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Old 10-09-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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Default Help with new Catahoula pups

We recently adopted a male, Chaz Alexander and female Lola Mae from a mix breed litter. I think they were too young to go. They were born on August 26th and we adopted/rescued them on September 29th making them only 5 weeks old. The owner said that the mom had weaned them the week prior. They still eat like their belly buttons are rubbing on their back bones. We took them and found them to be riddled with worms and undernourished. Literally we left with them and went straight to the vet. They are on their way now to the picture of health. Looking at them you can't tell they are anything but Catahoula's. We did not know what we were getting when we rescued them and I am nervous about the breed. I want to be on top of their training to make sure they are happy dogs and that we are happy pet parents. We live on an acre with 1 older female mix breed dog, 1 cat, 1 kitten, 3 rabbits (with babies on the way) and 6 laying hens with new chicks in the spring. We have 5 children ages 15-15 months. My husband is very dominate over our animals. We had recently lost our chocolate lab who was also a rescue to the highway that borders our property. She found her way out of the fence. We hope that we have remedied that problem by reinforcing it with welding mesh. Unfortunately we live in a colder climate apparently not as accommodating for a cur. I am encouraged by the fact that they are large game hunters being that my husband wanted an hunting companion. I am encouraged by them being candidates for good watch dogs. I am optimistic that they will be good family animals with the proper training. I am worried that they will be aggressive toward invited guests. I am intrigued however in the possibility that they can be good watch dogs while on our property with un-invited guests. I am also worried I wont be able to offer them the exercise and "work" they need while my husband is working and unable to take them hunting. As much as he would like to, he can not hunt year round. Any advice would be welcomed. I don't know how accurate the Catahoula characteristics will be being that their mom looked like a border collie also a well known herding breed.

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 PM   #2
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Yes, they were very much too young to go. Pups shouldn't leave their litter mates ideally until 8-10 weeks to help learn critical socialization and dog communication skills.

First and foreost, having two puppies at once in close age ranges weather true siblings or not is never something I would recommend. You can search the forum and see a lot of opinions and information on Sibling Syndrome Here is just a bit of brief information.
Raising Siblings


As far as their your commitment towards the puppy is sounds like you already have your hands full with children. However if your oldest is mature enough to help fill the role of baby sitter it will give you more one on one time with the pups, however the kids also need to be a part of the training with the dogs. A good trainer using positive methods will really help you in raising them. Ideally, you should fine a trainer who has experience in dealing with siblings. One puppy would be a big enough commitment in what I can see from your post, yet alone two. Puppies are very demanding both time and financially, and with two you have doubled that.

If the puppies are catahoula and border collie they will need extensive soclization to avoid problems with other dogs and people, as well as controlling prey drive and herding drive around your smaller animals and children. All of this will require time and energy, and then some. You cannot teach the puppies together their manners. Nor are they inclined to bond towards humans if they are continually together.

You will also find posts on the forum of people who had raised siblings dogs without problems, but again, look at what you want for you and your family and your dogs. And think long term, vet stays, accidents, boarding etc.


Hope this helps a bit. I'm sure there will be more responses.

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #3
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Hi JKRDBROWN and aboard to Df Glad you joined us Agree 2 pups might be a handful in more ways than one! So its important at around 8 weeks old start the training Now get them used to being handled gently by all the members of your family including hubby and your self And I mean handle ears,legs, tummys, tail but gently so they get used to being handled As for other training/commands well they don't have to be taught at 8 weeks but some harder commands might be best starting from 8 weeks old Leave it/Don't touch (very useful safety command!) Come here/Lie down/Sit stay/wait/ etc etc! Now another very important thing is they will need thier puppy vaccinations I think it's about 7-8 weeks old then boosters at around 12 weeks! So see you vet for this It's going to be a long journey but with correct training and if you can't cope get a positive trainer to help you ( you may need it just to lighten your workload some what!) Any way good luck and keep us updated please!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Default double trouble

