Thursday, December 29, 2011

First Christmas

Bodie is getting to be such a big boy!  This was his first Christmas.  He was a good boy so he got a new toy, some treats, and a really cute treat cannister.  He also got a sticker for the car "Wag More Bark Less".  RB suggested that we mount it facing inside so Bodie could read it while guarding the car!  :)
Just Hanging Out

Sunday, December 11, 2011

German Shepherd Puppy or Car Alarm?

Bodie is turning out to be as much a nuisance barker as the shelties!?!?!  But he sounds so much more intimidating!  Our sweet puppy sounds vicious and horribly aggressive when he barks.  Even when he is just playing with his toy!  My last German Shepherd, Willie, barked so seldom that it was a shock when he did.  We can seldom let Bodie have free rein of the backyard because it abuts up against a trail system and there are too many people going back and forth.

Another problem is when we take Bodie with us in the car.  We have finally got him to stop barking when we are driving.  We are even able to take him through the drive-thru at McDonald's without having him sound like he wants to take out the entire restaurant.  We just haven't figured out how to control his barking when he is left in the car.  So we just park as far away as we can and let him bark.

RB was coming out of CostCo the other day.  Glancing towards our car she saw people startle and give our car a really wide berth.  But that was nothing compared to Friday!  RB and I had lunch and she walked in with me when I went back to work.  She was still in the office when my boss walked in.  He had parked two slots away from us and as he walked by our car, Bodie started barking.  It scared my boss so much that he spilled his coffee!  He said that with Bodie in the car, we don't need a car alarm - we don't even need to lock it!  He thought that Bodie sounded like he wanted to take his face off!  Yet when we bring Bodie in the office, he is as sweet as he can be and my boss feeds him cookies! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Is the End of the Squirrels - Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel

One of Bodie's favorite toys has been his Kyjen Hide-a-Squirrel.  Plush toys don't last long as the puppy will tear them apart fairly quickly - even the Kong plushies.  But this Kyjen set has lasted for four long months!  However, Bodie has recently taken up surgery and lobotomized two of the three squirrels.

At least he still has his stump - for now!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Real Quick

Bodie is back home.  He seems fine; so much so that it might be difficult to keep him quiet!  It was so strange last night not to have him in the house.  We haven't had him for long but he has become a vital member of the family.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Surgery

Well, today is the day for Bodie to get neutered.  RB is planning on taking the puppy to the vet between 7:30 and 8:00.  They will keep him overnight.  It will seem so strange not to have him rampaging through the house.  I am starting to worry already.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Bodie is much more of a challenge than any of my other dogs.  He is as stubborn as Georgie (Corgi), as destructive as Heather (Sheltie), as noisy as Tammy (Sheltie), as selective at following commands as Mingo (Belgian Shepherd) but as intelligent as Willie (German Shepherd).  What a combination!

One special challenge we have is just walking around the house.  Bodie likes to hold a toy and put his head between our feet.  If we don't play, he pushes his way between our legs.  Try and walk away, and he keeps pace walking between our legs.  It is really hard to walk with a German Shepherd under your skirt!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


"You don't get what you want, you get what you need."

I always thought that was an annoying saying.  It seemed to trivialize a situation when things didn't turn out the way you wanted by slapping a happy face on it.  But the Bodie experience is changing my mind on that.  He was supposed to be a calm and quiet puppy.  Instead, he is stubborn and rambunctious!  He can be a real challenge.

So, what do I mean?  I think Bodie is perfect for RB.  Since she remains home with Bodie while I go to work, the job of training our puppy has fallen into her hands.  That challenge has made her more assertive than anything else could have.  And I think her self-confidence has increased dramatically also!  I am so proud of her!  As for Bodie... well, that is another question. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Sometimes I wonder if Bodie's taste buds are off.  He chews a lot so we have tried Bitter Apple to deter him.  But it failed - he liked it!  Anything we sprayed with the Bitter Apple, he paid more attention to and chewed a lot more.  ::shakes head::  We read on some training blog about trying Tabasco Sauce.  We discusssed it and RB decided to try it on one item - a box of records that Bodie keeps trying to chew his way into.  I continued to research the topic and was just reading this one article about how cruel it was when RB said that Bodie was licking the box.  I looked over at him and he was licking his lips as if there was peanut butter on them.  My heart sank as I wondered if we had done the wrong thing.  And what does Bodie do next?  He goes back to the box and licks at the same area again!  It turns out that Bodie loves Tabasco Sauce!  He kept licking that box until all the Tabasco was gone.  Oh, what a puppy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I was going to post a new blog last week but we ended up having to take Bodie to the vet.  It really got me upset and I didn't feel like writing anything.  He has been having a difficult time with teething and his mouth has been really bloody lately.  Then his face got very swollen.  I originally thought it was just a problem with a new tooth coming in before the baby tooth fell out.  But there was just too much swelling so we took him to the vet and he had to have surgery right then and there.  Our poor little puppy had an infection!  The wound was left open so it could drain, so we had to keep him penned up so he wouldn't get blood all over the house.  He is feeling much better now and so I am feeling better.  RB took him to the park and got some new pictures. You can't even tell he had surgery.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crate Dilemna

