|12-28-2013 06:36 PM|
Cujo was a big boy. And my parents were in their mid sixties when I gave them the puppy. They live alone, so nice quiet house, except Thanksgiving and Christmas when it goes from two older people, to 28 people of every age and size.
Cujo came home 2 weeks before his first Christmas when he was about 14 to 16 weeks old, born August 10, so 4 months old.
The following October, my sister got her daughters, who were 9 months and 1 year old. The dog was a HUGE puppy with zero exposure to babies, and only the previous Christmas's exposure to children -- 1 crazy day.
But Mom was insistent that the boy be allowed to roam the house, babies or no babies. We had a pet yard... for the babies. They had their toys in there, and that was their safe place in the middle of the living room. They liked playing in there, but when they had had enough of that, they had to venture out with Cujo. And Cujo had to learn some stuff. For example, Analisa was not afraid of him at all. She wanted to go in Grandma's room and he kept herding her out of there. She would turn right around and try to go back in. He had to learn that she was allowed to go and see Grandma. Elena on the other hand was not too fond of dogs. She liked Pip who was old and white, small, and quiet. But she was afraid of Cujo. Cujo did not help matters, he knocked her down, put a paw on her and would not let her up. Uhg! Cujo had to learn to be careful with Elena and that he was not allowed to pin her to the ground.
The babies were not walking when we got them. The learned to walk, and Analisa would put her hand on Cujo's butt and he would walk slowly through the house with her following. He would wait for her and turn his head back.
During this time, Elena's face would light up at the mention of going to Grandma's House. She would smile when we asked her if she wanted to see Grandma and Grandpa. She would smile when we asked about Pip. She would frown when we mentioned Cujo.
But we persisted. And Cujo learned. And Pip died. And before long, both girls referred to Cujo as their dog. And my other sister then had her first. Her dad was Anti-GSD and even told me in one of his drunk states that he would kill every dog in my kennel if Cujo bit him.
The pet yard was set up again in the living room. And my little sister and her husband were not as forgiving/laid back as my older sister. But Cujo was an experienced baby-dog now. When the bigger girls came over he let them cover him up in blankets, and would get so excited. He loved playing with them. He followed them upstairs, and was always careful on the steps with them.
When Lisa's little girl was over, he was often the recipient of some sharp and undeserved words. It was not until the second baby was born and the one year old spent a LOT of time with Mom and Dad, that her father came over one day and saw her interacting with Cujo and was a changed man.
Cujo did meet Gwennie before he passed last year. And Gwennie does remember him, which is kind of remarkable. She's almost three now, but those first two years she was not out much at all.
You can hide the big rambunctious puppy in the room when the relatives come over, or you can teach the puppy to be careful and gentle around people. In seven short years Cujo had won over every person in our family. Even my dad's older half-brother's wife who was in her eighties when she came for the only visit -- they sent us pictures of her on the porch with him -- big crazy dog, but careful and gentle all the same to babies, elderly people, and people who were fearful of the breed.
GSDs are not a dog that will be happy crated away from the people. Train him to OFF, and train him to DOWN. But if the people WANT to see the dog, use them.
|12-28-2013 12:27 PM|
My parents along with my brother and his wife come every Christmas and Thanksgiving. I always keep Cruz kenneled because my parents are in thier 80's and my brother and his wife are in thier 60's and none have great agility anymore.
Every time they come by I get the "where is Cruz?" question. Each time we tell them he's a 2 month old GSD in a full grown GSD's body and he plays rough. He would get someone hurt if let loose to visit. They don't understand the power of this dog and his relentless personality.
Well. This Christmas, I decided as they were leaving, I would bring Cruz out. As my sister-in-law wanted to see him as she hasn't seen him for months. She kept asking to see him. We told her the best way would be to say hi to him while in his crate. She never made it into the room to do this so I brought him out as they were all leaving.
Needless to say, the looks on thier faces, at least my brother and his wife were priceless as they took in how big and crazy he was. I brought him out and kept him atop the stairs as everyone was puting on thier coats to leave. They were almost leaning backwards and thier eyes were as big as half dollars. They almost seemed to be in a hurry to leave now. Except for my parents. My mom decided to start talking to him, which he just loved. He almost turned inside out.
I guess you should be careful what you ask for, cause in this case, my sister-in-law found out we were not just bragging on his size and personality. Somehow I just don't think she took us at our word until she seen him first hand.
|12-28-2013 12:03 AM|
MyHans- Her face was priceless, I'd been putting on my shoes and I heard tha classic jaw snapping sound and see her with these big eyes and going "He just took it right out of my hand" and her checking to make sure all the fingers were there and she wasn't in shock. That's what she gets for sneaking him pretzels and bites of the donut before, now he's a donut fiend and took one off the counter the other day.
I'm sure your boy has a wonderful life!
llombardo- That sounds too cute, I'm sure your niece loves getting to do it
howlk9- Whaddyano mine was breeding Rottie's. He seems to at least have knowledge on them and stopped when he had one come out outside of breeding standard which is more than I can say for most. I'm rather...vocal when he starts in on my dog. After he terrified Vader by being overly stern and jerking on his prong he was no longer allowed to hold him on a leash at all even if I tied my shoe.
