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Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Puppies! We all love our puppies.
nvd
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Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 pm
Tell us about yourself: Name is Nick, I am Canadian and my background is Dutch.
I love dogs and animals in general. I have always wanted a DS.
So now im in the process to educate my self on them before I
take the plunge! - Now I have one! not like any other dog thats
forsure!
Location: Waterford, Ontario

Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by nvd » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:07 am

Hi,

As a lot of you may know after my pervious thread that we are looking into DS. After a lot of research and a lot of information from people on here we have possibly decided on a low energy drive DS which would suit our needs better.

This evening we went to a local breeder who had a litter of DS available, both parents on site, mom was a dark brindle and dad looked like a malinios... Total of 5, 3 females, 2 males. 3 are left (2 females and 1 male) after spending a fair amount of time with them we narrowed it down to one female and one male (the one male we wanted was spoken for). Age: 5 Weeks old

The female pup was a dark brindle who seemed fairly calm compared to the other 2 females who demanded attention, yippy and nipped a little (expected as they are pups) but still yipped a little when sitting beside me. After a little she just went and layed down with the other male who was also still available.

The male pup who was left, did not move at all while we were there. The breeder said he does play around but we didn't see it at the time we were there. I picked him up and he seemed fine, just didn't want to move at all. I used a squeaky in front of him he perked up a little but still didn't want to move around. I picked him up and moved him to another location but again still didn't want to go back to where he was just did not move..at this time he looked like he was maybe scared? hard to tell when they are this young.

We do want a lower drive one however don't want a scared/fearful/timid dog who when they are older will require more attention. Or maybe this is what a low drive ds is like ? maybe since he didn't want to move around as a pup this would be a good thing as he grows up (in our situation).

If anyone would be able to provide some information about this from there past experience that would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Nick and Jenn
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by asheleylane » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:44 am

Nick and Jenn,
Based on your description of the situation I would first ask: is this a reputable breeder? There are far too many people breeding any shepherd with stripes and selling them as Dutch Shepherd because they are a "rare" breed.

I won't try to interpret your puppy testing, as I don't believe it "formal" puppy testing on a particular day - puppies can vary every day based on their individual development, which is very rapid.

I will share here the WDSAA guidelines for choosing a reputable breeder. These things are important for YOU to have the best chances of getting a well adjusted, healthy dog. They are important to society to not support/encourage irresponsible breeding is thus reducing the need for rescue. They are important to the dogs to minimize suffering due to genetic diseases.

Recommendations for Choosing a Breeder
A reputable breeder will provide a contract, and show the following:
The breeder should have documents from OFA, Penn Hip, or official foreign joint evaluation of all breeding stock showing normal results.
The breeder will take their puppy or dog back at any time as agreed upon in the terms of the contract
The breeder will provide buyers with registration papers via UKC, AKC, or another registry.
The breeder should allow potential buyers to see the Kennel and dogs, should location and time make this possible. The living areas should be clean. Dogs and puppies should be healthy and clean

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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:11 am

From what I have been told by several people, my own experiences, and experiences with puppies, it is impossible to tell if a puppy will be lower energy. A puppy will be higher energy until it is fully grown, around 18-24 months for a DS, and even then the breed themselves are still higher than average energy. I have yet to hear of a low-energy DS puppy not going through the boundless puppy energy phases. Puppies in of themselves are far more energetic than full grown dogs. To put it in perspective, DS puppy is like raising a child - think of chasing a crawling baby around putting things in its mouth all day. That's life with a DS puppy. For the first few weeks the puppy will sleep but once it gets older, you'll have daily Demonic Possession Hour (usually more) where the only thing you can do is watch the little one zoom around your house and throw chewies at it. Plus you must be VERY careful of how you expose your puppy. I have my own stories of my own blindsightedness, mishaps, and bad luck when exposing my guy as a pup and the hours, days, weeks, and months of work I have done to correct and prevent the problem.

You may think a puppy is cheaper but by the time you finish counting the hours training, cleaning supplies, destroyed toys, teething toys, and possible vet trips, are they any cheaper than an adult DS? Run the numbers and count on buying new toys every week until 5 months as a worst case scenario. Just a honest question.

