Monday, November 19, 2012

Stubborn German Shepherd Part III

Well, the stubborn German Shepherd puppy, Bodie, is at it again.  I have never had such a stubborn dog!  German Shepherds are known for their trainability and intelligence.  That should mean that they are obedient, right?  Well, I wouldn’t use that description for Bodie.

He knows the basic commands alright but he doesn’t necessarily comply, especially when he has way too much energy.  There are times I will give him the “sit” command and I can just see him stop to think about it.  He stops what he was doing, pauses… acts as if he was going to sit but he will then just stand there staring.  You can tell he is trying to decide: “Does she really mean it?”

Sometimes he will obey and sometimes he will run off trying to get in trouble.  That is when I have found that doggie calisthenics works.  The treats come out, but he really has to work for them.  First, we start with pushups: “Sit.  Down.  Sit.  Down.  Sit.”  And then a treat.  A really long “Wait” with the treat temptingly out of reach.  “Come” from various areas in the house.  After a bit of that, he calms down and starts to listen again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bodie TV

Can dogs watch TV?  I know what the "experts" say: dogs don't have the visual acuity that people do... dogs don't see objects on the TV screen, just the movement... dogs respond more to the sound than the image... dogs don't have depth perception... and so on and so on.  Well, that may all be true but I also know what my german shepherd does.  Bodie sits on the couch and watches TV. 
He might not have an extremely looong attention span but he will sit there for at least 5-15 minutes and stare at the TV screen.  Bodie responds to certain people more so than others, even if they aren't moving or if they aren't speaking.  For example, Leonard on Big Bang Theory.  When Leonard appears on screen, Bodie will usually focus and bark. Then last night we had the show Breaking Amish on for the first time, and Rebecca was on screen.  He startled us by growling, ran up to the TV, focused on the part of the screen where she was and he started barking at her.  After watching the show, I would say Bodie was a pretty good TV critic.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Silly Bodie - Busy Bone vs. Soup Bone

Did I ever give an update on the Busy Bone Debacle?  I don't think so.  Anyway, we kept getting Busy Bone sightings in the backyard and, finally, I had enough.  I grabbed Bodie and the remnants of the Busy Bone and tossed them into the puppy pen.  He made a huge ruckus, and RB thought I was being cruel.  But after a little while, he calmed down, grabbed the Busy Bone and chewed it up.  Crazy puppy!
So, last night was Halloween. We don't get many trick or treaters where we live, but we do get some and we were hoping to keep Bodie calm. It was just a coincidence that the puppy was due for his vaccinations, and the appointment just happened to be yesterday. The vet said that Bodie would likely be lethargic in the afternoon. We could only hope! In addition, we had a couple of chewies to try and keep his attention - another Busy Bone and a soup bone.
We researched natural treats rather thoroughly and discovered that raw bones are safe for dogs.  They are fully digestible and don't splinter like cooked bones do.  Of course, you need to monitor the situation but we have never had a problem with Bodie chewing soup bones.  We have been giving Bodie soup bones for about a year now. There are easy to find; we get ours from the local grocery store in the meat department. The butcher says everyone uses them as dog treats, he has never heard any customer wanting them for soup! 

Well, we put Bodie in his pen and gave him a Busy Bone.  Well, he whined and paced for awhile before hiding the Busy Bone under the right back corner of his cushion.  After about an hour, we gave him the soup bone.  Bodie raised a bit of a ruckus and hid the bone under the left back corner of the cushion!  Crazy puppy!  When we let him out of his pen after there was no chance of anymore trick or treaters, he grabbed the soup bone and happily chewed until bedtime.  This morning, he grabbed the Busy Bone and devoured about two thirds of it.