Picking the right puppy for you: it's all about energy
|Do you have the right home for Reese? Check out her adoption profile!|
So, let's talk about how they chose the puppy.
It was a Saturday afternoon when they stopped by a pet store. Outside, a rescue organization had a litter of 10-week-old Beagle/Labrador mixes.
|Reese tuckered out after a long day at the park|
Reese is a beautiful puppy and she'll make a gorgeous, regal adult dog. She is a chestnut color with a white streak down her face and chest, white paws and a white tipped tail.
"She just connected with us instantly," Allison said.
The couple had seen some other litters that day too, but didn't feel that connection with any of the other puppies. Reese immediately gravitated toward them, crawling around in their lap and wanting to play. And so, the deal was done — they were taking Reese home.
Over the next two weeks, they learned things about Reese that had them second-guessing that first impression. She was a high-energy puppy, very focused on her nose and very deep into the puppy mouthing stage.
Without much of a yard for the puppy to romp around in, the couple was relying on walks to work out her energy. It wasn't enough. Reese was going stir crazy. With no other dog around to help out on the mouthing front, she was proving to be particularly challenging in that regard.
For Alan and Allison, who'd been dreaming of a dog like Sensi, doubt began creeping into their minds that Reese was the right dog for them.
A couple weeks ago, they made the decision final — leading to the tearful phone call where Allison told me, "She's just not the right dog for us."
She was right. Alan and Allison have expressed time and time again that they want a calm, mild-mannered, human-attentive dog. Reese was a high-energy dog and, in keeping with her hound heritage, independent and strong-willed. She is practically the opposite of my dog, who I'd describe as low-energy and very dependent on his social bonds with humans.
|Beautiful Reese during our 'Picnic in the Park' exercise|
Hindsight is 20/20, right?
"Looking back, I'm thinking, 'OK, she had already been worn out from being outside all day with her brothers and sisters,'" Allison said of first meeting Reese. "She was the only one with energy left, she was kinda picking on her brothers and sisters. It was hard to see her energy level in the moment, but now I'm thinking, 'She was the high-energy one, she was more dominant than her brothers and sisters.'"
This truly is a common mistake made by puppy and dog shoppers alike. The high-energy dog is so easy to connect with — he runs up to you, he jumps in your lap, covers you with kisses. Who wouldn't feel like that dog was screaming, "Take me home! I want to be yours!"?
But the question remains, are you a high-energy dog person? Do you want a dog that needs vigorous daily exercise? Is there something about your lifestyle that will help you meet the needs of that dog — be it another high-energy dog for the puppy to pal around with, a yard where you can work out energy with some good long games of fetch, etc.? Or, are you going to take that high-energy dog home only to find it is bouncing off the walls and driving you nuts?
|She was responding to her new name, Reese, very well|
|A high-energy puppy, even if it doesn't appear so here!|
Yesterday, Allison and I were out shopping and came across another rescue group in front of a pet store. We stopped to pet the dogs and look at the puppies. Standing beside the puppy pen, I noticed one little lady slowly took a couple steps toward me. I put my hand down and she stuck her nose through the wires to sniff it, then continued standing there, looking up at me. Meanwhile, her rambunctious brother hopped over and jumped up on the wiring to lick and paw at me. It would definitely be easy to overlook the mild-mannered puppy who simply stood there and sniffed me for the rambunctious puppy who wanted to jump and lick and seemed to be yelling, "Pick me up! Pick me up!" at me. (Ironically, this puppy was the only one of the group who had so far been adopted!) But this is where you have to know what kind of dog you want in your life. If what you want is a calm, low-energy dog, you've got to set aside those emotions raised by the jumping puppy and pick up the mild-mannered one instead. My bet is that one look in her sweet, quiet eyes and you'll feel just as connected with her as you would the jumper.
Puppy shopping and dog shopping in general is tough because it's such an emotional thing. We go into it with our hearts, not our heads. But it is by using our heads that we'll save our hearts from aching in the future over having made the wrong decision, and realizing it's too late.
Do you have the right home for Reese?
Again, Reese will do best in a home with other adult dogs who will play with her and teach her all about doggiedom. She would also benefit from having regular access to a decent yard to get out some energy with puppy-zoomies and fetch — she's a natural retriever already. Reese is a perfect fit for an active family. She seemed to enjoy herself most on long walks in the park. She is super-friendly and had been great with meeting new people and children. As of two weeks ago, she was very deep into puppy mouthing. However, she has been staying with a foster home since then that has an adult dog and I'm sure this has helped her immensely on that front. Reese is a strikingly beautiful dog. If you're interested in adopting her, contact Whiskers Cat Rescue and Canine.