Hi everyone, I'm in my late 20's and I live in NZ with my rescued Dobe, and GSD puppy (and a husband). I originally wanted another Dobe but the Dobe breeders here refuse to health test saying either it's too expensive or that they don't care about Dobe's health (disgusting! And these were the two top winning & producing show breeders).
I got Zak when he was about 3 or 4 (2007) from Dobermann Rescue as I didn't want to start with a puppy for my first dog (too many people start with pups and can't cope, and they are adults for much longer, so my reasoning was: no point starting with a puppy if you can't cope with an adult, plus I didn't have the experience so didn't want to 'ruin' a puppy). I spent a whole year researching dogs and watching every episode of 'It's me or the dog' before getting Zak. Back then I was against pure bred dogs (because I thought pure bred = problems), until I met a breeder who put the appropriate emphasis on health testing (unfortunately not in NZ anymore), and now I've swung the other way as I feel it's important to put emphasis on health, temperament/working ability and conformation (in that order - and not breeding for the sake of breeding). Zak has taught me so much about dog training, we've gone from Zak taking me for a walk and barking at every seagull to me taking Zak for a walk with him ignoring seagulls (most of the time, anyway).
After 2 years of reading and watching everything I could find on dogs and dog training (again, but this time more specific
) I decided to get Kaz, I've had her now for 3 weeks and she's from working parents (with fantastic hip and elbow scores!). She's so much fun but the change in dynamic from 1 dog to two is really showing up my lack of experience. I'm using positive reinforcement methods, but because she's so young I can't yet reliably say she knows a command (she's doing fantastically with toilet training
), I'm also having some trouble knowing what to do when she doensn't obey the first command (because despite my lack of experience, I am hoping to train her for S&R and for us to do canine freestyle together - only because there are no local Schutzhund clubs, and I wouldn't dare train that by myself). She's getting plenty of play and sleep time, we mainly train around meal times (so I am 'letting her be a puppy'). I don't know how other people turn out with good dogs because I'm having trouble (mainly with not knowing what to do) after all the research I've done (and most people I know who get puppies, just wake up one morning and think 'let's get a puppy').
I'm having fun with my dogs and I love them to bits, I'm thankful to this forum because there are so many gems here that have already helped! Thanks everyone for posting problems and solutions!