Sunday, April 29, 2012

Disasters in Dogsitting

Oh, this was a difficult weekend!  We were dogsitting yesterday.  We needed to watch a sheltie and he did not like Bodie!  He started growling right from the start and would occasionally snap at our puppy.  Bodie was okay with it at first and only reacted with curiosity.  But after several hours of a snapping, snarling sheltie, Bodie had enough and snapped back.  Good thing we were between the two dogs!  A sheltie could not win against a german shepherd.

After that, we needed to keep the two dogs separated for the rest of the sheltie's visit.  As the day progressed, Bodie got more and more wound up.  Any activity, from the next door neighbor to people on the trail, made him frantic.  I have never heard Bodie whine so much and carry on.  Thank goodness the visit left after about twelve hours!

We had tried to introduce the dogs properly.  We had plans to take both dogs for a long walk as soon as the sheltie arrived.  But circumstances did not cooperate.  The sheltie arrived without a leash or even a collar. No problem, I dug through Bodie's bag and found his old puppy collar.  But the sheltie had a really fluffy mane (a beautiful sheltie!) and it was difficult to fit him properly.  He kept slipping out of the collar and I had to keep resizing it smaller and smaller.  Next, there were two unleased large pitbulls just roaming around out front and we decided not to risk it.

Oh, well.  We will just have to avoid dogsitting in the future.

In rereading what I wrote, I realize that it seems like I am being negative towards the visiting sheltie.  He is a really sweet dog.  I wonder if some of his issues with Bodie are related to his disability.  The poor puppy is partially blind and deaf.  If I think on it, I can attribute his reaction to fear.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part II

Have I mentioned how stubborn Bodie can be?!?  I started a bad thing with him when we got him last summer.  It turned out that our new puppy had an intestinal infection that made him lethargic, and he did not have much of an appetite.  Medication took care of his infection, but he still had a very poor appetite.  In order to get him to eat better, I started adding a little something to his dog food at every meal - a little milk, a bit of bologna, a few table scraps, or something like that.  Well, instead of stimulating his appetite all it did was make Bodie even more finicky.  I freely admit that I was wrong, but what could we do?

My sweetie put her foot down, and decided on Monday that we would no longer doctor up his food.  Bodie is getting a really high quality (and expensive!) dry dog food.  She decided that if he didn't eat his dinner in a reasonable length of time, the dish would be picked up and he would have to wait for his next mealtime.  I promised not to feed him anything other than his regular food. 

Well, it turns out that Bodie is even more stubborn than my sweetie!  He didn't eat any dinner on Monday.  He didn't eat breakfast on Tuesday, and he refused to eat anything for dinner that night either.  After failing to get him to eat breakfast on Wednesday, we both felt we were stressing too much.  We gave in.  My sweetie got some canned dog food, and we are mixing a little of it with his dry food.  He is inhaling his meals!  Oh, what a stubborn puppy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part I

Bodie is smart, but with a huge stubborn streak.  He is now ten and a half months old and it is almost impossible to play fetch with him.  He loves chasing a thrown toy and he brings it back at a run.  So what is the problem?  Well, that is it.  Bodie won't give the toy back.  You throw the toy, he chases it and brings it back.  Game of fetch is over.

We have tried several techniques and finally found one that works.  We need to play with two similar toys.  We throw the first one and when Bodie brings it back, we wave the second one until we have his attention.  Suddenly, the second one is much more desirable than the first and he drops that first toy.  Only then do we throw the second.  Finally we can play fetch until Bodie gets tired.

And a tired puppy is a good puppy!