|11-02-2013 02:40 PM|
I've been continuing my dailies with Beatrix, though there were a few things I don't like but generally she's well behaved.
During the off-leash walks the horse-pasture has immense appeal and if I'm not careful she'll shoot under the fence and start eating horse-apples. The fence is sturdy barbed wire and I can't cross it as easily. She'll happily continue "horsing around" in there until she's had enough and run back. My calls or approach only encourage her to venture further away.
A different walk she went under in a different spot, but one where I could also duck underneath with a bit of effort. I corrected her and took her out of the pasture. She hasn't been in it for a couple of days so I hope she understands her boundary a bit better.
I've now met most of the neighbors' dogs now and she really loves to play with the golden lab, although it seems mostly annoyed by the attention. Another neighbor has a collection of smaller dogs and a beagle that just had puppies. They're beagle-mastiff mix, and I'm sure they'll be a handful. I haven't had the chance to see the mastiff as it's another neighbor's dog.
She also had a chance to play with my nephews some more and she likes to chase them around when they're riding their bikes. I instructed how to behave around her and they're doing splendid and she in return. I hope she'll refrain from biting/mouthing kids with more familiarization, as a recent dog-attack with what looked like a 6mo to year old happened in town. The dog got loose and went after a small girl, giving her some nasty bite injuries.
We continued our car training and she'll sit and look when one comes near. I hope she can keep that behavior up when off leash. She's also a very good car companion, she'll sit upright and be generally interested what's going on outside. Much better than George who cowers under the seat every time we pass a Semi.
Her interactions with George have been brief, but she's definitely deferring to him which I like as he's a little too small to play with in the manner she's used to. He's good at letting her know when it's too much.
In the short term I'm taking her to my in-laws where there's two dogs she can really play with. I wonder how she'll react to them.
|10-25-2013 12:02 AM|
|SirTaylor||That's a great story the way you found your dog. I also think its awesome that your new pup has so much space to play. Keep up the good work. Sounds like she is adjusting very well to her new home.|
|10-24-2013 12:29 AM|
Today was fun.
I'm getting used to a new regimen of me getting up earlier than I usually do. I rise 7:30 so I can take Beatrix for a walk at 7:45. She is full up on energy in the morning and it's tough to get her impulses under control. She'll jump up and generally be mildly naughty. After a short wrestle to get her harness on she does fine and she knows what to do once I pick up the leash. "Leash up" and she sits patiently while I get done hooking on.
I've started to use the door as a bit of a training tool as well. I tell her to "sit" and then "wait". I then slowly open the door. If she gets up to go outside before I tell her to I quickly close it, tell her "Nuh-uh" and start from step one. She got the goal of it pretty quickly and was rewarded with a treat.
I decided to walk her around the lot and then down the road towards the highway. It was very quiet so I just let her walk, making sure she didn't pull the leash. Then we came by a neighbor's pasture with two ponies. These were of great interest to her and one pony was very curious as well. Beatrix spooked it by barking when it came close, but the pony recovered and approached again. This encounter went smoother and Beatrix go to smell the horse up close by the fence. I did have to keep the leash short. If she could she probably would have jumped in to play with it. I decided it was time and told her to come with me. She responded really quick and we went down the road to the intersection.
Here she was startled by the wind rustling leaves in a big oak tree of all things. I had a good chuckle. Then a car came down the highway. I grabbed her harness and told her to sit and watched the car come and go with her. She didn't bark, moved or seemed interested in it so she was rewarded. We turned around to head back home. She growled when she spotted the pony again, but this was turned into a good tail wagging as the pony came by the fence to greet us again. I didn't want to linger so I kept going and Beatrix stayed the course. I then ran the entire driveway with her. When we came up to the door I once again used it for a bit of training. She picked up quicker this time and actually wasn't sure if she could go in after I had told her. I got her leash off and went to prepare her breakfast. I just have a stainless steel bowl I scoop halffull of kibble I put in a usual spot. The filled bowl works as a reward too, and she'll sit to wait for me to put it down without prompt. I decided to test her on training I gave her the previous night as she hasn't quite mastered "down". I gave her the command with the gesture I thought up for it and she actually did as told. She definitely earned her food. I left her alone for a bit while I went to eat my own and do some inside chores for a while.
