Author Topic: New puppy. I need help  (Read 1662 times)

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Offline Cottonflower2

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New puppy. I need help
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:42:17 PM »
My family and I have made the decision that I will be getting a Golden Retriever puppy as my PSD. Lyka will be my sister's PSD, and she will continue her training.
I'm currently looking for young Golden puppies online (4 months or younger), so if anyone knows of any available pups around the Fort Lauderdale area, let me know. I'd only be willing to pay under $300.
That's not all I need help with, however. In all of my excitement, I seem to have forgotten things. I've listed supplies/gear I will need to get me started, but I still feel as if I'm forgetting things. :facepalm: Here's what I've remembered so far:
Food/water dish, we have
Puppy food
We'll be stopping to pick up new collar when we get the puppy, along with extra toys.
We have plenty of leashes
Nametag
Grooming supplies
Bed and crate
Did I forget anything??

Also, when is the best time to start getting the puppy adjusted to wearing a vest?

Offline missythewriter

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 07:54:51 PM »
I'm just here to post once, I'm staying away from the Internet for now. But I couldn't ignore this.

Please  be careful with buying a puppy so cheap. Reputable breeders will not sell puppies that young for only $300. The only way that's happening is through a really generous breeder whom you've explained your situation to, or, most likely, a backyard breeder. If you buy from a BYB, it'll seem cheap at the get-go, but needing to fix all the puppy's health problems and behavior issues will cost more than just spending the approximate $1200 on a well-bred puppy outright. If you want to spend so little on a prospect initially, either Equus africanus asinusi a rescue, or find a breeder selling an older puppy, a year old or so, for a little more expensive than you want. I've seen some good breeders sell older puppies for $400-700 before. Please don't go through a BYB or puppy mill. That will land you in a terrible spot with a sick puppy.

Offline Cottonflower2

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 08:00:30 PM »
Oh, I'm not searching for breeders necessarily. I'm looking into shelters and owner-surrenders online. I've contacted a few people today, but none have gotten back to me yet, so I'm still looking. Two people did respond, but I was able to identify them as scammers.
I know what to watch out for, but I appreciate your concern!

Offline Ariel

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 12:17:18 AM »
You are not looking for a Golden Retriever puppy to be your PSD. You are looking for a candidate. You are looking for a puppy with the potential to become a PSD. Unless you actually possess a crystal ball you will not be able to look at a young pup (even one with great potential) and see them as a working service dog. Do you know what you're even looking for? What criteria will you be using to evaluate a puppy? Where did you amass the skills and experience to confidently evaluate a puppy? What if the puppy you like most is not the one most suited to your needs? Do you have the experience to unbiasedly make the best choice for your needs? Do you even know what the traits you are looking for in the puppy to hopefully grow into the right dog to work out as a PSD for you specifically are?

With all due respect I think you have forgotten many things. You are forgetting the cost of a trainer on your list, training classes or other ways to socialize pup and receive feedback on your training in addition to their progress. You're forgetting that a pup most likely to be successful as a SD is not going to come at a discount. $300 is a joke if you're hoping for a purebred Golden from health tested lines. Goldens have such a high prevalence of cancer and in some lines aggression that I would not consider one unless I could see the health testing on not just the parents but several siblings of the parents and at least 2-3 additional generations back. You simply will not find that puppy for $300 or less. That would be insulting to a breeder who cares about the health and futures of their breeding stock and produced pups. I'd guess a well bred Golden will run about $1200-1500 and that is a fair price.

If you want to get it right, better to stack the deck in your favor to get it right the first time. Have you considered what you will do if the puppy doesn't have what it takes to be a SD and washes out? Will you keep the pup? Rehome? Return to breeder? That last reason is a good one to go with a breeder with a contract that will guarantee they will take the puppy back or place them. Will you get another SD prospect? I think when to vest a puppy you don't yet own and don't yet even have a clear existence on other than "Golden Retriever and as cheap as possible" is less important than actually making sure you're selecting a good pup. Your priorities are a healthy puppy selected for traits conducive to an eventual job as PSD for you specifically with aptitude and lineage to prove it. Rather, that would be my priorities if I actually wanted a SD and not a training project. You have a better idea of what you're looking for and hopefully have a thought out plan of how to get there.



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Offline Kirsten

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 12:37:39 AM »
If you aren't going to get a well-bred pup you would be better off getting a mixed breed young adult. 

Puppies are hard to temperament test.  You have to largely go off of the pup's family history.

Purebred dogs that are not well-bred (are without genetic screening and performance titles to prove their working ability) are at a higher risk of health issues than mixed breed dogs wiithout genetic screening or family history.

