Willow at the check station
I have been posting a lot on here lately because my adopted 3-year-old GSD Willow, whom I've had for about 10 weeks now, was showing some fear aggression and then came down with a bad case of diarrhea....between that, her going into heat 4 days after I got her, and then me having to spay her, we've kinda been through the ringer in a short time.
Anyway I was REALLY nervous about what I was gonna do with her this weekend, which is the first of 6 weekends I have to spend operating a busy big game check station as part of my job (10-12 hour days). Given that she barks aggressively, is scared of everyone, and kinda nervous/anxious in general, I just had no idea what she was gonna do...
She did AWESOME!!!
The first day was really cold and snowy so after introducing her to all my volunteers (university and high school students who get credit for helping), during which she did bark at some of them at first but chilled out pretty quickly, I ended up keeping her in her crate in the truck for most of the day. I let her out periodically to run around in the big field behind the trailer and chase sticks and toys and kinda wander around. I had a long line tied to a telephone pole but since the weather was so nasty I didn't want her to get soaking wet.
The second day was cold but sunny and beautiful, so she hung out on her long line most of the day, though I sometimes put her in the front seat of the truck so she could watch the goings on. A few times she got really nervous with everybody milling around, especially if I was out of her sight, but she had plenty of room to back off and hide if she wanted to and that seemed to be her go-to strategy when she was overwhelmed. I think a few times she was probably just tired so I put her back in the crate for a nap, and she'd be better when she came back out.
She seemed to do really well in her crate. She was exhausted yesterday since she didn't sleep much, but both nights when I brought her home she got the full-on zoomies in the backyard. I guess she does it for stress release. Can't blame her. :-)
But yeah, nobody got bit, she barked at only a few people. Just so you know, I was SUPER watchful when she was first meeting people, ready to pull her away/put her in the truck if she was showing any signs that she might bite. Nothing. She did do the snap-at-your-backside to one girl one time, but then, she does that to me too when she's excited....and she was on the leash at the time.
Also, her diarrhea is gone...vet gave us metronidazole on Thursday evening and I never saw diarrhea again. My best guess is she had a giardia infection. She's still on the metro, so hopefully the diarrhea doesn't come back as soon as she goes off the meds. The vet also gave us Drontal as a just-in-case dewormer, and Fortiflora probiotics that I plan on feeding her for a while even after she goes off the meds.
Oh and yeah, totally in the market for a new vet now. Several people thought it was odd that they gave me meds sight unseen without even doing a fecal test. Hopefully the good vet in town will start taking new patients soonish...
Anyway, I'm just really happy it worked out how it did. Also we did start training on Friday, doing basic things like learning markers and "yes" vs. "good". She's doing awesome. I really think the problem was me....I thought she was worse than she was, and had all these expectations based on my friends' dogs (who all happen to be like UBER-social and friendly), but ya know, as long as she doesn't bite anyone, she doesn't have to love everyone.
We still have a long way to go but I'm feeling really optimistic today.
FYI: Willow got to smell 73 elk, 5 white-tailed deer, 2 mule deer, and 1 black bear. :-)
Last edited by banzai555; 10-28-2019 at 05:13 PM.