Meet Dr. Tom Taylor’s New Puppy!
Den Herder Veterinary Hospital has a new four-legged family member! Meet Dr. Tom Taylor’s new puppy, Jade, a 4 month old Vizsla. Let’s see how the new dad and family are getting along.
Tell us about the name Jade?
My wife has always liked the name. We had it picked out for a daughter, but we ended up with 3 boys so it never was used! Jade is Alaska’s state gem stone and my wife is half Native Alaskan. With her family from there, we wanted to have that tie and special meaning for our family.
How did you decide on a Vizsla and where to get her?
We had a great first experience with Kenzie, our 13 year old Vizsla. They are kind of crazy dogs, very high energy, so I don’t recommend them to very many people, but we are an active family and like active dogs. They are good running partners and family pets–a very loving breed. Vizslas are short haired, clean dogs. They are easy to keep in the house and the breed doesn’t have many health issues.
In deciding where to get her, I did do quite a bit of research. The main decision came from seeing a client who has a dog from this same farm. That dog is a healthy, good dog. We were able to meet Jade’s parents, see the farm and facility they have for training and boarding as well. We knew we could trust the people based on their reputation. We saw a nice facility and how they cared about the pets. They have a great line of dogs, with nice pedigrees, and are breeding for the right reason.
How is daily life with a new puppy going? What you expected?
All I can think of is potty training! It is what I expected, but also the least fun. A few messes here and there. She had a bladder infection a bit ago so that slowed things down, but we are back on the plan now. Our oldest dog was trained in about 3 days so our expectations are a little high perhaps! We are 6 weeks in with Jade and making progress.
Other than potty training, daily life is good. We are doing some basic obedience at home. We are using food rewards for the training tool and that is working. Our 1 year old Golden Retriever, Chloe, gets along really well with Jade. They are a good match. In fact, Jade almost has too much energy for Chloe. Jade can be overwhelming at times. This means our oldest dog doesn’t want anything to do with her!
How are the kids and your wife adjusting to a new puppy?
The family is great and excited to have Jade. Our 4 year old son gets bumped around the most as he and Jade are the closest in size and proximity to the ground, but he is great with her. The kids are really taking a lot of responsibility for her care as well. That is important for us. They are doing the feeding, exercising, and letting them out— all good life lessons in responsibility. My wife just needs her coffee in peace and quiet so we put puppy in the kennel during coffee time and then life is good.
Any tips for someone thinking about getting a new dog?
Do your homework first. Get the right dog for your family. Research the breeds, learn about them, ask other people about their experiences, and ask your veterinarian, too. You need to know what you are getting into. This is a big commitment emotionally, physically and financially for many years. Think about health concerns down the road and find a dog to fit your personality and lifestyle.
Shelter dogs are great choices. You don’t always have the control over what breed you may find, but there are many great dogs needing homes. Be sure to have the whole family spend time with the dog first and really consider if this is a match for you.
If you get a puppy from a breeder, do your homework. Be sure the breeder is reputable. See the facility, meet the parents, find other dogs from their line and see how they have matured. Is the breeder’s heart in it for the right reason, are they breeding healthy dogs and not a puppy mill or someone just trying to make a buck?
Any tips for new puppy owners?
Training early on will help you tons later. We are crate training Jade, meaning she is getting used to being in her kennel for part of the day. Some people think this is a punishment, but it is far from it. The kennel is her space, her “room” if you will. Having your own space is something we all need!
Also work on obedience and give hand feeding a try. This can get messy and seem like a long, drawn out process, but a little investment early on will have huge rewards down the road. You’ll have a calmer dog, a better behaved one and everyone will be happier for it. Most folks can involve the whole family and that helps, too. Make it fun.
One last idea, I guess because of what I do every day, be sure to have your puppy checked out within 2-3 days and vaccinate. You want to start on the right foot and your veterinarian and their staff can help you with this process. You don’t have to go it alone.
Is having a puppy easier for you because you know what you are doing?
Nah. It’s all easier said than done, but worth every minute.