Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dog Stories Part I - How did we end up with 7 dogs?

Dog #1 Tucker.
Tucker was the last puppy left of a litter of supposedly toy poodles at the home of this back yard breeder in a neighboring town. We knew nothing about how to locate a good dog. We just found an ad in the paper, and went and looked.

She wanted $100 for him and another $25 if we wanted his AKC papers. This a prime example that just because a dog has “papers” doesn’t mean it is a well bred dog. “Papers” only mean that both parents of the puppy were pure bred. It does nothing to ensure the that the health testing recommended for that breed was completed on the parents prior to breeding or that the parents had good temperaments or that the parents embody what it means to be that breed of dog. I don’t know about you, but I would have rather that my “toy poodle” actually have come from in size toy poodles and had a good temperament and that my poodle look like a poodle and act like a poodle is supposed to act.

Tucker will be turning 10 years old this month and I truly believe that any other family would have had him euthanized because of his awful temperament. I mean, this dog has a wire loose. He will sit on the couch with you and growl and snarl while he nudges you with his nose to pet him. He continues to growl and snarl while you pet him. It’s like he is confused. He snaps at me when I groom him and nearly bites me when I trim his nails.

Literally this was our first dog and we did everything wrong with him. He became very resource aggressive with the bed and would try to bite John when he would try to get into bed. Now Tucker isn’t even allowed in the bedroom. He sleeps in a crate that he is very happy with in the crate room with a few of the other dogs.

He isn’t all bad. He is very affectionate and loves to go for walks and retrieve a ball for me. He is the first one to sit when I give a group command to sit, and loves to “roll over” on command. If I am sad and crying he is the first one to be over licking away my tears.

We learned a lot about how to find a quality dog from the mistakes we made with Tucker. I learned a lot more about dog training after realizing where I went wrong in training tucker and that we let him get away with too much in the beginning that fostered his opinion that he is the alpha in charge and we are his pack that he rules over.

As a toy poodle, Tucker should have weighed under 10 pounds and measured less than 10” at the withers. Tucker actually weighs 35 pounds and measures 18 inches at the withers. According to the poodle breed standard (which can be found at ) he is a standard poodle.
Live and learn.

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