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So, getting a puppy, what to expect?

(58 Posts)

Just that really. Grew up with dogs, have had cats for the last 19 yrs (the same 2 they were just very long lived)! My ds is an only one, and although I had a sister i was very close to growing up the sense of companionship I had from our family dog was immense and I want this for my son.

We did look into an older rescue dog, but my ds is a little nervous around dogs, and I feel that a puppy coming into the home and 'growing up with him' would probably work better, especially from a pack point of view iyswim.

So, tell me the worst...grin

punter Fri 04-Jan-13 16:15:03

We are older than OP, had a rescue mongrel for 10 years, when he died we had to get another dog. For various reasons we got a lab puppy. He is 4 months old, the GC are quite frightened of him but that will pass hopefully as he calms down. It is VERY hard work and you only see changes in very small incremental steps, you think you are failing but you won't if you keep at it. Clicker training has been marvellous, a crate for night time worked well for us and mostly you will need to be calm and consistent. Something my DH finds difficult - using non learnt commands does not work - like 'please get off me I am trying to read the paper'. Puppy is a great friend already but your life will never be the same again I promise you that Save money on not going out that you will spend at vet, pet store and cleaning. Good luck.

There are some amazing staffy rescues, I'd be happy to give you info too.

cuebill has suggested such great reading material, please have a look at it and think carefully before you bring the pup home.

Otherwise it will be another staffy in rescue.

punter my DH also struggles with that.

Little dog will just about comprehend "leave it"
He does not understand "don't eat the toilet roll, why are you eating it, please don't eat it"

LadyTurmoil Fri 04-Jan-13 16:21:06

I would look at something like a Cavalier King Charles, Bichon Frise, or similar. I have heard that Cavaliers make good family dogs, my brother has a Bichon/poodle cross who is incredibly sweet-natured and has been easy to train, likes one good walk a day and then a quick walk or let out in the garden in the evening. We have had her to stay over weekends and she has been a sweetie! Regarding Staffies, they are lovely dogs (I have a friend with one) but, although he is a small Staffie, he is very strong and just because of that fact, I wouldn't really fancy one if I had small children as I think it would be harder to have smaller children participate in walking the dog etc. Google your local rescues, start following Battersea, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust on Facebook/Twitter and prepare for a potentially long wait until you find a suitable dog. You could also start dog walking for a local rescue, maybe with your child (if allowed, don't know if it's possible) which would help them get used to being around dogs... Good luck!

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 16:22:35

Mine isn't a staffy - but he is my first puppy, I honestly think if I hadn't had dogs before I'd have considered rehoming him, a puppy is nothing like having a dog, lol

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:22:51

I have another Dh who believes dogs speak English.

"Get up now, move over, I want to go to bed. For fucks sake dog it is 3am let me into bed. Please move over. Why are you growling at me? Jump up, come on now, up off the bed. D0oin, move your fucking dog, I thought you had trained him to get up when you told him?" me: "Try saying 'off' with the hand signal I showed you, please don't converse with him, just use his commands, he really does not understand you"

Wow am I glad I posted on here before going any further. Perhaps I put the wrong title, we haven't chosen a puppy or been to see any yet, wanted to research things thoroughly first. Although I admit I have texted one owner, but have decided not to go any further.

Funnily enough, we had decided to investigate fostering from our local rescue place, obviously only dogs that they felt would suit our situation, with the idea that our ds could get used to older calmer dogs and that we would hopefully fall in love with one and keep it. But then a friend yesterday talked me into the idea of him coping better with a puppy and them 'growing up together'.

And apologies to those of you who were offended by my 'pack' remarks, (hope you didn't hurt your head!) I did say that we have had cats for 20 years and all the research on training etc that I have done since embarking upon the idea has reinforced this.

Will contact that rescue centre and see what they say, and will report back.

punter Fri 04-Jan-13 16:26:47

DOin that made me laugh so much, particularly the bit about 'I thought you had trained him.....' So much like our conversations. I have had to remind DH that puppy is not deaf so saying the same thing over and over but in a much LOUDER voice does not work either.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:32:42

Yay, well done OP.

Fostering is sooo rewarding. Tantrums will know of some good Staffy rescues you can foster for, I'll bet.

I've read the Barry Eaton book. It's a really easy read, but I do now have visions of a family all lining up to eat a biscuit in front of their puppy before they feed him, every time pack theory is mentioned and of a family sitting on the edge of their sofa all ready to dash to the door if looks like the dog wants to leave the room. Funny, but exhausting and utterly pointless from a training POV.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 16:37:30

I hear that some people have nice calm puppies...but mine has definitely put me off getting one again.

My DC aren't littlies either, they're 12 and 16, lol, so it's not like he was able to jump up on them properly or get their stuff often.

To be fair to the monster puppy, he's the sweetest thing in the world when he's asleep, he picks up commands in hours and he is very very slowly turning into a lovely dog - but the first few months were horrendous.

I saw a link for dogsblog on here, have a look, it really brings home to you how many dogs need homes.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:40:42

I had a nice calm puppy [smug]

It's down to her breed, general disposition and a massive dollop of luck.

Oh I'm so pleased op.
do you want to pm me where you are and I'll put you I touch with some people?

