Friday, January 05, 2007
Friday Doggie Blogging
I have decided that one blog post on Friday will be about my new puppy Saul and his progress adjusting to his new family and with obedience training. In case you missed it, Saul will be trained by the local drug dog cop. Yeah, I know that sounds crazy given my history and all as a drug policy reformer (read LEGALIZER), thorn in the ass of local police and a proud admitted pot smoker. I figure if his drug dog ever alerts on Saul I'll tell them that Saul smokes a joint before class because he says it relaxes him, helps him focus and makes learning more fun.
Anyway, Saul went to the vet last week for his booster shots, de-worming, heartworm prevention and flea and tick medicine. He weighed 50 lbs. at 16 weeks. I think he put on 10 lbs. or so since then because he is getting harder and harder to lift in the door when he refuses to jump the last step. He can jump but sometimes won't because there is a kitty close by that he is intent on eating and that's all that matters at that partcluar moment in his life.
Menace cat. Make Cat Run Away. Try and Chase Cat.
He is going to be a HUGE dog by my estimation. German Shepherds are not fully mature until they are three years old. By 18 months their bodies are fully formed in height and length but not fully filled out. I'm thinking 130 lbs. at least. 130 lbs. of razor sharp teeth, huge sharp claws and lean muscle. He has the sharpest teeth, which makes it very difficult to play with him. I have numerous cuts and scratches from just bumping them when I am petting him and when we are playing fetch. My God he is like an alligator. His mouth even looks like an alligator's mouth.
This week Saul has really gotten to be friends with Dad Nall. There was a bad mishap a couple of days ago. I had to go to the store and Saul freaks out when I leave the house. The day before I had put up a run outside for him to get more exercise on. He had been on it for a while the first day I put up and seemed to like it so I decided to put him on it until I got back. Dad Nall was supervising.
As soon as I was out of the driveway Saul slipped his collar and took off down the driveway to where Dad Nall was standing. Dad looks around and sees a blur of sharp teeth and claws coming at him and freaks out. Saul may be a puppy age wise , but he damn sure doesn't look like one and doesn't really act like one. Dad knew he had to get him before he got to the road. So he reached out and grabbed him which made Saul snap because it scared him. Got Dad on the hand, drew blood (which is very easy to do), and then lunged for more (very) sensitive parts. Eventually, a very frightened Dad wresteled him back into his collar and back into the house. When I got home the discussion was sell him back or put him down.
I could do neither. After a while I got the calmer more rational story on what happened and bought Saul a few more chances. Then yesterday Saul just took up with Dad. Follows him everywhere, begs for his attention, and last night he actually took Dad the ball while I was playing fetch in the hall with him. He dropped the ball at dad's feet, woofed and wagged his tail. Dad took the bait and today they are best buddies. Dad Nall has dubbed Saul 'The Big Bad Wolf'. So, that's one accepted pack member down and two to go.
The two to go would be my kids Alex, 14 and Bell, 10. They wanted a puppy they could play with and I feel bad because that isn't happening like we had hoped it would. Saul still will not have anything to do with them. Yesterday he did take a treat from each of them and gave each of their hands a lick. I think he is coming around. They are understandably impatient with the slow progress. He still barks at them if they walk into the room and surprise him. He looks a little too interested and unpredictable when looking at them. He freaks out if they come outside when I am walking him. If anyone has any tips on how to break him from this (tips of the non-agressive sort) please share them with me.
Saul's favorite game (aside from feline menacing) is fetch. He could play for hours on end if he could find someone acceptable to play with. Since he won't play with the kids, is only beginning to get used to dad and I get tired after an hour or so, he has learned to throw the ball himself. Yes. You read that right. This dog will take the ball in his mouth, get his head close to the ground, and then jerk it up really fast letting the ball fly. The then chases after it and repeats the process. When his neck gets tired he gets up on a little hill outside in the fetch area and drops the ball, let's it roll away from him and then proceeds to retrieve it and repeat.
Next is obedience training. I received my first obedience training book yesterday. It's Persall's Guide to Dog Training and came highly recommended by my sister-in-law who trains dogs. I have begun reading it and it all seems relatively simple. Consistency is the key to everything. We can't really get started today because of the rain and because I am lacking some equipment for certian training that I want to do. I may still take him to the drug dog cop but only if he proves too much for me to handle. Besides, the cop hasn't returned my call. Is anyone surprised by that?
Until next week...Saul says, "Keep your tails wagging and your noses to the ground."