When we first brought Bodie home, he was only eight weeks old and his crate was one of the cat crates I had.  After a few weeks, we moved him up to a Sheltie crate.  At first, it was huge but lately he hasn't been able to turn around in it easily.  So just recently we moved him up to the big boy crate.  It should definitely work even if he gets up to around 90lbs (as predicted).  We left the Sheltie crate in the living room, awaiting storage in the shed.  But we might wait awhile - Bodie loves that crate!  He goes into it several times a day, and when it is time to go to bed he goes into it first before going into the new one in the bedroom.  I don't think this will last for long as he will no longer be able to fit in it at all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lunchtime Notes

I love the way RB writes.  She wrote about Bodie earlier this afternoon, describing him as part perfect gentleman and part rampaging psychopath!  That really made me laugh.  They make a really good pair.  It is wonderful to see how adoringly he gazes at her.  I think Bodie will be very protective.  She brought him along with her when she came to work to have lunch with me.  We were parked at our favorite lunch spot when three women walked by.  Bodie did not like having them so close to the car and sounded so menacing even though he is not even six months old yet.

That reminds me.  We bought Bodie a large crate shortly after bringing him home.  We kept it in the car so he would be restrained whenever we took him with us.  It seemed huge back then!  Now, he can barely fit in it.  Yesterday, RB installed a pet barrier so he can be in the back and not crated at all.  It is working out really well.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sleepy Head

Bodie is different from any other puppy I have ever had.  Ever since we brought him home, he doesn't want to get up in the morning!  He likes to sleep in.  On weekdays, when the alarm goes off, Bodie doesn't want to get out of his crate.  On weekends, he will let us sleep in until at least 9:00am!  Sometimes, he will stay in his crate until 10:00-10:30.  I guess it is a good thing that I am not a morning person.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

tough day

It is so difficult because Bodie is not Willie.  Willie was the best GSD ever.  He was sweet and gentle and protective and great at obedience.

It started from the moment I brought him home.  Willie peed in the house when I first brought him home as a puppy and never had another accident.  I was so lucky when I took puppy obedience class because it was so easy!  I showed him to sit once and I never had to work that command again.  The same thing happened with down, stay, and heel.

Bodie is not Willie.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Puppy Class Disasters

I did not attend puppy class this past Thursday.  I got really sick and am just now starting to feel human again but according to RB, it did not go very well.

Something the instructor has been having us do that I was never crazy about is to exchange puppies.  I want to work with my puppy; Bodie is a challenge and I want help with his issues, not those of another puppy.  So during this most recent class, RB handled two other puppies.  One was a tiny Boston Terrier.  She couldn't figure out how to adjust the amount of correction needed in the small amount of time she had the toy dog.  Next, she got the other German Shepherd puppy.  He was pulling hard and was not wearing a training collar!  He ended up injuring RB's back.

Then it was time for the play session.  Recess was a real challenge for the instructor again.  Bodie was rambunctious but did not play too rough.  That was good, however, he managed to embarrass RB by taking a huge dump in the middle of the room during the play session!  While the instructor went to go get the pooper scooper, RB had to guard the pile so the puppies did not step in it and track it all over the training room.

But those two things paled in comparison to the grand finale.  The pitbull had been doing much better doing play sessions but the syllabus said to bring your puppy's favorite toy and that was a real mistake!  The pitbull turned out to be extremely toy aggressive.  The Australian Kelpie was playing with her favorite toy, a duckie, when the pitbull went after it.  The Kelpie completely submitted and gave up the toy but it was not enough for the pitbull.  The instructor had to get control of her and then it took five people to get the Kelpie's toy away from her.  I appreciate that the pitbull owners are trying their best to get their puppy early training and socialization but...

Now, I have attended so many different training classes with all the different dogs I have owned that I have lost count.  But this class has been the least fun out of all of them.  RB doesn't want to take any more obedience classes.  :(

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bodie is Stumped!

