Courageous Puppies - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
Esquire Golden Retrievers
 
DanaRuns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 315 Post(s)
Thanks: 3,278
Thanked 8,519 Times in 2,552 Posts
Courageous Puppies

Some advice from a breeder:

One thing you should look for in your search for breeders and puppies, is a breeder who goes out of her way to rear confident, happy, courageous puppies. This is done by putting puppies through controlled, stressful situations, and making them overcome, think, try, and succeed. This is one of the biggest differences between breeders who are just "selling puppies" and those who are trying to create the best Golden Retrievers they can. Good breeders do this, the rest do not.

Our tongue-in-cheek mantra is, "Puppies must be abused!" In order to rear puppies who are not fearful, who are calm in stressful situations, who know their bodies well, and who have learned how to solve problems, it's important to put puppies in increasingly challenging, stressful (but safe!) situations where they have to problem-solve, and which gives them increasing confidence in themselves throughout the time they are with the breeder. We start doing that to puppies at Day 3, believe it or not.

Here's a super fun "agility" course we're going to do. Click Here for Video This video isn't us, and we're going to be a little more careful about tiny puppies jumping and landing, but we are in the process of building something very much like this at our home for our Halloween litter. It will start small and change and grow every day until it winds up looking something like this. (I love the idea of Cavaletti for body awareness.) Your breeder may not go this far, but ask potential breeders what they do (if anything) to give their puppies confidence and to make them courageous problem solvers.

We do things like early neurological stimulation, adventure boxes, "woods" walks, slides, wobble boards, obstacle courses, and now this little puppy agility course. The challenges change almost every day. So every day the puppies have something new and stimulating, some new problems to solve, some new courage to work up, and some new game to play. We also teach puppies to follow their humans even when they have to overcome challenges to do it, and not to freak out in crates or when they are put in strange places, with strange people or animals.

Ask your potential breeders what they do to sell you a puppy that is confident, friendly, courageous, socialized, and knows his/her body. Such questions are one way telling one breeder from another, and shows breeders that you know a little something and aren't just out to snag "a puppy."

I usually like to start by saying something like, "We're interested in getting a puppy that is well socialized, has a lot of confidence in themselves, and knows their bodies well. Is there anything you do to try to rear confident, friendly, courageous problem solvers?" And see what they say. If they are like me, I light up at the chance for such a conversation, and I'll talk you ear off about it. OTOH, if they just give you a couple platitudes or excuses, then that tells you something about that breeder, too.

Last edited by DanaRuns; 09-16-2019 at 05:05 PM.
DanaRuns is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to DanaRuns For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-16-2019), diane0905 (09-18-2019), Heidi Wheeler Duckworth (09-21-2019), Lincgold (09-17-2019), solinvictus (09-17-2019), Sweet Girl (09-17-2019)
post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 04:49 PM
Supreme Member
 
Prism Goldens's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ocala,FL
Posts: 6,096
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Quoted: 913 Post(s)
Images: 1
Thanks: 4,365
Thanked 7,137 Times in 3,264 Posts
I 100% agree. Stress is good. Good stress is great.
and knowing where their bodies are in space is a superb skill for any puppy/dog. It's what athletes are made of.

Did you see the way cool puppy walk on my FB page? There'll be one in the 2020 raffle, too. This fellow makes them for breeders, I can hook you up unless you want to wait to see if you win it at 2020 lol

Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Don't Take Anything Personally.
Don't Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.
-Don Miguel Ruiz
Prism Goldens is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Prism Goldens For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-16-2019), DanaRuns (09-16-2019), Lincgold (09-17-2019)
post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
Esquire Golden Retrievers
 
DanaRuns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 315 Post(s)
Thanks: 3,278
Thanked 8,519 Times in 2,552 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prism Goldens View Post

