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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Just be sure to keep us informed. I can't wait to see your new pup!
 

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Are you sure you want to make that kind of a flight with a puppy? That is a long flight to keep a puppy in a kennel. The breed sounds wonderful but I don't know that I would put a puppy through that flight. We made a flight that kept out adult dogs in a kennel for 12 hours total and that was very hard on them. I cant imagine doing that to a puppy. It is hard to this day to get them into a kennel. You might create some trauma that could last a lifetime. I know you have given this a lot or thought but we have many great breeds in the US maybe your might rethink this.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for your concern, and I'm sorry about the experience you had, but this is done all the time. There is a layover in Amsterdam, where the dogs are taken out for a walk by employees of the airline and where they stay at a pet hotel in the airport while the bedding in their crates is changed. This is done by KLM airlines.

The breeder we've contacted has experience exporting pups to Romanian families living in the USA without issues. In fact, it's standard for breeders to sell puppies with passports, because they frequently travel via air to get to their new families.

Anyway, at the moment, I have my hands full with two puppies I rescued from the streets here just a few days ago. That sort of changes my plans. I may adopt one and get a mioritic later--I just haven't decided yet. It is certain that they will be going to families in the USA, though. Romanian Animal Rescue exports Romanian strays to American families on a regular basis, and the dogs go through the air travel without issues. (On a sidenote, you may wonder why they adopt Romanian dogs all the way out to the USA, but there are just too many strays here--Romanians are less apt to integrate "strays" into their families and either leave them tied up in the backyard or release them back into the streets later on. This is very bad, considering mass executions against strays are scheduled to proceed within the next several months--thousands of dogs are estimated to be put down in a short period of time. So, if families in other European countries or in the USA are willing to give them homes, the flight is really a tiny glich in the grand scheme of things--of being able to live as a beloved family member. However, if experience proved that these dogs arrived permanently traumatized, then I doubt they would continue this practice).

Some dogs are more set in their ways and unable to cope with the confinement, but for the most part...the crate is the dog's "safety zone." Plus, puppies are more capable of bouncing back, and more flexible--it's also a useful socialization lesson taking them through crowded airports, etc. I know people who have taken dogs to Japan and their older dogs seemed traumatized after that, but this was because they were required to keep their dogs in caged quarantine for weeks upon arrival. This is not the case for importing dogs to the USA, fortunately! If importing meant keeping the dogs quarantined in a kennel somewhere, I definitely wouldn't do it, but they'll be able to come right home after the flight. ;)
 

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Welcome to Petfinder.com! The virtual home of 295,741 adoptable pets from 13,186 adoption groups
as you can see we have the same problems here.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, the problem exists in every nation, obviously the USA is not excluded. However, if you have ever been to Romania (or any other "developing" nation), you can clearly see there is something different going on. Dogs roam the streets, you spot a dog (or puppy) carcass on the highway every 5 minutes. People and kids get attacked by wild dog packs. You hear street dogs fighting and barking all night long. The country is quite overrun with these guys. I understand that euthanasia is inevitable everywhere, but at least in the USA, strays are pretty rapidly collected before they have time to reproduce and continue perpetuating the problem.
 

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I should also mention that, in Romania, "euthanasia" means the lethal injection as well as leaving poisoned food in the street (which kills many pets as well), beating dogs to death in burlap bags, and shooting them. These killing methods are done on large scale and are promoted by the government. The shelters are overcrowded, with many dogs living in each cage--all shelter dogs are pretty much on death row, since very few Romanians visit shelters to adopt dogs. So, quite frankly, it's still nicer being an American shelter dog than one of these guys. Death in the USA is more humane for dogs...as many Romanian strays die horrible, agonizing deaths. Furthermore, there are far more rescue groups in the USA than in Romania. In fact, the main rescue group in Romania is run by an American who was horrified by what she saw when she went backpacking through the country. So, I see nothing wrong with importing dogs--whether from breeders with rare breeds or strays from the streets of a foreign country. Just a matter of personal preference, and as someone who has owned dogs purchased from breeders, I certainly don't judge people who like purebreds. My only quip is with careless/greedy backyard breeders who contribute to the problem by selling unhealthy/unsound dogs to uneducated people.
 

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I worked with rescue groups in L.A. California. In L.A. if a pet is not picked up in 3 days it is euthanized and the cages are still over crowded. There are no kill shelters I worked with them but they are few not the norm. OK now for rescue groups while there are loving people out there I dont know how many we saw that have become hoarders. They dont think people are good enough to adopt their rescues. They end up with 100's of dogs and cats living in squalor. There are many out there. They are in the news all the time . And there are areas that people feel free to put out poison to kill pets or shoot them. Oh and buy the way I lived in a 3rd world country for two years. The only difference that I saw was that all animals are created equal there. Most of the animals were owned by someone in the town but they all roamed free. cows horses dogs chickens all roamed free. I never saw a chicken in a cage it was wonderful. I rescued my pup from the local dump where she as born. The dog I had before this one was rescued from under a house with 8 puppies, starving to death. That was in L.A. . I dont know where you got the idea that dogs get picked up before they get pregnant in the US . I dont know how many pregnant dogs we took out of the shelters so they would not be euthanized. Here we have puppy mills that keep churning out unhealthy pets and back yard breeders that as long as people here keep buying them will keep breeding. I dont have a problem with breeders I just want people to check with the rescue groups first because chances are that they can get a perfect pup from them and save a life in the process. Education is everything I want to make sure that people know there is an alternative to going to a breeder and give them a chance to save a life. There are 290,000. homeless pet here that need homes I would like to see them get a chance at a loving home.
 

