Contradictory Advice for Potential/New Puppy Owners Discussions

Discussion in 'General Dog Chat' started by Toedtoes, Aug 26, 2022.

  1. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Member

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    Contradictory Advice for Potential/New Puppy Owners

    So on another forum, someone posted about whether a young puppy or an adult dog would bond better. Several posters came out of the woodwork to tell this person to find a puppy who will ignore the other puppies in the room and who will bring a toy to the person to play with the puppy. That THIS puppy will bond with a person best. And that this is called "pack drive".

    How can people be so bad in their advice? Outside of potty training, the number one frustration new puppy owners have is that their puppy expects attention 24/7. That puppy will not lay quietly at their feet playing with a toy while the owner does dishes or works, etc. And what do these same poster tell the new puppy owner when they cry for help? "Cage the puppy! The puppy needs to learn to play by himself."

    So, basically potential and new puppy owners are getting conflicting advice: 1st - get the puppy that needs your attention over everything else; then 2nd - force that puppy into solitude to break them of this need for your attention.

    The truth is, unless you will be doing dog sports or actual work with the dog, getting the puppy that needs humans above all else is TOO MUCH for the average pet owner. That person is looking for a puppy who can happily lay on its bed squeaking a toy while the person puts in office time and then be happy going for a walk every day, maybe a casual hike at the local trailhead every week or two, and who will be relaxed and easy going when the family/friends come over for a bbq. And the puppy who will be happy doing that? Is the one who will ignore you and the other puppies and happily play with his toy but who will not shy away from people when they call or approach him.

    We need to start educating both potential puppy owners AND the dog "experts" who are giving this advice that this is bad advice. That getting a puppy who needs more attention than you are willing/able to give and then punishing the puppy by caging it for 17+ hours a day "so you can have a life too" IS NOT the right way to get/own a puppy.

    As a second note, "pack drive" is a theory based on the ever popular faulty wolf study that brought us dominance and alpha theories. Basically "pack drive" is the idea that if there is a clear alpha in the pack, the rest of the dogs are calm and relaxed and "tow the line" to work as a group. How it related to people is simply: if the person acts like the alpha dog, the actual dog will be happier and the person can use that to condition the dog to go their way (to "tow the line"). Pack drive is NOT about how much a puppy will bond with people. It is NOT about how willing a puppy is to work with people. That is simply a faulty conclusion that (mostly by protection sports enthusiasts) some people have extrapolated from the actual definition. PACK drive is about the PACK. The breeds that have the highest "pack drive" are those that work with other dogs AS A PACK - breeds like huskies, fox terriers and beagles. None of these breeds are considered "easy to train". Breeds that most often get labeled with "high pack drive" are those that work one on one with a human. Breeds like shepherds and border collies and cattle dogs. These breeds often have difficulty living peacefully in a PACK of dogs.

    It's time common sense and reality step up and stop bad advice from happening.

    (Off my soapbox now)
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