Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon May 13, 2019 5:00 pm

In horse racing the animals are apparently subjected to a rigorous schedule that's tightly controlled, which I gather allows them to say that genetics are 30% and training 70% of the outcome.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Urban_Redneck » Mon May 13, 2019 7:37 pm

Puppy prognostication is often a self fulfilling prophecy. Only exposure and training will tell you who your dog is.

Pick a good breeding, i.e. ask why the breeder bred those particular dogs.

Pick the one with nice tight feet, that's one thing that is evident at 7-8 weeks.

YMMV
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Libertyrocks » Tue May 14, 2019 8:10 am

I’m struggling with some of these questions myself. Ed Bailey discusses primary socialization on the Hunting Dog Podcast around the 43:00 minute mark.

Ideally I’d like to pick my pup up at 10 weeks. But only the breeder’s pick and my pup will be left, and I have some concerns whether it is receiving appropriate human socialization. I know the breeder has and produces quality dogs, but doubt he spends a fraction of the time and effort some of the cutting edge breeders do.

Since life is a balancing act, now I’m leanings towards 8 weeks and more human socialization. Also, I can observe and interact with all the pups, which will probably change my pick. I live quite a distance so my first visit will be take home day.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby AverageGuy » Tue May 14, 2019 9:21 am

I am certain puppies learn things about dog socialization between 10 and 12 weeks but am not at all convinced what they are learning is beneficial to how we want our dogs to behave as adults.

Even more important to me is that I begin shaping my puppies the moment they arrive and achieve some excellent shaping. Waiting to get my pup until it was 10 weeks or older misses way too much opportunity in that area for me. The only reason I have received a puppy at 9 weeks was having to fly the puppy across the country. When I can drive I will take mine at 7-8 weeks and let the fun begin.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Libertyrocks » Tue May 14, 2019 11:21 am

AverageGuy wrote:Even more important to me is that I begin shaping my puppies the moment they arrive and achieve some excellent shaping. Waiting to get my pup until it was 10 weeks or older misses way too much opportunity in that area for me. The only reason I have received a puppy at 9 weeks was having to fly the puppy across the country. When I can drive I will take mine at 7-8 weeks and let the fun begin.


You obviously know what you are doing and know how you want to shape your dog. But some of the top notch breeders are doing remarkable work with pups before they come home.

Smabby posted some great pictures of her set-up, that are no longer available. I would definitely think pups left with her for an additional couple weeks would benefit more often than not.

I surfed another breeders website, and they have two pages on their breeding program referencing how they are incorporating the work of Temple Grandin, Carmen Battaglia and others. Pictures of the pup area looks more like an outdoor child’s day care center or a starter school.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby AverageGuy » Tue May 14, 2019 12:06 pm

Yes I followed Smabby with interest when she was active on this board. But nothing she did is equal to me working with my puppies because it is not me working with my puppy when the puppy is still at the breeder. The opportunity to begin forming my bond is what I am referencing.

And I have very specific things that have worked well for multiple puppies in a row over a few decades that I do.

Retrieve work begins a day or two after arrival depending on how the puppy settles in.

Image

Bird introduction (and note the pup dragging a home made check cord which plays a part in gentle teaching methods for Here/Come command starting a day or two after arrival)

Image

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Daily walks in natural cover learning all the new and exciting scents and terrains ...

Gun Introduction complete, hunting for, pointing and retrieving pigeons in natural cover by 3 months of age.

Image

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Retrieving birds from water by 3 months

Image

Whether a pup is better left at the Breeder or bringing it home depends alot on what is going at either place during the time period in question. When I can, I get mine early and make the most of it.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby JONOV » Tue May 14, 2019 12:44 pm

RE the age to take home, I have to think its one of those things where it may matter, but I can't believe you'd see an enormous difference one way or another especially if you do your part.

If you take a pup home at 6 weeks old, you need to take over some of the socialization and be proactive about it. If a breeder keeps it til 12 weeks then the breeder needs to be doing their part on that.

I had a dog for a little over a month that we took at 5 weeks old. The dog's had been bottle fed since a few days of age because the Dam injured her abdomen requiring stitches, and the dog was basically a "cull," given away with restricted paperwork since she had one eye. I at that time had four dogs in my house including her (mine, one foster, one babysitting.) She was plenty well socialized with the elderly and cantankerous GSP, my dog, and a gentle hound that we were watching. One year later she's doing very well; the family loves her personality and she blood trails deer I'm told.

I took my dog home at 6 weeks. Again, I socialized him well from the get-go. He's fine. The only thing I wonder about is if that led to some early problems crate training him. BUT, the dog that I brought at 5.5 weeks took to the crate like a champ.

And when I watched a 12 week old puppy that had been with the breeder/litter til week 12, the crate training was a miserable process for him. So its hard to know. He was otherwise a great dog, awesome personality, did well with other dogs, took "canine social cues" well, etc...

Didn't one of the old Drahthaar Puppy manuals specify 49 days (7 weeks?)

My .02 on it is the 7-9 week period is kind of the happy medium. People like bonding with a pup, and there's soemthing to be said for maximizing the time when the thing is adorable, but minimizing the time when it can't hold its bladder, etc...

Some people say, "Let the breeder pick the dog for you. She should know your personality and that of the dogs and which will work out best." I think that's BS. They're infants. Look for the one you like and if its not spoken for, take it. If it is, find the one you like second best. Obviously look them over physically so you can eliminate anything with obvious physical flaws.