Gretchen- I'm glad Molly has nothing serious with her knee, I'm surprised no one has said that about Vader's initial health problems though I was told by numerous people they'd have just put him down and not paid for his intestinal surgeries. I got the "We could have bought 10 dogs with that money" speech.
Merciel- You're better than I. We actually had one of those Golden's pop up in my area about 6 months ago at the local rescue. I only have 2 relatives with the dog issues. My younger sister actually listens while I lecture on not picking up 5 week old puppies out of boxes at people's houses and why Gravy Train is not an acceptable food no matter what these highly educated puppy giver-awayers say. The pitties in this state are astounding, that Golden really was lucky he wasn't another breed with an owner that hadn't trained it.
|12-27-2013 10:11 PM|
In my opinion most of my relatives feed their dogs crappy food, don't invest enough time or energy into training them, don't do enough to give them novel experiences and mental stimulation, etc. etc. to infinity.
I do my best to bite my tongue, but sweet holy jeebus there are some disastrous dog owners in my extended family. One of my maternal aunts totally failed to train her Golden Retriever puppy and when it unsurprisingly grew up to act like a totally untrained Golden Retriever adolescent, she dumped it at the pound (where, luckily, I imagine the fact of its being a purebred Golden managed to trump its size, energy, and lack of training, and so it most likely wound up in a better home. Woe to that puppy if it had been a mutt or a pittie, though!).
What's extra special is when these people come to me asking for help adopting a dog. (Did I mention that the aunt who dumped that puppy also never bothered to deworm it? Yeah, that poor dog had a belly bulging with worms at seven months old. I was really excited when she asked me about adopting a small non-shedding [of course] pocket dog, let me tell you.)
I've learned to smile, nod, and just keep drinking whenever the subject of dogs comes up anywhere around me.
|12-27-2013 09:49 PM|
No we don't really have to deal with relatives and our dogs.
My husband and I have banished ourselves from our families.
Two weeks ago my BIL stopped by our office and told him that Molly's knee was acting up, we had to limit activity. He goes into this rant about how GSD's are all over bred this is why she has this problem. I told him torn ligaments happen in lots of breeds or mixes, he just keeps on putting my choices down. I was thinking - OK you just dropped off my Christmas card list, I will no longer discuss animal related things with you. My BIL also likes to terrorize our cats when he comes over, so he is seldom over anymore.
Took Molly to the ortho vet yesterday. So far nothing serious in her knee, the vet wants to take a wait and see approach. There were some darling dogs in the waiting room with more serious problems and I thought, I'm so glad my BIL is not here, because he would tell all these amazing animal lovers that their dogs were ill-bred - that is why they are at the vet today.
|12-27-2013 09:13 PM|
Darth, we must have the same uncle. lol. My elderly crank-and-yank uncle was a horrible byb of GSDs for years and never missed a chance to tell me how I was too soft, didn't understand dogs, couldn't handle dogs, etc. even when the dogs weren't around.
Eventually, I had a talk with his wife about his behavior and who may not be invited to the next family get-together and the critiques stopped.
|12-27-2013 09:09 PM|
|llombardo||My dad is famous for feeding the dogs, then when they bark at him, he looks surprised. I have to watch him. Whenever they surround him I know he's up to no good. He looks like a little kid that caught with his hand in the cookie jar. My oldest was barking at him persistently and of course I sat down next to him so he couldn't give her anything. I just turned and looked at him and said "you know your busted, right?"..he smiled that sheepish smile and it made me smile. Holidays aren't that often and I don't have a problem with it. I do make sure that nothing I serve has bones in it, that makes me nervous. My niece who is now 7 spends all her time training the dogs..she puts them in a sit/stay and does front with them. She does it just like me, so I let her go for it and the dogs listen to her, which thrills her.|
|12-27-2013 09:06 PM|
OH, but *I* mind!
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|12-27-2013 09:02 PM|
My Mom just made the comment over Christmas as to how she wished my GSD could have a better life. Huh??
I adopted him as an unruly adult who spent all of his time in a kennel. Pretty much anything beyond that would have to be some life improvement, wouldn't it?
He gets to go just about everywhere with me and he loves riding.
We have trained, trained and trained. He enjoys training (thank goodness).
We walk several times a day. We play ball or tug everyday.
His food quality is vastly improved and he gets raw meaty bones, which he loves.
So what am I missing here? Then it dawned on me! He isn't FREE, lol.
I guess everyone's perceptions of quality differ. I think Hans would tell you he's enjoying life a lot, in spite of pesky relatives.
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|12-27-2013 08:44 PM|
Our issue was with proper greetings. We are trying are darnedest to teach the humans in our life that Ziva "must" sit calmly to be greeted. Our young adult kids love her so much and can't have pets themselves. Our youngest just loves to let her get away with the whole jumpy/zoomie/circling total acting like a monkey behavior. Our best friend loves to enter and bend and use the high pitched voice. Only my oldest daughter gets it. She totally ignores Ziva until she calms down and her husband thankfully doesn't let her jump on him.
I do get tired of hearing "it's ok, she's just a puppy". Really? Hmmm...well if you keep it up she will be an obnoxious adult before you know it.
More often than not I had to leash her for greetings and I got a rash of crap for it. I just smiled and said "Merry Christmas!"
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