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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Bringing a puppy home in San Francisco

Hello!

I have been around here on and off for the last several months-- everyone was very helpful when my husband and I started looking at breeders, we got set up with the SF Hav Meetup and met a dozen gorgeous dogs and I continue to read posts on here for my many questions. Now we are getting ready to bring a pup home in about 6 weeks (likely; we have visited the breeder, mom, grandma and loved everything, but the pups are only about 3 weeks and we won't meet them for a few more--I don't want to count on it until we've met them because I'm so excited to have an actual date in mind! So, naturally, while your posts are incredible helpful, I would love to get some advice from those of you in the Bay Area (or general advice on where to get good local tips) Our breeder is about 2 1/2-3 hours from here, so, unfortunately, doesn't have great recs in the city. Here are the specific things I'm wondering (for now, I'm sure tomorrow I'll have another 15 questions...)

General

-I know that final shots aren't usually until 16 weeks or so. We're getting our puppy at 9 weeks and live in the city. We have a backyard, so there will be a safe outdoor space, but wondering what tips people have on socializing puppies that aren't fully vaccinated-- we will want to get him (or her) used to the sights and sounds of the neighborhood, but of course keep him healthy. Is the answer just puppy kindergarden and holding him whenever out in the neighborhood?
-Do you have doggy health insurance? Is it worth it?

Bay Area Specific:

-I would LOVE local recommendations for the following as we don't have many friends locally who are dog owners:
-->A great vet in SF
-->A dog walker/sitter who has puppy experience (for the infrequent occasion we would have to leave the pup for more than a couple of hours, especially at first).
-->Recommended places for puppy kindergarten and obedience training (could be two different places)


Thank you for your help, and I look forward to sharing more about our new family member as we get closer to the date that final decisions will be made!

Lisa
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 03:12 PM
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no brainer http://www.siriuspup.com/ Yep you're in the best dog training area in the world. You can start puppy classes as sooon as you get your pup. Just stay away from frequently used dog areas. Here's an article on socialization http://www.apdt.com/petowners/articl...rsonLetter.pdf

Dave and Molly
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 06:19 PM
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I don't live in your area, but do have a couple suggestions. I assume your puppy will have had it's 1st shots around 8 weeks. I do the 2nd round around 12 weeks and in between don't take the dog out of my house (yard) except for in the car to get used to riding. After the 2nd round I'll take the puppy to places like Home Depot and let them ride in a crate in the basket. If someone wants to pat the puppy, I take it out of the crate and hold it. After the 3rd set of shots, 4 weeks later, I'm comfortable with walking on the ground, classes etc., just my opinion.

Becky C
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Becky Chittenden View Post
I don't live in your area, but do have a couple suggestions. I assume your puppy will have had it's 1st shots around 8 weeks. I do the 2nd round around 12 weeks and in between don't take the dog out of my house (yard) except for in the car to get used to riding. After the 2nd round I'll take the puppy to places like Home Depot and let them ride in a crate in the basket. If someone wants to pat the puppy, I take it out of the crate and hold it. After the 3rd set of shots, 4 weeks later, I'm comfortable with walking on the ground, classes etc., just my opinion.
Sorry Becky I have to disagree with you. The window of prime social training comes to and end around 12 to sixteen weeks. Dr. R.K. Anderson and ThE American Veteranary Society of Animal Behaviroritsts says this in not their intention. Too many dogs miss the boat on socialization As the article and studies show the dangers of an unsocialized dog out weigh the risk . And small dogs in general are undersocialized more than larger dogs. This is why there are so many over reactive liittle dogs. They're not socialized properly.

Dave and Molly
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 08:36 PM
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I'm very courious about this topic. I think Gracie is shy because I didn't properly socialize her. She had alot of exposure to family, about 10 of us and 4 dogs, but I didn't get her off our property enough, after reading what the professionals now recommend. I worked with her every day on simple commands, including having a "soft mouth" but i think I should have had her in a puppy class. She took beginner obedience when she was 12 months, where I met my current trainer. She did very well but was still shy around other humans and dogs, so we moved on to agility to build more confidence at the suggestion of my trainer. The past six months have been a series of introducing new experiences that some may find basic: asking her to stay quietly in her kennel at a trial without having me by her side, staying overnite in a hotel, working together in the ring...

She still struggles with separation anxiety, but she is improving every trial. The first trial we did, my DH had to come along only because I couldn't leave her to walk the course before a run. He said she was a basket case. I made sure we hung out with alot of people and dogs around and only required her to lie quietly near me.

I'm sharing this because now I think I could have given her a better start, which I will do with my next pup. When you know better, you do better, I believe. It is these types of discussions here that I find most helpful with my own education.

Leslie, Mom to Gracie (Noblegold Saving Grace) and Angie the HavaShih Rescue
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 08:44 PM
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yes Leslie, your story is quite typical. These first 12 to 16 weeks are critcal. If they miss this window ,it can affect them the rest of their lives. Even though you have gone to all ends to work on this , sometimes they never fully recover. I commend you on your efforts. Keep it up. Socialization should never stop either. It can regress if we suddenly stop getting our dogs "out there." . This is the message that trainers are trying to get out there. Don't wait until it's too late. Another article http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonli...ialization.pdf

Dave and Molly
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
yes Leslie, your story is quite typical. These first 12 to 16 weeks are critcal. If they miss this window ,it can affect them the rest of their lives. Even though you have gone to all ends to work on this , sometimes they never fully recover. I commend you on your efforts. Keep it up. Socialization should never stop either. It can regress if we suddenly stop getting our dogs "out there." . This is the message that trainers are trying to get out there. Don't wait until it's too late. Another article http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonli...ialization.pdf
Dave, where were you when I needed you?

Leslie, Mom to Gracie (Noblegold Saving Grace) and Angie the HavaShih Rescue
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 08:59 PM
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Dave, where were you when I needed you?
If there's only one message I can leave people with is, ... get to puppy classes as soon as possible and socialize on the side at the same time and all the time.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 09:10 PM
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To quote Dr. Dunbar..."Most of an adult dog’s temperament and behavior habits (both good and bad) is forged during puppyhood — very early puppyhood. The first few months of a puppy’s life are absolutely crucial and have a massive and long-lasting effect on a dog’s future behavior and temperament. Breed and individual differences aside, your puppy will essentially become what you raise and train him/her to be. Your puppy’s future quality of life is in your hands. Are you going to do your best to raise your puppy to be a good-natured and well-behaved dog that will enjoy living with you for years to come? Or, are you going to let these precious weeks slip by and unintentionally raise yet another potential shelter dog — a dog with predictable behavior problems that becomes wary, fearful or aggressive towards people and other dogs as it grows older?"

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-07-2012, 10:20 PM
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WELCOME and congratulations (hopefully!) on your soon to be baby!!!

I am about 3 1/2 hrs north of SF, maybe we'll meet someday!!

Tammy and Tillie
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