It's about 1 and a half hour later that I hear quite a lot of barking from the garage. I assumed it was just for attention so I ignored it while I finished up on chores. When I came down the stairs I saw why Beatrix was so excited. The neighbors' big golden retriever and a chocolate lab were scouring the lawn out back. Beatrix could see them through the window in the garage and she wanted to see them.
This wasn't really good timing for me, as I wanted to take Beatrix with me off-leash while I worked the yard. I wasn't sure how she would behave with these guys nosing around.
I decided to take a bit of a gamble and went to check the dogs outside. The chocolate lab I've met many times before as she would oft wander up while I was still working on the house. She's very docile and I wouldn't consider her a threat. The big retriever was new to me and vice versa. I called her and we got acquainted. She was pretty excited to meet someone new it seems and was jumping on me. I disengaged contact until she calmed down. I petted her, she got bored and to my dismay she jumped onto my deck. I made pretty clear to her that the deck's off limits to her and she complied.
I figured I'd give Beatrix a try at meeting them. The dogs' demeanor seemed friendly enough. I went back inside to leash her up again and took her outside. Boy, was it exciting. She ran up to both of them, sniffed, jumped and tried to play a little too roughly. The obvious dominant retriever would have none of the horsing around and I sensed her getting a bit annoyed and giving off warning signs. Beatrix cowered down slightly but I decided to cool her down back inside the garage after the gold gave a bark. I spent a little more time with the two new dogs for a minute or so and went to grab Beatrix again. This time went better, but still a bit too rough to my liking so I took her away from them again. I probably shouldn't have done this in the first place, but I don't have many opportunities of happenstance socializing.
My lot is a big old pasture/alfalfa field and it's a lot of mowing. Doing all of it weekly would simply be too time-consuming and costly so I leave an area in the back untouched and focuse my efforts in maintaining the front. I recently did cut down the brush in the back to make it winter ready (and appease my wife) but there were still these really big plants that had petrified during the drought my mower couldn't cut through. I had to basically chop these down with a hatchet.
The new dogs weren't much interested in this and the choc went home and the gold wandered into the empty horse pasture adjoining my lot. Now that worked out for me. The neighbours' horses didn't appear to be out or nearby so now it was time to bring out Beatrix. I took the leash with me just in case. I just let her wander while I was chopping. I made it fun by tossing the plants (they were basically just big straight sticks at this point). She loved chasing after them. She even tried to eat one but it didn't appeal to her appetite much.
Then a surprise. I hear a yelp, but it was too far away to be from Beatrix. Next thing I know the gold is racing through the pasture with the cavalry hot on her heels (a situation I fear for Beatrix in the future). She ducks the fence and shoots back towards her owners' house over my property. Beatrix wasn't sure what to do in this situation and only barked once, then turned to me. I called her over, praised her when she complied and leashed her up (good thing I brought it). I had already set up a lead on a ground prong nearby, but all it makes her do is bark at the horses or me for attention. I didn't really want her back in the garage again so I put her on anyway, maybe I can train her bark control a bit this way. We play for a while until she gets distracted by the horses and starts barking. I up and leave to do more chopping. She stops barking at the horses, and the tone changes to attention/frustration at me. I ignore her for a while focusing on my work, glancing over to see what's she's doing between stumps. It gets funny for me when the colt whinies back at Beatrix and they have a conversation of sorts.
When she's sitting and not barking I go to her to pay attention and play, aborting when she starts again and repeat this for a while. It seems to work, but she's not quite there yet. When she's really quiet I go over and take a break with her on the lawn. I stretch out in the grass to stare at the sky and she lies with me. Eating the last of the chamomile she finds with her nose.
She doesn't like those much either. We zone out for a while (she appears tired) until she gets to barking again.
We continue our cycle until I'm done chopping. I don't know if the barking has lessened due to my method or the horses wandering further away in their pasture. I'm happy anyway.
For the late before dark walk I take her up the other end of the road, hoping to catch a neighbour I need to talk to. It becomes pretty obvious he's practicing his marksmanship out back so I just take Beatrix to the start of his driveway and then back home. All the while trying to be unfazed by the gunshots (it's tricky for me). Beatrix only bolts from one and by the end she's still more easily startled by rustling leaves than the reports.
That's it for the day. I'd like to know if anyone has any suggestions or comments on it to improve my dailies with her. I'll be playing training her for a while before bed.
|10-23-2013 01:27 AM|
Welcome! You have an interesting story, I enjoyed reading it. I have a 4 month old boy. They can grow up together post pics often, we will love them !