A well-bred puppy is going to cost over $1,000 and probably more in the neighborhood of $1,500.  Why?  Because it costs a lot to do all of the screening, prenatal, perinatal and postnatal care as well as the early socialization, potty training, crate training, etc.  It's more than a full time job for 8 weeks.  It costs more than $1,000 just for the equipment to raise puppies well (whelping box and equipment, chick lamps and thermometers).

Figure 500 hours of labor at $10 per hour and that breeder has already invested a minimum of $5,000 in that litter, not counting equipment, healthy, well screened breeding stock, veterinary care and so on.  And an average of about 6 pups per litter.  Well bred puppies from healthy stock that are well raised the first 8 weeks of their lives is a money losing proposition even at $1500 per puppy.

So you pay less than the going rate for a well-bred puppy and you're going to start off with a not well-bred puppy.  A puppy with much higher risk of health issues and temperament issues and a much lower probability of turning out to be what is needed in a service dog.  If money is tight, then it is best spent hiring a pro to evaluate young adult dogs in rescues to find the most likely candidate and then putting that dog in basic obedience classes as soon as possible.

Start up costs on a puppy are also higher than start up costs on a young adult.  You've got three series of shots instead of one set every three years, crates and other equipment they grow out of, all those chews they need for development, spay/neuter costs.  The first year of care usually costs twice what the second year costs when you start with a puppy.  Tardis went through three crates, three collars, four seatbelt harnesses, two sets of bowls and a humongous amount of chewing materials (I swear he was part beaver as a puppy).
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Offline Cottonflower2

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 01:24:25 AM »
You are not looking for a Golden Retriever puppy to be your PSD. You are looking for a candidate. You are looking for a puppy with the potential to become a PSD. Unless you actually possess a crystal ball you will not be able to look at a young pup (even one with great potential) and see them as a working service dog. Do you know what you're even looking for? What criteria will you be using to evaluate a puppy? Where did you amass the skills and experience to confidently evaluate a puppy? What if the puppy you like most is not the one most suited to your needs? Do you have the experience to unbiasedly make the best choice for your needs? Do you even know what the traits you are looking for in the puppy to hopefully grow into the right dog to work out as a PSD for you specifically are?

With all due respect I think you have forgotten many things. You are forgetting the cost of a trainer on your list, training classes or other ways to socialize pup and receive feedback on your training in addition to their progress. You're forgetting that a pup most likely to be successful as a SD is not going to come at a discount. $300 is a joke if you're hoping for a purebred Golden from health tested lines. Goldens have such a high prevalence of cancer and in some lines aggression that I would not consider one unless I could see the health testing on not just the parents but several siblings of the parents and at least 2-3 additional generations back. You simply will not find that puppy for $300 or less. That would be insulting to a breeder who cares about the health and futures of their breeding stock and produced pups. I'd guess a well bred Golden will run about $1200-1500 and that is a fair price.

If you want to get it right, better to stack the deck in your favor to get it right the first time. Have you considered what you will do if the puppy doesn't have what it takes to be a SD and washes out? Will you keep the pup? Rehome? Return to breeder? That last reason is a good one to go with a breeder with a contract that will guarantee they will take the puppy back or place them. Will you get another SD prospect? I think when to vest a puppy you don't yet own and don't yet even have a clear existence on other than "Golden Retriever and as cheap as possible" is less important than actually making sure you're selecting a good pup. Your priorities are a healthy puppy selected for traits conducive to an eventual job as PSD for you specifically with aptitude and lineage to prove it. Rather, that would be my priorities if I actually wanted a SD and not a training project. You have a better idea of what you're looking for and hopefully have a thought out plan of how to get there.



You don't need to worry abou
I am well aware that I'm looking for a candidate. I just didn't feel the need to specify with the term "candidate".
I do know what I'm looking for. I will be temperament testing any puppy I come across before making the next step to bring it home. I was asking about the vest only to get an idea of when to start getting the puppy acclimated to wearing it. It's not as if I'm getting ahead of myself, I'm still aware of my top priority as of right now... And it's not exactly a choice of mine to search for puppies that are "as cheap as possible". When you live in a house filled with several animals, mostly exotic, which can bring up unexpected emergency vet fees, it's what you have to do. I do have a reason for looking for a particularly low price.
The expense of the trainer, I have not forgotten. I'm prepared to find and pay for good training. I was simply stating supplies to get me started, not any payments that I will eventually need to make.
As for buying from a breeder, even if I were rich, I would not be buying from a breeder. Every dog I've owned was adopted from rescues, as I don't support breeders and have never even thought about buying from a breeder. Yes, it's harder to find puppies that won't contain health/temperament issues, but it is for my own reasons and opinions.

