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I don't want a puppy, I don't want a puppy...
Please help convince me I don't want a puppy


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#1 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:07 AM

So, we're definitely getting a dog. One of the service dog training groups has agreed to work with me to help me train a dog to be an autism assistance dog for my twins. Given i'll be tethering a child to the dog when out in public, I need a sizeable dog. We're looking for a shepherd (German, Belgian or white Swiss) or shepherd cross. DH and I are rescue animal people, rather than pedigree-off-a-breeder type people. I decided to aim for a dog 6-18 months old, so we can avoid the puppy stage (mainly the chewing) and hopefully we can find a dog that already has basic obedience so we can just go from there, rather than starting at the beginning.

I keep looking at this guy. He has stolen my heart. http://www.adoptapet.com.au/animal/animalD...&statusID=3

But I don't want a puppy. But I want him. But DH and I agreed on a slightly older dog, not a puppy. But look at that photo! Those eyes! Those ears! He's just so adorable!

Please help remind me how bad the puppy stage is and why I'd be better with a slightly older dog. Please, because otherwise I'm going to cave and go and meet that puppy and see if he has what it takes to be a service dog! And I don't want a puppy!

#2 *Kell*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:33 AM

I will simply state facts:

* Puppies wee and poo everywhere until toilet trained
* Puppies chew things more than adult dogs
* Puppies cry for the first few nights

* Adult dogs still need stimulation though, dogs are always like children, so need their toys alternated every week or two so they don't get bored
* Adult rescue dogs can be wonderful (I have two) however you need to find one with the right nature for your kids

Good Luck!

#3 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (*Kell* @ 07/11/2012, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I will simply state facts:

* Puppies wee and poo everywhere until toilet trained
* Puppies chew things more than adult dogs


Thank you. I need to keep re-reading these points and resist the temptation to keep clicking my link to see that gorgeous puppy.

I don't want a puppy, I don't want a puppy, I don't want a puppy, I don't want a puppy...

(it's not working...)

#4 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:00 PM

Oh he is cute.  Someone will snap him up for sure - he wont have any problems finding a forever home.   Whereas you can save the life of a lovely slightly older dog who others might reject.

Hope that helped?

#5 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:06 PM

Thanks Meggs. It did help. A little bit.

But he's soooooooooo cute!!

#6 cira

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

Meh.

Our eight-week old puppy was pretty much toilet-trained, she peed inside twice.
She chewed up some shoes but I had warned everyone to put their shoes away so really not the pup's fault. And you can always provide lots of chew toys.

And the benefit of puppies - you have more control over their early development, socialisation and exposure to noise, different environments and people.

puppy puppy puppy..lol



#7 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:14 PM

He looks like he's towards the older end of puppy.... I'm not helping, am I? biggrin.gif  Is he going to grow up to be large enough for your needs though?

#8 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:19 PM

QUOTE (heffalumpsnwoozles @ 07/11/2012, 12:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He looks like he's towards the older end of puppy.... I'm not helping, am I? biggrin.gif  Is he going to grow up to be large enough for your needs though?


I'm not sure. It depends what he's been crossed with. I'd need to see him in person to try and judge how big he will be. But if he's half as adorable in real life as that picture, I think it will be really hard to say no to him.

Cira, that's so NOT helping!

#9 laridae

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:40 PM

I don't think you'll be able to judge properly how big he will be unless you get an older dog.
But, its probably going to be a lot easier to train from a puppy...

That didn't help, did it?

#10 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:50 PM

Yes, but it's easier to tell temperament in an older dog. A puppy is more of a gamble. But then, I can control what a pup is exposed to so a pup is more "malleable" in a way.

I'm also concerned my kids might love a puppy to death (literally). Which would be much harder with a bigger dog.

But that puppy is just so gorgeous. I've even been dreaming of him at night-time. ph34r.gif blush.gif


#11 Oriental lily

Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:39 PM

Older rescues often come with their own set of issues that might not be apparent until thy have settled in for a couple of months.
How would your family feel about bonding with a dog then finding out it will be unsuitable for an assistant dog?

At least with a pup you have a clean slate that you are starting from.

Sure puppies are more work at the beginning. But in six months this pup will be an age of a rescue dog your aiming for. But it will already be used to your children, socialized with children, and already be well on its way in obedience training.

Personally for your role that this dog is going to play I would go for a purebred pup from a ethical registered breeder. However if that is not for you then I would think a rescue pup would the next best thing.

I would be hesitant for an older rescue dog due to the possible baggage from its often rough, unideal start in life.

In summary if the this pup is a little extrovert plucky pup then I would get it in a heartbeat.

Not what you wanted to hear....

Look at his look at his eyes !!!! biggrin.gif

#12 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

OL, NOT helping!!

