(Continued from last week)
Last week, we discussed the physical examination of young pups, especially their reproductive organs. Just as important is the examination of the pup’s attitude and its behavioural patterns, not lastly because the pup you choose must be compatible with the type of person you yourself are.
For example, if you are an assertive, self-confident individual who is quite intolerant of weak-willed or no-willed people then you will not be happy with a puppy (and later dog) that slinks away into a corner if you call it.
Similarly, an aggressive puppy certainly has no place in a family with curious and playful kids who will tend to lift him up and cavort with him. An unfriendly pup will struggle and growl and even bite to free itself from the children’s arms.
Lots of times I see families procuring cute Dachshund puppies as playmates for their children. Well Dachshunds (note the spelling; the pronunciation follows the spelling) are an interesting breed. It originated in Germany. The word ‘Dachs’ means badger and ‘Hund’ means dog in German. This Dachshund (Badgerdog) was bred to go after badgers who were notorious for stealing farmers’ chickens/eggs and other produce, then run back to their hideouts. The Dachshund was bred as a ferocious killer which could follow the badgers into their underground tunnels/lairs and kill them. That’s why Dachshunds have these long wiry bodies (people actually call them ‘sausage dogs’ or ‘frankfurters with legs’). It is only a few decades ago that these vicious canines became cute little dogs, ideal for sitting in old ladies’ laps. In reality, though, they will still have the inbred genes for aggression. Believe me, in a vet clinic, animal doctors would prefer to deal with 10 Doberman Pinschers than one Dachshund.
Then of course, there is the debatable matter of size. I understand that in human psychological terms, there is a condition known as the ‘small man syndrome’; you know, some of the world’s most aggressive persons were small (eg, Napoleon, Atilla, Ghengis Khan, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc). Well, some small breeds make up for their size with expressions of, shall we say, perpetual short-temperedness. Ask any Chihuahua owner.
The point I am making here is that Dachshunds or dogs with Dachshund ‘blood’ (genes) are innately aggressive, and will react accordingly, if they feel threatened. Such dogs are therefore not ideal companions for children. As mousers, they are great though. Dachshunds usually need a lot of training and discipline to calm their penchant for violence and irascibility.
Generally speaking, young puppies should be active, alert, playful and full of vitality. The personalities of puppies vary with breed type, but a sweet disposition is inherent in most.
A puppy who shrinks away when spoken to, or runs away and hides, can be classified as shy. Possibly he may overcome this later, but taking a chance is not worthwhile. Such a puppy will not socialize easily, and it will take a lot of TLC for you to overcome the pup’s lack of self-confidence.
The ideal puppy for a family pet holds his tail high, follows you about, accepts petting, struggles a bit when picked up, but then relaxes and licks your hand, or gives friendly nibbles to the hands and feet of the owner and the kids.
It is perhaps wise, in making the final selection, to choose the individual that appears to be really bursting with vitality and self-confidence. And please remember that a good puppy disposition is often linked with its good health.
No squibs/firecrackers/incendiary devices
Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals. Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.