Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

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DSworkingdad
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Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by DSworkingdad » Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

It's been one week today since we picked up Callie, Our eight week old DS from the airport, and its been a journey just within the first week. I know I have posted quite a bit, but I am a social and active trainer! I have been watching Dave Kroyer's videos, at the recommendation of a DS forum member and I'm now a gold subscriber. His channel and video content is pretty great and offers some great training advice. I also work for a government contracting company that has a K9 unit, Broadie, ironically enough a DS and the handler is a Master GSA Trainer for police departments. She has been a tremendous help in assisting me with early imprinting and puppy development. However, I like to lean on the "village" (DS forum) for advice and tips because a trainer is nothing more than a constant student, like our dogs.

So here are some questions I would like opinions on:

1.) Food:

I know this is a Chevy vs. Ford, Apple vs. Samsung, DS vs. Mal, sort of discussion... however I found myself roaming the halls of PetSmart comparing pricing and looking at the variety of ingredients of all the popular foods. I'm currently using Taste of the Wild puppy kibble, and the only reason is that that's what she came from the breeder, Moss K9, on. I've considered swapping to Merrick, Nutro, Blue Buffalo or Bil Jac (Dave Kroyer's choice food). It seems that marketing is king in the K9 food world and I would like someone with some nutritional expertise to help me out. Reason being my DS pup doesn't seem much interested in TOTW, so should I switch to a different brand? Or try a different flavor? Or is there a trick I'm missing here? I don't want to mix wet food which is what the breeder had her on (1/4 can of TOTW wet and 1 cup of TOTW puppy kibble). She is a working DS and "earns" her food every day, meaning she is not fed from a bowl, but from me. She seems to enjoy the Bil-Jac soft treats that I use during our training sessions, but won't touch her puppy kibble; I'm assuming because she's been spoiled. Nevertheless, I want to find a food source (dry puppy kibble) that she is excited to eat and can help increase her drive.

2.) Training:

Her training is going well, this being my first DS, I previously had a German Shepherd, non-working, that was smart and picked up on things pretty quick. BUT this DS, being a working dog and of notable bloodlines, unlike my GSD, is IMPRESSIVE how quickly she picks up on things. She is targeting, beginning to heel, sits like a champ, is starting to understand down, gets on and off the table with ease, goes up and down stairs, no accidents in house or crate with potty training goes in the same spot outside making clean up super easy. Just plain AMAZING how smart she is. Her bite development and drive is off the charts, maybe just typical for experienced DS owners, but I can tell this pup has a future in bite work. That being said, I plan to dual purpose her in handler protection, and I'm exploring a dual purpose in something pretty interesting, accelerants. I heard about accelerant detection K9s that assist with arson cases on a podcast and never thought of that as a detection option.

3.) First Vet visit:

We also had our first vet appointment, and she did well for her first time. However, she started trembling during the exam table portion (I would be too if I knew I was going to get a thermometer in the butt, lol). Has anyone got any exercises besides feeling over all parts of the dog and treating to condition to vet visits? She also hid under me when she got off the table; I immediately moved her back out so as not to promote that behavior. A VERY INTERESTING thing that happened during the visit was that the vet tested eyes by making a fist and moving it rapidly toward both eyes in a punching motion, the correct response is for the dog to flinch, not to flinch a sign of vision issues apparently. Callie stood there both eyes wide open, NO flinching, just observing. I didn't know whether to be proud or worried as the vet said she either has vision issues or is fearless. Anyone had a similar experience? I have to come back next week for her second round of shots; we just went in early to get her established there and make sure she didn't develop any issues over her time with us.

Thats it for today.

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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:28 pm

get out of pet smart for food and go to Dogfoodadvisor.net
Trembling at the vet is just a dog thing, there are so many smells there and they are of fear from other dogs and the dogs pick up on all of the body language of others and the smells. Just be calm and act like its no big deal, ignore the behavior and dont baby talk or tell her its ok. Just at home, touch her every where, paws, between pads, nails etc. but she still wont be calm at the vet, its a different situation with fear all over the place.

I never saw the punching thing before, sadie would probably have eaten my vet. usually they do a normal eye test but who knows. I dont know if I would do that as a vet.
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by DSworkingdad » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:14 am

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:28 pm
get out of pet smart for food and go to Dogfoodadvisor.net
Trembling at the vet is just a dog thing, there are so many smells there and they are of fear from other dogs and the dogs pick up on all of the body language of others and the smells. Just be calm and act like its no big deal, ignore the behavior and dont baby talk or tell her its ok. Just at home, touch her every where, paws, between pads, nails etc. but she still wont be calm at the vet, its a different situation with fear all over the place.

I never saw the punching thing before, sadie would probably have eaten my vet. usually they do a normal eye test but who knows. I dont know if I would do that as a vet.
Dutchringgirl,

I appreciate the good advice. Any particular food you use or would recommend? I figured that would be the training response condition them to the vet at home. The “punching” thing was definitely a first for me too... I mean it seemed ‘practical’ except she was moving her hand (fist) back and forth within striking distance, so unless the dog was completely blind it wouldn’t flinch. Just seemed like a terrible way to test eyesight. She asked if she was bumping into walls and I was like no, believe me she cues on a tennis ball and knows exactly where my daughter ugg boot is (which looks similar to her tug toy) lol. She has learned to watch out for the land shark.

