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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
This is my first post here. I am an American going to the university of Kathmandu. I live with my girlfriend on the edge of the valley out of the main city. While walking home late the other night we found a black puppy cold and wet in the dirt on the side of the road. We have seen a lot of street animals (mostly dogs) being beaten with canes, tortured and suffering of diseases such as one where the skin falls off revealing organ/muscle and bone underneath, so we generally accept we cant help them all and don't have time for a puppy. but this puppy was too irresistibly cute not to help. We bathed the puppy in warm water and discovered it was infested with some type of mite/tick not to mention the fleas. thousands of these millimeter or less sized light brown bugs with their heads attached to the skin. She also suffered mild dermatitis from scratching. We fed her and she slept outside on the doormat on a bed we made for it. She didn't whimper the whole night and until now has been incredibly calm and well behaved (possibly a side effect of a disease or depression?).
Today I brought her to a vet who surprised us. We had believed her to be a Tibetan mastiff at first glance, as did the vet when he saw her. Her size convinces us she was at least 6 weeks so we had put on a antitick/flea collar. The vet says she is no older than four weeks and does indeed seem to be a TM . She is not skinny and has no problem walking. she is who gave me a vitamin, notix anti ext parasite powder, and anti worm treatment. The notix (carabyl 10 percent or something)has worked and after long combing sessions the bugs seem to be all dead. He said shes too young for frontline or bathing(although towel bath could be ok)He said we need to take it back her a week or two to get vaccinations.
Her behavior is very calm, she already follows me without a leash walking in fields, doesn't whimper(except when she has pain while scratching). She eats quite well, although with preoccupation if others are around. She is suspicious of anyone other than people she is used to, and is not yet affectionate. She played for the first time today, which I take as a good sign. While sleeping in my arms she seems to have brief epileptic episodes of pumping her legs. My Girlfriend tells me she is merely dreaming, probably of running. She also says her calmness and personality is the most incredible of any dog she has ever met. She seems to be incredibly intelligent and gives us subtle signals of things she wants without whining(brining her dish to the door when hungry)
So, I have never had a dog, although my girlfriend has. I am sure the procedure of training and keeping is different in a country like this and I wanted to know if anyone has ever done it, or if anyone has any recommendation for me. I rent a house with a garden and patio. the outdoor space is about 25 by 50 feet. It is not very urban of a place, rice fields with a spattering of concrete houses. I plan to stay for my degree at least 3-4 years, quite likely longer after that. I always wanted a dog as a kid, and although I understand the TM is a challenging dog(although is unlikely a purebred) I am dedicated to taking care of it. My girlfriend has experience with dogs, and works actively here looking out for them (often to my slight embarrassment, yet pride at her bravery throwing people to the ground and kicking them if she sees them abusing a street dog.) We would like to keep her, so any help and advice would be appreciated.
Main issues summed up
-shes only a month old apart from her family (although i found another lone puppy undoubtedly her sibling wandering the area i found her in the daytime today)
-diseases she could have and vaccinations
-what to feed her besides western dog food
-training considering the below:
-keeping ideas for a country with little privacy or respect for animals and how to correctly socialize her considering her gaurdian type breed.
- her tail is a bit crooked at one point suggesting it may have broken at some point although it doesnt seem to hurt her.
- shes usually not interested in drinking water, although milk she likes
Thanks a lot,:)
Dan
 

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First as far as food I would make her food at home. There are lots of good recipes on the internet and I can give you a couple if you can't find any. And I would teach her to only accept food from you and your girlfriend because in a country like that I wouldn't be surprised if someone tried to poison her.
Second I would get her all vaccinations that the vet recommends since I don't know anything about the diseases in that are.
Third I would try and get some puppy formula if it's available since she is still only 4 weeks or you can again find a recipe on the internet to make your own.
As far as her tail, a chihuahua that we rescued awhile back had a broken tail and it didn't hurt him and the vet said it was nothing to worry about.
Lastly even though some people are going to disagree, I think with the area you live in and the fact that the people beat and abuse dogs on a regular basis you could afford to not socialize her to the extent that you would here. Meaning I would focus on introducing her to friends, landlord, and anyone else who will be a regular visitor and you trust. Since that will help to protect her from the evil people who would harm her if she is very friendly. And with the diseases that many dogs have I would be careful about the dogs I let her around once she older since they might be contagious, but you will most likely want her to accept any dogs you might bring in the picture later so some socialization is important.:)
And tell your girlfriend good job defending those helpless dogs who don't deserve that horrible treatment but do be careful since there are some crazies out there.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the advice Esme, the tail thing is reasuring. Now she has a paw./leg joint unjury i posted about in the health section. Any other ideas anyone?
 

