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Separation Issues - New Pups . Some Discussion...

89 posts in this topic

I'm super interested in this topic and very happy that perse has started the thread, I'm not a very experienced dog owner - got my first ever 2.5 yrs ago just before my 30th bday - but I now have a lot to do with dogs, I've just got my third (as in now have an 8 week old, an 8 month old and a 2.5 year old) and work as a dog washer/groomer.

I've found that I've had very few problems with my own dogs or with my "client" dogs and wonder whether that's by luck or design? BUT I have very limited experience, time wise so don't think I can jump to conclusions...

I will post more of my experiences over the weekend but will keep reading with interest!

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I think the biggest problem is owners not realising that every puppy is different and none of them have read the books that say what they are supposed to do.

There are lots of basics that work for lots of puppies but there are always exceptions and if what you are doing isn't working you need to use common sense and imagination to work out how to manage. I always find it amusing when people ask on here about destructive dogs and everyone is quick to say the dog needs more exercise, stimulation, time, etc. Sometimes those things help but the bottom line is that some dogs just like to destroy stuff and others don't. It isn't a breed thing but an individual character trait. It isn't even a hereditary tendency, it just happen and managing these dogs is different to managing a non-destructive dog.

The same applies to dogs that are clingy and those that aren't. Neurotic owners can make a clingy dog much worse but an independant one will be independant, no matter what the owner does. With the clingy ones you need to gradually let them learn to be on their own and they will cope.

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Dogsfevr   

Rebanne yep to outside,many forget at the breeders the pups where treated like dogs they ran,played,did silly things & enjoyed being a dog then when they go to there new home there wrapped in cotton wool,there identities taken away & they are no longer a dog but a cute toy that becomes needy.

Our pups at 5 weeks run an acre,ther smaller than full grown chis,they use the doggy door,run,play,use there senses,they are raised in the house but have experienced the outside world & we stress to our puppy owners that what is cute now wont be in 12 months time if ruined.

That is the most important common sense aspect you have the dog for 12/14tyrs the first 12 months can make or break your dog.

Cute will always be there but pleasure is another thing.

I have 3 that sleep on my bed & yes are spoilt BUT they are dogs and i never lose sight of that i wont my dogs to be something i can enjoy forever .

All our dogs are crate trained as there show dogs

All our dogs are groomed weekly as there coated.

We never bribe which is commonly suggested ,they are placed in crate & we never hear a peep they just curl up & go to sleep,infact bring a crate in & itslike the running of the bulls to get in first.

Our dogs when groomed just stand on the table from 6/8 weeks & we do what we have to.

My big guys take over 2 hrs to prepare for the ring but groom time is fun,when i open the door to that room they either run for the table or the bath & wait .

It isn't made special its just something that is done ,no fuss but the enjoyment is pleasing us or being with us

This one of my guys

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Lots of pups settle in well, and adjust to being left home ...and families blend beautifully :)

.

BUT...

On reading peoples' posts on housetraining, puppies crying when alone, puppies being clingy, puppies being destructive when alone, or not using toys...

One thought has been tumbling around in my brain .

Are we maybe making puppies too dependent on us humans from the minute we bring them home, and so not allowing them to learn to cope , to be confident , to stretch out, in those early weeks/months?

Is it ideal to take time away from employment , and wait on the new bundle of gorgeousness hand & foot ...then suffer guilt and stress when returning to work, with a puppy who is suddenly bereft, without the skills to cope with being alone ?

Is it being kind to a puppy longterm keeping it with us constantly , lavishing it with affection ..then leaving it in a pen when we go off ?

Do we need to start as we mean to go on ..and ensure pup has independent playtime/outside time from day one ?

Do we need to hold off on admiring and praising and adoring at all?

Do we need to do MORE things together, and have more time to praise and cuddle puppies?