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Dutchringgirl
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by Dutchringgirl » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:32 am

I feed Acaina / Orajen, I would look at the 5 star foods at dogfoodadvisor and look at the ingredients and price. There are a lot of good food out there and many are personal preferences .
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by borellar15 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:44 pm

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:28 pm
get out of pet smart for food and go to Dogfoodadvisor.net
I agree. There’s not really much at petsmart I would feed my dogs.

Most grain free foods are fine. Some are more expensive than others and some are limited ingredient (even more expensive). Zoey was really picky too. It took us a while to find a food that she liked. If you have a Tomlinson’s or you know another kind of better pet store they may have some better options and they will let you bring the food back in exchange for something else if your puppy doesn’t like it. Luckily I’m in Austin and we have all kinds of stores like that. We now have her on zignature because they do a buy 10 bags get one free deal so at $50+ a bag for 25lbs of food, yea I’ll take that deal. Also Stella and Chewy’s makes a freeze dried raw COATED kibble. That might create some higher value reward for your training/feeding sessions.

My vet did the same thing with the eye test. I believe he said she may have been too young to test her like that but he did it anyways idk the specifics but I don’t think I would worry about it.
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by centrop67 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:43 pm

You might want to check out Earthborn Holistic.

Pricey, but a good switch for our Radars allergies.

BTW we're lucky that our local feed supply has it cheaper than the internet and we get a free bag every time we buy five.
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by oddbird » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:07 am

We also feed Earthborn. We had been feeding Acana, but switched after the most recent recall.

I have never heard of that eye test. Henry wouldn’t flinch but he may decide to take a bite if he were feeling feisty!
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by Dutchringgirl » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:04 pm

oddbird wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:07 am
We also feed Earthborn. We had been feeding Acana, but switched after the most recent recall.


https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food ... -by-brand/

Acana was never recalled.
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by oddbird » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:33 am

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:04 pm
oddbird wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:07 am
We also feed Earthborn. We had been feeding Acana, but switched after the most recent recall.


https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food ... -by-brand/

Acana was never recalled.
My apologies, there was a class action lawsuit filed against them regarding heavy metal content levels. I found out about it through my training facility and switched. Maybe prematurely but I would rather not risk it when there are other options. I am not entirely sure what the outcome was or if it is still ongoing because Earthborn has actually worked out better for us so no plans on switching back as of yet.
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Dutchringgirl
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:58 am

oddbird wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:33 am
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:04 pm
oddbird wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:07 am
We also feed Earthborn. We had been feeding Acana, but switched after the most recent recall.


https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food ... -by-brand/

Acana was never recalled.
My apologies, there was a class action lawsuit filed against them regarding heavy metal content levels. I found out about it through my training facility and switched. Maybe prematurely but I would rather not risk it when there are other options. I am not entirely sure what the outcome was or if it is still ongoing because Earthborn has actually worked out better for us so no plans on switching back as of yet.
I still feed Acana but what about Earthborn is better for you? I am always looking to see what else is out there? I know many here feed Earthborn.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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oddbird
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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by oddbird » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:22 am

Dutchringgirl wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:58 am
oddbird wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:33 am
Dutchringgirl wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:04 pm


https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food ... -by-brand/

Acana was never recalled.
My apologies, there was a class action lawsuit filed against them regarding heavy metal content levels. I found out about it through my training facility and switched. Maybe prematurely but I would rather not risk it when there are other options. I am not entirely sure what the outcome was or if it is still ongoing because Earthborn has actually worked out better for us so no plans on switching back as of yet.
I still feed Acana but what about Earthborn is better for you? I am always looking to see what else is out there? I know many here feed Earthborn.
Both dogs seem to enjoy Earthborn, even the Coastal Catch formula. My old man (10 in January) has bad food and flea allergies and is pretty limited in what he can eat. Even with Acana, he would still have ear issues and mild skin irritation, but it was one of the few brands that had meat offerings that didn’t include what out vet told us to avoid, which reduced the flare ups. We stuck to Acana for probably 3-4 years.

So far with Earthborn, it has cleared up. It could be that he was sensitive to the lamb in the Acana formula (unfortunately it was the only flavor he seemed to enjoy) but Earthborn is the first fish formula that he will eat for more than a couple of days.

For my DS, it’s kept his coat super silky and shiny, but other than just wanting to feed him high quality food, he doesn’t require anything special. It also helps that my trainer keeps it on hand for any pups they are watching so if he stays with them while we are out of town, he is covered if anything happens to the food we bring with him.

Earthborn was also cheaper! Always a pleasant bonus. I think Acana was around $70 for a bag 5 lbs smaller and we can find Earthborn for $50-55 depending on where we get it from. If it hadn’t been for the lawsuit, I may not have switched just due to the unknown of how my older dog’s skin and ears would react to it, but I am thankful because even though we were managing the allergies, I still felt bad for the little guy and now he is 100%.
Bird & Henry (Long-hair DS): Figuring out this working dog life together

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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by centrop67 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:31 am

Radar's allergies were the reason we switched to Earthborn. The meadow feast version was without most of the food items that showed up on his allergy test results.

I think it's one of only a few brands that hasn't been swallowed by the massive pet food companies as well.
Michael
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RIP: Tequila and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers

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Re: Raising a Working Puppy- Takes a Village

Post by Dutchringgirl » Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:45 am

Interesting, Acana has some less expensive bags, it depends on what you get. I was going for the six fish in the fall and winter because I found it kept them from getting dry and itchy, that one is expensive though. But My Basset has been itchy all year, If you guys are saying that switching has helped with allergies, i wonder if that would help with my basset. Ill get a small bag and try it with her.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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