Thank you for the siblings article. Very informative. I should have read this sooner but we did not intend to have 1 puppy let alone 2. We do have one older dog that they socialize with and I always encourage all of my kids to get close especially during play and feeding time to avoid food aggression. I will take every bit of this to heart. First things first we need a second kennel. It will be a lot of work but after the loss of our chocolate lab and my initial resentment for having to take her I am much more committed to the well being of our dogs. While my husband is the head of our household I can guarantee he will not re-home one of the pups so we are where we are and we will make the best and most of it. I am hoping against hope that our circumstances will not only benefit these dogs but us in our training them as well. My husband, myself, our 15 year old son, our 11 year old son and limitedly so our 7 and 5 year old will all be taking on roles in the care of these two. Our motivation was not to have two to keep each other company, in my opinion example with my kids they always get into more trouble when they have company. We took two because of the conditions they were living in and the circumstances in which they were being given away to anyone no questions asked. I hope that the other 7 are in capable homes. I will keep updates on these two because I am sure I will have tons of questions. I think my husband is going to have some reading to do tonight.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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The other thing to note is especaily with all children please supervise them throughy to avoid any problems later on down the line ( Iam not suggesting that anything will go wrong but it might) So even if one of your younger children is tormenting the pups then this must be stopped (again not suggesting any of your children will behave like this) just a bit of useful advice Oh And good on you for rescuing thse pups from a uncertain future and giving them a loving for ever home
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:39 PM   #6
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Socialization doesn't just mean with the family. It means with all types of dogs, big and small, all types of people, short tall and otherwise. Experiences to the real world. Noises, sights, sounds, smells, And it isn't something that just happens during the first few weeks of life, though up until ~ 12-15 weeks is the critical socialization period. But if it for the first year to two of the dogs life.
Here is an overview Dog Tip: Puppy Socialization: What It Is, Why It's Essential, and How To Do It BUt again there is a lot more to it than just that.

A lot of BYB will pull the same type of sympathy card "Oh he's the runt, you should buy him too, oh nobody want sthis puppy etc" Kudos to you for taking the dogs, but I want you to understand what you're committing to if you do plan to raise both these dogs.


I know all of us look forward to updates and helping in any way that we can

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Old 10-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
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Welcome to df JRK.
Better thee than me on raising all the little ones.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Louuie View Post
Socialization doesn't just mean with the family. It means with all types of dogs, big and small, all types of people, short tall and otherwise. Experiences to the real world. Noises, sights, sounds, smells, And it isn't something that just happens during the first few weeks of life, though up until ~ 12-15 weeks is the critical socialization period. But if it for the first year to two of the dogs life.
Here is an overview Dog Tip: Puppy Socialization: What It Is, Why It's Essential, and How To Do It BUt again there is a lot more to it than just that.

A lot of BYB will pull the same type of sympathy card "Oh he's the runt, you should buy him too, oh nobody want sthis puppy etc" Kudos to you for taking the dogs, but I want you to understand what you're committing to if you do plan to raise both these dogs.


I know all of us look forward to updates and helping in any way that we can
I agree!! But what I was on about they can't really go out in the big wide world until the booster vacs have been given at around 12 weeks Parvo as I am sure you know is a nasty diesease Also meeting lots of other dogs (while this is a good thing Dogs can be carriers of this diesease) Pups at 5 weeks of age are very vunerable)
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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JRK, welcome to the forum!

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Old 10-09-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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You've been given some excellent information by Louuie including the article on puppy socialization.

Though I normally wouldn't recommend taking on two littermates at the same time, what's done is done and the odds for success might actually be in your favor.

The size of your family, ages of your children and the fact that you already have another dog all help to increase the odds for your success in raising these pups! Under careful parental supervision, kids are great for puppies and puppies are great for kids. The pups can't help but get a head start on plenty of early socialization right in their own home; long before they're ready to meet the outside world. And the kids will benefit just as much by enjoying their part in loving, training and caring for the pups. The pups may just be young enough that your other dog will have an influence on them to the point that they'll follow her lead and continue to learn things from her that they should still be learning from their mother.

Good luck with the pups. It's going to take time, patience, dedication and hard work, but it can be done!
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