AG has said that "people end up with the dog they deserve." I agree with that and you'll end up with a puppy where you likely get out what you put into it.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby orhunter » Tue May 14, 2019 1:05 pm

AG's approach cannot be improved upon. One important thing this can tell a new pup owner is what a pup can actually accomplish if given the opportunity. Can't go into this by saying, it's only a pup and failing to get involved in early development. By the time the Spudster was shipped to AG, he'd had an introduction to all the important stuff that AG simply continued with. Spud was around enough gunfire if a Howitzer were fired over his head, it probably wouldn't wake him from a nap. Daily doses of bird scent, water when the pool was open, the kid had it all. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a breeder that takes care of business the way Bone Point does.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby ryanr » Tue May 14, 2019 1:36 pm

8 weeks, 9 weeks, 10 weeks- what matters most is you start bonding and shaping your pup as soon as you pick it up. Don't overthink it. I do a lot of similar things that AG does. Exposure, to all kinds of different things, starts from day 1. Daily hikes thru the woods and fields are a big part of my routine and I always take our first hike that very first morning. I don't say much just let the pup learn and explore and know I'm there for reassurance and praise. I do what I can to keep my pup from harm's way but I don't coddle them.

Most breeders want pups picked up as soon as legally allowed (here in PA that's 8wks old). A litter is a lot of work, especially once they're weaned amd become peeing and pooping machines and mom no longer cleans up after them so getting a breeder to hold onto pups longer than they're required can sometimes be difficult and cost you more.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Tue May 14, 2019 2:06 pm

In my limited experience there is a huge difference between a seven and eight week old pup. At seven weeks old the pups are running a bit on solid ground but can't jump up on things, are hesitant, can get up on front legs to climb a little, fall over a lot , etc. Also they're asleep most of the time. At eight weeks they're running through tall grass, jumping out of my side-by-side, jumping up on the deck, dead run for kernels of kibble, know their name, play with other dogs for extended periods, etc.

My wife just reminded me that the younger they are the more they need pretty much constant supervision so if you're going to leave the young pup at home while you're at work it could be problematic.

Bob Wolters was the guy who coined the forty-nine day rule but who knows what he did to figure that out. Others say nine or ten weeks is best for some breeds but which ones are they and how was the research done? Living the experience right now I'd say seven weeks is on the verge of being too soon and eight being just right. Not sure there's much advantage in waiting until nine or ten.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Libertyrocks » Tue May 14, 2019 2:47 pm

Good thread.

I feel much better about 8 weeks now and can’t wait to get started. Last weekend I put together a spreadsheet with training goals/intro work, starting age, and YouTube links or book references.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby flitecontrol » Tue May 14, 2019 2:52 pm

The forty nine day recommendation came from the folks who provide guide dogs for the blind. They place pups in volunteer homes to raise until ready for training. They found that was the minimum time to break up a litter and increase the chances the puppies would develop into suitable guide dogs, which of course not all of them did. Everyone jumped on board, and seven weeks became the "best" time to get a pup. That's not what the data indicated, but that's how it was interpreted.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Willie T » Tue May 14, 2019 5:07 pm

Libertyrocks wrote:Good thread.

I feel much better about 8 weeks now and can’t wait to get started. Last weekend I put together a spreadsheet with training goals/intro work, starting age, and YouTube links or book references.


Liberty,
A general map is good but don't expect an organized timeline. Every pup will progress at its own speed. They all mature at different rates. Progressing at the speed your puppy progresses is the timeline to follow. Sometimes we get precocious pups that do things at exceptionally young ages but that is not the norm and not what you should expect. The first phase will be just introducing and exposing the pup to lots of things and learning to read your new puppy. At first let it romp and be a puppy while it bonds to you. Keep in mind when you bring it home it is still just a baby. If you are paying attention it will give you cues as to what it is ready for. Hopefully you can relax and enjoy the puppy stage for what it is, as you prepare for what is to come.

Best of luck with your new pup. We all love puppies so be sure to post up some pics when you bring it home.
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby RowdyGSP » Tue May 14, 2019 10:05 pm

Urban_Redneck wrote:
Pick the one with nice tight feet, that's one thing that is evident at 7-8 weeks.

YMMV


I'm curious why? Tight as in pads being super tight together? For the rocky steep terrain I hunt in, I don't mind at all the bigger feet. Rowdy has probably abiver average sized feet for a GSP. He is as sure-footed as a Billy goat on the rocks and cliffs of chukar country. I feel like they allow for better traction. I could be totally wrong. Just my thought
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Re: Help With A Couple Puppy Questions

Postby Urban_Redneck » Thu May 16, 2019 8:15 am

RowdyGSP wrote:
Urban_Redneck wrote:
Pick the one with nice tight feet, that's one thing that is evident at 7-8 weeks.

YMMV


I'm curious why? Tight as in pads being super tight together? For the rocky steep terrain I hunt in, I don't mind at all the bigger feet. Rowdy has probably abiver average sized feet for a GSP. He is as sure-footed as a Billy goat on the rocks and cliffs of chukar country. I feel like they allow for better traction. I could be totally wrong. Just my thought


"Tight" meaning the toes do not splay out when standing on a hard surface. Not looking for a "cat's paw"- standing on the toes, just not snowshoes.
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