German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After work, I ran home and scooped up Achilles to go run some errands. We stopped in at Petsmart to pick up some more shampoo and nail clippers. As I'm eyeing the selection, a couple comes up to me with what looks to be a pit bull puppy and asks if they may socialize him with Achilles. I say sure - Achilles loves everybody. He's very tiny, so I ask how old. 5 weeks they say and they've had him for a few days.:eek: I think maybe I heard them wrong and repeat, "He's 5 wks old?" They say yes, that the mother stopped nursing, so the breeder let all of them go.

I swallow a huge lump in my throat and bite my tongue as all kinds of thoughts are racing through my head. I wanna tell them that their breeder is an idiot. That they need to get that baby outta the freakin store!! He's not even old enough for vaccinations and they've got him in Petsmart where he could easily pick something up that he doesn't have the immune system or vaccinations to combat. But instead I just stand there staring blankly at their puppy and saying nothing. And I fought with myself the entire time they were in the store on whether or not to say something. I'm sure the breeder told them that they needed to get out and socialize the pup as much as possible, so they thought they were doing a good thing, but why didn't they tell them it wasn't safe until after their second set of shots at least??

I'm sure many of you have been in a similar situation. Did you or would you have said something? What if that puppy gets sick and dies because they don't know any better and I didn't tell them? What do you do in situations like this?:help:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,039 Posts
For that kind of thing, I'd definitely speak up. I'm sure they don't know any better and might even appreciate knowing that it's not safe. Unsolicited training advice is trickier, but for something like this, I'd feel better if I at least mentioned the risk of parvo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,206 Posts
I think I would ask questions, as you did, which would beget questions....then a conversation would start and you can inform without being condescending or judging.

I know there is so much you could say, maybe a little will plant the seed so the person will go on to learn(dr dodds protocol would be my key)

I see it so often, I tend to keep my mouth shut if I don't know the person.
Though last weekend at a family gathering there was my SIL's sister with a 6 mos. old doodledog that she bought from an Amish breeder. The dog had on a gentle leader and we had a conversation about the 'breed' and the head collar.
After I left, I felt a bit bad because this person had no clue there were Amish puppymills or that the GL was a bit restrictive for the sensitive neck and muzzle and at 6 mos the dog really didn't need that, I did suggest a front clip harness. They hadn't taken the dog to training classes either so were just winging it.
I saw her 9 yr old daughter harshly flick water at the dogs face(it was hot/black dog) and I cringed, but bit my tongue and just observed.
After I saw that, I knew that the dog was very well behaved w/ the kids and of good temperament, and I complimented her on that.
Onyx would have snapped at that point!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It has been eating me up since I left the store. I should've said something...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Oh and they said they already took him to a training class yesterday!! What kind of freakin trainer would allow a 5 wk old puppy into class??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,612 Posts
It would have been really hard not to say something, Im not sure what I would of did, but sometimes probably just keeping to yourself is best. Some people dont take advice that well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,206 Posts
It would have been really hard not to say something, Im not sure what I would of did, but sometimes probably just keeping to yourself is best. Some people dont take advice that well.
It all depends on how it is delivered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,390 Posts
I would for that kind of thing. They obviously don't know any better and the breeder doesn't care. I would have at least given them a heads up on bite inhibition and other behavior learned by the litter so they could look into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,132 Posts
I have learned to not waste my time with unsolicited advice because people don't listen anyway. Depending on how the people acted I may have mixed some advice into the conversation just so it wouldn't seem like I was lecturing or anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
Hummm. That's a tough one, but I probably would have said something, and maybe just made some stuff up too so they don't get offended. Something along the lines of

"Has the puppy had her parvo shots yet?" and "I don't like to throw advice around much, so please don't take offensee, but stores like this are very unsafe for puppies who haven't had all of their vacceines. A friend of mine actually had her pup die from parvo she picked up at a pet store. Maybe your breeder didn't inform you....I would just hate to have anything happen, she's such a little cutie!"

Something like that ^^^

I think people take advice better if you throw in a personal experience, some caring tone, and some compliments their way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all. These are really good suggestions. I will definitely try and take this route next time around. I'm not the confrontational type with strangers and am always trying to weigh things out before I act usually allowing the moment to pass me by.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
I can be the same way....not really all that confrontational.

I think it's different when it's advice that could potentially help a person out, vs. advice that could potentially save a life. I guess if they wanna get all snuffy and not take the advice, at least you tried for the welfare of the animal, right :D ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
How odd, I had the same thing happen to me at Petsmart, maybe not odd, probably happens all the time. I did say something and I am sure it did no good at all. I struck up a conversation with the lady and learned that she was there to get a harness and leash for a big family get together at the local park the next day.:eek: She said she was just too excited for everyone to meet the puppy to not take it to the function. I guess I relieved my mind that I tried, but as I was leaving she asked my advice on if she should get the harness with the rhinstones.................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
I did have a situation once, not exactly the same...I was working as a pet food rep at the time...
One day while I was working I ran into an older couple with a GSD puppy. I went over to say hello and the pup looked to be 4-5 months old to me, based on teeth and size. I asked how old she was and they told me 9 months. I had a bit of a debate internally about whether I should question it or not - but I asked if they were sure, and they told me yes, that they'd gotten her from a breeder/pet store, but the breeder did also have some 9 month old puppies at the time.
So I said they might want to contact the breeder because there must have been a mixup - I was trying to be tactful. The puppy still had most of its puppy teeth - no way it was 9 months old!

