Re-writing the first fear-imprinting stage

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Fiona
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Re-writing the first fear-imprinting stage

Post by Fiona » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Sorry if this has been addressed. It's kind of a two-parter, but seemed concrete enough to put in the Training subforum.

I have been researching chows religiously (read: obsessively) before deciding on rescuing/buying one. It will be a "months down the road" endeavor, but I want to make absolutely sure that it's the right life change for me. Is it possible to over-write the fears, aggressions and bad habits learned in the 8-11 week stage by providing the right environment and calm approach during the second fear-imprinting stage?

I may be over-thinking this a bit, but I'm concerned about the best time to ship a puppy to me. If he is in the throws of the first fear-imprinting stage, I wouldn't want to traumatize him by having him fly alone on a plane, especially with other nervous animals in the climate-controlled area. I'm also concerned about how the breeder will deal with the puppies' 8-11 week stage. I'm sure they'd be accommodating, but without me being there to judge the breeder's attentiveness to the puppies, it just feels like such a gamble to me. Ideally, I would like to walk my dog through this stage myself (pun not intended). I've gotten an exotic shorthair kitten from a reputable breeder in the past, but from day one at my home, she had some bad habits not akin to the breed or of any kitten/cat I've had and trained in the past. I'm slowly working with her, but it's definitely been a battle. I've been lucky it's just been bad feline behavior, but I am terribly worried about having to train an aggressive chow right off the bat.

If I lived ANYWHERE else, it would be a simple case of going to see the breeder/rescue agency myself. As I live in Alaska, we have no such thing here.

Rory's Dad
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Re: Re-writing the first fear-imprinting stage

Post by Rory's Dad » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:45 pm

I was fortunate enough to have located my current Chow locally, so didn't have to worry about shipping or flights. And i also appreciate those that perform rescue services and re-home Chows in need. But i too worry that Chows that have suffered through abuse or neglect will always bear those scars. Chows have a long memory and i do believe that those issues are difficult for them to overcome.

That being said, i dont think that a plane ride for a young pup is overly traumatic. Our own pup spent the 1st couple of days in basically the same spot in our home after we drove him home 40 minutes. Is was an adjustment period that they all go through. I dont think the transport method matters much to them, its really just the entire enviornment change. Regardless of how or how far, they are getting a new home. And that is an adjustment, just not a traumatic one hopefully.

Fiona
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Re: Re-writing the first fear-imprinting stage

Post by Fiona » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:11 am

That makes a lot of sense. And I would hope that even with some lasting scars from a particularly traumatic transport, that with good socializing it just becomes a quirk as opposed to a, "I will tear apart any dog that looks at me!"

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