Insights Please, Thinking About Another Puppy But...

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by CarmenR, May 3, 2013.

  1. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    When you say hates strange people how does she react? And yes I do understand that buying a puppy is a bit like buying a second hand car - you really don't know what you will get. But I am thinking about seeking help from a professional trainer (potentially the one I am thinking about taking Luna too because her current one seems a bit useless) on how to pick a puppy, he even visits litters and selects puppies for people. I am definitely not taking this decision lightly and will be doing a lot of research before I even start looking for a breeder!

    But Luna as a puppy was terrified of everything, refused to even leave the yard scared. she was the last one left and no one wanted her. Mind you I didn't know much about dogs at the time bought her from a dodgy BYB that mated their two pets together for what I assume was just for the sale of cute puppies (I didn't even know what BYB were back then). So basically at the end of the day a puppy that doesn't freeze at the sight of anything new would be easier than Luna. I do love Luna to bits and she has taught me so much about dogs! She is such a lovely affectionate dog, her only downfall is how strong her fear instinct is and how insecure she is of everything.

  2. 648117 Honored Member

    Holly was also the last puppy left when my mum and my sister bought her from a petshop (I know, not the right place to buy a puppy). We had seen her and her siblings (I think she had one sister and two brothers) two weeks before when they had just arrived at the petshop and my mum liked Holly but I said she couldn't have a puppy :cautious:. But then when she hadn't sold two weeks later my sister encouraged mum to get her.

    Basically Holly was bought the completely wrong way....she came from a petshop, she was nearly three months old, she was the last puppy (well, mum did sort of pick her the first time she saw her but no one else wanted her in two weeks), we never met or even saw a picture of her parents (I really doubt that they were anything like Holly), and she was meant to be a lap-dog for my mum.

    But somehow it worked out (well, it worked out for me, but not my mum :LOL: ). And I think Holly may have ended up as the pick of the litter (from my point of view anyway. Her sister was in our beginner obedience classes and she was....well... I'm glad I didn't get her (although she probably would have suited my mum more than Holly does).

    So I think some of getting the right puppy is chance.
    Although it would have been helpful if the petshop people had been more honest, a couple of weeks after we got Holly we took her back to the petshop to get her a harness and they admitted that Holly was a handful and a jumper (she would jump out of peoples arms if they picked her up - the first sign that she would not be a lap-dog) and generally was a bit of a terror (by then we had experienced most of her full-on personality). They also admitted that she had come from a horrible breeder who kept the dogs in pretty terrible conditions.
  3. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    Yes I agree picking the right puppy can be chance but a reputable breeder usually is able to place a pup in a home based on its personality. Yes the puppy can change as it ages, but I think if I do my research on breeders and ask a lot of questions I can increase my chance greatly of getting a confident pup. I honestly don't care if it is a terror I see that as a training challenge, but a dog that has severe anxiety with no trigger requires medication is not another challenge I want to go through again.

    The last puppy doesn't necessarily mean anything, Luna was the last puppy and the owners couldn't convince their friends to take her and they took another puppy. But the owners said Luna was their favorite puppy. I think everyone has different things that they look for in a pup. I'm glad Holly worked out well for you, she would have lovely a life and is probably quite lucky she ended up with responsible dog owners and didn't end up with someone who bough her on impulse and then not want her anymore, which is what happens to a lot of petshop puppies :(
  4. Evie Experienced Member

    Evie isn't a nervous dog. She's actually quite confident UNTIL someone other than 'her 7 people' try and touch her. If someone tries to pet her she'll just jump away, or if that isn't an option or if they continue to follow after her and insist on touching her she'll start getting snappy and will nip at them. She also sometimes growls and barks at them too but that's usually because people push her buttons and insist on trying to do things which she doesnt appreciate. She also hates small children because they are loud, unpredictable and always insist on touching her despite her greatest efforts to escape and has very little tolerance for them before the nipping starts.

    HOWEVER, if she's got a toy in mouth, she's much more tolerant of everything and will just take the attempted pats as part of the game - you see she's happy to be around strange people and very happy to play with them, so long as they don't touch her.

    She really is a very unique little soul <3

    Oh and 99% of her rules go out the window once she's in a car. Then strangers can usually pet her and sometimes if she is semi-familiar with the person she'll even sit on their lap LOL

    Strange little puppy.