I ran into them again few weeks later - and it turned out that there had been a mixup, and their puppy was one of the 9 month old pups. They thanked me for catching it and they were really happy that they had the correct info on their pup.
Of course I didn't try to educate them on finding a responsible breeder vs. a pet store who couldn't even keep track of their pups... that would have been pushing it a little :) Although of course they got the story that the breeder was breeding for police dogs, was responsible, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,836 Posts
Just read the OP, sorry, but yes, I am the crazy lady at PetsMart who will actually walk up to people and ask how old their puppy is, and then I tell them to please get it up off the floor, that other dogs have diseases that could actually kill your puppy at this point. If the pup is 10 or 12 weeks old, I will bite my tongue or ask when it had its vaccinations. But if it is, yes, 4 weeks old, 5-6 weeks old, 8 weeks old, yeah I say something.

One day when Cujo was six weeks old, he got a bloody cut on his head. My sister (whose dog he was supposed to be) and I took him to the ER. This was totally unnecessary but it made her feel better. He was at this point my dog, so I was filling out the papers, and she was holding the puppy. She set him down on the floor!

I looked at her and stuttered and gestured at the floor, and croaked, "get him up!"

She looked at me, picked him up, and looked at the lady behind the counter.

The lady said to her, "Oh God, yes, you have no idea what might have been in here."

So far I have been lucky and cannot point at any contagious disease my puppies have caught, but that is partly because I am careful. I hear far too often about dogs with Parvo or distemper, and I have heard of someone who lost a whole litter to herpes.

People who have their new puppy out at the store for the first time, may just not know. It should be common sense. Babies and old people and people with compramised immune systems fall victim to things like the flu, or pneumonia far more often than other people.

You would think people would know it is the same with puppies. If you look at demodex. Puppies get it, the immune system catches up, and fights it off and it will generally go away on its own. But the immune system is not mature in those puppies, they are more susceptible to things that wouldn't even phase other dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
What I would have worried about is a 5 week old away from the mother so soon, no?

5 weeks around other dogs, well I wouldn't bring a puppy to Petsmart, but you also can't wait to socialize them until they have had all their shots, in my opinion - then it is too late. And 5 weeks is probably safer than 10 weeks, because don't they have the mother's immunity still? I read that the mother's immunity fades and the vaxes kick in, but when is uncertain, though pups under 9 weeks are generally safer than older pups.

I read a lot about this recently, LOL, as we have a new puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,836 Posts
A mother's immunity can only help against things she had antibodies for. If she has never had kennel cough or a vaccine for it -- not one most breeders will do, she will not have antibodies. A five week old puppy will have a harder time getting over it than an adult dog, or even a nine week old puppy.

There are so many things there are no vaccines for. They used to say keep them in until their full complement of shots. That would probably be 16 weeks at least. That knocks you out of the socialization period, but somehow those dogs were socialized to other dogs and people just fine after being confined for 16 weeks. But usually we say to take them to non-high dog traffic places at 8 weeks, when they have 1 set of shots. After the second set of shots, take them to puppy classes. I might wait even longer to take them to high dog traffic areas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
A mother's immunity can only help against things she had antibodies for. If she has never had kennel cough or a vaccine for it -- not one most breeders will do, she will not have antibodies. A five week old puppy will have a harder time getting over it than an adult dog, or even a nine week old puppy.

There are so many things there are no vaccines for. They used to say keep them in until their full complement of shots. That would probably be 16 weeks at least. That knocks you out of the socialization period, but somehow those dogs were socialized to other dogs and people just fine after being confined for 16 weeks. But usually we say to take them to non-high dog traffic places at 8 weeks, when they have 1 set of shots. After the second set of shots, take them to puppy classes. I might wait even longer to take them to high dog traffic areas.
Ah, that sounds good to me. I have been uber focused on parvo because that seems to be the big one from what I've read.

And I notice now with my 13 week old puppy, I am much less cautious, but I've been thinking actually I should be MORE cautious because her immunity from the mother is gone. (She just got her second set of shots today, she was not done before we got her so she is behind). I guess actually now I can worry a bit less!

I've read a bunch of stuff about not waiting to socialize them until they have all sets of shots, as the critical window is missed. But we've done basically what you've outlined here, and focused her socialization with people.

I met three Australian Shepherds the other day, all 7 mos old, and all were quite skittish around my children and us and our dogs. One particularly so. I got talking to the owner and she owns two, a neighbour owns the most fearful one. Her two were bought from the kennel at 11ish weeks, the most fearful one a month later, and were kept very isolated in dog kennels until that point. I thought wow that shows what a difference early socialization with people makes, I couldn't believe it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,836 Posts
Remember to give the shots a couple of days to kick in. The body has to build antibodies against the killed virus that was injected. If you do not give them a few days after the shot, your dog is not protected.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top