Designer Puppy with Abusive Traits

Posted by Maureen Lake at

Rosa at 4 months old, which is the age we brought her home from the breeders

I first brought Rosa home when she was 4 months old. Kinda old for a puppy from a "breeder". I had every intention to getting a much younger puppy so I could start training earlier. I say the word "breeder" loosely because when I think about the situation I found Rosa in it just makes me angry. I honestly feel like I 'rescued" Rosa from a local breeder while paying an astronomical price for my designer baby girl. I'd rather not go into the reasons why I feel she was "rescued"- that's for another blog, but suffice it to say WE were ready for her, butwas Rosa ready for US?

Rosa waiting to eat. She had been negatively trained to be the last to eat as a punishment

There are many reasons why we picked Rosa (or maybe she picked us?) The breeder shared that she had to be separated from the other dogs during feedings because she would fight to eat first. Rosa was a thin pup, too thin when we first met her. She was 12 pounds and 4 months old. Not the ideal weight for a Labradoodle. After we brought her home we had to coax her to eat. We have another very loving dog, Keira, who nudged her along but it still was a process to get her comfortable enough to eat out of her own dish. Little Rosa was scared and frightened at the idea of eating her own puppy food! Now at 6 months of age and 13 pounds heavier she eats comfortably but only after Keira has eaten. She will never eat first. Puppies learn behavior very early on in their development and I can only hope as time goes on she will feel she can eat on her terms.

Rosa resting on her new bed. We did not crate train because of the extreme anxiety she demonstrated being alone.

Little Rosie is attending puppy class and learns very quickly all the tricks of the trade. She's learned sit, down, stay and to walk on a leash without pulling. She is a quick learner and observes other pups first and then she will perform beautifully. The first few minutes of puppy school is "playtime". This is when all the cute little puppies are running around playing and romping. It's a riot to watch how they interact, who tries to be in control and who nips and barks. It's also interesting how the puppy parents gravitate toward the social pups and interact more with these dogs and owners. I guess it's just natural to be attracted to the one with gregarious personalities but I have to say it hurts to be left on the side lines while Rosa is navigating the waters. Rosa has been to 5 sessions of puppy class and has never participated in puppy social time. She sits on the sidelines and monitors it all. I'm sure as her confidence grows she will be in the thick of it with the others. Right now it's baby steps and each and every day we make small progress toward our goals.

This is where Rosa hovers during puppy play time...close to the chair and up against the wall

Baby steps... we will get there with step at a time. Our other dog, Keira, has been amazing with Rosa (once she realized she wasn't going anywhere!) They play and romp morning, noon and night so I know Rosa is on the right track. She is a love bug and a rose bud. I honestly had no idea what kind of puppy we were getting, no one does when they go on the hunt.. I did think getting one from a breeder would have a better start in life, especially the same breeder I got my other dog from 8 years earlier. Well.... a lot can happen in 8 years. Lesson learned.

Rosa & Keira playing in the back yard.
I love to watch the two of them play. They have a whole routine of chase down perfectly. Rosa usually runs 3 or 4 figure 8's before they both wander the yard to find the perfect spot to poop. Attached in a list of puppy socializing ideas for new puppy owners to refer to if needed.

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