Did you fill our an adoption application with NADSR? A lot of dogs they have never see the website or Facebook page as most find homes in the pre-approved applicants. Those that don't have a match are the ones posted.

If you HONESTLY think you can devote two years of caring for a puppy that wants to zoom around the house, gets bored in two seconds, needs serious work to develop impulse control, and all the chewing and teething pain and adolescent jerkiness that can come with a super smart, super energetic dog, then chose a dog with very stable nerves. A puppies' personality will continually change until it's fully grown, probably the only core elements remaining from the puppy stage are merely glimpses you get. I'll give you two examples:

My guy: as a puppy you could handle him and love on him and squeeze him and he wouldn't fuss. He loved to curl up and sleep in my jacket. He would basically ignore me and everyone else whenever he wished. Had a very merry attitude and a sense of humor. At a year old the only thing that's the same is he's still a very merry guy with a weird sense of humor. He'll let me handle him, others handle him, but loving on him is on his terms. He only sleeps when I sleep and he's very handler sensitive to me, but is a bad ass to others.

Gunner: I've known Gunnar since he was a puppy. At three he's nothing like his puppy self. He was very calm, very relaxed as pup. Loved pleasing people and just loved hanging around the family. Couldn't care less to chase things. At three he's a live wire. Will not stop moving. Will not stop pacing. He must work at all times and if you don't have his respect (or an e-collar) he will not give you the respect of listening to your commands. If he sees a fast moving object he is an firecracker ready to go.

In the words of our trainer, "A puppy is a very stacked gamble. You'll never know what you'll exactly get at the end. A DS puppy is a complete guess as to how much they'll retain certain personality characteristics." Low-energy is not a personality characteristic. This means attitude - humor, inquisitiveness, assertiveness, jerkiness, handler sensitivity, merriness…. If you are very, very, VERY sure you are willing to play the puppy gamble, then rely on a very experienced breeder's opinion and experience with their dogs, even if it's not local.
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by LyonsFamily » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:57 am

Did you get to work the adults at all to get an idea of what they're like? Did the breeder tell you what the parents were like as pups for a comparison? Has the breeder done any work with introducing the puppies to rags, balls, and other things? How did the breeder say this particular puppy did compared to the others when it came to tug/ball drive and nerves?

Personally, I would be asking everything you wrote here to the breeder. They should know the litter better than anyone here will.

It's really hard to evaluate a good breeder and the potential parents when a litter is on the ground, especially with all the puppies around stealing your attention. I'd advise spending a little more time getting to know a breeder before they have a litter that's almost ready to go home.
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Tell us about yourself: DS and Mal foster newly approved aug'12 by NADSR and ABMCR. high-functioning Autistic in nyc/hamptons in my 60's. Rescued the smartest dog i had ever seen off nyc street in 2000. Tracedog's intelligence exceeded by multiples my judgement that day. My first [and only as of 10/2012] dog turned out to be a DS, perhaps with a touch of something else, but attention to detail, behavioral traits, and physical habits, movement, and skill identical to DS. But MUCH more intellectual ability. supremely confident in all settings, fearless, very outgoing and social with people and friendly with dogs. Seldom apart in over 12 years, Trace Dog was the most important relationship of my adult life; he was my partner. He died july17,2012. i am dying without him. www.youtube.com/tracesobaka www.dogster.com/dogs/637612
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by johninny » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:16 am

the male does not sound necessarily low energy, it sounds like he lacks confidence.

personally, i think getting lower prey drive is more important than getting ''low energy'' if you are planning to have children. i think it was Lisa or Sharon who spoke of energy vs prey drive. you could well get a low energy dog with high prey drive. my Sakima is like that. now his energy level is such that he would run rings around just about any non-DS dog, but i think the only way he could be a lower energy DS is if he were dead. on the other hand, his prey drive is sky high - annoyingly so at times. ''low energy'' notwithstanding, the other 2 have almost no chance of getting to a thrown object [ ball, etc ] first - or even if they manage to be ahead of him, he is the one who leaps into the air backwards to snatch the prize from the air. the 2 puppies are better swimmers, but if a ball is thrown into the water, Sakima will be there first. he cannot be stopped.

