Importing a New Puppy & Some Other Questions!

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Importing a New Puppy & Some Other Questions!

This is a discussion on Importing a New Puppy & Some Other Questions! within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; I'm planning on taking home a puppy sometime in June this year. Right now I'm in Europe but will be moving back to the USA ...

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Old 04-22-2010, 05:49 AM
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Importing a New Puppy & Some Other Questions!

I'm planning on taking home a puppy sometime in June this year. Right now I'm in Europe but will be moving back to the USA in July.

Question #1: I want to get the puppy used to me and my family before we board a plane for the USA (I will take it home at 8 weeks of age). Thing is, here in Europe I live in an apartment, so beginning housetraining is somewhat of a predicament--especially since the outdoors aren't safe (stray dogs wander everywhere). I want to protect the pup from contracting parvo, but I do want to get it started on crate training. I'm almost tempted to put a kitty litter box outside my apartment door in the building hallway as the "designated potty area"...but it's still technically indoors. Is this going to confuse the heck out of the puppy once I'm in the USA a month later and training it to go potty only outside?

Question #2: I also want to begin socializing the pup and taking it outside to see different sights so that it's not totally freaked out in the airport/airplane. But, again, I don't want to place the pup on any potentially contaminated surfaces, but this is a giant breed dog and will probably be too large to carry everywhere--even at this young age. Any suggestions?

Question #3: I've read the policies for importing dogs to the USA...basically all dogs must be vaccinated for rabies 30 days prior to entry into the country--with the exception of puppies under 3 months of age. The pup will be 12 weeks old by the time we move. It will probably have had its 2nd set of puppy shots, but wouldn't have had the rabies vaccination. I will be required to get its rabies shot shortly upon arrival in the USA...but I've read dogs younger than 16 weeks shouldn't be vaccinated for rabies yet. Would it be horrible to vaccinate the pup for rabies like a week or two after its 12-week puppy shots? It IS the policy, but I'm just afraid it's not the best for the dog's health...

Background: this is a mioritic shepherd--a breed that's pretty much only present in the USA as imports.

Thanks for tips/suggestions in advance.
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Old 04-23-2010, 04:50 AM
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Oh my goodness. I did a google image search of the Mioritic Shepherd and they are awesome! You are very lucky to be bringing one of those beautiful dogs to the US. I'm curious, what inspired you to do go for this breed?

Suggestion for taking your pup out. Buy a baby stroller. I'm not kidding. I don't know if where you are at has second hand stores, but if they do, find a cheap baby stroller that you can use and then leave behind when you move. That way you can take your big baby out and about in the stroller to places that you think are safer then others to let him down to play and socialize with other people. The trick will be to keep him in the stroller when you don't want him out, but you can work with him on that.

I use a baby stroller to take my dogs out for our 3 AM walk. My 14 year old poodle only seems to be able to make it half way, so then she goes into the stroller. I also use the stroller to carry the flashlight, phone, water, and a jacket in case I should get cold while walking. Hey, these dogs our out babies, so why not a stroller? I looked into a dog stroller but they were too expensive, so I went with a midsize baby stroller I found at a second hand store for 20.00. If you do use a stroller, remember to keep the pup leashed and hold onto it so if he jumps from the stroller you will have full control.

If your dog will be over the 3 month exception for Rabies in order to enter the US, then I'm afraid, short of staying where you are for a few more months, he'll have to take the Rabie shot and hope for the best. Surely there's not a big problem with dogs coming into the country young and getting their Rabies shot or they wouldn't be doing it. At least one would hope they wouldn't. Being bred as a herding dog I think he's going to be a hearty dog. Hopefully he'll be fine.

Last edited by Radar; 04-23-2010 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:22 AM
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Hi Radar!

Thanks for the input--I'll see if I can manage the puppy in a stroller!

I decided on this breed of dog first of all because my husband is Romanian, and it's a very old Romanian breed...so he is particularly partial to them. I personally did a lot of research as well to see if this dog could fit into our household, and after a lot of thought, I decided this could really be a great breed for my family. They are first of all adorable big bears but they are naturally protective of their family and show no fear when their loved ones are threatened (I like this quality since I'm used to love-everybody-labradors). They are famously good with children of all ages and instinctively gentle with them (and I have a young child, so this is very important). They are a fairly healthy and hardy breed with few genetic defects. Despite their profuse coats, they require minimal grooming and shed little. They can be calm and laid back like many giant breeds, but unlike other giant flock guard breeds, they retain a puppy-like playfulness into adulthood. They are trainable (based upon what friends who own this breed have told me). They are generally good with other animals, since the breed originated on farms.

The drawback is that this is a large dog with a tendency to dominate, so obedience training is always recommended as puppies. I don't mind enrolling my dog in puppy classes, so it's not a big problem.