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What a lucky puppy!
The first thing I would say is to remember that at 4 weeks she is truly an infant and as such she cannot and should not be doing much yet beyond eating, drinking, pottying and cuddling. So don't take her for walks yet. I'd get a couple of good books on puppies (see the book recommend section.) Meanwhile you might read through some of the threads on puppies in the puppy section of this forum.
Under your circumstances, it sounds like you will have to protect her from the feral dogs in the area. Puppies need to spend time with other puppies to grow up normally, so you may need to find other people with friendly, cared for dogs to get her together with. (not yet... give her a little time to adjust to you first. ) If you see that sibling around again, you might consider adopting her/him too as a solution to the socialization issue. There are advantages for puppies to have another puppy to play with so they can develop normal doggy social skills. If a puppy is raised totally isolated from other dogs, they don't learn "bite inhibition" and also don't learn normal dog communication, as such they can be fearful or even aggressive when meeting other dogs later as adults.
As far as her very calm demeanor right now, that could be partially because she is not yet in optimal health, and also she is probably feeling pretty overwhelmed with the changes in her life, so if she starts to get more feisty as she gains strength under your care, take that as a good sign!
 

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PS....
One more thing, Dan. Trust your girlfriend. So far she has been right about everything you said she said, on both your threads! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks a lot Tess. Her limp went away today and we will take her to the vet on saturday for a full screening(as full as it gets here)
Dan
 

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That's super that her leg is already better. :)
Good luck with your little one! And do keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
turns out she may not have been born on the street but abandoned. I just talked to a guy that said hes never seen anyone in this country keep a female dog, and that could be why she was on the street
 

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turns out she may not have been born on the street but abandoned. I just talked to a guy that said hes never seen anyone in this country keep a female dog, and that could be why she was on the street
That is horrible. Who would do such a thing. Especially since she is female and could produce many more dogs if she has managed to survive in the street.

She is lucky to have you find her and care for her. By the way, I'm glad things are working with you two and your pup. Also I want to say this.

Any pictures yet? We love pictures.
 

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How sad :( I am glad you guys picked her up. It kills me to hear about the horrible stray issues in other countries :( I cant really add much as at that age the vet will be able to help you the most. Please keep us updated
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Whats wrong with keeping a female pup?. :( Sounds like were you live, they don't want female dogs but why?.
i guess ferocity and dominance is prized in the few dogs kept here, and females are considered generally softer perhaps? its a male dominant society so the idea that men would train a female dog to protect their house may be odd to them. It could also be that people generally get no veterinary care for their dogs or fixing, so a female dog is liable to get pregnant, and produce more unwanted puppies. Since there are few females around, i heard a story about30 males waiting and fighting outside the monastery near my house to mate with one female which could also cause them stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hey everyone,
i have a new development to ask about. the puppy has started biting all the time, everything in sight recently, including us. At this time we have been pretty sucessful teaching her at least not to bite us as a mother would(pulling back, growling, walking away then if that fails rolling her over and rubbing her stomach until she calms down). We take her out every day, holding her, and sometimes letting her walk which she is fine with on and off a leash. She is exposed to the craziness of the devloping world this way as she had been before, loud horns noise, people, children yelling and she doesnt seem to have anxiety towards much. people also always come in and out of the garden, so she is definitely meeting plenty of people. Of course we only let her walk in fields where she wont be in danger of traffic or people, otherwise we carry her.We know this is not reccomended, but she will not be contained. She is already at least 12 pounds and quite strong and coordinated. If we dont take her out, she runs in circles around the yard with toys, digs big holes in the garden, destroys all ornamental vegetation and runs off with shoes and sandals. She has met other dogs, mostly positively and a couple negative experiences there.Given how young she is, now like 5 weeks, we are worried about her psychological development without a mother and a litter. Mainly basic dog social skills and bite control. Today she met a recent mother near our house. We were on a field walking with her, and the dog came trotting behind us. We took her off the leash(leashed dogs make the other dogs here crazy agressive) and stood next to her. The two approached eachother slowly at first, but suddenly the puppy became terribly excited rubbing her nose all over the mothers neck licking her, sniffing etc almost falling all over the place. She then went to the mothers nipple and attempted to nurse at which the mother seemed to show a bit of objection, but not much. A couple times during the encounter the mother growled , for no apparent reason at the puppy. The puppy did end up nursing for a few seconds it seemed, but the mother subsequently growled and pawed the puppy onto her back. The way the mother disciplined her made me realize how incredibly innefective we are compared to a real maternal figure. Our puppy bit too hard on the nipple perhaps and with a quick paw and growl the mother had the puppy rolled onto her back submitting to authority voluntarily. The mother did not seem very interested in staying with the puppy, and even scowled at her a few times after smelling her rear, and fur. Its a stretch to say it, but if she is the mother, it seemed she could have been saying, "hmph, i guess you dont need me anymore look at your life now and what your eating" after a few minutes we walked away to see what would happen and the puppy simply ran after us with little apparent attatchment to that mother. I think its unlikely it is the mother, although why would she let her nurse then? this was near where we found our puppy, and they are the same color dog, but ours looks quite different in structure of body and face. The vet claimed she is a tibetan mastiff with barely a glance, and this mother was no such thing. We had also found a puppy in the same area before a bit smaller than ours also of that color.Maybe someone else makes something different of this whole thing. Please let me know what you all think. I think its too late to give it back to the mother now anyway. Neither of them seemed to have any attatchment to eachother or care upon separating, although the meeting showed a lot of connection between the two of them.
please anyone who knows a lot about mother puppy psychology let me know what you think about this. Could it be the mother and what should we do if so?
 

