Saturday, December 30, 2006

Doggie Update!

I had planned to blog about my new 4-month-old puppy Saul on Friday but did not get around to it due to him having his first vet appointment. For those of you just joining us here on the blog, Saul was my Christmas present this year and I absolutely adore him. He is an AKC registered German Shepherd and the first GSD I have ever owned. I have never seen a smarter animal.

The Brains

As I stated in an earlier article he was an outside dog living in a fence with his siblings and parents when I bought him and his former owner had never worked with him on anything other than petting him and feeding him. I brought him home and decided to make him an inside dog. I have always hated the house training part of dog ownership and I dreaded it with this one.....but he housebroke himself in a couple of days. He has only had three accidents and this coming Tuesday I will have had him 2 weeks. He wakes me up to go out every morning around 5 and then throughout the day he either goes and whines at the door or finds my sweater, if it is a cold day, and put his nose on it. He is all about some treats at potty time too. He's slick see, and when he goes I give him either an Iams puppy biscuit or a Meaty-Bone filet mignon flavored treat. He loves those. He will do his business and then come bounding over to my feet, park his fanny on the ground and wag that tail. He will then eat part of the treat and hide the rest of it. When we go back out again he runs and eats his hidden treat before he goes to the bathroom.

The Play

I am starting to think I should have named him 'Gator' instead of Saul because of the way his big mouth looks when he is lunging at something. Just like an alligator. He loves to chew old shoes that I gave him, my wooden table legs (which has to stop), anything made out of paper of any kind he shreds it to bits and his favorite toy in a small, eaisly squeakable chewy toy that he got for Christmas. It is very loud and easy to squeak and every morning after he goes to the bathroom and eats his breakfast he has a date with squeaky toy on the living room floor. He pounces, claws, bites, chews and whines with every squeak. He chases it up and down the hall. It is highly amusing. My kids asked me why he liked that toy so much and why he whined when playing with it. I told them I guess the squeaky toy makes noises similar to that of a victim/prey and it excited him. My son said "Man I would hate to be his viticm." I'd have to agree. Four months old or not this dog inspires fear by looks alone.

Nervous and Shy

Truth is though that he is a 'puddy tat'. His nerves are really bad and he still has not taken to the kids like I want him too. He jumps at every sound, ain't real big on being petted by anyone other than me and runs away when he sees the kids coming. The last few days have been a little better. We built a fire on a couple of nights and he loved it. It had a very calming affect on him and he layed close to me and let the kids love on him a little while. Last night he let Alex feed him a turkey-burger patty in little pieces. So he is coming around.

The Vet

He really shocked me at the vet yesterday. I figured he would be like the tasmaninan devil around a bunch of strangers and strange animals. I dreaded any cats being in the waiting room and worried about his reaction to a lot of strange people. But, low and behold he was an angel. He went in the office with me and sat down. Two of the vet employees also own GSD's and they came out and heaped tons of love and petting on him. They commented on his color being so odd (he's blue and tan)and his massive size. He ate it up. Never showed the first bit of fear and instead of backing away like he does at home with the kids he met these strangers head on with lots of confidence and curiousity. He was even nice to the vet who stuck him with needles and poked something up his butt to check for worms. We muzzled him for that. Turns out he has hookworms but that's all. He got his shots, hook worm medicine, heartworm prevention and flea and tick protector. He weighs 50 pounds. I asked the vet about his shyness and jumpiness around the kids and assured me that is normal in GSD's of this age. He said they are so highly sensitive and tuned in through breeding that at this age they are trying to process everything and it overwhelms them. He said at about 8 months ole he will get a different look in his eye and will be able to focus better and will be more calm.

The Cats

Oh how he wants him a kitty!! He still barks at them but has gotten very close to a couple of mine and they have let him. But he just can't stop himself from barking at them and when he does they hiss and run away. At the vets office yesterday there were three running around loose on the inside that live at the clinic. He never uttered a peep at them. He sniffed and tried to get close but did not bark. I am not sure what he would do to a cat if he could ever get close enough to put his mouth on one. GSD's are suppossed to like cats and be friendly to other animals because of their herding instinct. Everyone I know who has a GSD says they love the family cats. I hope Saul comes around.


I am having a bit of a dilemma over whether I should have Saul neutered when he turns six months old. I do not ever plan to breed him. He is just a family pet who lives in the house. I think he should probably be neutered.
My husband does not want to get him neutered. He thinks it is cruel and will detract from the dog's personality. I kind of agree with him on that point. I asked the vet and of course, the vet says neuter him. I know that at four months old he is huge, hard to handle and can be very stubborn. I can't really imagine how big, strong and agressive he will be once the testosterone kicks in.

If there are any GSD owners with males please tell me what you decided for your dog.

Guess that's about all I have for today. I owe readers an article on the election and I promised to get it out before the first of the year....that may not happen but I am working on it.

Happy New Year Y'all,
Loretta Nall


Kathy said...

Loretta, he sounds amazing! I hope I get to meet him sometime soon. I definitely come down on the side of neutering him. It's a very minor procedure for male dogs and shouldn't cause any pain after (although if it does, the vet will surely give him pain meds). I volunteer at a local animal rescue here in Birmingham, and we see far too many puppies and kittens that were the result of indecision about spaying/neutering pets. Even inside dogs will obey the biological imperative to go and breed if they sense another receptive dog in the area -- which can easily lead to a runaway dog who gets injured while out looking for nookie.

We had an intact male fox terrier when I was growing up who would take his 20-pound self out and fight the boxer, the German shepherd, and any other dog in the neighborhood just for the heck of it, and he also dug his way into a neighbor's crawlspace to get at their female dog when she was in heat. He spent a lot of time in stitches because Daddy didn't believe in neutering dogs.

So -- that's my preachy opinion. :)

Don said...

Kathy said, "...while out looking for nookie" which reminded me of a joke but I'll not clutter up your blog with it, Lo. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! by the way.