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New Beginnings :
New Puppy Search Seems Like Dating

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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 8:05 PM on Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Wasn't sure if this belongs in NB or OT, but just wanted folks in this forum to hear that if you are looking for a particular kind of puppy, especially using the internet, you shouldn't be surprised if it starts to feel like an endless exercise of having to "kiss a lot of frogs" as the old saying goes!

I've been looking hard locally and online for almost 2 months, 3 months after we lost our dear old boy at age 14, as his 9 year old girl dog is still grieving and so are we. But I keep finding so many dog folks who all are bragging about their fur babies but act reluctant to volunteer verifiable information about their puppies' parents' health-tested background.

It's like they think their puppy pictures will just melt your heart so you'll throw all caution to the wind and just commit! (We had several breed problems with our late great dog - including a hemangiosarcoma that we didn't know about - that killed him. Not wanting those issues if we can avoid them, but we still love the type of dog he was.)

But it seems the small-time breeders expect me not to be cautious about their pups, or I find the major breeders that come on all intimidating with rules and often limit who can even buy a pup from them. Too available on one extreme, and too snooty and hard-to-get on the other....like dating?!

Who else can appreciate the common struggle in "The art of choosing The One?" 馃槂

Hey wow, that's a book title, guys!

posts: 2021   路   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   路   location: Washington D C area
id 8774420
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 9:52 PM on Monday, January 23rd, 2023

My secret is I have a friend whose father is the head of the largest rescue in the area (2,888 adoptions just last year). She's single and has a pack of 3 already. The dogs she fosters tend to be ones with mellow personalities. This after picking our other dog as a puppy that we sometimes jokingly, but not, call her Satan's spawn. We've come to the conclusion that we are not good at raising puppies or at least not those all the way over on the alpha side of the scale. Wicked smart and dominant is not a good combination.

If you have the choice go with the ones with intimidating rules. They aren't just out there for profit.

posts: 1568   路   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 12:59 AM on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Ah HA, so it IS just like dating! Pick the ones that play hard to get, :)

Well just to explore another option, on Saturday we stopped at the next county's animal shelter to see a 4 year old male of our favorite breed (looked purebred and I doubt he's been neutered). The story online was "surrendered by his owners" as they told the pound they couldn't take him with them to their next place. (Of course people give lots of reasons for surrendering a dog.) We learned that he'd lived outside in a kennel all that time since a puppy and is Lyme positive. He started going nuts in his tiny cell after we stood there a bit. He is 90 pounds of bad-ass dog who wants so much to be let out. Really hurt to see.

But while we were waiting for somebody to come and get him out for us (I know not to stick my fingers in the cage) he got Frustrated we weren't moving and he flipped his little bed over while whining and wheeling around...then he came over and stared up at me and I heard this low purr-like growl. Twice. Ummmm...you growlin' at me? Or is that your way of saying "DO something?" Since I have no idea of his past, and he knows we aren't his people (yet) I thought we'd better go ask the front desk. Turns out, he had bitten a child who had come up on the porch of where he lived outside. Oh. Maybe he's a sweetheart but....we'll pass because what we don't know is, how he'd react to being told "no."

So meantime, I'm currently "dating" two or three different breeders, sending emails or texts back and forth and waiting like a 16 year old girl for her first date! The one nearby just has (finally) revealed why she hadn't answered my earlier questions: one of her pups' parents does in fact carry the dreaded mutated gene for spinal degeneration, so she said she has ordered another test - for the puppy, I presume - and will let us know.

I think honesty really is the best policy, in life and in the dog world. Wish it were not so complicated...anybody else run into this?

posts: 2021   路   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   路   location: Washington D C area
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:36 PM on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Oh. Maybe he's a sweetheart but....we'll pass because what we don't know is, how he'd react to being told "no."

Unsocialized. Left outside alone. Probably on a chain. That does things to dogs who at heart are pack animals. Some can be reformed with work, but others cannot. The last of mine to pass was born in a shelter, then pulled by a rescue as a puppy but didn't get adopted out until we picked her a couple of years later. I keep waiting for that rescue to be a news story because it was run by a couple that was very much over their heads. (think hundreds of dogs). Layla was my first dog with kennelosis. Scared of everything. She made it 10 years, just going from her bed to backyard and once in a blue moon to the vet. Walked her in the park a few times but the last time she planted herself when a car went by and refused to move. Luckily my wife was there to go get the car. After that I moved to the rescue our last two came from. They foster their pets out in people homes. Not perfect, hence satan's spawn, but does give you a little better feel for the dog. Especially since the foster whose dogs I go for is a friend and will let me know the personality and issues. The issue is others do the same so her fosters go quick.