the downside is that any fast-moving object or entity captures his undivided attention and he becomes a HIGH-PURSUIT ZOMBIE. no really!!! that includes seeing a person a 1/2 mile down the beach that looks like he is ABOUT to throw something. it used to include every runner, bicyclist, and darting child in sight, but i got that under control some time ago. however, i would never trust for a second that he could consistently keep his high prey drive under wraps if he was in close quarters with a darting child or even the flailing arms of a young child. there would simply be too high a risk that he would eventually slip-up; that his instincts would prevail for a couple seconds too long before his training got control of his brain. [ Tracer also has high prey drive, but i THINK it is less than Saki's and Tracer internalizes his training more thoroughly than Saki does. Saki knows what he is supposed to do AND he wants to do it, but that knowledge and that desire simply do not trump his instincts/do not have the standing in his thought process that his instincts have.]

that is not to say that a high prey drive dog will ATTACK a child; it just increases the dangers of accidents - collisions of body parts - that can happen in the second a dog reacts to a movement before it realizes that THAT movement is to be ignored.
John & DS rscus TRACE DOG,99-12; fstr7yoCain,8-9/12; Xander(3/12)11/12-2/13; SAKIMA (b.4/12)from11/12; TxXANDER (b.2/13)from5/13; direct from CherCar: TRACER (b.5/4/13). http://www.youtube.com/sakimadoggy http://www.youtube.com/tracesobaka

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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:47 pm

Im not getting a good feeling about that pup. Knowing this breed and hearing about a pup that dosnt move at all. Personally , I would not consider that one. Just my own opinion. My life has been around animals and working with them and listening to them and respecting what they tell me.

An insecure DS is going to be like waiting for a bomb to go off. they are super sensitive to begin with. Even Thalie, who is super duper stable, will get very upset when my kids start fighting or crying.

Low drive also dosnt mean they wont care about anything, again, even Thalie who is low drive, will go up the leash at me, and will show the true DS colors when she needs to.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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nvd
Puppy
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 pm
Tell us about yourself: Name is Nick, I am Canadian and my background is Dutch.
I love dogs and animals in general. I have always wanted a DS.
So now im in the process to educate my self on them before I
take the plunge! - Now I have one! not like any other dog thats
forsure!
Location: Waterford, Ontario

Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by nvd » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:24 pm

Thanks for the comments, spoke to another few people (who know ds) and they recommended to go back weekly before deciding as pups change daily on how they act. We may do this and see where it ends up otherwise may wait and check out a few other breeders first!

Thanks!
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Dutch Shepherd - Tyson - Born June 12, 2014

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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Raven » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:35 pm

Mod moved post to "Puppies."
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

nvd
Puppy
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 pm
Tell us about yourself: Name is Nick, I am Canadian and my background is Dutch.
I love dogs and animals in general. I have always wanted a DS.
So now im in the process to educate my self on them before I
take the plunge! - Now I have one! not like any other dog thats
forsure!
Location: Waterford, Ontario

Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by nvd » Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:26 am

I have another questions!!

We are looking at a DS / Mal Mix or what ever the correct title would be.. a male puppy.

We would be able to take him home between Aug. 7-14 (8-9 wks) from then I would start to do some various trainings (as you would at this age) and would continue to do so for the next 3-4 weeks to a age of 12 weeks of age.

We are then getting married on the 6th of sept. then leaving on our honeymoon Sept. 9th returning sept. 20th. Therefore we would be away from the pup at the age of week 13 and 14 for a total of 11 days.

Would leaving the puppy for this long at the above age be an issue? I understand this may be a crucial time for training and socialization however, I can leave the pup with a person who has a lot of dog expirence. Or if needed I could find a trainer to leave him with to have more training in the mean time...

Either that or we pass on the pup and wait until we are back and find a different one. I am just unsure what would be the better choice.

Thanks
Nick
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by LyonsFamily » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:40 am

nvd wrote:I have another questions!!

We are looking at a DS / Mal Mix or what ever the correct title would be.. a male puppy.
If you're looking for a calm, lower drive puppy, why are you looking at a malinois/DS cross? Also, have you questioned why the cross was done? I don't have a problem with people bringing in a malinois for sport work, but usually those aren't the low drive dogs you're looking for and it still should be done for a reason with correct health testing. I would heavily question a breeder adding stripes to their malinois, many do it just to make money. I have no idea who this breeder is, so it's not a personal attack, but tread cautiously and make sure you're getting a dog from health tested and proven parents.

