Frustrated new owner....needing to vent!!!
My name is Jennifer and I am from Australia (so I apologise in advance if you don't know any brand names that I use...though if you do please help me!!)
We are now the proud owners of our first ever puppy, a very lively 4 month old called Penny. Whilst we have never owned a puppy before I grew up with a GSD and know the breed well and felt we would be a good match (also I am a major researcher and don't do or buy anything without researching everything to death!! LOL!) However, I am so frustrated by all the different advice we have received on just about every topic from just about every expert. I need to vent!!!
I remember the same happening when I had my first child (I now have 3). Every midwife etc said something different. But I very quickly learnt how to deal with that and it helped that my mothering instincts kicked in quite quickly and strongly and I was fine. But I don't have any canine instincts. I admit I am pretty clueless when it comes to much ingrained knowledge of dogs. So I am relying on the experts i.e. the breeders, vets, dog trainer and pet supply store staff right? Problem is they all say something different. Even 2 different vets at the same practice. My husband isn't at all bothered and I'm sure everyone else expects it but for some reason it is driving me insane.
It started with the breeder: "puppy has had 2 vaccinations and doesn't need any more no matter what anyone tries to tell you"; only 5 min walks building up to only 20 mins by 12 months of age.
Go to the vets and they freak out and make me pick up Penny because she hasn't had her 3rd vaccination and could get parvo. But I was told very firmly that she only needed 2?? Ok. We went with the 3rd. Oh and I can clearly tell that a 5 min walk is not enough. Yes I tire her through play and training but a 5 min walk is not going to cut it for this very boisterous shark of mine!
This vet said: tapeworm tablet twice a year (Penny is on monthly dose of Advocate which covers her for everything else such as fleas, heart worm, etc just not tape worm). If you need a chew treat give her a rawhide bone.
Next vet: no no no. Tapeworm tablet needs to be 3 monthly. Pig's ears and rawhide bones are the worse culprits for upset tummy (not to mention loads of people on the internet saying to stay away from rawhide totally!)
Pet trainer: use rawhide for your puppy shark that won't stop biting myself, my husband and children over and over and drawing blood. Oh and the treats I like are Wanpy and Jerhigh. A little look on the internet tells me that Wanpy are made in China. What??? Jerhigh are made in Thailand and have preservatives. Are they really ok??
Lady at Pet supply store: if you have a GSD with a sensitive stomach stay away from rawhide. Gave me some vegetable based chews. All good.
Various books and internet suggestions: feed dog the following treats:
cheese: really? first vet said no dairy plus cheese is high fat right?
sausage or hotdog: really? I know from having a sensitive stomach myself that I have to avoid sausages because of the fat, sodium and sulphites.
.....and you get the idea. I am so annoyed. I kept saying to myself to just pick which expert sounded the most sensible and stick with them. But then they all said something strange. I'd like to believe the vet since they train for 5 years. But each vet says something different.
To be honest though I guess my main concern is what to use for training treats because I really want this little rascal trained before she gets any bigger and becomes too unmanageable. Secondly I really need to know what chews I can give her. She really is biting us a lot and unfortunately if we do shout in temper (I know I know, we're meant to stay calm but sometimes it's a shock and really hurts, especially when she launches herself at us with a wild look in her eyes and just won't stop) if we do get cross, she gets aggressive and barks at us. I have tried everything. Substituting a chew toy (of which we have lots but I rotate them and only have 3-4 out a day), turning away, walking away (she follows and keeps biting and hangs off my clothes), leaving the room and putting her outside in a time out. But nothing is really working. She just keeps on and ignores the toys at times and gets really insistent on chewing us. She's not at all safe to leave around the kids. I guess my main strategies are keep her tired and have lots for her to chew. Hence, I really need something tasty and long lasting that she can chew on like a pig's ear but what??
Anyway, I'm sorry to have written such a long post but if anyone has any words of wisdom or can point me into the right direction or even if you can just relate....pleeeeeease let me know.
Thanks for reading.