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This could very well be the pup's mother. It sounds like the pup is a bit older than 5 weeks to me (I know the vet said 4 weeks a week ago, but what you describe in terms of physical abilities just sounds a week or two older) Anyway, a mother would be weaning a pup around this time, and what you describe in terms of the behavior between them is very much along the lines of normal weaning interactions. Even if this is the mother, there really is nothing you need to do about it. Your pup is now under your care.

The other thing I would say, is please don't be fooled by the discipline the mother dog gives the pup, into thinking you need to be so firm as to get the same response from the pup. If you do, I believe you will end up doing harm to the pup. For some reason, its just different between dogs and people than between dogs and dogs. If you get rough enough with the pup to get her to submit/cower like she did with the mother dog, you will have to really frighten her. The biting behavior pup is showing is again all normal for puppies this age, and the best way to handle it is the walk away technique. There are other positive methods too, (see some of the puppy threads about "biting") but I advise against alpha rolling, growling, and other displays of human aggression. It will come back at you later in the form of fear and or aggression.

These are normal puppy stages. Try not to worry too much and think you have to train the dog out of the behaviors. Mostly what you want to do is manage the situation so puppy is not able to bite or get into too much trouble. Soon enough she'll be old enough it won't be an issue, and if you can have avoided frightening and intimidating puppy during this time, she will be a much more trusting, and trustful dog.
 

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More thoughts...

As I reflect on this, I think one big reason humans cannot get away with the same sort of "puppy corrections" that dogs can do, is because basically we are fairly clumsy with "dog language" For the most part humans have no idea how their "normal" actions are actually terribly impolite, even threatening to a dog.
For example, approaching a dog straight on, with eye contact and reaching out to touch a dog, is actually very threatening from a dog's point of view. If a dog approached another dog straight on, boldly and went right up with eye contact and immediately touched the other dog, that would be considered aggressive.

So because humans are so clumsy with dog language, we have to convince puppies at a young age that we are actually not a threat.... that indeed we are benign in our ineptness... that in fact all the things we do that appear threatening, actually are not going to result in any harm.

If you try to act like a dog to your puppy, the the puppy will grow up expecting you to communicate like a dog always... and will see all your moves, and the moves of other humans, to be by the rules of dog language. So if puppy has been made afraid of you in your discipline, then when she's older, and you or someone else display frightening dominating behaviors (as simple as reaching out to pet her on the head) she is more likely to think she needs to either shy away or defend herself.

So really the whole "monks of new skeet" approach or "ceasar milan" thing can be very tricky to work with. Ultimately, I believe you are much better off not trying to be a dog to your dog. Be a benign human. Manage things as puppy goes through these stages. Its much better to end up with a dog who considers humans harmless and stupid (at dog language) than one who watches every move a human makes trying to interpret if the human is making a correction, being aggressive, or being friendly. Again, most things humans do with dogs, are actually quite scary/threatening in the dog communication. So if you make your dog super sensitive to all the nuances of your body language, then you can end up in trouble when a child, or stranger approaches the dog in what the dog will consider a threatening way.

Is this making any sense?
 

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I think she is old enough to be away from her mother and I kinda doubt the mother would take her back anyways. If she is doing well with you then there is no reason to do anything. She will also learn how to behave correctly by interacting with the other dogs she has been around. She doesn't have to learn that from her mom or siblings it's something she will pick up more on as she gets older and you can work on the bite inhibition. I know how hard that can be but trust me it will pass. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Tess and Esme for the reassurance. I think your right and we should relax a bit and let her be a puppy for now.
 

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Thanks Tess and Esme for the reassurance. I think your right and we should relax a bit and let her be a puppy for now.
Sounds like a plan :) Sometimes less is actually more, when raising puppies. I've learned that myself the hard way once.
 
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