What do you think? I am aware that there is no absolute - each situation is unique , so ... add your ideas to the mix :)

YES!!! we make puppies to dependant on us from day one, and I think it just confuses the poor pup. From day one for all our dogs they were treated as they will be for the rest of thier long lives with us. No time off work, and sleeping in a crate from night one. I think it's important to not lavish a puppy in a manner that is not going to continue past day one. I find it so hard not to spoil a puppy on day one, after all it is a tough day for the little one, but each time I think of it, I think to myself - NO, I will just create an expectation that I cant hope to maintain. It's like making a promise you can't keep, and only creates anxiety for the poor little things. I don't think we need to hold off affection and praise completely, but I do think smothering a puppy and being there for it 24/7 in the first week is only creating problems for yourself and the puppy. But I may have different ideas of affection - like a long walk together, like training times, being proud of my pups achievements, travelling together, taking to an off leash area like a beach and even simple things like feed time. I also believe that puppies should not be sheltered from things they are going to face as adults. Like, if they are going to be outside dogs as adults they shouldn't spend thier puppy years inside, or if they are going to be crated for sleep time then they do it from day one. Then I think the puppy learns what you expect and doesn't get confused and frustrated about thier place and role in the world..

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Rebanne   

I also believe that puppies should not be sheltered from things they are going to face as adults. Like, if they are going to be outside dogs as adults they shouldn't spend thier puppy years inside, or if they are going to be crated for sleep time then they do it from day one. Then I think the puppy learns what you expect and doesn't get confused and frustrated about thier place and role in the world..

I teach my pups to sleep outside, with other dogs and on their own, to sleep in a crate overnight, to stay outside during the day with the other dogs or on their own. I want them to be adaptable in case something happens and they do need to do the opposite of what is "normal" for them. People's lives change through changes of jobs, housing, family members coming and going - death, marriage, births etc.

In saying that though I am happy for my dogs to be in with me a lot and usually have one or two sleeping on the bed. But they all sleep outside at night when I am at work and I can and do mix and max them up when I am home. Ages of dogs range from 6 months to nearly 15 years and I have 4 of them.

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Gayle.   

My dogs all cope with various situations because I expect them to. Puppies from day one have been left alone (I took two weeks off work for one pup, who then proceeded to sleep the day away so I just went out and left her to it). They've always spent lengthy amounts of time outside unsupervised.

My comings and goings are uneventful for them, even taking one or two dogs with me and leaving the others behind doesn't create angst.....they just watch and when I start to leave, they turn and walk away.

There is another discussion here, the one of some breeders and rescue groups who won't sell to people who work because they don't believe their dogs should be left alone.

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Personally I think the more the breeder does, in terms of seperating the pups from each other, crate/pen training them, taking them for car rides, handling them, having others handle them etc, makes a world of difference to how a puppy settles into it's new home.

I rarely get calls that mine cry or they are distressed in any way, most say they march in and take over the house like they've always been there.

A bit of common sense from the puppy buyers goes a long way too.

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:):thanks:

This is terrific..and just what I had hoped... I'm just popping in now..will read it all properly again later.

It is most interesting .

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Personally I think the more the breeder does, in terms of seperating the pups from each other, crate/pen training them, taking them for car rides, handling them, having others handle them etc, makes a world of difference to how a puppy settles into it's new home.

I rarely get calls that mine cry or they are distressed in any way, most say they march in and take over the house like they've always been there.

A bit of common sense from the puppy buyers goes a long way too.

Quite true.

Lead training is another issue in which many breeders dont take enough time to do.

My puppies are on a lead from as early as possible. They are taught to accept a lead from a very early age and I encourage new owners to continue with this. Whether they are staying with me or going to a new home. It doesnt matter. I try to take the time to start them off the right way.

Many breeds can be very stubborn, and the Bulldog is certainly up there with the best. Sometimes it can be a huge challenge but you have to perservere without destroying a dogs self confidence in the big wide world.(Have I used that word in the right context?)

Leads are a safety harness. They are a tool in which we teach our dogs.

How many times have I seen a baby at a show for instance that has been put on a lead for the very first time, just that day. At 12 weeks old for heavens sake. And everyone thinks it is so funny that a puppy is doing somersaults, being dragged around a ring and is totally stressing out.

Socialising babies is very important, but of course as they are not fully vaccinated this needs to be controlled. Getting them accustomed to noises, sights, everyday issues as much as possible.

I never leave any of my dogs outside unsupervised for any length of time unless they are suitably contained. They are always out with us. Never left to their own devices. This is just the way we do it.