Offline Ariel

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 02:22:14 AM »
None of what I said was meant to be mean. If you don't know where to start, you should be starting with a trainer. If your end goal is a healthy and functional service dog, it doesn't make much sense to spend less money for less quality. The reality is that you cannot find good quality for that price. Well-bred purebred and "less than $300" are pretty mutually exclusive no matter what breed you're looking at. If you don't care if the pup makes it and all you're wanting is training experience then it doesn't matter if the pup doesn't have the temperament or health to continue at some point.

Kirsten is correct on the puppy costs. I spent more than $500 in vetting and replacing necessary collars, flea and tick preventative and heartworm medication, chews (also had a beaver pup) and larger quantities of food than she even eats now in the first 2 months. That was before I factored in $200 for training classes. Jubi also had an emergency vet bill at 17 weeks. That was expensive and I hadn't planned for it. What happens if your pup racks up a vet bill several times what your cap of capacity to pay is? Getting a pup from a less than ideal situation increases risks of worms, fleas, ticks and tickborne diseases and a host of other issues that may come from a lacking puppy raising area or from actual health issues if there are any present that will show early.

Again, none of this is to criticize you or be mean, I just think your thought process is going to have you end up dividing very very limited resources into areas that will not be conducive to your goal of having a successful working service dog in about two years.
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Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 02:30:23 AM »
What qualifies you to temperament test puppies? What test will you use, how many times will the puppies be tested and by how many people will the puppy be tested?

Puppies are wildcards. You are much more likely to fail with a rescue puppy than an adult. Look for a golden rescue and search out young adult dogs who are fully baked in temperament and world view.

I am too tired to continue in detail, it has been a bad day for me. I'm just going to say that without breeders, you would have no goldens to look for in the first place. By having a specific breed in mind you are supporting the people who created and work hard, long hours under stressful, sometimes heart breaking circumstances to make that breed strong, healthy and well tempered. Without someone to put two goldens together with the intent of making more goldens you would not be able to say "I want this breed of dog because they make good service dogs". You're free to adopt rescues as you see fit, that is none of my business. But your anti-breeder sentiment is hypocritical here. You can not want a dog of a specific breed and refuse to acknowledge or support the people who made it possible for you to even consider and find a dog of that breed.

I understand rescue. I have four dogs in my home. All are rescues, one is a foster. But my next SD candidate is going to be from a breeder.

You sound like you're rushing. It feels to me that since your dog is now going to work for your sister you want to get a new puppy in your hand ASAP. That's not how SDs work. If you are disabled by your mental illness your condition is not going to go anywhere any time soon. So slow down, take our suggestions into consideration and listen to the decades of experience that are telling you that you are going in the wrong direction. If you really want a dog that can work and work comfortably, slow down, look for the right (adult or young adult) dog and hire an outside trainer to evaluate the dogs you have in mind. If you want a puppy to project preconceived ideas on to, learn on and wash out, evaluate the puppy yourself and pick the first one that fits your criteria. You are planning to pick up puppy supplies on the way home from purchasing the puppy. You haven't even found one yet, why not take a month and get the stuff you need. Why the urgency?

I have been through this. I have adopted a five month old rescue as a prospect. He did wonderfully until he hit a year and developed debilitating reactivity. I know Ariel has been through this. I know Kirsten has seen it happen. We are not doubting you, we are telling you the best way to achieve your expressed goal.

You are lowering your chance of success by ruling out breeders. You are lowering your chance of success by insisting on a puppy. You are lowering your chance of success by insisting on evaluating the dog yourself. You are lowering your chance of success by trying to buy a puppy before you even have a collar for it. There is little to no chance of success left after all those deductions.

You're welcome to do as you see fit. But if you really want to succeed you will heed the advice of the experienced trainers who posted before me.

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Offline Cottonflower2

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 09:29:04 AM »
I am too tired to continue in detail, it has been a bad day for me. I'm just going to say that without breeders, you would have no goldens to look for in the first place. By having a specific breed in mind you are supporting the people who created and work hard, long hours under stressful, sometimes heart breaking circumstances to make that breed strong, healthy and well tempered. Without someone to put two goldens together with the intent of making more goldens you would not be able to say "I want this breed of dog because they make good service dogs". You're free to adopt rescues as you see fit, that is none of my business. But your anti-breeder sentiment is hypocritical here. You can not want a dog of a specific breed and refuse to acknowledge or support the people who made it possible for you to even consider and find a dog of that breed.