Bodie looooves his stump!   :D

We bought this toy for Bodie when he was little.  It is a stump that comes with three squeakie squirrels.  He definitely likes the stump better than the squirrels!  He will bite it in such a way that he can't see around it so when he carries it around, he bumps into things.  There are times we fill the stump with as many toys as we can stuff into it and Bodie empties as quickly as he can.  I am actually surprised that he hasn't torn the stump apart.  It is pretty sturdy, but he has broken the squeakers in the three squirrels.  

Bodie keeps us laughing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

First Week of October

Just under 5 months old
Bodie has been really good this past week.  He has really improved, not only in his obedience but with things like nipping and jumping.  The training collar and spray bottle have been getting his attention.

After last week's puppy class disaster, we decided to do Bodie's obedience training in public places (in front of the house, at a park, along a bike trail) in order for him to get used to distractions.  It worked!  I wasn't in class because I wasn't feeling well but this week's puppy class went great!  He was the best in class with "Stay".  Even puppy play time was good!

Oh, I forgot to mention something last week.  The pitbull puppy that wasn't supposed to be back in puppy class was there.  We were confused but figured that she also did detention and was allowed back in.  Then at the end of class, the trainer had us exit the room one puppy at a time.  The pitbull puppy went first, then Bodie, and then the other German Shepherd puppy.  No one else.  I was a bit suspicious that something was going on but I was more concerned about Bodie.

Last night after class, the trainer started the same thing.  The pitbull puppy left then as RB was getting Bodie to ready to leave, the trainer stopped her and invited both German Shepherd puppies to join the rest of the class in an additional play period.  Hurray!  It felt like a graduation of sorts.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Isn't it Funny

My sweetie has always described herself as a doormat.  She used to worry that when we got a puppy she would be a complete pushover while I would be the tough one.  But surprise, surprise, she is the enforcer while Bodie can walk all over me.  He has gotten better but he still puts his teeth where they don't belong.  And Bodie jumps up a lot - on everything!  Then just this week, he started barking at anything and everything.  RB has decided she needs to strictly enforce the rules - no teeth, no jumping and no unnecessary barking.

Bodie has a stubborn streak.  "No!" does not work.  A spray bottle gets his attention somewhat.  And a pinch collar works for the puppy trainer.
My previous German Shepherd, Willie, was a complete sweetheart; all he wanted to do was please me.  Of course, I thought he was perfect.  When we picked out Bodie, I knew he wouldn't be just like Willie but I did think he would be a calm dog.  We thought that is what we had gotten, but it turned out that Bodie was not feeling well.  Instead of being calm, he was sick.  Now that he is healthy, he is rambunctious!

But don't they say you don't get what you want, you get what you need.  RB cannot be a doormat with Bodie; he needs a firm hand.  She is learning to be assertive.   :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bad Boy!

I am really disappointed after puppy class tonight.  Bodie was a baaaad boy!  He wasn't listening to us at all.  He has been really doing well with obedience, well, at least until this evening.  He refused to sit much less do any downs, and then he was a bully again in play period.  Corrections with the collar or with the spray bottle did not work either.  Training treats only worked for a quick sit but not for a down.  I don't understand what was up with him this evening.

Well, the only thing to do is to really work hard on training this coming week.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No More Detention!

Remedial recess went well yesterday.  The trainer had several dogs to test/train Bodie - a fully grown German Shepherd Dog, a fully grown Belgian Malinois, a young Malinois and a puppy Poodle mix (who is the class bully in his puppy class).  And Bodie was a good boy!  He played really nicely.  The two trainers there said that Bodie showed no signs of dog aggression - he is just too rambunctious.  We will just need to shadow him during play session.  But the other puppy in class who was acting up last week will not be returning.  :(  She was already in private training for being too aggressive and should not have been in the puppy class.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Growing Up

Two months old
I can't believe that we have had Bodie for a little more than two months now!  He has certainly become part of the family - I can't imagine life without him.  I think my sweetie is surprised at how much Bodie has ingrained himself into her affections.  She is becoming a real dog person.

The puppy is growing up so quickly!  All puppies, especially young puppies, look rather similar.  It is only as they get a bit older that you can tell what breed they are.  Bodie is around four months old and he is definitely looking like a German Shepherd Dog now.

Bodie's daddy weighs around 95 pounds but his mommy weighs only around 75 pounds.  I think Bodie will be somewhere is the middle.  He is rather stocky but he is not a real big eater.  He usually only finishes his food if RB hand feeds him.