Personally, I think it's a bad idea to leave a puppy, especially a DS, for 11 days with anyone, unless you trust them completely and they have extensive knowledge with this breed and are prepared to the 24/7 job of raising the dog. Leaving them with a trainer can make or break the dog. I know a lot of people will send the dog back to the breeder for training around that age. If you're getting your dog from a breeder that's very knowledgeable and trustworthy, that might be a good option. I see puppies in boarding all the time and potty training goes out the window among other things and I wouldn't leave one with just anyone. Even at 3 and 4 years old, my 2 DS come back extra annoying when they stay with my parents for a weekend. I usually have to do a couple brush up lessons after I pick them up after a trip.

Not only will the honeymoon/vacation period be something to think about, but the time leading up to the wedding might not be the best time to have a DS puppy running around. I remember my wedding and the weeks leading up to it, with relatives everywhere, lots of last minute planning, etc. We only had a house rabbit at the time and he ate the power cord to my sewing machine when I only had 2 days left to make the table runners and do alterations to my dress and my husband's suit. I could only imagine have a 2 month old pants eater on my hands.
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Raven » Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:24 pm

LyonsFamily wrote: If you're looking for a calm, lower drive puppy, why are you looking at a malinois/DS cross?
I was waiting for someone else to make this comment via question.
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Dutchringgirl » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:48 pm

If you want a low drive, stay away from Mal's. I had one and love him to pieced but they are higher drive and a more consistent drive.

I will second the not leaving a new pup with someone for 11 days.
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:06 pm

I third what Stephanie and Lisa said. I left my guy at a boarding facility where I trusted the (certified) trainers that ran it and they were very good about working with me to best handle him. It was something we worked him up to so he was very comfortable with them. But he was 5 months old, already bonded, potty trained, it was for 7 days, and I STILL worked a few sessions to restore what was lost. I would definitely not have left him so young.
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by LyonsFamily » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:19 pm

I think pretty much the only exception to malinois being crazier/higher drive would be the purely conformation lines and you will not find those producing cross breds. They are even usually pretty picky about cross breeding within the belgian family, which is allowed in many countries and kennel clubs.
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nvd
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 pm
Tell us about yourself: Name is Nick, I am Canadian and my background is Dutch.
I love dogs and animals in general. I have always wanted a DS.
So now im in the process to educate my self on them before I
take the plunge! - Now I have one! not like any other dog thats
forsure!
Location: Waterford, Ontario

Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by nvd » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:30 pm

I understand that mals are typically higher drive however the father was mal and he is low drive, seen him in action and runs for a bit chasing mom (ds who has high drive) and after just wants hang out and what not so maybe that's why the male puppy is on the calmer side but I understand pups change so that will be taken into consideration as well.
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Location: Ct, USA
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:23 pm

calm dosnt mean lower drive. My mal was super calm and an awesome fella, but he had high drive, he calmly paced all day. Sadie, who is super high drive, can be very calm as well. Dont confuse calm or quiet times with low drive. You are also not seeing the dogs all day long in a normal setting.
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nvd
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Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:08 pm
Tell us about yourself: Name is Nick, I am Canadian and my background is Dutch.
I love dogs and animals in general. I have always wanted a DS.
So now im in the process to educate my self on them before I
take the plunge! - Now I have one! not like any other dog thats
forsure!
Location: Waterford, Ontario

Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by nvd » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:46 am

So.. we again went to look at him. just some more information on him so you are aware...

He was the runt of the littler.. though I do not think he is technically a runt as he is still healthy and is only just a little smaller not really even that much smaller. I know most runts still grow up and are fine as the rest of the littermates.

When he is by him self, he will run/walk over to you sit by your feet, lay down n plop his head on your toes. He isn't shy / scared / timid, I just think he is calmer, more relaxed, layed back not as quicker / go go compared to his sisters/brothers.

When he is with his brothers and sisters he has a little more boost of energy to play around and what not but after a min he just lays down with his back legs sprawled out!

