What will you do differently with your next dog?

This is where to talk about Pit Bulls!

Postby Hundilein » December 12th, 2012, 10:12 pm

So this isn't exactly only about pit bulls, but I'm posting it in the pit bull talk section anyway. :dance:

I often say that I've made a lot of mistakes with Renee that I don't want to repeat with my next dog. There are also some things that aren't necessarily bad, but that I want to do differently with my next dog. I think some of them stem from Renee being an only dog for so long. Now that I live with three dogs, there are certain things that are more annoying than when Renee was an only dog. (Note: Renee is still my only dog, but each of my two roommates also has a dog.)

One thing I want to do differently the next time around is to get the dog more comfortable lounging on dog beds or the floor. Renee has a hard time settling if she can't be on the couch. So much so that I end up giving up my spot on the couch just so she'll relax. My roommate's dog Geno loves to lay on the couch, but he's also quite content to curl up on a dog bed or the floor if the couch is occupied, and it's very nice.

Another thing is to embrace a puppy's desire to put things in their mouth. I made the mistake of punishing Renee every time she picked up something that wasn't hers (and she's a shepherd mix, so she's very mouthy). I think that has a lot to do with how much I've struggled trying to work on a retrieve with her. I took a different approach with my parents' dog Hannah and she's a retrieving fool. Of course, she's also most likely part Lab, so I'm sure that helped, but still.

What things will you do differently with your next dog?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 13th, 2012, 7:34 am

Clicker train from day one! The only reason I may get a puppy again instead of an adult is so I can clicker train a pup from the very beginning.

I would socialize Inara the way Michael Ellis socializes his working dogs - take them everywhere and around tons of different people/places/things, but teach the puppy that everything in its environment, including people, is just decoration and no fun to interact with. That way the pup will be focused on me, while still getting socialized to new experiences. Sometimes I think I hurt Inara more than anything by encouraging her to interact with every person and dog we saw when she was young. Because now she STILL wants to interact with every person and dog (though dogs are not the same interaction as when she was young!). If you haven't seen Ellis' socialization video, it's really brilliant.

I would work on loose leash walking more from day one. :oops:

Great question!
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Postby ArtGypsy » December 13th, 2012, 7:29 pm


Well, WE ALL KNOW how Much I Love Dar... :love:

BUT Heaven Forbid, If anything should happen to him, I really think I would look to adopting an 'older' dog, who's temperament is more laid back----
He's a real couch potato once the temps get chilly, but he is a STRONG, high energy dog with what seems to be a high 'prey drive' for small animals.

As I'm getting older, I'd just like to have an Odeeeee-Doooo Dog to take for walks and not have to worry so much about a Squirrel, another dog or a BIRD flying by. :|

I'm sure there are plenty of older dogs that need homes too. :sad2:
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 13th, 2012, 10:28 pm

and you all wonder why I have so many dogs...it takes me this many tries to get it right...;)
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Postby Tubular Toby » December 14th, 2012, 12:57 am

I agree with the couch comment. We've recently revoked Toby's couch privileges and right now you would think his world is crumbling.

If I got another pit bull, I would consider buying from a reputable breeder. In all reality, I'm not sure I would get another pit bull. Allen swears I would, but I don't know. Not until I was older and settled. Moving and renting with a pit bull is not fun.

On an unrelated note from that, regardless of what breed of dog I end up with, I want a dog that I can take for a simple walk without it being a huge stress. Obviously these things change over time, but I would avoid the mistakes that were made with Toby that accidentally enhanced his reactivity. I don't want a "dog park dog" as I think they are terrible places, but I would want a dog that I can relax with a little bit more.

Aside from reactivity, Toby is the *perfect* dog inside. He doesn't eat anything that's not his, he doesn't have "accidents" inside, he can "hold it" so I can sleep in, he doesn't steal my plate of food if I leave it down (well, except for that time he took a bite of Allen's sandwich right out of his hand! :lol:).
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Postby Jazzy1 » December 15th, 2012, 2:03 pm

I definitely agree with clicker train from day 1; and do allot of free shaping (something I am not good at)...so learn to free shape to create an operant dog!! I trained Veronica initially with allot of luring and "telling her what to do" and now she gets very frustrated when I try to get her to think for hereslf.

Also; not certain that this would help but...Veronica is very dog reactive. When I first got her I think I was too careful about her interactions with other dogs when she was just a puppy. I socialized her allot, but I didn't go out of my way to seek out off leash puppy play groups; and I wish I had. Allot of her reactivity is anxiety driven and she has always had awful dog/dog social skills. Don't know that more interaction at a young age with her own species would have helped; but it couldn't hurt. She was my first pit bull and I was I think too worried about DA, at a time when it really wasn't all that relevant (which is not to say, that one doesn't have to be vigilent and make sure that all puppy/puppy encounters are positive...but I think I could I could have done better if I were more knowledgable and less overly cautious).
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Postby SisMorphine » December 15th, 2012, 6:46 pm

I wouldn't get a bully breed. LOL!
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Postby HappyPuppy » December 16th, 2012, 3:15 pm

I did a lot of things wrong with Ruby - but she is still the perfect starter dog... I forced her into downs and pronged the crap out of her per a trainer who I thought I liked in the beginning ( :cry: :oops: ) - I still have to fight the auto-urge to leash correct say when she tries to fence fight or get to a cat on our morning walks vs draw her attention away with a treat or toy or something else .... I punished her for eating her bed (< which I really should have just laughed at) and chased her with a broom for eating poop (now she's afraid of brooms - I'm not sorry about chasing her with the vacuum cleaner, even tho I now have to open an escape hatch/door and say, 'vroom vroom' before I turn it on). I was slow to crate train and even more slow to learn about the clicker, which I still only play at vs learn how to use for everything.... I see the value in the clicker now tho I still need to learn more things to do with it.
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