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Hi, everyone! I'm expecting to pick up my new puppy in about a month (at 12 weeks, after some initial training). In order to fill the time before I get down to the real work of managing a new puppy and getting into the day-to-day of training, I'm surfing forums for information. I'm no stranger to the internet and know 99.9% of it is garbage and whining, but there seems to be a larger number of positive stories and people here so I'm hoping to learn more about your wonderful dogs.

I am a novice when it comes to training my own dog but have had opportunities to work with other trainer and other dogs and have loved it. Beyond basic obedience, I don't have immediate plans; I think I'll see if my own dog has any particular aptitude and work with that. If you have your own dog training stories, I'd love to hear them!
 

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The one piece of advice I would give to any new puppy owner is to concentrate on bonding with your puppy and getting it to focus on you. It’s always easy to teach a dog commands or tricks, but the most important thing to me is to form trust with my dogs.

Puppies, like human babies, are hard work and it’s going to take time and patience to help your puppy grow into a well behaved adult. Don’t forget to enjoy the crazy puppy stage, because it doesn’t last very long, and before you know it, it will be over. Good luck with your dog!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I look forward to the next year or so of crazy puppy stage and learning what kind of dog he is going to become.

What's your dog story? I'd love to learn more about it!
 

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Okay, I'll tell you a story. Back in 2003 I couldn't find a Rottweiler puppy locally. It seemed Colorado breeders either weren't breeding or having bad luck. So I found what I wanted in Michigan and flew there for a puppy. I didn't want to get home, take her my vet, have him find something wrong, and have to ship her back, so I booked a room at an airport motel and made an appointment with a Michigan vet to see her the day after I got her from the breeder.

That first night in the motel with the puppy, I was disappointed as some people describe. Puppy didn't seem that taken with me and only wanted to stretch out on the floor of the bathroom. I understood that floor was cool and that was the attraction but still felt kind of pouty. After all I'd made this extraordinary effort to get this puppy, picked her from among 4 sisters, etc., she didn't want much to do with me. So I left her there on the tile floor and went to bed.

In the middle of the night something woke me. There was just enough shadowy light in the room that I could see the puppy. She was beside the bed standing on her hind legs with front paws up on the side. Still half asleep, I reached over, lifted her, and she settled against my stomach. We slept the rest of the night like that.

I have had puppies that took time to bond with, but that was it for me with that one. That one thing left me enchanted, and I stayed that way every day of her life. Schara. She could be a PITA; she was a real, live dog after all, but she's been gone 5 years now and remains my heart dog. I remember after I got home with her talking to a friend who wanted to know how it went. That friend teased me for years because my answer was, "I am besotted with this puppy."
 

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dog story...ok, not a puppy however. I saw a picture of Molly after looking around a little on the internet. I had just lost 2 dogs in a 6 month time span. One to just being very old and another dog to a brain tumor. When I saw Molly, I felt I needed to at least go check it out. She was unlike any other dog I have ever had. Smallish to me (she is about 35 lbs.) I was used to big dogs. Usually labs. Molly is a Shar pei beagle mix. The adoption place wanted me to come to them, which I personally found odd, but I went anyway. The house was way out in the country. I walked in to utter chaos. Dogs barking and running around everywhere. Molly was huddled behind a chair. I thought to myself, no way, this isn't the kind of dog I am used to. Then she walked over and put her head on my knee. I was toast. Decided I needed to get her out of there right away. They told me she was housebroken. She wasn't. They told me she loved to walk. She didn't. She was a ball of anxiety. When I took her to my vet, she asked me if I was sure I wanted to keep this dog. Molly had arthritis in both back legs and hips. And she wasn't the 3 years old they told me she was, she was maybe 5 or 6. Sigh. I took her to a behaviorist who put her on Prozac for about a month. I would take her on short walks, kind of away from people, who she was petrified of. Then we would sit in the back of my car with the hatch up while she could get a treat and some water and people watch. I was told the best thing I could do is make sure she felt like she always had an escape route. "Fight or Flight" She is definitely no fighter. She has scars all over her. It took a good 3 years of a lot of patience, love, treats (of course) and consistency, but she is as happy a dog as I can make her. She isn't like most dogs, but she is the sweetest soul I have ever met. She has taught me so much. I guess my point is that ever dog is different. You have to find that connection with them.
 
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