckily our 8-year old Travel Trailer came in useful for more than just glamping at State Parks. How is it going so far?
- Our puppy Zoe has been fabulous so far. Crate trained by the breeder, did great on the long ride (we pulled a travel trailer and stayed overnight at KOA) and her overall temperament is simply amazing. It was very different compared to when we first got Ace. He was skittish, no training whatsoever, probably have not been socialized at all and did not trust anybody
- We did go through obedience training with Ace and based on all the books and advise from this forum, we're doing Puppy Socialization (it's actually Tweeners Course for 13 to 20 week pups) and will be doing at least the Basic Obedience with Zoe
- In the meantime, thanks to fellow Minnesotan MeadowCat, we started Madcap University (Puppy Culture) free online training https://madcapuniversity.com/
- For not a first time puppy owner, we may think we know all the basics but it does not hurt to get a refresher and there is a lot more new knowledge out there today that I think it's worth learning. For newbies, do not pass up on training. A lot of people that we know think that they can figure it out but only few really do.
- Zoe is doing great...sleeping overnight till 5:30am...
- Trying to get Zoe and Ace to get along - this is probably the biggest challenge besides getting her to be fully potty trained (I know there has been other threads on this but I will create a new thread since our situation maybe a little different and wanted to get other people's thoughts with our dogs specifically)
Finally, as many on the forum has said before, I think it's absolutely important to do as much research as possible, well worth the effort to find the right breeder and wait for your puppy. As for us, we're excited for our next chapter and training this super intelligent girl is going to be so much fun. IMG_6935
by Raj Arumugam
, on Flickr