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dog geek   

I am not hugely experienced, and have only raised one litter of four Pomeranians - but can I just say:

Using the Puppy Development Calendar, and the Puppy Socialisation Calendar *, to guide the way I raised my pups has made for an interesting improvement on my puppies, as compared to their parents.

The parents were riased in a rural area, had exposure to children, cats, lots of other small dogs, and were lead/groom trained.

They both are stressed if left on their own in the dog yard, but not if left in the big yard.

They both stress if left in a pen/crate on their own in a different room to the one I am in.

They both are socially competant with other small dogs, but the male in particular is very reactive to other dogs when out and about.

Both dogs are very reactive when visitors enter the yard and house.

The male is aggressive if visitors try to pick him up; is aggressive if other handlers try to handle him in the ring; but allows judges to examine him (go figure with that one...)

With these characteristics being most unwelcome, I took great pains to remove each puppy from the litter from a week old, for increasing lengths of time.

As each got older, I varied the experiences each was exposed to; I took them in the car with me in a baby sling to visit friends at the shopping centre and to pick up the kids from school (no one was allowed to touch the puppies).

I introduced each puppy to solo time in a crate from about three weeks of age; each puppy had a Heartbeat Puppy and a treat - dried lambs' ears or suchlike - and I increased the time gradually from ten minutes to four hours over a five week period.

Each puppy spent time as a litter, or solo, in the big dog pen with my adult Afghan male.

One pup in particular I recognised as having a very reactive temperament, like his sire's. This puppy I did extra sessions with, to increase the opportunities he had for recovering from new experiences and sounds etc.

At three weeks (I had to insist their dam wean them at six weeks, she was more than happy to feed them forever) I began keeping the other Poms completely seperate from the puppies for the majority of the day; and I organised the other Poms' day to decrease the chances that they would yap and carry on.

I did this to minimise the chances for the Pom breeds' natural tendency to reactive barking to become a habitual response. In spending the majority of time in the company of a calm, non-reactive adult dog; and without hearing other dogs responding to triggers by barking, I have ended up with Poms that are remarkably stable, non-reactive, and almost complacent about other dogs/new environments (NB: There is one female pup that is more inclined to "shouting about it"; she is still here with me and I ascribe this to my slacking off with the routine).

I will most certainly be repeating the procedures with my next litter.

I have a few aspects I will be fine-tuning, but the puppy I recognised as being most reactive has flown down to Melbourne to his new family at 17 weeks of age - and I am pleased to hear he is quiet and out-going, if a little under-trained in the toileting department.

Certainly, my own sister (very non-dog savvy) who is politely un-impressed by the adult Poms' yappiness and hyperactivity, was volubly enthralled with the difference in the puppies' behaviour.

She in fact (Master's in Business) keeps outlining a business plan for me, based on the "saleability" of quiet, well-behaved small fluffy dogs... eep!

So: I am enormously encouraged by the results of my experiment, and while I will be vigorously avoiding my sister's plans for marketing my puppies, I will most certainly be working with future litters to produce well-balanced, emotionally stable Poms that are demonstrably quieter than the stereotypical Pom of popular perception...

... and with the humblest acknowledgement that I would not have been able to even begin on this path without Steve Coutenay's wonderful writings to guide me.

* http://www.k9pro.com.au/pages/Behavioural.html

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Katie P   

I have to admit I have not read any books or searched the net regarding getting a puppy/training etc before getting any of mine. I have been reading them atm out of curiousity and can see how it can all be so overwhelming. Teaching basic's like sit, drop, stay, come among other things I thought were all pretty basic and common sense.

Although I have made mistakes along the way, I tried to use mostly common sense and teach behaviours I expected out of them. All three of my dogs (although I got one as a mature adult) are quite happy to come and go with no seperation anxiety to either me or the other dogs. I have made sure to take them all out individually regularly and do not make a big deal when we leave and they are all happy to explore and do their own thing without needing to be attached at the hip. They are all crate trained without needing to use tools such as crate games etc. They do all sleep on my bed but when they need to, they can sleep in their crates downstairs or outside.

