Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by elsapuppy, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. elsapuppy Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new here and have recently recieved a GSD for Christmas. She is 8 weeks old and I am going to finally fullfill a dream of mine, to have a therapy dog to warm other peoples hearts. Any and all tips/suggestions would be well appreciated! :)

    Thank you for having me! Looking forward to meeting you all.


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  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Congratulations on your new puppy, and welcome to the DTA. My only suggestion to you at this stage is to get your puppy out meeting lots of people and experiencing as many new situations as you can. As a therapy dog, she will need to be calm and friendly.
    MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  3. elsapuppy Member

    Thank you!
    I have started doing that a little. I am in Ohio and the weather is so cold, I can't take her to any parks or anything like that. I was thinking of even walking her around PetSmart to see other people. Do you have any suggestions as to where I can take her?
    MaryK likes this.
  4. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I don't know this from personal experience, but I have heard that you can take puppies or small dogs into most (non-grocery) stores as long as you are carrying them. Other places will allow small dogs as long as they are on leash. Petsmart is a great start, just be careful about her coming in contact with other dogs if she hasn't had all her shots yet. And most people are attracted to puppies, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding enough people to socialize her with. Maybe you could phone a few malls in your area and find out what their policy is.
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  5. southerngirl Honored Member

    Welcome. I would be careful bringing her places because she is very young puppy who hasn't had her shots. There are puppy play groups you can take her to, to socialize her with other pups, that is kept very clean and to get her around people see stores that you can take her too, I believe lows and home depot allow dogs, but you'll need to check. Those places will be safe to walk her, because very few dogs will have been there. I don't suggest walking her places where a lot of dogs have been because of the chance of her getting parvo.
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  6. elsapuppy Member

    Thank you! I will wait on PetSmart until she has had her boosters. I had a dog get parvo once and it was horrible. He survived, luckily for us, but it was so tramatic. Never want to go through that again!
    MaryK likes this.
  7. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Welcome to DTA! Yes, at this point socializing is very important. Stores where dogs aren't commonly there are a good idea for socializing until she gets all of her puppy shots. Once she gets her puppy shots, going to an agility trial (or some other trial) with her is a good idea for socializing. There she can meet other dogs and other people, and get used to being in a busy setting like a trial.
    MaryK likes this.
  8. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi and welcome! Your puppy is just beautiful!! :love: If you can, look into puppy preschool. They can start now, they're set up to socialize with other puppies who also haven't had their shots, get plenty of play time, and also start on some basic training and "people" time.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. elsapuppy Member

    I will have to look into that, thank you! Thank you also for the compliment on Elsa, I just love her. :) I see you have German Shepherds also. How old are they?
    MaryK likes this.
  10. elsapuppy Member

    Thank you every one for the warm welcome and all the advice! I really look forward to training her and to know you all (and your puppies!) better. :)
    MaryK, kassidybc and southerngirl like this.
  11. Evie Experienced Member

    Welcome to the DTA!!

    What a cute little pup! You two are going to have such a wonderful time together I bet!

    I can't help but add though, just because you have your heart set on her being a therapy dog doesn't necessarily mean that's what she wants to do. Just keep in the back of your mind while she's growing up that not all dogs are suited to it and don't get frustrated with her if she isn't one of them!

    I say this as an owner of a 'shy' dog, whom I socialised as a puppy from day one and even now as a two year old won't let anyone outside her group of 6 people touch her despite my best efforts and consistent training :)
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  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Welcome and Hi.:) Elsa sure is a beautiful little puppy. I adore GSD's had them myself for years.

    I would start with Puppy Pre School. It's a safe environment, usually held at the vets, where she will meet/greet other puppies of the same age, people and learn the basics of good behavior. Until she has all her shots, I wouldn't be taking her to places where there are a lot of dogs. And be VERY careful if you do take her out that she doesn't sniff or come in close contact with faceas (not all people pick up after their dogs) as that is a carry for Parvo and other nasty diseases.

    I agree with Evie. You may have your heart set on her being a Therapy dog, but not all dogs are suited to that role. You'll only know when she's older, don't make the mistake of thinking because she's friendly now (just about all puppies who haven't been abused are) she'll grow up to want to be friends with everyone. I've met Evie and she is very shy, not nasty, just shy (very well behaved though) and some dogs are like that, introverts not extraverts. Just keep that in mind and as Evie says, don't get frustrated if she isn't suited to being a Therapy Dog, she'll have other talents that's for sure.
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