    Anyway, I'm not particularly helpful as far as the nervous dog making a puppy nervous thing goes as I can only comment about my experiences with Evie :)

    Good luck!
  5. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    Haha Evie sounds like Luna, will run up to strange men wanting a pat on somedays to flat out jumping on them for attention, then will give a warning growl when just standing near one! On walks she is anxious and nervous then as soon as I take the lead off its all good...
    brodys_mom likes this.
  6. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Brody never used to bark or pull toward people when on leash, but he has begun to lately, sometimes frightening them (and me!) I was reading an article about socializing puppies (http://www.positivedogs.com/articles/early_doesnt_mean.html) that says that young dogs go through several periods of increased fearfulness before the age of 2, and that they should be isolated during these times rather than exposing them to new people or situations. He is 10 months old now (not one of the ages mentioned), and I'm getting frustrated, because he was not properly socialized by his first owners, and now he's making it really hard to make up for lost time. I will never know what he would have been like if he had been exposed to more people and places as a young pup, but if I ever get a puppy, I will take it everywhere and let him see and hear everything I can. I will tell every puppy owner I meet to do this while their babies are young and malleable, before that window closes. I think, regardless of the puppy you choose, this is the best course of action to insure it will not be more fearful than it would be naturally.
  7. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for that article, I am starting to do more research into fear stages of dogs in prep for new puppy and Luna. The isolation thing definitely makes sense. Yes I know how important socialisation is, I plan to take a month of work just to socialize the new pup and help it not gain any of Luna's negative personality traits (as well as getting it to be independent for when I return to work). Unfortunately when Luna was a puppy socializing her was way out of my expertise range, as socializing was difficult as she almost had to be desensitized to everything. Just getting her through the door at puppy preschool was a challenge. As most puppies aren't like this the lady at puppy preschool said don't force them. And let them do it on their own. I took this as also encouraging Luna to do stuff with treats etc. as her fear of anything new was so great the vet behaviorist said I probably flooded her. She is definitely a lot less afraid than when she was a puppy but I will admit she was very challenging and way out of my expertise for handling fear. The vet behaviorist has also mentioned she is difficult and requires an experienced handler, not good since she was my first dog. I can't help but feel guilty that she may not be this bad if she got an experienced dog owner.

    As an aside though I have never stopped taking Luna to places, from 4 months of age she regularly attended obedience classes with over 100 dogs, I took her to parks, crowded events dog beaches etc every weekend. Walk her everyday yet she still is not confident. Genetics does play quite a large part so that is why I will be so careful in picking my next puppy. The last puppy from a backyard breeder will never happen again. I would like to consider a rescue dog but I just don't feel ready yet and the behaviorist strongly advises me against getting one just on the sole fact it would not work out well with Luna.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  8. brody_smom Experienced Member

    For many dogs, that first window actually closes at about 4 months. That article says the early socialization should take place from 8 weeks to 16-20 weeks. I just posted on another thread that I am reading a great book about fearful dogs called "Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out" by Laura VanArendonk Baugh. I borrowed it from the library, but I will definitely purchase a copy soon. If you haven't read it, it has a chapter called "Preventative Measures", which covers early socialization and genetics. She discusses all the different signs of stress that different dogs may exhibit. Some dogs may actually appear calm, when in fact they have shut down due to anxiety. Interesting stuff.
  9. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    I looked at that book on amazon, it definitely sounds like it will help with my current dog as well as good general knowledge for future dogs. I will purchase it today, thanks for that book recommendation :) I think I remember coming across it on amazon when I was looking for general fear overcoming books, but decided to purchase a desensitization book instead. This one sounds like it will help with Luna's hyper/over excitedness and fearfulness.
    brodys_mom likes this.
  10. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Can you recommend a good one on desensitization? I have a lot of that to do as well. Brody barks a lot inside our house and yard. It seem his previous owner never danced or sang or jumped or hugged anyone. She never whistled, clapped her hands or snapped her fingers. She didn't laugh really loud or have any arguments. She rarely had visitors, and if she did, never men or children. She never took Brody anywhere where people had bikes, strollers, skateboards, or scooters. She never used a broom or a lawn mower. At least, that's how it seems, because he gets aroused by all of those things. Whether it's in the house, or out in the street, he barks/growls when people do any of those things.:oops::cry: When we first got him, it seemed like we had to stop living our normal lives, but gradually he is becoming more used to the way we do things. Still, I would like him to be more comfortable and not get all anxious over what we consider to be normal.
  11. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    Hi I purchased:

    The Cautious Canine-How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears
    Patricia B. McConnell
    From Amazon, it isn't really a book per se, but a clear guide on how to desensitize your dog. It was quite cheap, so if you want a clear and concise how to on desensitization I recommend it. That would be quite hard having to adjust your lives but Brody will get better over time. I find just simple counter conditioning to really work, where I just give my dog treats when she looks anxious at a stimulus but not too far gone that she is producing a negative reaction (eg. barking growling whimpering) and is still responding to food of course :)
    brodys_mom likes this.
  12. brody_smom Experienced Member

    I ordered that book last night. Also, "Click to Calm", and "Barking- the Sound of a Language". The last two are supposed to take 3-5 weeks to ship. I hope it's not really that long. I am still waiting on my dvd order from Dogmantics (that's Emily Larlham, the kikopup lady) on rehabilitating reactive dogs.
    CarmenR likes this.
  13. CarmenR Well-Known Member

    You will have to let me know if those ones are any good!

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