We run the risk of bonding with a dog that turns out to be unsuitable regardless of age. Even pups specifically bred and professionally temperent tested and selected for assistance work wash out.

Hmmm, I might go and visit him tomorrow, provided I can dump DS1 with DH for a few hours (he has whooping cough, so I can't take him with me unfortunately).

From what I've read about Belgian shepherds, I would need to get one as a pup to socialize it properly. My concern with an older rescue German shepherd is that it may have taunted etc to make it aggressive (given that so many people like to use them as watchdogs and get them to attack). Given I need the dog to be bombproof in high stress situations, this is something that keeps niggling me in the back of my mind.

And then of course, there's those eyes. That pup is just gorgeous.

#13 Oriental lily

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

The majority of German shepherd dogs that end up in rescue would be back yard bred.

I would never trust a backyard bred shepherd. To many horror stories from when I was growing up when every second house had badly bred shepherd as watch dogs with nasty temps.

Have you thought of an older dog from a breeder? Most breeders are excellent in that they will take a dog back if it's found to be unsuitable for that family.
Also some seeing eye dogs make good assistant dogs if they don't make the grade. Bonus would be they come with the basic training all ready done.

#14 Red Cabbage

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

In your case, I'd be contacting breeders and asking if they have older dogs available. Look for a breeder who has the dogs in their own home. They will have some training and obedience already.

I'm not attracted to that dog in the link at all, I don't find it at all appealing, and I DO want a puppy.

#15 Red Cabbage

Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

http://www.dogzonline.com.au/breeds/mature...hepherd-dog.asp

http://www.dogzonline.com.au/breeds/dogs.asp

#16 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:21 PM

That's what my original plan was. Most dogs being sold by the breeders at 1-2 years have a fault that would also cause issues for us (ie, mouthy with kids/strangers, health issue which excludes them from showing etc). Most breeders wouldn't even reply to my emails when I explained what I was looking for and why and got annoyed when I rang them when I didn't hear back. The ones that did reply to me couldn't help me.

And honestly, I'd always rather save a dog from death row than pay $1000 for a pedigree. I've always had a soft spot for pound puppies and mongrels.

#17 icekool

Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

Ok, I am probably not helping - puppy or dog I believe in love at first sight with animals.
It won't be a puppy forever and just cos the dog is less than 2 years old, doesn't mean that the behaviour will be like a puppy.

*Our dog was a "puppy" for 3 loooong years lol. Would I change it? Not for the world.
What he ate and did:

1. hopeless at toilet training
2. food issues
3. ate mobile phone and battery burst and burnt through the carpet
4. ate my expensive Gucci sunnies that I left on the coffee table
5. puppy school every week and he would sleep/lie down during class cos he couldn't be bothered
6. chased and wanted to play with every dog in sight on walks and in class
7. on walks, he chased cyclist and anything on wheels except cars
8. cried each time we left for work

He didn't eat shoes

I fell in love with our dog when I adopted him when he was 8.5 weeks old. Close to 11 years on, I am still in love.

#18 FiveAus

Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE (~Karla~ @ 07/11/2012, 05:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's what my original plan was. Most dogs being sold by the breeders at 1-2 years have a fault that would also cause issues for us (ie, mouthy with kids/strangers, health issue which excludes them from showing etc). Most breeders wouldn't even reply to my emails when I explained what I was looking for and why and got annoyed when I rang them when I didn't hear back. The ones that did reply to me couldn't help me.

And honestly, I'd always rather save a dog from death row than pay $1000 for a pedigree. I've always had a soft spot for pound puppies and mongrels.



No, that's not true. Most dogs that don't turn out for the show ring have "faults" that you wouldn't even know about........poor rear angulation, dippy topline, crooked bite, doesn't move quite correctly, narrow chest, incorrect tail set (tail is up when it should be down or vice-versa) etc. They are NOT health issues, they are small conformation faults that might exclude them from winning, or the breeder might not want to pass on in her breeding plan.
Or they simply don't have the temperament for the show ring. Show dogs need an "out there" "Look at me!" temperament, and some dogs just aren't like that. My first show dog is a sweetheart but she preferred to not be running around a show ring with people looking at her. She looked like she wanted the earth to open up and swallow her. But she is a lovely, lovely, biddable pet.

An older dog from a breeder would be very unlikely to cost $1000 unless it's a bulldog. They are often sold for the cost of desexing as long as the home is the right one.

My last puppy was gorgeous and awesomely well-behaved as a baby. Then at 8 months, he started chewing.....7 brand new pairs of shoes, my multifocal prescription glasses, Kindle cover, watchband. After 2 months, he stopped. So don't assume an older pup won't chew because they very well might. As might an older dog.