Edited by Katie P

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Nekhbet   

It comes down to a couple of things

- Breeders coddling their pups a little too much. So many spend too much time locked up or in the whelping box, they're dogs and they need to get outside ASAP no matter the breed. They need to fall over, hear loud noises, get dirty and sometimes, be frightened of things and then run back to see whats going on as pups do. Too many people bringing home chubby, dry-socialised dogs that have met the same few people and barely left the breeders home. My friends current litter is already out on the grass at 4 weeks of age, had pots banged, CDs of thunder, music etc played and this week they even had firecrackers set off near them. They didn't bat an eyelid.

Personally I think the more the breeder does, in terms of seperating the pups from each other, crate/pen training them, taking them for car rides, handling them, having others handle them etc, makes a world of difference to how a puppy settles into it's new home.

I rarely get calls that mine cry or they are distressed in any way, most say they march in and take over the house like they've always been there.

I do see the same thing with new pups purchased. My Mal bitch too, when we babysat them at 7 weeks they were happy to entertain themselves if you were too tired, toilet trained and went straight to a crate to sleep. Never heard a peep from either of them. A little effort goes a long way. Dogs need to learn to learn. If they dont learn as pups it becomes an uphill struggle from there.

As for the puppy purchasers, there is this obsession also perpetuated by vets, of locking up pups. It shits me to tears that we're so obsessed with disease risk that it's better to lock them up. They're puppies they HAVE to go out and explore and be outside. The fact peoples backyards are shrinking too doesnt help, imagine living in these modern 'boxes' as a dog.

It's also an idea of we must protect our pups from being frightened by things! Oh no it got scared, quick RUN HOME AND LOCK IT AWAY AGAIN! We need to become a little tougher. Fear, anxiety, stress, etc are all normal parts of how an animal learns. Fear periods are now the new pop word for excusing dogs behaviour and owners/trainers backing off making the dog deal with it. We have instilled such an anxiety in dog owners that many I have seen literally reduced to tears in frustration and afraid of ruining their dog. Dogs are more resilient then we give them credit for, the more we fuss, dote and panic the more neurotic a creature we are raising.

These half-baked puppy preschools that somehow have become a replacement for the old style of taking the pup straight to dog club after the last vaccination are contributing too. 4-5 hours of mucking about somehow becomes a replacement for a couple of years of real dog training in a lot of peoples minds, how that logically works is beyond me. It's in the same category of 'I went to kindergarten, ready for VCE now'. More accessable dog clubs are required, I am in awe of any group class only classes that charge clients up to $1000 in order to get 'lifetime training'. Remember the old days you'd pay a little yearly admin fee and then chuck a gold coin in the box? OK trainers were mainly volunteers but there was an option for everyone, no matter your income, to go out and train your dog, see other dogs in a controlled manner from a young age.

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It comes down to a couple of things

- Breeders coddling their pups a little too much. So many spend too much time locked up or in the whelping box, they're dogs and they need to get outside ASAP no matter the breed. They need to fall over, hear loud noises, get dirty and sometimes, be frightened of things and then run back to see whats going on as pups do. Too many people bringing home chubby, dry-socialised dogs that have met the same few people and barely left the breeders home. My friends current litter is already out on the grass at 4 weeks of age, had pots banged, CDs of thunder, music etc played and this week they even had firecrackers set off near them. They didn't bat an eyelid.

Personally I think the more the breeder does, in terms of seperating the pups from each other, crate/pen training them, taking them for car rides, handling them, having others handle them etc, makes a world of difference to how a puppy settles into it's new home.

I rarely get calls that mine cry or they are distressed in any way, most say they march in and take over the house like they've always been there.

I do see the same thing with new pups purchased. My Mal bitch too, when we babysat them at 7 weeks they were happy to entertain themselves if you were too tired, toilet trained and went straight to a crate to sleep. Never heard a peep from either of them. A little effort goes a long way. Dogs need to learn to learn. If they dont learn as pups it becomes an uphill struggle from there.

As for the puppy purchasers, there is this obsession also perpetuated by vets, of locking up pups. It shits me to tears that we're so obsessed with disease risk that it's better to lock them up. They're puppies they HAVE to go out and explore and be outside. The fact peoples backyards are shrinking too doesnt help, imagine living in these modern 'boxes' as a dog.

