THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ANDY IN MY LIFE AGAIN.
I KNOW SHE WAS A GIFT FROM UP ABOVE.
In the back seat of my car she laid all curled up in a tiny satin
silk ball. She was a seven-week-old female Weimaraner puppy. I knew
then that I had a good companion.
I came about her name as I was driving to the home of her breeder
in Fort Wayne, Indiana. So I thought to myself INDIANA! INDIANA!
I'm from Indiana. Indiana Indiana Jones. Of course, INDIANA BONES!
I loved her temperament. At seven weeks old she was so elegantly
quiet. As a behaviorist, I recognized my good fortune. All good
owners know how important the temperament really is in any environment.
I believe preserving the temperament is more important than instilling
any formal obedience. You can put all the obedience on the animal
but unless you have the right temperament it will come back to haunt
you. So it was so very nice to know I was starting out ahead of
Did I mention she was also beautiful. The breeder said she was
a type bitch. I didn't even know what that meant. I would later
dive into the world of show business that is, the Confirmation ring.
Indy's first introduction to her new family nucleus was a family
gathering in Union Pier, Michigan. There were many children ranging
from four to sixty- nine years old. She was amazingly sociable.
I observed her behavior and had anticipated a wide variety of puppy
anecdotes... jumping up on the fast moving screaming kid, running
around with a carelessly tossed sandal or nipping at prancing bare
feet never did transpire. She was remarkable.
My only job was to try to maintain this precious temperament. I
knew soon she would be entering that critical time of her socialization
period that could have a life long effect on her emotional stability.
The socialization period starts away from the dam and litter mates
at the forty-ninth day. A very important period in a puppy's life
is between the eight and tenth week. I wanted to minimize anything
traumatic happening during this phase because it could easily trigger
a life long problem.
Psychological problems that develop during this period can be
set off by seemingly insignificant happenings. They can go unnoticed
until a history is obtained surrounding a behavioral problem. For
this reason alone, many concerned breeders won't place puppies between
the eight and tenth week.
Many dog owners, not unlike myself, want to minimize the mistakes
and end up with the perfect dog. I was fortunate to see the entire
litter and ended up having the pick of the litter. I was torn between
Indy and her sister. I am frequently asked about the dilemma of
which puppy to choose.
My reply is always look at the dam or mother first. If you don't
like what you see then go look at other litters. The mother will
dictate a good majority of the temperament of your puppy. So, if
the mother is extremely hyperactive, shy or aggressive these traits
will have a major effect on how the puppy will view life and training
in general. If the mother is under nourished and ill cared for that
physical and mental strain will effect the temperament and health
of your puppy. This could mean inflated vet bills and under socialized
puppies lacking in confidence.
You will see behavioral problems such as barking, fear, aggression,
submissive wetting and housebreaking difficulties. They could become
territorial or sound sensitive leading to aggression or bolting.
Daily trips to the park could become tedious and detract from the
joy of the dog/owner relationship.
When I arrived Saturday morning to see the puppies in August, they
were all running around outside playing with each other. I was pleased
to see the whole litter was pretty stable and uniformed as a whole.
I did the impossible and that was narrow it down to two. I was leaning
towards the bigger bone of the two. The final test was the recall.
I had previously taken each puppy off to the side to perform all
the little things to see how they would adjust to changes in their
environment. I knew this puppy would become a city dog and leave
this quiet surrounding of the suburbs.
I threw all the puppies back into the pack and positioned myself
around the litter whistling. Out of a river of gray furry creatures
popped the head of this tiny puppy that scurried over to me. Secretly
I admired the other puppy so I decided to make it two out of three,
then three out of five.
The other puppy ignored me every single time. Thoroughly convinced
that this was the right relationship, I picked up my puppy and we
started for home.
The moral of the story is the puppy usually ends up picking