Did you see the way cool puppy walk on my FB page? There'll be one in the 2020 raffle, too. This fellow makes them for breeders, I can hook you up unless you want to wait to see if you win it at 2020 lol
No, didn't see it. For some reason, you and I are not FB friends. I'm going to go remedy that right now and see the puppy walk. Sounds cool!
DanaRuns is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DanaRuns For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-16-2019), Prism Goldens (09-16-2019)
post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 05:12 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 13 Times in 8 Posts
Prism - on your fb page is it that purple rubber like ball you're referencing? That's pretty cool.
Shalala1962 is offline  
post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 07:11 PM
Supreme Member
 
Prism Goldens's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ocala,FL
Posts: 6,096
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Quoted: 913 Post(s)
Images: 1
Thanks: 4,365
Thanked 7,137 Times in 3,264 Posts
No, it's a puppy walk- some very nice people made it for me, they bred to my boy Bourbon- and I think they found a niche market- it's absolutely wonderful. Folds up, takes no space, and is sturdy. Marsha Fuzia is her name- her husband is the one who's the woodworking genius.

Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Don't Take Anything Personally.
Don't Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.
-Don Miguel Ruiz
Prism Goldens is offline  
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Esquire Golden Retrievers
 
DanaRuns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 315 Post(s)
Thanks: 3,278
Thanked 8,519 Times in 2,552 Posts
One thing buyers should look for when visiting the breeder is how the puppies are kept. Is it a pen that is otherwise empty except for puppies? Or are there toys and adventures inside? I can't speak for other breeders, but even before the puppies' eyes are open we modify their whelping box to make life more challenging. We put objects under the pad to make the terrain varied and challenging, so they can't just crawl or walk across a flat surface. They encounter bumps, and hills, and plateaus that they have to negotiate, even before they can see.

If you visit a litter of 6-week old puppies, and the pen is empty (especially if they don't even have a place for the pups to potty), that's a big red flag for me. By 6 weeks old, our litters have a wobble board, slide, adventure box, toys, puppy walk, and all manner of fun and challenging things in the puppy pen, where the puppies encounter these games and challenges 24/7. It's good stimulation for them, aids in mylenation of the nerve pathways in the brain, aids in motor skill development, and increases socialization.

If they live like this, I'd run away.



If their space looks like this, MUCH better!



Look for evidence that the puppies are constantly stimulated. Look for challenging things, like things to climb on or obstacles to overcome, and toys of all different materials, shapes, sizes, and sounds. Look to see that they have a devoted potty box or potty area, and that they know to pee and poop there (our litters learn that the first day we put the potty box in -- it's incredibly fast). Also look to see that they have plenty of interaction with people and dog(s). By the time the breeder will let you visit, ideally the puppy pen isn't hidden away in a bedroom or garage, but is right in the middle of everything going on, so that pups see and hear the TV, vacuum cleaner, kids playing, dogs and cats in the house, and of course that they have lots of interaction with people.

The busier, noisier, more chaotic, more stimulating their environment, the better. If they live like in that first photo, you'll be getting a puppy that has had no stimulation, no socialization, isn't prepared to live in a human society, and will likely be afraid of everyday things.

Here you can see the daily routine of changing out the puppy pen. Most of the toys have been removed and Theresa is cleaning. Of course, as you'll see, it's easier if you take the puppies outside first. These pups must be 5 weeks old. This is our intermediate puppy pen. There is usually much more in the way of fun stuff. They stay here from 3.5-6 weeks old. At 6 weeks they get transferred to a much larger space down in the living area. The puppies do manage to get some human interaction.


Last edited by DanaRuns; 09-16-2019 at 08:37 PM.
DanaRuns is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to DanaRuns For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-16-2019), Prism Goldens (09-16-2019), solinvictus (09-17-2019), Sweet Girl (09-17-2019)
post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-16-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
Esquire Golden Retrievers
 
DanaRuns's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 3,898
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Quoted: 315 Post(s)
Thanks: 3,278
Thanked 8,519 Times in 2,552 Posts
Aha! Here's an example of a great puppy pen. By the time these pups are 7-8 weeks old, they can have a pen this size and look at all the wonderful, challenging, stimulating stuff in here! This breeder is doing a good job.