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|10-23-2013 01:10 AM|
|Nigel||Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new pup! I don't have suggestions in dealing with horses, there are others here who may. There a lots of threads on it if you'd like to check them out, here's one I found using the search block. http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...es-horses.html|
|10-22-2013 11:50 PM|
L3 and Beatrix
I far as I can remember my grandfather always had a GSD on his estate, and he made for a great companion and playmate. One of the fondest memories I have is my little brother who was still a toddler being guarded by it. Unfortunately my grandfather could no longer take care of his estate and he moved to a small apartment in a flat in the center of town. The dog didn't thrive that well there and soon passed away, with my grandad a few years after.
My family had a brief experiment with a dog as a pet, but at the time we didn't realize that me and my mother were allergic nor how much of a handful a male beagle pup is. I'm ashamed to say he was not a good fit for our family at the time and we said goodbye to him when he was adopted by another family with more space for him.
Flash forward to the present. I just finished building my new house on a pretty big plot, and me and my wife are now moved in with our dog George, a small 5 year old Yorkshire Terrier. We decided now that we had the room, no kids (yet) and I have time before I get back to being a wage slave, we could look for a outside dog. Since I always talked fondly about my gramp's it would be a GSD since I know their demeanor some. We inquired around and pretty soon we had a few calls from the local humane society.
They said they had a few mixes available around a year old so me, my wife and two nephews decided to take a look. There were indeed two who fit the bill, but unfortunately one had behavior issues I did not feel comfortable with. The other just didn't click.
But when we came by the lab kennel, we saw a pair of ears perk up. Inside was a trio paying us attention, two 3 month old labs and what looked to be a 4 month old shepherd mix. We asked the attendant if we could meet them and shortly after we were surrounded by a few very happy and lively pups. The society lady told us they've been working with the shepherd mix and she was already good at a few basic commands I gave her! We were instantly drawn to her and she seemed very pleased to meet us. I wasn't expecting to adopt so soon, but I signed the papers anyway. I was very excited!
Now it's been a week since we picked her up from the vet and we decided to name her Beatrix. She's really fond of me and loves to play and go outside to walk around the neighborhood. I live on a gravel road in a rural area with a few other houses of which most have a dog as well. They all just wander around to socialize and I hope to let Beatrix do the same one she get's used to things around here. For now I have her leashed when we go further than my lot.
She's very good at sitting, will generally come when called and is starting to tone down jumping on people (jumping = no attention. Sitting = attention). My nephews have been good at helping with that. I also got her to respond to "leash up" and "leash off". She will sit and wait patiently until I'm done hooking on or off. The harness however she's more fussy about. I also have gotten her to be patient for feeding time.
I have limited the time between George and her since she's unfortunately caught a case of Kennel Cough. The vet says she should be fine and it's gotten a lot better. The stitches from her spaying give little trouble, but it does make her urinate very very frequently and this is a problem to potty-train her. Her and george seem to get along OK, although George has let her know that he will not tolerate any roughhousing with a few vicious snarls. He's also very familiar with the sound the treat bag makes I have in my pocket, so that makes it hard to reward her since he'll be begging for attention as soon as I reach into it.
Me, George and Beatrix
I have an outdoor kennel for her but I still have to build her an insulated dog house for shelter. In the mean time I keep her in the garage during the night or bad weather.
I'm really enjoying my time with her and she's been really sweet, but there are things I need some advice on. This is the reason why I came looking here!
The biggest problem I have is that she barks at my neighbour's horses when off leash. Once we go for a walk and she notices them she'll trot off to bark at them and it's hard to get attention to get her distracted enough onto something else. The funny thing is that she will not do this when on the leash. She'll look, gruff and be interested, but will follow most directions I give her. Does anyone have tip to stop her from doing this? I really don't want her to go into the corral and chase the horses either as there's a colt the mare is protective over. I'm afraid that meeting will end poorly.
She also does not seem interested in any of the toys I've gotten her except the tennis ball. She's doing OK at fetching although she sometimes forgets the ball in the excitement. Her squeaky toy has been unused as has the tug rope. I hope to get her interested in those later as it's hard to put a consequence on poor behavior this way.
Anyway, thanks for your time and I'll be around looking for tips and advice! I look forward to the responses.
L3 & Beatrix