I understand rescue. I have four dogs in my home. All are rescues, one is a foster. But my next SD candidate is going to be from a breeder.

You sound like you're rushing. It feels to me that since your dog is now going to work for your sister you want to get a new puppy in your hand ASAP. That's not how SDs work. If you are disabled by your mental illness your condition is not going to go anywhere any time soon. So slow down, take our suggestions into consideration and listen to the decades of experience that are telling you that you are going in the wrong direction. If you really want a dog that can work and work comfortably, slow down, look for the right (adult or young adult) dog and hire an outside trainer to evaluate the dogs you have in mind. If you want a puppy to project preconceived ideas on to, learn on and wash out, evaluate the puppy yourself and pick the first one that fits your criteria. You are planning to pick up puppy supplies on the way home from purchasing the puppy. You haven't even found one yet, why not take a month and get the stuff you need. Why the urgency?
I don't intend to be hypocritical. I don't buy from breeders because, much like other adopters, I know there are many dogs in shelters that are in need of homes, and I can't just shake that thought and buy from a breeder.
I am not rushing, and Lyka has not started working for my sister yet. I'm still going to carry on with her training until I'm ready to get a puppy. The collar, I'm only getting after getting the puppy in order to find a collar that best fits.

Offline ccunnin3

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 09:49:34 AM »
You do sound like you're rushing.

I'd honestly be surprised if you were able to find a healthy Golden Retriever of any age for less than $300. We aren't telling you to buy a more expensive dog because we want to make you spend money. We are telling you this because what you want (a viable service dog prospect of a specific breed) is not available for that price.
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Offline missythewriter

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2017, 11:28:32 AM »
Why not find a Golden Retriever rescue and adopt an adult/young adult dog from there? Adopting a rescue puppy almost guarantees a washout. Adopting an adult, you can find a breed-specific rescue and have a solidified personality. You won't have to go through the difficult puppy stages. Yeah, puppies are cute and fun to raise into dogs, but rescue puppies are your worst chance of success in raising a candidate into a SD.

Offline Summertime.and.Azkaban

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2017, 04:49:39 PM »
You clearly said you do not support breeders.

You typed that exact phrase. If you exclusively wanted to rescue to give a homeless dog a chance but respect breeders, you would not have said you refuse to support them.

You're free to do as you wish. I would suggest putting your brakes on and finding someone to help you. Even experienced owner trainers should not pick their own puppies and from what I understand Lyka is your first dog and she is not yet finished. If I was in your position I would not try to evaluate on my own.

I know I sound pushy and awful. I am having a very symptomatic few days and my general irritability is showing. But everything I saw I say in support and in trying to help you achieve your goals,
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Online SandyStern

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2017, 04:58:23 PM »
Just a word about temperament testing.  I've been working with an excellent service dog program for about 15 years now.  We get most puppies from a breeding program at a guide dog place, and a few from breeders.  We've used the standard temperament test and interpretation for more than 20 years. Well, one of our employees had the brilliant idea to go back and compare test results with performance and we found that pretty much the test is worthless. Puppies that we accepted despite poor performance on (for example) the startle reflex, succeeded.  Puppies that tested out perfectly on all measures failed for multiple temperament problems.  And on top of that, you have to consider the breed, the age, and the venue.  Unless the test is done at the precise stage of development, your results (flawed as they are as explained above) won't be valid.

Offline Solace

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 05:17:41 PM »
Really, a young adult from a golden rescue organization is your best bet.  Although, I think adoption fees might be more like 500.  Getting a puppy without knowing anything about the parents is really risky.  A pet?  Sure!  A service dog?  Not a good idea.

Offline Cottonflower2

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Re: New puppy. I need help
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2017, 05:59:09 PM »
You clearly said you do not support breeders.

You typed that exact phrase. If you exclusively wanted to rescue to give a homeless dog a chance but respect breeders, you would not have said you refuse to support them.

You're free to do as you wish. I would suggest putting your brakes on and finding someone to help you. Even experienced owner trainers should not pick their own puppies and from what I understand Lyka is your first dog and she is not yet finished. If I was in your position I would not try to evaluate on my own.

I know I sound pushy and awful. I am having a very symptomatic few days and my general irritability is showing. But everything I saw I say in support and in trying to help you achieve your goals,
You're right, I don't support them. I never claimed that I do support them. And respect is different from support. I do respect breeders, but I choose not to directly support them when I know there are homeless dogs. If I happened to have said anything different, that was my mistake.
Lyka is not my first dog, unless you mean my first SD(iT), in which case, she is.