So, I contacted one of the country's top breeders and he happens to be located in my city, so we'll be checking up on the pups and, if everything goes as planned, bringing one home in the summertime!

Oh, and you're right about the vaccines. Come to think of this, this is a pretty hardy breed, so I don't think giving the pup a rabies shot at the 3-month mark is going to significantly negatively affect him.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:08 PM
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Well you be sure to keep us informed. It would be great to watch this new fellow/gal of such an unusual breed grow up and if you do get her to use a Stoller, I'd love to see a picture!

What luck to have a the top breeder in the city you're in! It was just meant to be.
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Old 04-24-2010, 04:08 PM
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honestly, you have to do som' "retraining" when you move a dog anyways generally....I had to re potty train both our dogs when we moved to our house and my "housebroken" dogs will have accidents in strange houses...they don't generalize well, so many will need a bit of help after moving. Especially a puppy.

Personally, if I was you I'd get a strip of sod and put it on the balcony, or in the hall like you wanted to do with the box....or just pad train him and then worry about teaching him to go outside later....people will tell you if you pad train a dog, it will never pee outside, this isn't true and don't let it deter you...

I like the stroller Idea



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Old 04-24-2010, 05:14 PM
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Yeah, it has been 9 years since I last had a puppy in my house, so I'm a bit rusty! With my lab, I only crate trained and used the backyard, with my bichon I paper trained then used the back yard. I've been reading up on crate training because I'm a bit rusty with the technique, and yes...there are lots of people out there that are 100% against pad training.

I guess if it's between my puppy contracting parvo or using pee pads, I think I'll take the pee pads! I also looked into sod and found this: Self-rinsing Grass Litter Box for Dogs on Your Patio

Looks great, but unfortunately they don't have anything like that in Romania! :-(
I really miss the conveniences of the good ol' USA.

Anyway, about parvo...a lot of puppy owners here let their very young pups run around outside and even let them play with the feral street dogs. Does parvo just not exist here?? Am I being overly protective if I don't allow my puppy to touch the outside ground? I don't get it. Everything I've read up on the virus makes it sound like it's EVERYWHERE and very, very dangerous for young puppies. And, yet, I see puppies of 7-9 weeks running around in the open exposed to unvaccinated dogs. I've even read that the vaccination actually puts puppies at risk of contracting parvo...and that normal, healthy, unvaccinated puppies that nursed from their mothers until 8 weeks of age rarely contract the disease even if they've been exposed to it. So many conflicting opinions...it's confusing! I want to err on the side of safety, but some believe keeping a puppy unvaccinated IS erring on the side of safety.

I don't know if I have a choice to NOT vaccinate, though, because the breeder will be giving the puppies their first shots before they leave for their new homes...but...any thoughts on parvo and the vaccine??
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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I would guess the street dogs have som' level of resistance to the disease compared to our pampered dogs...honestly, there IS confirmed parvo at our dogpark and people bring young puppies there all the time...we always tell them its a bad idea but many of these dogs are a year old now or older...so they obviously survived

personally, I tend to be a bit paranoid and when I had a puppy here, myself and the other dogs didn't go anywhere for almost a month, distemper is present here and you can track it home from what I understand.

the dog IMO should get all his puppy shots....whether or not you chose to boost those shots year after year is som'thing you'll have to decide on. Personally I do not boost my dogs shots except for rabies as required by law.



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Old 04-24-2010, 05:48 PM
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Yeah, you're right...better to be safe than sorry. I did take my dogs for strolls around the block when they were still young puppies, but then again there were only house dogs in my neighborhood...no strays like there are here. It just sucks because I feel there is NO "safety zone" where I can let my pup run loose over here. No place (other than people's private homes) is off limits to strays...which I guess also means there's potential for a puppy to contract a disease anywhere. Can't wait until we move into a house in July!
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:39 PM
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I'd say Parvo it's a lot like the the Flu. Flu abounds and flu viruses are everwhere and flu can and does kill hundreds of children a year. But most children it doesn't kill.

I'd err on the side of safety though, and try not to be one of the pups Parva does take hold of by keeping him away from where there are many other dogs. Can you drive into the countryside on weekends to let your pup run? Or do you know anyone with a fenced yard that you can let him run off some energy in a couple times a week?

Of course, he'll probably be at least 8 weeks old when you get him, and if you're moving when he's 12 weeks old, he won't need too many outings before then unless you live in a very small place.
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:24 AM
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Yeah, I guess I watch too many pet rescue programs depicting mistreated little pups dying of parvo! It is serious considering the rapidity with which it can kill puppies...but I guess there's also a lot of scare mongering out there.

Hmm...taking him to the countryside--don't know why I hadn't thought of that! There are strays all over the place, but obviously much less in uninhabited areas. Thanks for the suggestion! And yeah, I do know someone with a GR and GSD that I could probably take my puppy to for socialization. That should keep him happy for a month or so! Thanks for the tips
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