While I don't see too many breeders who have it blinged out to this degree, this is the kind of thing you should look for.


Last edited by DanaRuns; 09-16-2019 at 08:40 PM.
DanaRuns is offline  
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to DanaRuns For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-16-2019), diane0905 (09-18-2019), Lincgold (09-17-2019), Prism Goldens (09-17-2019), solinvictus (09-17-2019), Sweet Girl (09-17-2019)
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 07:17 AM
Supreme Member
 
Prism Goldens's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ocala,FL
Posts: 6,096
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Quoted: 913 Post(s)
Images: 1
Thanks: 4,365
Thanked 7,137 Times in 3,264 Posts
I recognized that voice 'BAD puppy'...

I think exposing puppies to noises (fireworks, gunshot, pots and pans, vacuums) and situations (swimming pools, cats) and car rides- lots of car rides- and strangers (usually @ destination of those car rides) is so important. I don't want to send home pups who will get carsick or be frightened on the 4th of July.
I noticed you use pellets- I use grates- but whatever a breeder uses, I think the important piece is that the breeder doesn't let puppies potty all over the place. That takes some pretty intensive work keeping everywhere immaculate except the potty, all the time the first few days - like- sitting there ALL DAY long. And cleaning any potties not where I want them immediately as well as any feet that tracked through the mistake.

None of raising a confident litter is easy. All of it takes time and thought.
Breeders who let puppies raise themselves do the breed a disservice, do their puppy people a disservice and do the dogs they raise a disservice. I've seen (when looking @ breeders asked about on here) things that should red flag a puppy person, such as huge water buckets or no potty place (even if it appears clean in that one photo, no potty says it stays that way only for the photo) or no toys, no crates to explore, etc.. I don't get how people don't see what I see.

Be Impeccable With Your Word.
Don't Take Anything Personally.
Don't Make Assumptions.
Always Do Your Best.
-Don Miguel Ruiz
Prism Goldens is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Prism Goldens For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-17-2019), DanaRuns (09-17-2019), diane0905 (09-18-2019), Lincgold (09-17-2019), Sweet Girl (09-17-2019)
post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 07:26 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 145 Times in 74 Posts
Great thread. As now the mamma of a pup we continue with exposing ours to new situations. I just exposed tucker to quite the travel trip. These dogs are smart, active and happy to take on the world if raised to do so. Just a quick note and thanks for this thread !!
TuckersMamma is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to TuckersMamma For This Useful Post:
DanaRuns (09-17-2019)
post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 09:31 AM
Maegan
 
ArkansasGold's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Thanks: 763
Thanked 439 Times in 240 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prism Goldens View Post
I don't get how people don't see what I see.
My personal opinion: I think a lot of people legitimately just don't know how puppies should be raised. If they don't know that clearances exist and that a vet checkup saying "yep, she's healthy" isn't good enough, then they probably also don't know that ENS, Puppy Culture, Avidog, etc. exist either. They just don't know what they don't know. One of those pictures above perfectly illustrates how their grandma's 3rd cousin raised puppies when they were kids, so they think that's how puppies should be raised. Grandma's 3rd cousin was obviously a good person, so she must have been raising puppies the right way...


I got the honor to watch the puppy evaluations and temperament testing for a recent litter near me, and it was very cool to see how all the enrichment they had done played out when a big umbrella suddenly opened, when there was a big banging noise, when a stranger picked them up and held them above the ground, and all of the other tests. They were all very consistent in their reactions and not one of them was startled for more than a second or two. The ones that were caught off guard recovered almost immediately and were not at all fearful of the big scary umbrella. It was a really cool experience to get to just sit and watch all of their hard work and careful breeding decisions come to fruition in these beautiful, confident puppies.
ArkansasGold is offline  
The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to ArkansasGold For This Useful Post:
cwag (09-17-2019), DanaRuns (09-17-2019), diane0905 (09-18-2019), Lincgold (09-17-2019), Prism Goldens (09-17-2019), solinvictus (09-17-2019), Sweet Girl (09-17-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome