Congratulations on your new puppy! I know that is a very exciting time
I am also going to say some things that you won't want to hear. I am also not directing these comments toward you but toward the 'breeder' who created these dogs. I hope that you will take all of the steps necessary to ensure that your adorable puppy will mature into a great companion for your family. I have an 'oops' mixed breed puppy who requires a lot of constant work. I was vacillating between a couple of breeds, and then came across a litter of puppies who were that exact mix. I wouldn't change it for the world, but he is a lot of work (which I anticipated, was completely ready for, and am not complaining about) to shape him into the dog that I want. There are other breeds that I could have chosen that would have been an easier road, but it is well worth it to me to invest the work into this puppy.
My dog growing up was a cockapoo. It was the only type of dog that I was allowed
. This was long before a cockapoo was anything more than a mutt, we got her free from an ad in the newspaper.
She was a great dog in many ways. But please, please pay close attention to Joanna's grooming advice. If I skipped one or two
days or if I skipped a tiny part of her body for a day or two, there would be mats that were difficult and painful to comb out. If I was really, really bad and skipped 4 days or so, I'd have to cut the mats. I finally got totally faithful about combing her out very thoroughly twice a day. Fortunately I was a teenager so I had lots of energy and patience for it
It also took constant work to avoid dominance issues, although she was great at learning any trick that I could think of. My parents thought I was so mean
to make her sit before eating or going outside, or any of the other routine dominance stuff that I did.
As for poodles being the most intelligent dog, that is hotly debatable, to say the least. And as for 'breeding for the best of both worlds'? Well. If I have x
dog and it's cute and registered, and my friend has y
dog and it's cute and registered (but neither have been seriously health tested because, you know, that's expensive or maybe we've never heard of those things), and we throw them into the backyard together and charge xxx amount of money for the puppies... at what point am I 'breeding for the best of both worlds'? Because I hoped for the best? Because I liked both dogs? Just because I said so, and other 'breeders' stick their dogs together and hope for the worst?
Registration has nothing to do with health or quality of breeding. Nothing at all. All it means is that you have bred two dogs together who are both registered. Worst case, and yes I've seen this, is that your registered purebred dog gets "oops" bred by a neighbor fence-jumper. But you own, or you know someone who owns, a dog of the same breed as yours. So you falsify the puppy papers and sell the pups as purebreds, papers and all
I'm not saying that your puppy's 'breeder' was guilty of this. Not at all. I just say that to illustrate how little registration means without all of the tests that Joanna mentioned, as well as showing or working the animals.
Here are some things that I have written about my landlord's shih-tzu x rat terrier:http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=869522http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=795654
This was such
an adorable puppy. He was docile and calm, followed them around, learned little tricks on his own, was content to be carried around in arms, showed no alarm in new situations or around unfamiliar people... etc. Really. An outstanding puppy.
He is now over a year old. He bites not just my son, but anyone walking, jogging or biking past. He goes into other people's yards and barks at them. He is nowhere near housetrained, despite the use of a crate in his early months. He just goes if he feels the urge. Not even an attempt to hold it. As a result of the fact that he followed so closely with no leash and resisted the leash, he is utterly non-leash-trained. If you put one on him, he reacts exactly like a feral or wild dog would.
Also, even though he appeared to be well proportioned as a puppy, he now has a teeny tiny little muzzle. Seriously. He's about cocker spaniel sized, or a little smaller, but he looks like someone took a muzzle from a very tiny chi and stuck it on his (wide, flat) face. I don't know what ramifications this may have healthwise, but it seems to me that there must be something that will come of it.
When he was a baby, the landlord's 12 year old son brought him over to my house sometimes. The boy would be holding the tiny puppy near the boy's face and cooing and stroking him. Predictably, the puppy would call a boundary- first he did so by squirming, and over a period of a couple of weeks he would actually lift a lip and growl or snap... because at every display of boundary crossing, the boy would laugh and nuzzle him. So now he not only bites my son and other passersby, he also bites his owners for no reason that they can discern (I am 100% positive that if they were open to it, I could go down to their house and observe for a minute and tell them why, and how to fix it. But they don't want to hear it).
I think that Joanna has given you some extremely sound advice. The only thing that I would add, is that no matter the behaviour, keep in mind that this is a dog. If you would not accept a behaviour from a 50 or 75 lb dog, do not accept it from your 5 lb dog.