It's also an idea of we must protect our pups from being frightened by things! Oh no it got scared, quick RUN HOME AND LOCK IT AWAY AGAIN! We need to become a little tougher. Fear, anxiety, stress, etc are all normal parts of how an animal learns. Fear periods are now the new pop word for excusing dogs behaviour and owners/trainers backing off making the dog deal with it. We have instilled such an anxiety in dog owners that many I have seen literally reduced to tears in frustration and afraid of ruining their dog. Dogs are more resilient then we give them credit for, the more we fuss, dote and panic the more neurotic a creature we are raising.

These half-baked puppy preschools that somehow have become a replacement for the old style of taking the pup straight to dog club after the last vaccination are contributing too. 4-5 hours of mucking about somehow becomes a replacement for a couple of years of real dog training in a lot of peoples minds, how that logically works is beyond me. It's in the same category of 'I went to kindergarten, ready for VCE now'. More accessable dog clubs are required, I am in awe of any group class only classes that charge clients up to $1000 in order to get 'lifetime training'. Remember the old days you'd pay a little yearly admin fee and then chuck a gold coin in the box? OK trainers were mainly volunteers but there was an option for everyone, no matter your income, to go out and train your dog, see other dogs in a controlled manner from a young age.

Whattya mean "Remember the old days you'd pay a little yearly admin fee and then chuck a gold coin in the box? OK trainers were mainly volunteers but there was an option for everyone" it's not the old days here...my local club still works this way....where are you?

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it's not the old days here...my local club still works this way....where are you?

:rofl:

Some folks think that SA='olden days'

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I am so relieved to have found this discussion today!

We decided today to install a doggy door into our laundry so that our puppy can choose to go outside in the secure backyard! He loves it out here and at almost nine weeks ( picked him up at 8 weeks on tuesday) we can now put him outside while we eat or i cannot watch him, he will come to the door with a tiny whine, see it ets him nothing and he will go play or snooze! I just couldnt understand why i would confine him to the boring laundry all day...

I read heaps and was all set for crate training, but barney does better with his crate open in the laundry at night. He has a puppy pad, but still wont use it, i take him out at 4 am. He fraeked out with the door shut, even though he would be in it shut during the day...

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LizT   

Showdog, I did a unit on gender and discipline this last semester at uni, and while it was in regards to children, your post here made me think of an article that we studied... its main idea was "the rise of the expert and the fall of the mother"...... basically outlining how with so many experts available, on the internet, in books and on telly (such as Supernanny, or in the case of Dogs Ceasar Milan etc), mothers (or in this case dog owners) begin to doubt their own instincts or things that they know. Its quite transferrable to pet owners too.

When Digby came to live with us, we had been planning and looking into getting a puppy ( we were looking into getting a Shar Pei and had done a lot of research into the breed and care for it, Digby the Australian Cattle dog is a long story!) , I felt I was pretty abreast of the whole idea. Then along came Digby, a shoe eating, non sleeping, night screaming, carpet weeing, garbage bin raiding bundle of joy. rofl1.gif

I felt awful because Ian Dunbar told me that if he even thought about having an accident on the carpet he would toilet all over himself forever,

I was a failure because I let him sleep in the bedroom next to our bed cause he screamed all night the first three nights and I was tired.

and I stressed because I didn't know 100 people to introduce him to in his first few weeks, and many of the dogs in town were not very well mannered, or farm dogs who could have any response to a puppy, some of whom I doubted would be vaccinated at all (on top of that there was parvo going around the town.)

I also felt very guilty cause I could not stay at home with him, or visit him at lunch time) entirely on the first few weeks home. (I work three days a week 50kms away)

I was proud that I made it to 2 (out of 4 that I paid for) puppy school classes an hour away with him screaming and barking in the back seat of my car.

I was petrified that I was "ruining" this dog who was in my care. All because of things that I had read or been told.

I admit that Digby still needs some work (he is 8 months old and a nutter still), but he is toilet trained, is well on the way to being crate trained (after 3 days) and he has met a few people who love him, and we have successfully worked on car obsession and a few other ticks he had. He sits and does a few other tricks to hand signals. We even have a second (older rescue) dog now to keep him company.

