Friday, June 7, 2013

The ONE thing

I see this topic a lot on dog message boards. I figured I'd ask it here, because after all, you guys are my "dog people" too!

What is the ONE thing you wish you knew before you brought your dog home?

I of course can't limit it to one. But I've got a solid five, anyway.




1. I wish I knew about what to look for in a reputable breeder. It would save me a lot of "what will the future bring?" style worry.



2. I wish I knew about socialization. Elka is great with people, but knows no dogs. She's played with a few anyway, who were very very shy and/or nonconfrontational in their body language. But assertive dogs she doesn't know what to do with, so we just stay away.



3. I wish I knew about clicker training from day one! From pre day one, so I had a game plan. Oh, if I could have exclusively clicker trained Elka!



4. I wish I took more puppy pictures! They look grown up so fast! Of course, I was a little bit unprepared for the full ramifications of what "Doberman puppy" meant; even though she is not a high drive dog, she still gave us a run for our money! (You can really see how mismatched her ears are in this one; she mostly grew into them okay, but I was less than pleased when the stitches came out. See #1 on the list again.)



5. I wish I knew more about canine nutrition, and the apparent freaking menace of things made in China. Jerky treats are on the list, obviously, but also some cheap-o rubber toys are suspected of having lead and other chemicals in them. Sure, it's hard handing something over that costs more than a dollar to what you know are the jaws of destruction.....but I'd rather pay more for a toy than knowingly poison my dog.




So again, what's your one (or three or ten) thing? What will you do different in the future? What do you always recommend to people?

23 comments:

  1. If I had to pick just one - that my first GSD would steal my heart forever & that her legacy would live on in future thiefs. Gone but never forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was an unexpected thing, to a degree. Just HOW STRONG dog love is.

      Delete
  2. Mine is a little different. I sometimes wish I knew earlier how certain breeds and I would click when living together, it might change the order that I will in the future invite dogs to live with me...but then again, so many end up here due to circumstances that I'm not sure it would make a difference. I am hoping a Scottish Terrier and Doberman will find their ways into my life again when the time is right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a little different, but very interesting. It's hard to anticipate both breed traits and individual dog personalities.

      Delete
  3. Clicker training!! I was just saying on another post that I wish I'd had more experience with it before I got Brut.

    And socialization. I really have no idea how two strange dogs are suppose to act when they meet. We have been bombarded by loose dogs so many times, Brut was really never given a chance to know anything else.

    And I wish I knew more about how to introduce a prey driven dog like Blaze to a cat!!

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clicker training has just been so valuable!

      Ooh, prey drive is a good one. Mostly just stuff I've read, as Elka is not super drive-y, much to my relief.

      Delete
  4. Great post! Here's my 5:

    1. I wished I'd had Nola on a high quality diet from day one. From 8 weeks to 5 months, she was on Purina. We switched to Blue after that. I feel really bad about it.

    2. Taken more puppy pictures!

    3. Done better with her dog socializing.

    4. Crate trained from day one. Not necessarily had her sleep in her crate at night, but had her used to it from puppy hood. I had to crate train her the last few months, and it wasn't easy.

    5. Worked with her on handling her feet and nail cutting. From 8 weeks to 1 1/2 years, we walked on concrete daily and her nails got worn down naturally. Now that we don't have access to concrete, her nails got very long and it's taken months of counter conditioning for her to accept her nails (front only, still working on the back) being trimmed.

    Nola's Mom

    ReplyDelete
  5. I wish I would be more consistent - some things with Easy would be easier :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes....the "human training" end of thing, including oneself.

      Delete
  6. Wows, I think Nola took MINE!! hehehe
    Well, except for 1 and 4 (Ruby came crate trained! Good breeder!)
    And, I think with each new dog I get, I find something I'm going to different with my next dog.
    The most important thing I would do better is socialization. Ruby was sick for her first year, so she couldn't be around other dogs, so she isn't socialized at all. I tried a private trainer to help with this, but it didn't help. Either trainers are afraid to work with dogs like Ruby or they just don't know how to do it. Frustrating. It's cost me a small fortune to accept that she's just not a dogs dog. I feel bad and sad about that. I think it's a BIG hole for her. Other than that, she's perfect!! lol
    Great question!!
    Kisses,
    Judi (Ruby's Ma)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I wonder sometimes if Elka would like doggie buddies. At best, she seems perplexed by other dogs, at worst, alarmed.

      That is a good breeder! I wonder sometimes if we should have crated. Though that's a BIG crate!

      Delete
  7. The one thing I really wish I'd known before I got Bajnok was how to look for and deal with fear. He was properly socialized and trained, but those genes are a bitch. They sneak up on you, despite an awesome breeder and parents. But if I knew then what I know now, Bajnok wouldn't have taught me as much, and that would've been a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a two edged sword, isn't it? Experiencing something can be so very different from just reading about it.

      And they teach us, too. Not a whole lot of people mention that, or at least they didn't to me.

      Delete
  8. I don't think your comment form has enough room for all the things I wish I had known before I adopted Agatha and Christie. :)

    If I were limited to one, I guess I wish I had been better prepared to advocate for my dogs when other people had the potential to cause them harm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, if you had to pick just one, that is a good one! Advocacy for your dog(s) is so very important, and can be hard or awkward to do.

      Delete
  9. For my first dog, I wish I knew about dog friendly training methods.

    For my current dogs: I wish I had thought more seriously about pet insurance. Having three dogs with medical issues and multiple medications is a real strain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I kinda wish I had picked up pet insurance for Elka. I mean, I still can, and maybe will eventually. It's one of those things you waffle about, but that I know of, can be a real lifesaver.

      Delete
  10. I love this post. We all have regrets and it's nice to air them now and then. See I grew up with a fearful dog so with Elsa and Fable my MO was socialize socialize socialize and while it made Elsa pretty perfect, exposing Fable to so many dogs may be how he contracted a deadly illness. So I guess my regret is trusting other dog owners to be honest about the condition/history of their dogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elsa is pretty perfect ;)

      I think about Fable sometimes, and feel bad about him...I can't really wrap my head around how you must feel. It is such a shame that other dog owners can't be relied upon.

      Delete
  11. Great post!
    I have a few things i would like to change if i went back time:

    1. Puppy pictures - i have a few but they are not enough =)

    2. I would pay more attention to tail docking. Kaiser's tail is far from perfection

    3. I would never let the dog pick me, as it happened. If I had brought a female, as intended, i had avoided a lot of headaches with Jack

    4. Socialization with other dogs. Unfortunately Kaiser hates other dogs. I've tried to bring a puppy to live with us, but even being a baby and being female, he can accept

    Despite all this, I LOVE my boy! I do not abdicated him for anything in the world! It is my first Doberman, and I could not be happier to have him as a member of our family!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Clicker training, definitely clicker training!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. No way I could limit it to one!

    Stop on by for a visit
    Kari
    http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

    ReplyDelete