Join Date: May 2016
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Competition in any venue is fun. You get to meet other people that love their dogs as much as you but not necessary. When you have a minute go to AKC.org and look up a few of those initials after some of the names and look up what the dogs had to do to earn those titles. It's really fascinating what these dogs are capable of and proof you are getting a puppy that can learn and wants to please you. I love to go to trials just to watch.
Think for a minute what a good family / companion dog is going to need to know to be a welcomed addition to your family. My girl goes every where with me, into stores, small town activities (carnival, tree lighting, pj movie night in the town square).... trips to the nursery for plants, hardware store or lumber yard, walks on the trails at the nearby lakes, canoe rides (without dumping mom in the lake), etc. I also have 3 (out of 10) special needs grand kids as well as 5 great grand kids, that alone is asking a lot of any dog.
I expect my family dog to walk nice on a leash, to behave obediently when off a leash, to greet visitors with manners, to come when called no matter how inviting that critter looks, to lay quietly at my feet when I go places, not to bark at other dogs anywhere, to be especially polite when meeting older folks or little kids. I expect her to remain by my side when I shop, to lay quietly at my feet when dinner is being served and to leave any droppings from the table as my great grand kids tend to be messy at dinner. I take my girl to anyplace that doesn't serve food and have never been asked to leave, I'm proud of that! I love sharing my girl sitting outside of starbucks, she is a great conversation starter.
Now think a minute of the skill set your puppy will come with... they know to wrestle and play bite with their litter mates. They dig holes and tear stuff up... shoes are wonderful things to chew and they smell like their new family! They bark when they get excited and pee .. where ever, pounce on their puppy buddies, jump up on anyone within range, chase things that blow in the wind and want to play until they drop.
Clearly you can see the puppy you bring home does not have the skill set to do the job of being a great family pet or companion. It's up to you to take them to classes and teach them how to do the job. So training is essential. You will need a good training group with instructors that compete with their dogs not a sales clerk from Petsmart or Petco. Your new companion will only be as good as your training.
Something as simple as tossing the ball for your puppy is a game and like any game has rules of engagement. Break it down, you not only want them to chase what you throw but you want them to bring it back, then let it go without a fight. So you 1st teach them to go and get... I do this in the kitchen floor and toss kibble. Step 2 is to give more kibble when they come back to where you are sitting. Once they get this part you start tossing a toy, when they bring it back you offer a kibble (they must let go of the toy to get the kibble). You have just taught them the rules of the game of fetch... and to come back to you so this is also the beginning on teaching a good recall.
I happen to believe all golden puppies are smart but you have the gift of KNOWING this will be a smart puppy. He is going to want to learn and to be with you all the time. When I say busy I mean you need to be prepared for a dog that wants to be learning something all the time, even if it's just learning to pee outside or lay on a mat while you cook dinner... without jumping on the cabinet. This is not a pup that will be happy just laying around doing nothing. If you don't include him by learning new stuff he is going to make up his own way to entertain himself and will become a nightmare. So take the time to teach your puppy how to be a good family member and enjoy what looks to be a very well bred puppy.
Who knows, you may find your pup to be such a rock star in his obedience class you want to show off his skills a little. It's very rewarding to have a well trained dog that you can be the life of the party if you tail gate or go to baseball games. Enjoy this puppy!!