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What to do if you think your puppy's personality isn't a match for you?

Hello Everyone,

We brought our Double Doodle, Hana, home a week ago.  We have been working with her on the usual puppy things;  she is very smart, but super hyper and determined. For example, she still sheiks like she is being murdered when we put her in her crate, and becomes maniacal about getting out. This is not the first dog we have trained, and our others seem much more calm and laid back. We emphasized to the breeder that we wanted a calm dog to be trained as a therapy dog, and I am not sure her personality matches that.  Kind of in a quandary.  It seems that everything is a battle with her, and not just puppy stuff.  

The breeder said she picked the pup for each family based on temperament, but when we got there, I had the feeling she was simply going on the order of the list of deposits.  When do you think a pup should be returned to the breeder if one has the feeling that its temperament is not right for you?  We are in our late sixties and don't want to spend the next 15 years in a constant battle.

Please offer any suggestions you have!!!

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Replies to This Discussion

I wrote a blog here when Ludo was a puppy and when I had to take him to the vet for vomiting as a pup.  I had been fleetingly questioning my bond with him (I wrote earlier that he was a curmudgeon, right?)  and after that moment-- when I was able to see how much he needed me and felt how much my heart ached knowing he wasn't feeling well... well, I think you probably felt the same thing.  Puppies are challenging and exhausting but they really are so worth it. I'm glad to hear that you've embraced Hana and everything she is.  I think she'll give all that love back to you tenfold :)

Nancy - your story about your third child brought such a smile to my face. My daughter had two adorable kids, but she kept talking about someday having a third. Her life was already chaotic enough so I told her she was crazy to have a third. She agreed that it was a crazy idea but it was her heart talking, not her brain. Fast forward a bit = = = I now have a 16 month old treasure. I look at her and can’t even imagine that THIS is the baby I thought her mommy was crazy to have. 

As I write this, two-year-old Desi is calmly curled up on the footrest of my recliner. Two years ago, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t even imagine this scene. Yes, there were times that Desi was a sweet, angelic little puppy - but much of the time he was Desi the Devil Dog. If I wasn’t making him the center of my universe, he’d “attack” me, darting at my face, trying to embed his little razor-sharp teeth into my arm, gnawing on my clothes, etc. Although we loved him dearly, not a day went by that we didn’t utter something along the lines of “What the hell have we gotten ourselves into!?!?” 

Thanks to time and training, he’s now a very mellow fellow. Of course, it also helped that when Desi was just nine months old, we added his half-sister Cori to the family. They manage to wear each other out - and tired pups make for calmer evenings. 

Good luck with Hana!

It will get better. I know puppies take work, but I firmly believe you can mold a dog to fit your lifestyle when you are able to influence them that young. I bought Orwell while still living with my parents because I decided that I just couldn't live without a dog after my yellow lab died. They had also forgotten about the trials and tribulations they had to go through when they helped me raise Bonny as a child. When Orwell came home, they were not happy with his excitable behavior and his tendency to become a land shark when things got too wild. My mom went so far as to think that he was actually being aggressive and that he'd never break the behavior. I helped them through it, and now they love him and am glad I occasionally share him with them. In fact, my mom recently told me that my leaving will be worse now because I'll be taking him away too.

Also, I have to say that when I met Orwell a week before I brought him home, he was the calmest pup out of the bunch in my opinion after staying for a couple hours to observe. He really wanted to take a nap in my lap, but his other siblings trampled over him to get pets and play time from me because I'm a sucker for dogs and I was already throwing a ball for his mom. He ended up settling in front of my lap and stayed with me the whole time. By that time I had made my decision, patted his head, and went to leave. He was the only one to follow me to the door. 

He was a completely different dog for about 6 months and then his charming behavior came back. Now he is happy and calm again. Most of the day he is content to lay on what I can only call "our bed" now while I do my work on the computer. 

It's like puppies become possessed in a way and don't act like they normally would. You just have to wait it out and constantly reinforce good behavior. 

Thanks for your words of encouragement, Kaitee.  It is interesting that you picked the calmest pup, and he was still into crazy puppy shenanigans.  Hana seems to be calming down a bit as she gets used to her new home.  We are learning patience, patience, patience.  Thanks to all who have replied with such support!

That is definitely part of it. I remember Orwell used to inspect everything in the house until he knew everything like the back of his paw. If he heard something out of the ordinary, he would go check it out. It was an exhausting few months, but he got over it. He is still that way if you bring in something new into the house, but now it's not as bad because he only has one thing at a time to get used to. 

The smarts of this breed can prove to be a challenge sometimes, but they turn into great dogs.

Hello to Everyone!

I just wanted to follow up my post with a good news update!  Hana is now 17 weeks, and is a little angel.  I was way too quick to judge her when she was so small.  She is really attached to us and we to her.  And so smart!  She learns extremely  fast, and quickly becoming a relaxed, sweet and devoted family member.  

Just wanted you all to know.  Need to post some pics of her soon.

I really love hearing this!

I'm glad to hear she was the right dood all along.

Thanks for the updated news! I never had any doubts, but am super happy to hear you are loving on your sweet girl, Hana. Looking forward to the photos. 

Lisa, thanks so much for the update. I love good news. 

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