Showing posts with label GermanShepherd. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GermanShepherd. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Puppy School Graduation

We went for six weeks to puppy training classes and learned a wealth of information.
We didn't all go every week. Tobias went and the 3 youngest took turns.  The older boys came for graduation, all but Isaac who needed some study time. 
(17 college hours and working part -time doesn't leave a lot of room for study, but he is still holding his own)

It was fun to watch each of the puppies in class grow and change as the weeks passed.  
I love how he is listening to Donna, our trainer, in this photo.

Harper and Buelah were taking their turns showing off their skills.  Harper is a beautiful Golden lab, and is full to the brim with spunk, we have so enjoyed being in a class with her family.  Beulah is hands down the class favorite.  She is a Boxer and very obedient, very sweet and has also got the sweetest family.  We all loved our class together so much we agreed last night to take the next level together as well.  Who knew when we signed up that PetSmart was not only teaching us how to train Samwise, but also opening a door to our new furry family.

Samwise does really well with sit, lay down, and come.  'Stay' is his weakest area and no wonder with how many kiddos we have bouncing around all the time.  'Come' is his best, even if he doesn't want to he will still 'come' when I give the command.  'Drop it' and 'leave it' he is also really good at.

We let Donna know in advance of the class about Benjamin and made sure it was okay for him to come.  She encouraged his participation and we really appreciated that she let him ask his questions which sometimes rambled into a 'stream of consciousness' or it would sound that way - but, there was always a point and she gave him space to find it.  Love that about her!

Poor boy, every single class would end up with Samwise exhausted.  He has just about had it at this point.

He graduated!  So fun, and we enjoyed participating as a family.  You know us, Go Big or Go Home and any excuse to celebrate something is a good excuse!  We really did enjoy pulling together as a family to help Sam achieve these skills and I loved that it didn't take much persuading to get the big boys to come celebrate with us.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Backyard Picnic with Samwise

Madeline (our cat) was trying to get into their tent.

Sam says "Thanks for the distraction Madeline"

The weather has been wonderful the past few days.  The camp out wasn't enough outside time for the kids, they've been living outdoors soaking up the sunshine and warmth.  We ate lunch picnic style and I loved snapping these photos of them enjoying their time, specifically watching Sam enjoy them enjoying their time.  This is absolutely the best dog, why did it take me so long to know how great German Shepherds are?  
P.S. Benjamin and Samwise have this constant blanket game they play regardless if Ben wants to or not.  There are days that I watch as Ben walks through the house wrapped up in his blanket and Samwise is literally being pulled behind as he sits on the blanket.  He is almost too heavy to get his ride, but Samwise hasn't quite caught on to that.  When Ben fusses at him, he is smiling the whole time - those two are becoming best friends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why We Are In Love With Our German Shepherd

German Shepherd is not a breed I would have selected.
We've been considering a family dog for quite a while, but timing wasn't right etc..
The breed we have always loved is Yellow Lab and I suspected we'd go in that direction again.
When we found out that all the unique things we have been in love with but also concerned about regarding Benjamin had a name, Autism - it threw us onto a new perspective in search of a family pet.

We sought the advice of our friend Amy Shojai about what breed would be best and she suggested Yellow Lab or German Shepherd.  Then she went on to share all the reasons she thinks a German Shepherd would be a good fit.  Benjamin has started to wander and we have to be very diligent in making sure he doesn't.  The reason we went with a German Shepherd is because he would also be diligent at least in letting us know Benjamin was on the move among other things Amy shared about the breed.

Well, at first we doubted the choice.  We loved the little guy, but oh my goodness the nipping and mouthing.  I did some internet searches and learned they are nicknamed 'Landsharks' - um yes!  This was not what we needed added onto an already full plate.  The Vet assured us it was a phase and would pass.  A few more searches and consulting with a good friend who knows a lot more about dogs than I do and we had some tools to help deter him from the nipping.  Those tools are working.

Now for why we love him and are AMAZED by him:

1. He seems to understand Ben needs him.  The other day Samwise realized Benjamin was in the back yard alone.  Sam would NOT stop barking and running for the door, eager to be with Benjamin.  When I let him outside, he ran over to Ben and sat down near him and never left his side the entire time Ben played.  I cannot express enough how much that makes me love this dog!

2.  We take him to walk at the park. The other day Ben took off running to take a short cut (I had given him permission), Samwise about lost it and I decided to run with Sam to meet Ben at the end of the short cut to reassure the dog that Ben was okay but in the middle of that run a jogger started heading towards the short cut Ben had just taken and Sam started growling (he had never done this before to any other jogger).  I stopped to let him know the jogger was okay, Sam immediately quit growling but was still eager to get to Ben - good dog!

3.  He already lays down in front of the door we use the most, in a position that allows him to see us.  He won't let the kids go out the door easily, he will roll over on his back for them to rub his belly - distracting them from leaving, temporarily.

4.  We took him to his first dog obedience class.  He was doing great until another dog began barking persistently (they are all puppies) and the noise was too much for Benjamin, so Pete took Ben to go walk around the store a bit.  As soon as Pete and Benjamin left our dog training area, Sam was upset.  Even the trainer recognized his distress that they had left.  Gosh, I love him.

5.  He already lets me know he needs to go outside to use the bathroom.  I've had some good dogs, but never at this young age had they made this connection.  He is specific about how he lets me know, he paws at my leg and whimpers a little - when I say "Go Outside?" he begins running back and forth from the back door to me.

6.  His kennel is his den, he does not fight going into it when we leave or go to bed at night.  Our house can become very loud with so many children.  When he has had enough, he goes in his kennel.  We have been very clear to the kids to leave him be when he goes in there.  Everyone has respected this and I really think it has allowed his kennel to be a safe haven for him, which means no crying or howling when we latch the door.   

Expect more Samwise posts from time to time, this guy has my heart and amazes me with his intelligence.  I never expected to be so swept away by a German Shepherd, but understand now why they are such trusted K-9 dogs.  The loyalty and devotion he has already shown in such a short time will keep you in awe and make your heart wonder how you ever did without him.
Thank you, thank you Amy for such wonderful advice & direction!

Amy is the author of several books but if you have a puppy, you might want to read this one:
(Amazon affiliate link)

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