I may have gotten a little bit OT here... sorry

alternatively, perhaps as a forum of people whom are dog people, who are knowledgable and smart about dog stuff, newbies like me are attracted to get assistance for our seemingly problematic pooches who are not Lassie from day one. :wink.gif who then learn to love Dogs as much as the rest of the DOL crew and stay for the awesomeness. and cute doggy photos!

I was just thinking how similar the comparisons are to new mother and new puppy owner.

When you first have a child you read all the books, everyone is full of advice, you try to do it all! You stress and somehow manage to muddle through it all. So called "experts" give conflicting advice from year to year..."controlled crying...swaddling, demand feeding and nuturing, sleeping with mum".....the list is endless.

Then when you have your second kid no one bothers you...they figure since you haven't killed your first you're an expert and leave you to it! :laugh:

Right now I'm juggling the balance between socialising a singleton puppy and leaving her confident and happy enough in her own company so she doesn't become a sookie lala pain in the butt. Of course all my hard work could become completely undone by a new owner sucumbing to the baby brow neyes at 8 weeks should she end up going to a pet home. Of course that possibility doesn't negate my responsiblity to her now. :)

Edited by LizT

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Nekhbet   
Whattya mean "Remember the old days you'd pay a little yearly admin fee and then chuck a gold coin in the box? OK trainers were mainly volunteers but there was an option for everyone" it's not the old days here...my local club still works this way....where are you?

When I was a kid that was the biggest club we had in the city/area. What I was meaning that group schools should be more about the benefit of the wider community and dogs then lining peoples pockets :p Don't worry I'm not that old :rofl:

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This is a very interesting topic, my aim when introducing a new pup or dog here is to make them part of our family. For us that means good manners, flexible routines, calm inside behaviour, non reactive behaviour to idiot neighbours, calm behaviour in the car, ability to be separated from not just us, but each other without stress, flexibility in sleeping arrangements (if it is hot they are outside, raining=inside, sometimes crated, sometimes in the laundry etc...) accepting visiting family members and visiting dogs/cats coming and going... the list goes on.

We try to manage all this with as little excitement and stress as possible. Pups are just expected to fit in with what we already do here.

LizT, you are exactly right, having just had my second baby, I find people assume I know what I am doing now :laugh: also, there is less pressure this time and the BIG difference, less people offering their opinions on how I should raise my child.

I think there is definitely an information overload these days, it is so easy to google or search a forum and get a thousand different opinions on what you should/shouldn't be doing, where as 10 years ago we were working it out ourselves, contacting our breeders, or others in the same breed or sport for their opinions. I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what we want from our dogs and find the simplest path to that objective rather than over analysing and over complicating things.

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Whattya mean "Remember the old days you'd pay a little yearly admin fee and then chuck a gold coin in the box? OK trainers were mainly volunteers but there was an option for everyone" it's not the old days here...my local club still works this way....where are you?

When I was a kid that was the biggest club we had in the city/area. What I was meaning that group schools should be more about the benefit of the wider community and dogs then lining peoples pockets :p Don't worry I'm not that old :rofl:

Well Nekhbet, I am that old - back in the early 70's (sheese I am old) we went to clubs out the back of council parks, volunteers were all we had. But we also had access to take our dogs out and about to sooo many different venues. The expectation back then was different. Now the community expect more and as Trainers we have to try and provide the training to suit the 'modern' world. Unfortunately it will mean it will cost more but I agree some of the prices clients have been quoted astound me. Even the cost of many a vet puppy school or in one of the Pet Suppliers pup program is outrageous and for very little effect.

Back in the 'old days' it was purely obedience style of training, heel, sit, stay etc. Nowdays that stuff doesnt do it. Families need to be taught how dogs can live and work within the family and how they interact with other dogs so when they do go out in public the owners know how to handle different situations. 95% of your Training should be for the 5% of time when things go wrong.

I breed dogs, train dogs/families, board dogs, groom dogs - and working with families has taught me that as a breeder and trainer I have a responsibility to make sure that my product (my pups) are as ready for the big bad world but I also have to prepare my new families for the responsibility they take on. that means providing them with common sense reading material as well as hours of consultation over the phone to discuss any concerns.

the new puppy owners have loads of questions, most are nervous and then confused, they access sooooo much info from books and the internet and often it comes across in conflict to something else they have read. Common sense might seem obvious to some but not to others.

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