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Right Decision

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Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Wisconsin

PostPosted: 06/23/03, 4:44 pm    Post subject: Right Decision Reply with quote

Over the past weekend my family visited a breeder and picked out a female GWP. Now I wondering if I'm making the correct decision with picking a GWP?? We don't have her home yet. I used to bird hunt in the past and wouldn't mind doing it occasionally in the future but don't see myself doing it all fall. Is a GWP going to be a good dog for a family that likes the outdoors. I'm most worried about the dog and my 16 month old daughter and future child. I've read so many contradicting things lately I don't know what to do??
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Walter & Claudia

Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 48
Location: Staunton, VA

PostPosted: 06/25/03, 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Pete,

Walter and I have a 5 month old and he is strictly a family pet. We have had no problems with Arthur what so ever regarding small children. In fact he can't wait to get close to them because he knows that he will get a lot of attention.
It is important however that you socialize your puppy right from the begining. Take her with you where ever you go.
We have a large park and the saturday framers market with lots of people, dogs and noise which we use for training and getting to know strangers.
We also have a resque Rigeback and we where able to get him out of his shell by taking him everywhere we where going and training. It took a bit of work but now he is a wonderfull adjusted dog that is not reserved and likes people, dogs and children which at the beginning he did not like one bit. (he was abused and scared all over).

I hope this may help.
We can't imagen our lives without Arthur and Simon they are wonderfull companions.
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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
Posts: 106
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 06/25/03, 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I have an 18-mo-old GWP girl gotten out of rescue at 7 mos of age. We have a 6-yr-old daughter with lots of friends. I couldn't IMAGINE a better family dog. Charlotte is able to put Matea through her obedience paces like a breeze.

We had Charlotte's niece over last weekend - a 1-yr-old - and Matea didn't even seem to sense she was there, other than to sniff and wag.

This ismy first GWP and I honestly can't imagine having anything else (other tham maybe a Spinone...dreamer that I am!), especially when it comes to the family.

Claudia's is involved with socializing, but if you can't do it successfully with a GWP, I'm not sure you'd find an easier breed!

Just love your pup, work with them, and teach 'em well!

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Joined: 08 Nov 2002
Posts: 66
Location: Minneapolis

PostPosted: 06/26/03, 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that you are asking questions and considering things now shows you are on track to be a great owner to a great dog.

Your GWP can be the best pet you could hope for if you socialize her now. Your pup should have SUBSTANTIAL contact with a MINIMUM of 100 people before she is 12 weeks old. The breeder obviously has a big responsibility here too. Focus on men and children as these tend to be more frightening to dogs. The people should handle, play with, snuggle, pet and hold the dogs.

This may sound like a lot, but have a "Puppy Party" invite all your neighbors, who wouldn't want to play with an adorable puppy and they are helping you make your dog a better neighbor, which benefits everyone. Fire up the grill and put some beers on ice. Have a great time and mold your pup into a great pet.
Make sure people handle your dogs:
Genital area

These will become sensitive as the dog gets older (30% of bites happen when someone reaches for the dogs collar). If you get her used of being handled there when she is a puppy it will never be an issue.

You can play "Gotcha". Grab the collar (you can make a fast move, but be gentle), feed a treat. Pull (gently) at her tail, give a treat. Grab her ear, feed a treat. Teach her early on to have a very positive association with being handled.

Another really critical thing to do is work on preventing food bowl and treasure guarding NOW.

1. Teach her that children coming near her food dish is a VERY good thing
When you are trimming a delicious piece of fat from your meat, have your child drop it in the dogs food dish.

2. Make sure to handle your pup as she eats (someday one of your kids might come tearing through the kitchen right as she is eating and trip on the dog. We want the pup to look up, say hmmm, and go back to her meal. If she is not used to being handled/touched as she eats she may snap in surprise.)

3. Hold her bones for her as she chews. (We want to tell her hands near her valued objects are not a threat, they're a good thing).

4. Give 'n take
When you have a toy, take it away, give a treat, give the toy back. Teach her that she doesn't need to protect her things because if they are taken away she will get them back. (This will greatly help you in getting her to drop things such as shoes, birds etc.)

Good Luck! Can't wait to hear how she's doing.
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