Yeah you want the hard to get breeders. I had an akita that the was a cull as her hips were too small. She came with AKC papers with championship bloodlines on both sides, the breeder required shared ownership until one year so they could ensure that she was spayed. The delay was to ensure that she went through adolescence with full hormones, but the breeder wanted to ensure her "defect" wasn't passed on. She was a great dog outside of the hair tumbleweeds she created in the house. Satan's spawn was spayed before we got her at 12 weeks as most rescues won't adopt out an intact dog. I sometimes wonder if that's part of why she is the way she is. Then I remember she's a coonhound who were breed for drive and stubbornness.

posts: 1568   路   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 3:28 PM on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Coon hound stubborn, ya don't say?? 馃槅

Very cute, love them for who they are. I bet if she had been allowed to reach her first cycle, she'd have given you even more headaches! (Because we've been warned by 2 breeders not to introduce a female pup to our 9 y. o. spayed female as when that girl pup hits puberty there is a chance the young dog could turn territorial and give the older dog hell. They might get along great for 18 months and then...not, potentially.)

But I'm still remembering that handsome shelter dog's face, looking up at me all hopeful and then how his expression changed when I didn't liberate him as he expected. The shelter workers claimed he is mellow and a friendly dog. But we aren't sure we could handle 90 lbs. of whatever he might dish out if he has "moods." And they all have moods! I hope he finds a family soon. They said several people have come to see him, heard his history and then gone home to think about it some more. This morning our girl dog made the same purring growl to tell me she wanted my paper plate after breakfast, so she could chew it up. Another spoiled rotten bad habit we permitted her. I think that shelter dog might have been just a bossy doggie, like she is...but I'm such a Polly Anna. Thing is, a dog like him can turn on someone in a flash. They said he bit the little girl on her face, yikes.

Meanwhile on the cyber search: I did a bit of "reference checking" on a supposedly well-established breeder in the mid-west and learned she has a history of being a bit abrupt with puppy purchasers, sends unhelpful emails or doesn't even answer, and even had 1 scam dog sale to an out-of-state buyer. This resonated, because I'd already sent an inquiry and she'd responded positively; we wrote back to ask about parental health certifications and have heard....Nada. Uh Huh. Scratch.

Meanwhile we're still getting teaser puppy videos from a very nice lady in Florida who says she and her husband really want us to choose one of her 3 homebred babies. We were interested, based on their written and photo description on the AKC marketplace, but in subsequent texting, turns out their photos hid a minor flaw; probably not deliberately, as puppies aren't that easy to take good pictures of! I'd apologized for taking their time on the phone but she still seems undeterred. I feel so coy just texting chatty stuff back and forth; she is going to send us another video today, to see if we change our minds!

After all this, when my phone announces a New Message, I don't know which dog breeder it will be....it's really like, which suitor is calling? 馃榾

The wonders of the Internet shopping experience.

posts: 2021   路   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   路   location: Washington D C area
id 8774492
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 3:41 PM on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023

Are you looking for a specific breed or breed mix? If so, I would be working with the breed organization to find a breeder or a rescue. I know that my breed (Chesapeake Bay Retriever). I was fortunate enough to find a breeder who had two year-old adult dogs available, and I took the male (odd set of circumstances as to why they were available). I have a lot of breed rescue contacts as well, and I prefer breed rescue over a shelter, as most breed rescues will foster the dogs to get a true indication of their temperament and any issues they might have.

I agree that it's a fine line between breeders who insist their dogs are "healthy" without any indication of genetic testing or x-rays for structural issues and other breeders who are overly selective about where their dogs go. There should be a happy medium in there somewhere.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33182   路   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   路   location: Ohio
id 8774498
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Shehawk ( member #68741) posted at 2:25 AM on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Best wishes on the search :)

Hope you find a fur friend who is a good fit for your pack.

"It's a slow fade...when you give yourself away" so don't do it!

posts: 1611   路   registered: Nov. 5th, 2018   路   location: VA
id 8774579
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 3:51 AM on Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

Thanks all, still doing the back and forth with breeders; we're still "out there in the dating world" as it were. Inching closer....saying goodbye to "also rans" with major twinges of doubt and regret....

This is a light-hearted story about the emotion-filled process many of us probably have gone through when committing to either a wonderful lifetime dog - or to our new beginning. For example, I'm realizing how one has to tread carefully not to blurt out hurtful observations about their puppies that an emotionally-invested breeder doesn't wish to hear...even to ask for a certain coat color is a loaded question for many of them, I'm finding.

Y'all might be impressed with the restraint I'm having to use, not to tell some of the breeders "I like your puppy BUT..." because, at least in the ONLINE puppy sales world, ALL puppies are wonderful and above reproach, don'tcha know.

This first month of 2023 has shown me how rusty my negotiating skills are in that area, and it took me back to the years when I was a newly-divorced adult woman trying to navigate new relationships.

posts: 2021   路   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   路   location: Washington D C area
id 8774589
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 3:33 PM on Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Love your analogy!! laugh

Best of luck on your search!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3554   路   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8774777
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