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It's such a personal decision. I'm careful what I say to students, because so many just 'take the ball and run with it', irregardless of the caveats. If someone has a new pup, and asks about socialization vs. illness, I'll point to dogs that I know were socialized very early. I'll also try to point out dogs that were held back til the shots were done, then socialized. I refuse to answer specific questions about vaccination schedules, preferring to point them to sources of information.
Now, if you had been here with Blade as a puplet, I probably would have broken my 'rule' once I knew his breeding. I was more careful with Winston regarding disease. {And in retrospect, I should have had him out as early as she was.} With Kira, she came home at 6.5 weeks, the next day she went with me to a friend's farm, three days later she was at class. She went to her first trial, IIRC, when she was 3.5 months old.
Debbie
I know and I just felt I couldn't risk his health. I suppose some of that has to do with hanging out on bird ng's as well. In which many things a bird can catch is incurable. I know that makes no sense. Besides I have known
enough people around here that have lost their puppies to Parvo.
I'm careful what I say to students, because so many just 'take the ball and run with it', irregardless of ... done, then socialized. I refuse to answer specific questions about vaccination schedules, preferring to point them to sources of information.

Sounds like an excellent way of going about it.
Now, if you had been here with Blade as a puplet, I probably would have broken my 'rule' once I knew his breeding.

Indeed. That has mucho to do with it. And from all that I have heard he is like "father like son". Just like Tell. Which Tell even in the hands of Gary Hanrahan is a handful. So one should have a picture of what Blade is in my hands. I am by no means anywhere near
a Gary Hanrahan or any other good trainer. Just
little ole me, a dog lover. I didn't ask for this
"much dog". He has been evaluated as "pet" out
of the litter. One thing I hear often enough
is "next time get less of a dog". Well it wasn't like I chose that "much dog", but quite honestly I feel so honored to have had the opportunity. At least
I know I am able to deal with "too much" dog. I am not perfect. I probably do much wrong but I my
Vet says he is wonderful. The Vet that did his
surgery said that Blade had one of the best
temperments he had ever seen in a GSD and was
a joy to work with. I have to say some of
that has to be the way I have raised him and worked with him. Am I firm enough? Nah.
I was more careful with Winston regarding disease. {And in retrospect, I should have had him out as early as ... days later she was at class. She went to her first trial, IIRC, when she was 3.5 months old. Debbie

I will keep the above in mind if I ever, ever obtain another GSD. I am inclined to think "downsizing" at my age is a much better and realistic idea, as much as I hate to admit it. I probably will have a "puddle of corgis" some day. They really seem to suit Steve and I perfect and they are somewhat GSD like. Much more huggy. Not
to be mistaken for clingy as Reznor is never clingy. He is more independent then either Blade of Clovis.
Gwen
What is worse is when you buy a 6 months old pup and find out that she's been places such ... play with other dogs. Or "why from here on out I'll only buy pups before the age of 12 weeks."

Here's a bad situation much worse than the OP's but with some owners who have gone way beyond the norm in their dedication to dog commitment.
I met some nice people at a dinner just before Thanksgiving that also had a GSD. Naturally we hit it off and all drug out our wallets to compare photos.
They have a GSD that is a retired canine officer,
and they have always had GSDs before.
This dog has problems and probably never should have gone through the training anyway, but that's beside the point.
The female they have has bitten their mother-in-law, hard and serious ;as in puncture all the way through the hand when she did nothing more than raise her
hand to reach toward the end table.
And, she is absolutely NOT good with small children. So much so, that their grandson is kept away from
the dog whenver he visits or they make a point of
going to see him instead.
The dog is so bad whenever the child approaches
the sliding glass door when the dog is outside,
it lunges at the window and tries to gain access
while snarling and biting.
This is very dangerous of course, but these
people are so determined to let this dog live
out the rest of it's aging natural life, that
they have re-arranged their entire life to do so.
They told us they would have liked to invite us
over, but felt their dog was too much of a risk
with strangers and they really hated making her
stay outside.
It's a sad situation all the way around, but
the dog is still alive and hasn't been dumped somewhere else with someone less capable of managing
this very dicey problem.
Terri
Hey, you don't have to know anything about breeds to ring up people's purchases! What kind of an irrationally demanding person are you, anyway? Next thing you know, you'll be complaining that the people helping you in the collar aisle don't know how to fit the collars or something. SHEESH!

Paula
"I guess it's true what they say: slaughter is the best medicine." swt
Hi all first post here, The wife bought me a lab puppy 6 weeks old.. She is cute as all ... because the breeder kept her outside with like 7 other puppies and she is desensitized to noise.. That sound right?[/nq]It makes some sense that the more noise a dog is used to, the less the dog will react to noise in general, but that doesn't explain a complete disregard to calling or whistling for her. It couldn't hurt to have her checked at the vet. You are probably going in pretty regularly these days for shots and things anyway, so have the vet check the hearing while you're there. To get the dog more interested in coming when called, try to tie calling her with something worth coming to you for like food, affection, playtime, etc.

You can start in a small, quiet space where there isn't much distraction to compete for her attention. Call or whistle and give her a piece of kibble, a treat or a pet if she acknowledges the sound. Since she will have to come to you to get the reward and there isn't anything more fun to listen to or pay attention to, it should be pretty easy to get her to pay attention to you and get closer to you. After, but not before, she gets the hang of the name=reward thing if she comes to you, start doing it from farther away or with more distractions around.

Make sure you never use her name or the same whistle when you are upset with her or calling her over for something she won't like. You want to make sure she associates her name with good things and going to you when she hears her name or the whistle you want to use to call her with good things. Labs tend to love food and humans both, so it shouldn't be hard to find something to reward her with. Good luck!

Paula
"I guess it's true what they say: slaughter is the best medicine." swt
Try getting asked that with a *LABRADOR.* Sorry, but if you can't identify a Lab, should you really be selling pet supplies?

Hey, you don't have to know anything about breeds to ring up people's purchases! What kind of an irrationally demanding ... complaining that the people helping you in the collar aisle don't know how to fit the collars or something. SHEESH!

Nah, I can fit those myself. I don't use anything that requires any special skill or talent (no head halters with this little red fool.)

Now if you can't identify what species of FISH you're selling, and whether it will outgrow a 30 gallon tank...

Emily Carroll
Dealing 80s Toys - Rainbow Brite - My Little Pony - More Fluttervale Labradors: www.geocities.com/diamonds in her eyes/dogs/ CPG: www.geocities.com/cyberpetgame/
4-H Club: www.geocities.com/woofsandwiggles/