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I think you missed the point. I live very near LA and have lived in LA in an area that should be condemned. No one is going around poisioning the dogs en masse or shooting them. Packs of dogs don't roam killing children. This is the norm in Romania from my understanding. The two are not comparable.

A dog is a dog is a dog. If a person wants to rescue a dog from a local shelter thats fine, if they want to spend the time and money and rescue from a foriegn country thats fine IMO as well. :)

You can't force or guilt a person into rescuing a dog.;)



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I am not trying to force or guilt anyone into anything. I am trying to educate them about the fact that there are many pure breed dogs out there that maybe they dont know about. The mass poisoning I know about personally are the cat population. Other animals get poisoned when this happens. People and their pets are being attacked by loose dogs roaming the streets or do you not read the news. My cousin was attacked trying to save her dog from 2 loose dogs on the street. I am not saying it is the same as Romania I am just saying we have a problems here also. The pet overpopulation is huge so if only a few see this and choose to go to a rescue group instead of a breeder I have done my part.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the backup, Crios ;)

To address what has been said, I am actually from LA and have lived there my entire life (except for the past 4 years, I have been in Europe). When you visit Los Angeles, or most other cities in the USA, you don't think, "Hm...there is a stray dog problem here!" It's probably not even one of the first 100 things you think of when you come to the city. However, come to my city here in Romania, and one of the first three things that will hit you is the street dog overpopulation problem. When I do my groceries in the USA, I am not greeted by 10 stray dogs looking for some meager scraps in the parking lot. That's what happens in Romania. I do not mean to assume no dogs get pregnant on the street in the USA, obviously...that is an impossible generalization. But, again, in all my years of living in Los Angeles I have probably seen as many strays as I have seen in 5 minutes in my neighborhood here in Romania. In LA, I have never seen a female dog in heat get chased by a mob of males--this is not an unusual sight in Romania. I have visited most of the kill shelters in Los Angeles and some in San Diego...and while it is never fun knowing that most of the dogs will end up euthanized, it is nothing like the scale or conditions in Romanian shelters. In fact, the SD shelter was pretty nice as far as shelters go! Furthermore, there are way more Americans willing to adopt shelter pets than there are Romanians willing to adopt shelter dogs. Many dog-loving Romanians DO visit shelters to take back their neighborhood dog if it has been caught and incarcerated, but they only do so to release it back into their neighborhood--not to take it back to live as a house pet.

I do, however, understand what you mean when you speak of truly rural developing nations. Romania has plenty of small villages where chickens, cows, sheep, etc. are free to roam around. I feel less bad for the dogs that live under these conditions because, well, at least they're free and people do feed them from time to time. However, they are still vulnerable to traffic and many get injured this way. People do not bother to take these so-called country dogs to receive veterinary treatment. But still, many more live in densely populated cities where traffic is a constant threat, where I've seen dogs chase little children (and the children retaliate by throwing sticks and stones at them...and then inevitably grow up with a grudge against dogs). Dogs have also been known to maul and KILL foreigners on business in Romania (very bad for the much-needed tourist industry). The government has had to pay hundreds and thousands of euros for the treatment of dog attack wounds--the government is now fed up and enforcing a campaign of mass euthanasia (by means which I previously described). I don't remember the last time the US government promoted the shooting, poisoning, beating to death of strays--unless, maybe, I've been gone a little too long and missed something??

So, yes, as Crios pointed out, it's like comparing apples and oranges. It's really not comparable. Yes, puppy mills exist in America and they're bad--I think we all know that. Nobody is defending them or defending backyard breeders.

Anyway, I think we've strayed from the point of the original post! Haha.

Bottom line is: I don't think anyone should have to defend their desire to adopt homeless dogs overseas or even dogs from responsible foreign breeders. How do you think many breeders keep their lines varied? A lot of them import breeding dogs from European lines to increase genetic variability, and this shouldn't be considered a bad thing in the world of purebred dog stock. Similarly, many European breeders import dogs from America. If breeders want the best of the best in terms of genetic soundness and temperament, it's great to think outside of the "American box."

I've attached some pics of dogs in Romania. The first one is of a light blonde female in heat surrounded by males...the mob of males grew larger and larger (this picture doesn't show the number of dogs that were actually following her around). And the second picture is of the two pups I just rescued from the park last week. Don't tell me someone shouldn't adopt one of these cuties from overseas if they so wish!
 

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