#19 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:50 PM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 07/11/2012, 05:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
No, that's not true. Most dogs that don't turn out for the show ring have "faults" that you wouldn't even know about........poor rear angulation, dippy topline, crooked bite, doesn't move quite correctly, narrow chest, incorrect tail set (tail is up when it should be down or vice-versa) etc. They are NOT health issues, they are small conformation faults that might exclude them from winning, or the breeder might not want to pass on in her breeding plan.
Or they simply don't have the temperament for the show ring. Show dogs need an "out there" "Look at me!" temperament, and some dogs just aren't like that. My first show dog is a sweetheart but she preferred to not be running around a show ring with people looking at her. She looked like she wanted the earth to open up and swallow her. But she is a lovely, lovely, biddable pet.

An older dog from a breeder would be very unlikely to cost $1000 unless it's a bulldog. They are often sold for the cost of desexing as long as the home is the right one.

My last puppy was gorgeous and awesomely well-behaved as a baby. Then at 8 months, he started chewing.....7 brand new pairs of shoes, my multifocal prescription glasses, Kindle cover, watchband. After 2 months, he stopped. So don't assume an older pup won't chew because they very well might. As might an older dog.


Sorry, I meant the breeders I've spoken to. Getting a dog for just the cost of desexing only seems to apply for dogs over 4 or 5. I don't want a dog older than 2, because it will probably take me 12 months to get it up to accreditation standard and then I want more than 2 or 3 years work before we retire the dog and start again.



#20 The Old Feral

Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Karla there is a GSD rescue group on facebook, they keep tabs on shepherds in pounds around the country and post details. A lot come up in NSW.

If you are in Vic I can put you in touch with a GSD rehoming service.. this will be well bred dogs whose families have had a change in circumstances, usually.

There is also a wonderful breeder in Southern NSW who specialises in service dogs and has a great community ethic, I reckon she would want to help.
Oh and with GSDs you are nowhere near past the chewing stage at 6 months! They're puppies till they're 2 or more.

Edited by The Old Bag, 07 November 2012 - 08:53 PM.


#21 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

Thanks. I'm in QLD and I have contacted the rescue groups up here already but I haven't seen the national one.

Chewing until 2? I hadn't thought of that! ohmy.gif I do love GSD's though...

Edited by ~Karla~, 07 November 2012 - 09:07 PM.


#22 midstudentcatie

Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:24 PM

Both of our GSDs were older pups rehomed by the breeder - our girl had a floppy ear (we got her at 14 months), our boy has a curly tail, white toes and only had one jewel (we got him at 7 months). Personality wise - both absolutely divine! Our girl was pretty headstrong, but our boy is just the sookiest, most docile GSD on the planet. We're actually looking at getting him into the Delta Therapy Dog program for nursing home visits etc. Neither were chewy, they didn't destroy gardens or anything like that at all. If your dog is going to be trained up for assistance work, that'll keep their mind busy enough to avoid a lot of those bored puppy behaviours. We only paid cost of desexing for both of them as well, even though we were fully prepared to pay more for our girl because of her pedigree (both sire and dam were German imports).

If you're looking at Shepherds, I'd be very, very wary of a cross or a dog you suspect may have come from a BYB, mostly because of the potential for hip dysplasia. You'd be very unlucky to get it in a dog purchased from a breeder, but it's pot luck with a BYB.

Sounds like it might be worth getting in touch with the breeder in NSW that TOB suggested...You know you want a GSD, really you do  wink.gif biggrin.gif

#23 mumtoactivetoddler

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:22 PM

For what you are wanting I would be going breeder route purely because that way you have a good chance of being able to see how the parents behave. I wouldn't take the risk on a rescue dog to be trained as an assistance dog. I have had a number of friends who have had rescue dogs which have turned out to have painful quirks eg one was terrified of tall guys in black jeans, and was so scared was dangerous. These quirks were not known when bought.

#24 Domestic Goddess

Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

I agree with Oriental Lily. Best to start with a puppy, you miss out on so much bonding and 18 months is a lot of time to waste. I would be slowly starting training at around 6 months onwards. At 18-24 months you can have your dog trained if starting at an early age.

The only issue with German Shepards I've encountered, is arthritis. A close family friend has owned 7 Shepards in a row and all had to be put down before they turned 12 due to being in too much pain from arthritis.
These dogs came from reputable, fully licensed, ethical breeders.
I know not every Shepard has this issue, but 7 in a row still indicates a possible problem for the future of your Shepard.
My friend loves them though, so she will always replace a German Shepard, with another German Shepard.

#25 FiveAus

Posted 08 November 2012 - 05:16 AM

For what you're wanting the dog for, honestly, I'd keep contacting breeders. You should have health testing (not just a vet clearance) high on your list of requirements as well as temperament of both the parents. Health testing needs to include the parents hips and elbows.......they should be x-rayed and scored for hip and elbow dysplasia. They should also be DNA tested for any heritable diseases.

And widen the search to include other breeds......labs, golden retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Rottweilers.




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