Now I am also aware puppies change, so we plan to go back to see him two more times at least prior to him being rehomed.

I found out that some of his grandpas litter mates went out west for police work, the dad was calmer / relaxed. The mom is more go go has more energy though both are from good background.

Now I know everyone is disagreeing with me however it may be due to the fact as they didn't see him...or maybe me being stubborn and not liking what I am reading as I obviously want everyone to support and say oh ya he sounds perfect get him lol but I also understand that people on here are just stating the truth from their opinion.

We have decided about 90% to get him.... I will be spending my full time with him doing as much training as possible and I understand the timing isn't the best but do not want to pass up the opportunity..

I have prepared our self to the max with regards to how we are to train, socialize him etc. everything related to that there wont be any issues only fault is leaving him with someone while we are gone and yes I agree that will be tough..

If we end up getting him we have also considered bringing him back to the breeder for the time we are away (10 days) either that or with my parents who have experience with dogs but are also home through out the days!
Nick V.
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by johninny » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:45 am

the main issue to worry about - before you leave and especially while you are away - is that he gets comfortable with all likely surroundings [ socializing ] and that nothing happens to him while away [ a situation or even an attitude/mishandling ] that damages that process. ''training'' can wait, but his coming to terms with the world around him will proceed one way or another no matter what. so i would put him wherever you think there is the least chance of something inadvertently going wrong - with someone who understands the intricacies of a DS puppy brain meeting the world for the first time --- from that perspective, NOT A NORMAL PUPPY and whoever keeps him for you needs to respect that and know how to keep him emotionally safe.

good luck with him. everyone here is just giving you their best theoretical insights - which are quite correct. but you have met the dog in person and have hopefully made the right decision. the main thing is that is he not timid or afraid, being the ''runt''. it sounds like you have done some fair research and, in the end, you are going with your gut feeling.
John & DS rscus TRACE DOG,99-12; fstr7yoCain,8-9/12; Xander(3/12)11/12-2/13; SAKIMA (b.4/12)from11/12; TxXANDER (b.2/13)from5/13; direct from CherCar: TRACER (b.5/4/13). http://www.youtube.com/sakimadoggy http://www.youtube.com/tracesobaka

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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:44 pm

nvd wrote: Now I know everyone is disagreeing with me however it may be due to the fact as they didn't see him..

Or it could be the fact that since we have this breed we know what we are talking about to try to help you make an educated decision. We dont have to see him, there enough of us here that know plenty about the DS and Mals. I do beleive you are being stubborn about your decision, you are looking for a low drive DS and now you are leaning towards a Mal. We are only looking out for the best interest of you and the dog, the dog mostly since if it dosnt work out, the dog will be getting the short end of the stick
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Re: Questions on Choosing a Puppy

Post by Raven » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:16 pm

The beginning of a relationship is to get to know each other and begin to create bonds. I feel bad for the pup and you that that has to be interrupted.

A couple years ago friend of mine was ready for another dog; hers had passed the year before. She didn't have a breed in mind, she considered rescue, etc. She looked and looked and looked. There wasn't one she met she didn't like and she came close a couple times...but just didn't take any action. Then she met "the one." She knew it because all the bells started chiming. BAM--that was it, that was the dog. It was worth the long wait. The dog is the perfect match for her, her lifestyle and family.

It's awesome you're going for visits, though I'm not hearing that you're hearing any bells. You have time for that. There's no rush. Any dog, any animal, of course, is a commitment, and the breed you seem determined to get-----will change your life. It can be a crazy-good change or very bad one.

I wish you had more experience before getting this breed, though the truth is, I accidentally ended up with my first DS. She was a BIG game-changer. BIG game-changer. I had to learn fast and the beginning was not full of enchantment, and that's putting it mildly. But we got through it...I learned what I had to because I committed myself and my home to her.

While I wish you'd wait until after you're married, while I wish you'd wait for the bells...if you don't, then I wish for you and your wife to commit 210% to the dog--no matter what--to learn and do as much as you need to and beyond, so that in the end, you wouldn't have done or wanted things any other way. :)
Though I can only hope to become the person who my animals believe I am, the things that they have taught me have made me a better human being. ~~~Sharon~~~

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