Tuesday Topics 12 - Puppy Swap!

Tonight at our puppy meeting, we will be starting a puppy swap. For GDB raisers, this is when you go home with a different puppy, in our case, for a full week. This exposes our puppies to a variety of people, lifestyles, routines, and outings. It will help us to see where our puppies need more work and will also probably point out where the raisers need more work, too.

This will be our first swap, and I have to say it's a bit nerve racking. A couple of days wouldn't be so tough, but a whole week is daunting. It feels a bit like airing your dirty laundry--who knows what issues will be brought to light?! But it's all in the name of learning and growing, and it will be good for Cabana, and unfortunately, good for me, too. (Just because it's good for me doesn't mean I have to like it, kind of like brussels sprouts--although I actually DO like brussels sprouts.)

Morrissey, the golden retriever in our group, has been career changed, so he will not be part of the swap. And Poppy isn't allowed to swap yet, being a recent transfer. So, the swap will consist of Cabana, Persia, Hamlin, Tara and Cherish. Wonder who we'll get. Our group seems so small suddenly!

Any tips for puppy swapping? I know I'm going to need all the help we can get!!

raiserally  – (May 19, 2009 at 8:48 AM)  

keep an open mind! /grin/ And enjoy the change of pace! We loved puppy sitting with GDB, whether it was because of a swap (we had them regularly) or because a raiser was going out of town. It helps tremendously to see what needs worked on with you and the pup but keep about your routine, treat relieving like you would with a new pup since all their schedules are different and enjoy the change! /grin/ Welcome back Cabana with open arms though! And remember, since other raisers do things different she may just come back with a new skill or two!

Brittany  – (May 19, 2009 at 9:25 AM)  

I think the first thing to remember is that swapping is stressful for the puppy too! Give them a day to just relax and get used to the new surroundings.

I don't ever take a puppysittee on an outing for the first 24 hours....unless it is absolutely necessary. I may take them out for a walk just to drain energy, but no outing outings.

I have to admit, I am not a fan of other people having my dogs. But I do enjoy having a different dog to work with! I have had too many experiences where I got the puppy back with really bad habits....such as an 10 week old puppy who is obsessed with eating poop....because he was left out in a yard until he got bored.

Have fun with the swap, and don't stress too much over it!

Poppy The Puppy  – (May 19, 2009 at 9:47 AM)  

I would say not to stress and keep an open mind. As much as we each have to learn, we have that to teach as well. We do swaps for a couple reasons. 1 problems that we may not notice at our own homes tend to crop up. That gives us info on how to change our own behavior to fix the problem and what exposure our puppies need. But, more importantly comes reason 2. These pups need to know that life does not end when they are away from us. They need to know that they can function in another housr and with different people and that the rules we are teaching are blanket rules - they apply in all homes, with all handlers. That is tremendously important for our puppies to know.

I will save the surprise for later, but will say you are not getting either of the early risers!

OSU 98  – (May 19, 2009 at 12:19 PM)  

Good luck with the swap!!

One thing I will DEFINITELY do different with my next dog is to make sure he/she is better when away from me. If my parents go to take Chelsie when I am at the house, she comes and lays on top of me...like she is so mistreated at gramma and grampa's house. (She gets half a cookie for doing her business there, for god sake - I assure you that does not happen in our house!) She is a very good dog when staying at my parents house, but cannot relax at all when we visit - for fear of being left. I think this bothers my mom, who works to make sure each of her visits are good - and they always are. But my next dog needs to know that it is OK if she is left somewhere, that I will come back for her. When my parents pull away from the house, she sits and stares at me until she can no longer see me...a few weeks ago, she flat out refused to get in my brother's car when I left for a business trip - I had to take her by the collar and put her in. I swear she would rather stay home and have someone come and let her out for a few days than have to leave her house....

Both you and Cabana will do great!

Taelor and Pilaf  – (May 19, 2009 at 12:29 PM)  

I really can't say much more than what was already said. Just be prepared as a dog will always be a little testy in the beginning,just to test the waters, so to speak. Don't ever let the new pup try to take control. Be alpha from day one. Hope you have fun. =]

By the way, I think Morrissey's sister is the resident Golden of our club, Mallletta. She looks just like him, color and all. How old is he?

Emily, Burgess, and Tahoe  – (May 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM)  

Honesty is the best policy!! Tell whoever is getting Cabana all of the things she does, as it can save them from getting into a tough spot! They need to know everything they can about her, and they'll learn even more over the week :)

As for the pup you have, an open mind is a good thing. Make sure to tell their raiser's everything you learned about the pup, as that can be very helpful for them! And have fun!! It's exciting to have another person's dog and get feedback on your own!

Carrie and Waffle  – (May 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM)  

It is interesting topic, as right now I am puppy sitting someone from our club and find myself trying not to pass judgement. All pups are different and they are sneaky/smart enough to see what they can get away with. I do believe that she is quite surprised to see that the rules are the same!

And in the end it is a good thing, Waffle was soooo attached to me that i was worried that when she went IFT that she would fall apart from kennel stress. I made it a point to shop Lani out a few times so she could have different experiences. I really like that GDA allows and encourages raisers to drop off their dogs for a weekend at 'camp'. Just like kids, it builds self confidence.

Have a fun time.

Martha G  – (May 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM)  

Since you got good advice, I'll just tell you that I've enjoyed swapping puppies. Sometimes it's just a nice change of pace, and I think Ardella has the ability to go to other houses without it being too much stress for her. I also really like getting the feedback. People have not been negatively critical and it always motivates me to be a better raiser when I read the swap feedback. Sometimes I even feel proud - you'll probably hear good things, you know! I hope my club swaps again soon and I hope you enjoy the experience.

Mitch and Meade  – (May 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM)  

I haven't gotten to do a pup swap yet :( But according to the puppy book I can start swapping Meado tomorrow :D I don't know when we will though :( but I have decided that the first puppy I swap with will be Mara, Meade's sister!

Erin,Bubs,Tex and Ben  – (May 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM)  

Everyone has already offered great advice, just treat them as a new puppy is my biggest thing, This week I'll have two extra dogs in my house, so things should be interesting!!! Pottying Five dogs is going to be a task...to say the least.

Becky  – (May 19, 2009 at 8:51 PM)  

That has got to be so hard ... like sending your kid off to school. Cricket is so adaptable and I know in part thanks to puppy swaps! Thank you!!

Cabana's Puppy Raiser  – (May 20, 2009 at 9:09 AM)  

Taelor, I think Morrissey is about 6-7 months old. It is my understanding that he was "donated" to GDB, so I don't know if any of his siblings were donated as well, or if he was the only one.

Thanks for everyone's insights about the swap. I will be keeping things low key and treating Persia like a new puppy in the beginning, as suggested. I think I've learned a lot already!

Taelor and Pilaf  – (May 20, 2009 at 1:29 PM)  

That is about Malletta's age. I know that Malletta's father is actually a search and rescue dog, so they donated his services to widen the gene pool. Maybe that's it? Either way, he is a really pretty dog. =]

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