Four months old
Bodie might not be much of an eater but he is certainly fixated on his toys.  Especially the ones that he can play tug of war with - he hangs on for dear life!  Daddy is SchH 3, mommy is SchH 1, and I think Bodie might be good for Schutzhund too.  We really need to get him evaluated for that.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Class Bully

Oh, Bodie, Bodie, Bodie.  His second puppy class was last night and he flunked!  He flunked recess!!!  The trainer had to stop play period because a couple of puppies were too rough (Bodie was not the only one).  It is hard to see your baby be the bully.  *sigh*   He has detention on Monday.  Okay, it really isn't detention but an extra training session to try and teach him not to be so rough while playing but still.

But he was doing well otherwise; he is good at obedience.  The trainer tried to use him as a demo dog but had to get another puppy to use because Bodie wasn't acting up enough.  So I have mixed feelings about last night's puppy class. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Worrywart

That's me - the worrywart.  I can worry easily about anything but especially about pets.  They can't tell you when they don't feel well or are hurt.

Bodie was in the backyard this morning when he started yelping.  It was pitiful and loud!  I rushed outside and he was sitting there holding his paw up.  He didn't come to me so I went to get him and carried him into the house.  We checked him out but could not determine what was wrong.  He was limping just a bit and it wasn't obvious what might be injured.  I called the vet's office immediately and made an appointment.  It was just a little after 9:00am and an appointment slot wasn't available until 2:00pm.  Of course I took it, and they said they would call if an opening came up.  We kept him quiet and RB checked him out again after about an hour.  Bodie seemed fine.  She even took him for a walk, so we canceled the appointment.

And he is feeling as rambunctious as ever!  Right now Bodie is again in the backyard, standing on the deck and barking his head off (he already has his big boy bark - doesn't sound like a 4 month old puppy).  We are hoping he will burn off a little energy before our second puppy class this evening.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a good boy!

Oh, Bodie was such a good boy yesterday!  RB is usually home while I go to work but yesterday she met me for lunch and then had an appointment.  So, of course, she put Bodie in his puppy pen as she was going to be gone for about four hours.  But I had a computer crisis at work (nasty malware!) and RB is a computer tech so she came straight from her appointment to try and rescue me.  She worked for hours trying to fix the problem until we finally had to get home to the puppy.  He was penned for eight hours and there was no problems at all!  Bodie was so good!!!  Of course, he had to pee and pee and pee as soon as we let him out.  He got bored, it was taking so long so he started walking while he was still peeing and had a good bark at the neighbor to boot.  Then he was extremely active all evening long and that is another story.  :D

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Handsome German Shepherd Puppy!

Bodie is turning out to be a good looking boy!

His ears have been up for awhile but one does flop a little bit for short periods of time. 
Floppy eared German Shepherd Dogs might look cute but... they just don't look right.  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

German Shepherd Puppy Nipping

Bodie has been a bit difficult lately.  He is still doing that puppy nipping thing but now that he is bigger it is much more bothersome.  I certainly hopes he grows out of it quickly.

But I don't think that I am being fair to the puppy.  I can't help comparing him to my previous German Shepherd, Willie.  Willie was such a good boy.  He did not nip like Bodie does.  *sigh*  I can't keep thinking of how Bodie compares to Willie.  I need to work on that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's All Good

I don’t know how many obedience classes I have attended but between my own dogs and my sister's dogs, it has been quite a few.  Bodie’s first puppy class was this past Thursday.  I was looking forward to the play session but I thought that I would be rather bored with the class part.  Was I wrong!  I guess because Bodie is a bit more, hmm, how shall I say it?  Bodie is more challenging than my previous dogs, there were some techniques discussed in class that I never had to use before.  Bodie pays very little attention to “No” and a yank on the leash is an invitation to a play session, but a squirt of water definitely gets his attention!  We have made more progress with the puppy nipping in the last two days than we have in the last two weeks with a squirt from a spray bottle.  Yay!

This week we are supposed to use ten times more “Good’s” than “No’s”.  Whenever Bodie does any behavior that we like, we are supposed to “Good” him.  For example, he sits while we are watching : “Good sit!”  He lies down while we are : “Good down!”  So far it seems to be working well, especially for the “Give” command.  Bodie really wants to chase his toy but he won’t drop it so we can throw it again.  So lately when he shoves his giraffe in my lap, I ignore him.  As soon as he drops it, I say “Good give!” and I can see a look in his eyes that tells me he is starting to get it.

