Friday, 6 September 2013

Information overload

Just over a week until we pick puppy up. It seems the name Ruby has established itself as the favourite. I think it fits perfectly. Nice and short, it kind of reflects the reddy, brown colour, and it's a girls name. What do you think?

We're all going out tomorrow to do some shopping. We need to get the basics in so we're ready for next Saturday. I think we are going to get food/water bowls that clip to the inside of the crate to start with. Not sure what type of dog food but I'll ask the seller what she is using and try to keep it the same.

The number of decisions to make is mind boggling. I had no idea. Take the collar/lead choice for instance. Do I go for an old fashioned buckled collar or would a harness be better? I think we will keep it simple while she is little and just get a bog standard collar. She won't be wearing it in the house anyway as she will be using her crate (hopefully) so I don't want her getting caught up.

I've heard a lot about these 'martingale' collars that are supposed to prevent them from slipping out. While I don't think I need to worry too much early on, it is something to bear in mind for when she gets bigger. I've seen plenty of BCs wearing harnesses but I really want her to be trained to a level where she will not pull on her lead anyway. No doubt I will learn as I go. One thing is for certain, I'm not touching those choke collars or those horrible looking spiky things (pinch collars I think they're called). They seem nothing better than torture devices.

Treats are another debatable topic. Lots of the training material suggests using treats to encourage compliance and then eventually reduce to occasional treats once the dog is sufficiently trained. Other sources seem to think that it brings the cost/benefit decision into play where the dog thinks - Nah, I'm having too much fun and a little treat doesn't outweigh the fun I'm having. To start with, I will try the treat method for the basic stuff such as sit/stay/come etc..and see how it goes.

The bottom line is that there is soooo much information out there and a lot of it contradicts, that there has to be a point where you just do what you feel is right. I'm lucky in that the breeder is so committed to her puppies that she is on the end of the phone anytime and she also runs training sessions every weekend. She is also more than happy to let you bring the dog to her farm to allow it time to play and socialise with her pack. It's a nice backup option if I think I'm struggling with something.