You will get a lot from fostering, mind you, you might acquire a dog you were not planning for <glares at LittleDog>

My DH always said to me "I thought you had trained him to get off? The bloody dog is in my chair again and he won't move"

No matter how many times I explain that having a 5 minute convo with the dog, which goes "dog, why are you in my chair, I want to sit down. Why don't you go to your own bed? Why are you always on my chair? I want my chair back" is not nearly as effective as "off" which makes him move in 5 seconds.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 16:47:23

Is it the whippety one that was calm? In the early stages of acquiring the monster puppy I was quite taken with a whippet. <sighs wistfully>

My DP changes all the commands - because apparently off and down are harder for him to remember than get down and lie down...he won't have it that they sound anything like each other either hmm

Why do they do that?

I cannot get my DH to use one word commands.

Why is it so hard to say one word? Why use 4 or 5

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:49:46

Yes whippy was very calm. She was socialised to within an inch of her life and did have the opportunity to get bored after the staffy pup minding incident grin

She went everywhere with us in dd2's lap in the buggy and dd2 was trained to fed her puppy treats every time someone petted her or a bus or bike etc passed.

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 16:53:17

To add balance it is not just a man thing I caught my mum conversing with the flying whippet on boxing day "Come sweetheart, people are coming over and they'll want to sit down, you have that lovely bed that D0oin bought you, why don't you go and lay on your bed? Go now, do I need to get the other dog to go and lay in your bed? Should I lay in your bed?" confused

I actually taught their dog "Off" for them when my mum said she was having problems moving her off the sofas without her snapping so I know she has an off command.

Twattybollocks Fri 04-Jan-13 16:54:28

Honestly, staffy pups are gorgeously cute. but they are as young dogs, very very high energy, some are like that for life. Peppa the pest (surely the name tells you something) is now approaching 2yo. She is still completely loopy with visitors despite everything we have tried she jumps up, barks, wags, licks frantically. All very friendly but can be very off putting to guests if they don't like the dogs tongue in their ear. She is trained, will sit, stay, recall, lie down, high five, go to her basket... Until someone new arrives then she just gets so excited that she can't contain herself and explodes. She also gets very giddy with the kids, if they are playing anything involving running/shouting/throwing ball she tries to join in and it's very hard to dissuade her. Thankfully neither of my kids were scared of dogs, dd went through a phase of being a little wary after peppa nipped her when she tried to move her off the sofa (about 4 months old) to sit down, but we did training and banned dog from sofa and there haven't been any issues with her nipping since.
Staffs are buggers for chewing too, they can do a truly amazing amount of damage in a very short amount of time. They can also be stubborn and selectively deaf! if I could have bypassed the last 2 years and got the dog I have now ready trained from a rescue there is no way I would have had a puppy I can tell you! As it was dh bought her for me as a pup from a pet shop for my birthday. Right now I couldn't imagine a better family dog than her, she is my kids best friend, and mine, but boy she is hard work some days!

littlewhitebag Fri 04-Jan-13 17:00:25

What's wrong with conversing with your dog? I do it all the time. The family used to say i was like a crazy lady as i talked to my self al the time, so now i just talk incessantly to pupski. I have no expectation of a response mind you!

Our lab pup was also nippy and jumpy when we got her and she reduced my DD1 (age20!) to tears on more than on occasion. She is so calm and lovely now i can't believe it is the same dog.

mistlethrush Fri 04-Jan-13 17:02:17

I was terrified of our puppy when I was 5 - and can remember it now. She had needle sharp teeth. And she wasn't even that much of a chewer!

Staffies are absolute darlings - and I'm sure that there's a good one out there that would help show your son that some dogs are OK.

Lifeisontheup Fri 04-Jan-13 17:02:32

My FIL has a staffy, lovely friendly dog although not brilliant with other dogs, but my youngest DS was terrified of her until she was about five and he's grown up with dogs,first a border collie and then our springer.
She would run after him and jump up at his back which,when he was smaller, used to leave scratch marks down his back. She also still insists on licking bare feet and legs, to the point where she'll shove her nose up your trousers, it drives me mad.
Whatever dog you get, be it a puppy, or a slightly older dog, be prepared for hours of training and preferably training classes. Badly trained dogs are awful for everyone.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 17:03:31

I wouldn't even mind him having different commands so much except he does things like announce proudly that he's trained the puppy to lie down and it only took 20 minutes...Monster puppy has been doing a reliable down since he was about 10 week old hmm and I have to listen to him wittering on in full sentences and being ignored until he says, come and make the dog do...

Why? just use the commands the dog knows angry

My puppy doesn't seem to have an off switch, I can keep him a entertained as I want, he'll still be up to no good the second after you stop.

tabulahrasa Fri 04-Jan-13 17:07:35

'What's wrong with conversing with your dog?'

Nothing, in itself - I talk to the dog and the cats, about nothing much at all, but if I want him to give me back the sellotape he's just stolen I say drop because he will, I don't say, oy tiny dog give me back my sellotape, that's the only roll I've got left in the house and it's not for dogs...well not till I've got it back in my hand anyway, lol

littlewhitebag Fri 04-Jan-13 17:10:31

It always make me very happy to hear that other dog owners have some troubles with their dogs - especially getting them to drop whatever they have found - in pupski's case it is socks retrieved from DD2's floor. She loves them!

Maybe i need to retrain DD2 not to leave them on her floor and put them in the wash!

D0oinMeCleanin Fri 04-Jan-13 17:22:00

I talk to Devil Dog all the time, mainly about sausage factories and where the bad dogs go blush

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