From L. Koontz: I don't know if they'll be useful to anyone else, but it was nice reflecting after my first year with Jazz.
10. They'll change your perception on size. - Other dogs won't seem as big as they used to, and a Swissy won't seem large after a while. Also, don't ever let their size interfere with your willingness to take them places. People may look at you crazy when you're hauling a Swissy through a bank drive thru but don't worry. They're just jealous.
9. Temperament matters more than you know. - Everyone talks about how sweet Laura's dogs are, and if anything they're underestimating it. My Swissy rarely barks, has never growled, doesn't destroy things and loves every dog he meets.
8. Housebreaking is probably worse than you've read. Prepare to ruin some carpet and invest heavily in Nature's Miracle.
7. Get ready for everyone to stop you and ask what kind of dog that is, make some comment about how big they are/how much they eat, and how pretty your dog is. This part never gets old.
6. Dog shows can be fun. - If you have the chance to get your dog involved with showing, it's recommended. They'll love it and
ribbons look good on anyone's wall. It's an added plus when Laura shows your dog, and all you have to do is root for your dog ringside. But, she will fuss at you if you don't keep their nails short, so keep their nails short - especially if you're going to show.
5. These dogs are funny. - Every day they will do something that will crack you up.
4. Don't yell at them. - I've never seen another breed that takes things as personal as a Swissy when you get frustrated at them. Just take a deep breath and focus on positive re-enforcement. Screaming at them for peeing on the rug won't help. Giving them hot dogs when they pee outside will help.
3. Get pet insurance. - It's pricey, but in only a year it's paid for itself. Unless your dog has broken something or is bleeding, call Laura first. She knows a hell of a lot, and will give you great advice before you freak out and rush to the emergency vet.
2. They're big but not invincible. - Become well versed in skin problems, bloat symptoms, and vaccines. A good vet will help with
these, but again, call Laura. She's a big help and a great resource.
1. You've already made the right decision. - I wanted a Swissy, did my homework, met another breeder, got scared, and almost backed out. Then I met Laura's Swissys and realized that it all comes down to breeding philosophies and specific breedings. Oakley makes good puppies. Don't change your mind. I'm glad I didn't.