How to introduce a new puppy to your children. - Page 2

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by Hundmutter on 23 November 2018 - 09:11

I agree with Prager and Western Rider. In fact I would go so far as to say these are good instructions not just about all pups, but for young adult dogs too, and not just all breeds but GSD specifically - WHERE THE GSDs HAPPEN TO BE BRED WITH THE SORT OF VARYING TEMPERAMENTS we all know exist out there ! Not every breeder has good, solid, predictable, stock where the ancestry is known and proven; fine if the fond parent goes to buy at one of those, but we should not put down attempts to help the not so lucky, not so informed.

I think it is so sad what's being said about 'all' GSDs and acknowledged 'nerve' problems; here in the UK we used to have to admit to a similar problem with the breed, when the 'Alsatian' was in ascendency in our Show rings, as for a while there everyone was breeding with shy dogs. And guess who the breeders / owners / exhibitors were who least wanted anything to do with German rules, or temperament tests ? It got really bad, and had a hill to climb. But things got better. Now the balance of power in the breed here has shifted, there's a lot more emphasis on good solid character. But you can still never guarantee that any litter people look to buy from will cope well with the process.

by Prager on 23 November 2018 - 15:11



by Prager on 23 November 2018 - 15:11

This, the chart above, is applicable to any stranger - dog meeting. But especially to first meeting between a pup and child if you have a future relationship between a child and your new dog on the mind. Always in a new household with new people to the pup, to which the pup just arrived let the pup come to you. Sound pup will come to you quite quickly because the sound pup is curious and if he is being petted or given treat then the pup knows that that is a good person.

Take away from all this: Let the new pup come to you and your child rather than the other way around.

by joanro on 23 November 2018 - 16:11

Puppies that have a sound temperament don't come unraveled just because a child paid attention to them when they first meet. If they do, then the pup is not fit to be in a family situation.
That's all there needs to be said.

by Prager on 23 November 2018 - 16:11

while it is true that sound dogs may be Ok by violating 101 rules of how to welcome a pup to his new environment, there are millions of genetically sound dogs who by violating this basic knowledge of dog's instincts were inadvertently made not to like kids.


by Jessejones on 23 November 2018 - 18:11

Good post.

I do think there are good pups being ruined, or not raised in best fashion, by unknowning families.

So what Prager is posting is food for thought for all newbies. Sure, it helps tremendously if the pup has sound nerves, but like mentioned, not all do....a big percentage don’t. Often these are the dogs where the mom says, “I can’t handle this dog anymore” at 7 mo, and off to the shelter or craigslist they go.

Many new families are shocked and truly afraid at the amount of biting a pup does.
They don’t understand this is normal puppy behavior, and think they have a weird, bad and dominant aggressive GSD puppy on their hands, so they start treating it overly handler dominant - being too dominant toward the dog with uncalled for  punishments. Making a huge mistake.

New families need to know that this biting is NORMAL. And need to learn and teach their kids to redirect the biting and give approprate bite toys.

Some things I want to add for people googling this topic, new to dogs or GSDs in particular :

Don’t over excite your kids by saying we’re getting a PUPPY!...EVERYDAY!!!
Don’t build it up like a big exciting event. This will only create overly stimulated nerves in the kids too. And, it will end in tears at some point.

Plan ahead. Have a all the things your need for the pup. Bowls/the same food the breeder has been feeding for the first week/ toys that cant be chewy up or swallowed/ and to me, most important a puppy crate, a see-though wire crate.

There should be one dedicated person in charge of the dog who is at home 
Not a mishmash of everyone confusing the dog.

If everyone is away from home and at work all day ...DONT GET A PUPPY.

The puppy needs a routine schedule all day long. The same, if possible, every day. Lots of time in the crate to sleep and have peace and quiet times after meals, and always in crate when the designated person can not supervise. Ideally, there should be a crate in every room you spend lots of time in so the puppy  can still see everyone.
A puppy is a baby for a long time. Just like human babies, they need lots of rest and calmness.

Toilet train...go out round the clock at least every 3 hours, even middle of night, do not fail your puppy! And again after every single meal, or  after playing, always  in the same spot. Praise when they do their business with the same word. Don;t even  get em started on pee pads. Terrible invention for larger dogs. 

Kids need to learn how to pick up the puppy correctly, they should not pick em up really...but it will be unavoidable, so teach the correct way.
Always hold their rear ended supported with the other arm. Never to pick up puppy under armpits to let body dangle. If this is a male puppy, you are endangering its testicles by putting gravitational pulling-stress on the inguinal canal.

Never allow a small child to straddle a dog, whether standing or  laying down. It might look cute for a second but it  can damage the spine all to easily. 

My thoughts about food/being a pez dispenser is different than Prager.
I think you can not use too much food in training a puppy. It is impossible IMO.

Puppy’s are best trained through their endless quest for food. Starting as soon as you get the pup, 8 weeks. Everyone should have a pocket full of treats/kibble...every time the puppy does something good, no matter if given the command or they will not know any commands to begin everytime the pup sits by himself, give him a treat. Every time pup goes into the crate itself or through you placing it there, give him a jack pot of treats. Every time the dog looks at you, give him treat. Everytime you say its name and it turns to you, give a treat. Every time the dog walks next to you, even if only 2 steps, give a treat. Make it a game with the kids to spot desired behaviors and reward. Teach them to spot any desired behaviors from the puppy, no matter how small, and teach them how to say YES and dispense a treat with a flat hand at first. Explain why this is important so the puppy learns what is right. 

IMO, you can never over reward a puppy with treats every time it does something you like.

The time to wean the treats away will come naturally as they age. First comes intermittent treating, once the pup does something consistently. Then once they are conditioned to the cue, the treats slowly can be diminished. Add reward of using favorite toy or tug. Then overtime...the dog will do everything without any reinforcement or reward...because it is conditioned to.

Yes, the first impression is the most important. Never give a pup the opportunity to dislike kids or try to avoid them. Generally I find that most dogs don’t like to be pet on the top of the head. You will more often than not see a slight subtle licking of nose, a slight head duck...or a slight looking away. All signs of unease.
But yet, most people do just that and pat top of head.

A scratch under the chin or behind the jaw at the lower earpoint, or gently  along the upper ribs, is much better. In my experience with a lot of dogs. If a pup, watch those teeth! Remember, a dogs mouth is the same as our hands. They only do it with their mouths. So they need to learn mouth control and bite  pressure control over time.

The puppy period is strenuous. Most families underestimate this. They only see cute.

But puppies are not only cute...they are BRATS and HELL ON WHEELS. And can hurt you inadvertently with their razor teeth.

They do not love you don’t get real affection from puppies....this all comes MUCH later. You need patience and know it will be a lot of work.

PS: Been editing since first posting.


by Hundmutter on 23 November 2018 - 20:11

Jesse :  Thumbs UpThumbs UpThumbs Up

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 23 November 2018 - 20:11

Top post Jesse, as usual Thumbs Up


by Jessejones on 23 November 2018 - 21:11

Thank you Hm and MrDarcy.

I know it is long winded and boring for many of us.

But it is one of my “crusades” in the hope that someone googling this topic will read and rethink everything.

Too many spontaneous “lets get a puppy (gsd puppy)” decisions are made by well meaning families. I want to lower the incidence of them giving the dog away at 7mo because of bad handling. If I can post info that even helps one person get a handle on the pup, and keeps it, I’ll be happy. We all start somewhere. So thanks to Prager for bringing it up in this holiday season and for any season.

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