It was so nice to see Bodie playing with other puppies his same age!  There was another German Shepherd puppy, a Lab, an American Staffordshire Terrier, an Australian Kelpie and a Boston Terrier.  He was so excited to play with something that plays back.  (We dogsat my sisters two Shelties a few weeks back and they refused to play with him.)  We are trying to make sure that Bodie is well-socialized.  I did find it interesting that the trainer (she owns GSDs) was reassuring all the other puppy owners that the German Shepherd puppies were not being aggressive.  I guess their barking and posturing was a bit intimidating.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why this German Shepherd Blog

As I mentioned yesterday, I miss Willie greatly. As Bodie grows up, I regret that I don't have a chronicle of Willie's puppy days and only have a couple of pictures.  So I decided that I would do it differently this time.   I want to keep journal about Bodie and try and get a picture throughout all the stages of his life.

Also, I love German Shepherd Dogs.  I have always loved German Shepherd Dogs. I have always wanted a German Shepherd Dog but growing up, my family never had one.  The closest we ever got was a Belgian Sheepdog.  He was a really good dog but I couldn't help but think "close but... ".  I entered the military after high school and being gone so much, it wasn't right to have a dog.  When I got out of the military, one of the first things I did was get a pet.  However, the job I had required extremely long hours and once again I passed on having a dog.  I got a cat instead.  Not quite the same but she was pretty amazing.  One of these days I will tell the story of my attack cat.  :D

Heather, Kaki, Kumu, Willie and Georgie
I got sick and tired of a job that required so many hours (no weekends and only three Sundays off in eleven months) with no real reward so I quit that job and moved back to the Pacific Northwest.  It was finally time to get a dog!  I looked around at local breeders for a German Shepherd but I ended up rescuing a Shetland Sheepdog.  She was a very timid Sheltie.  Well, actually she was extremely timid and submissive, and had a huge problem with submissive peeing.  I couldn't call her name or even look at her without her peeing all over.  I worked really hard with her, building her confidence and she ended up being a very good dog.

But because of her, I ended up being involved with Shelties for quite a while.  The most I ever had at one time was seven Shelties and two cats.  I did mainly obedience and a little agility. But I always felt that something wasn't right. The turning point for me was when I was out walking the trails with my dogs when I was accosted by some homeless guy.  What did my Shelties do?  Bark, like they did at everything?  No - they turned tail and ran away!  I took care of the situation by grabbing a branch and brandishing it around.  The Shelties ended up running all the way back home!  It was time to get a German Shepherd.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I loved my Shelties and I still think Shelties are wonderful dogs but there was something missing.  I wanted a German Shepherd Dog!  And I finally got one: Willie.  I thought he was perfect!!!  He was a great obedience dog, he was good at tracking, and we even did agility.  We tried schutzhund but he didn’t have the right personality for that.

Willie and Georgie
A few years after getting Willie, a got a Pembroke Corgi, Georgie.  He and Willie were great buddies.  They did everything together.  Unfortunately, Georgie had cancer and did not even make it to his second birthday.

As time passed, I had to put down my pets one at a time.  My last cat made it until she was 17 years old.  Willie made it to almost 16 years.  I was without a pet until Bodie.  I am amazed how right it feels to have a dog in the family again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Bodie Blog - The German Shepherd Puppy!

Here is the latest picture of our newest puppy, Bodie.  I think he is turning out to be a beautiful German Shepherd Dog.

I am not good at writing. I can be a bit pedantic and rather terse. But... I will try. I will try to write a couple times a week and write more than just a sentence or two. I am not too sure of that but I will see how it goes. My partner, RB is much better at it than I am. She is a really good writer, and she writes with such humor that it is a joy to read her stuff. However, for some reason, she doesn't want to write about our German Shepherd puppy.  :(   In spite of nagging her for weeks!  :D

I have owned several dogs in the past. I hate to say it but I had a favorite - my German Shepherd, Willie. He was the best dog! I had to put him down about a year and a half ago and I still miss him. It took until just about six weeks ago to finally get another dog. I wanted another German Shepherd but I was worried about constantly comparing the new dog to Willie.  Then RB moved in about a year ago and she had never had a dog before. She had heard quite a few stories about Willie and thought we should get a German Shepherd. But for someone who had never had a pet, who really hadn't ever been around dogs before, German Shepherds ccould be quite intimidating.

So we went to the breeder where I got Willie and made RB be with the adult dogs only, even the big boys! And she fell in love! She wanted to get a puppy right then and there. I wasn't planning that but agreed, and that is how we got Bodie!  RB picked him out herself, a nice quiet, calm puppy.

But  it turned out that he was sick, and he isn't quite as calm as we expected.  Don't they say you don't get the dog you want, but the dog you need?  :)