Just adopted an 11 month old GSD - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Just adopted an 11 month old GSD

I have been using forums my entire adult life to learn and share information with/from others. I am pleased to find a forum dedicated to these beautiful dogs so I could share my story and stories to come.

My name is Jared and me and my family live in Stanwood Washington My wife (Tina) and my 11 year old daughter and I just adopted "Jake" from CASA (Camano Animal Shelter Association). CASA is out on Camano Island and about 10 minutes from our home. Jake is 11 months old and is an AKC registered GSD. Although they did have his papers on hand, they are being destroyed as is the policy of the shelter.

Sadly we buried our 13 yr old Cocker Spaniel/Rat Terrier mix "Billie Jean" this last Wednesday. She had some medical issues compounded by a recent stroke and rather than have her suffer we decided to put her to sleep. This although being really hard for me, was the best course of action to take. Friday after work I started doing an online search at the local shelters for another barker.

A little background...... although I have never owned a GSD in my adult life (I'm 37) I grew up with them as my father has almost always had one. I am familiar with the breeds temperament and the extra work that can be required with the breed........ especially when you own a male GSD.

We signed the papers for him and paid the adoption fee today and will bring him home after work on Wednesday. Tomorrow he is being dropped off at the vet to be neutered, chipped, and an overall wellness checkup. His previous owner took very good care of him and they handed over all of his paperwork and medical records when they surrendered him to the shelter. Apparently they just didn't have the time to spend properly training him..... which is too bad because he seems very intuitive.

My first meeting with Jake was on Saturday morning as soon as the shelter opened. As I figured would happen he just pretty much barked at me for the first 5 minutes and had a ton of anxiety. At one point he attempted to jump 3 feet through a closed viewing window. He started to settle down and took up residence on a bench under the window and that is when I went to work with him.

I spent probably 20 minutes just walking towards and then away from him bouncing a tennis ball the entire time. After it got to the point where he wasn't constantly focused on me, while still bouncing the ball I would offer him a treat. Initially he wouldn't take them...... and it went like that for a few more minutes. Eventually he did take a treat from me and I just continued that back and forth motion bouncing the ball and offering a treat when I reached him. I think I gave him 5 of these little venison jerky treats during this walking back and forth. My last time back towards him I stroked him behind the ears and walked away. He was paying attention to me again for sure now. Walked back towards him with a treat and sat down next to him on the bench. He took the treat, then stuck his nose in my ear and tried to lick my brains out...... then he did it to the other side (I guess to even them out) and was bouncing and running all around my lap.

Success! Went ahead and threw the tennis ball for him for about 15-20 more minutes and decided it was time to go. The gals working the desk were impressed by the fact he warmed up to me at all as there had been 3 other families come see him and they didn't really make any progress....... but that didn't stop them from filling out adoption papers for him..... go figure. I told them he could be kenneled and that I would be back in a few hours. I came back as promised and the dog from the initial encounter was completely transformed. He tried to knock me over when I came back through the door into the yard!! I put a leash on him and took him for a short walk and was encouraged by the fact that he had obviously spent some time on a leash...... but he needed a little more work. He is after all still a young dog.

Fast forward to today. Initially it was just my wife and I that went to see him this morning. He was completely indifferent to my wife and warmed up to her almost immediately. Decided the next step needed to be a meet and greet with our other dog "Harley". Harley is also 13 like Billie Jean but is full blooded Cocker....... all black....... and he's a lot of fun to trip over in the middle of the night. I stayed with Jake while Tina drove back home to pick up our daughter and Harley and they had a really good meeting. Jake wanted to play, Harley wanted to play, and at that point ALL of our minds were made up...... including the girls at the shelter. We got bumped to the top of the list and signed the papers and paid the fee. Jake is already reacting as I am the authority figure. After the butt sniffing and bouncing around during the meet and greet, Jake laid down at my feet and would just glance up at me from time to time whist us humans were talking amongst ourselves.

I am really excited for Wednesday. I will be sure to let everyone know about his initial encounter with his new home and am happy to be a new GSD owner.

Jared
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 11:43 PM
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Sorry about your loss of Billy-Jean. Jake sounds like a good fit, congratulations!
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 12:15 AM
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Congratulations! Sounds like Jake has found a perfect forever home and your family has found a new companion.

I'm just curious why the shelter is not letting you have his AKC papers. He will be neutered so you won't be able to breed him. Having his papers would allow you to easily participate in AKC events such as obedience, tracking, agility etc. if you wanted. You still can with a PAL registration but why not just let you have the original papers. I'm sure they have a reason, just wondering what it would be?

And welcome to the forum!!!

Ziva 03.07.2013
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:44 AM
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Handsome dog! I'm glad you found each other! Sorry for your loss of Billy Jean.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springbrz View Post
Congratulations! Sounds like Jake has found a perfect forever home and your family has found a new companion.

I'm just curious why the shelter is not letting you have his AKC papers. He will be neutered so you won't be able to breed him. Having his papers would allow you to easily participate in AKC events such as obedience, tracking, agility etc. if you wanted. You still can with a PAL registration but why not just let you have the original papers. I'm sure they have a reason, just wondering what it would be?

And welcome to the forum!!!
I'm not sure why they HAVE to destroy them as he is being altered. Apparently she wasn't even supposed to divulge that information. I think it has to do with privacy concerns as I am sure his last owners name is probably on the paperwork. I have considered pressing for more information or if I could possibly view the papers before they are shredded.

They are funny about privacy laws here in Washington state as well.

Jared
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:07 AM
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Congratulations on your handsome boy!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 08:48 AM
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Welcome and Congrats-Sounds like you know the breed and how to handle dogs in general. It's great to hear about a rescue that lands in a great situation ---Jake's a lucky dog. Once again congrats too you and your family !
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 12:03 PM
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Obviously Jake knows a good thing when he sees it!
So glad you found each other.
Best wishes for success in the transition at home.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your condolences regarding Billie Jean. She was a good dog and is certainly missed. I struggle with the thought if there was anything else we could have done for her.

I am looking forward to bringing Jake home. During our interactions (when he was paying attention) he knows Come, Sit, Shake, and is house-broken and kennel trained. "Stay" seemed to escape him....... there was a lot going on around us though so he may know it...... he will learn it regardless lol. I'm pretty excited and couldn't help but share his picture with a few guys at work. He is a handsome boy.

Anyways all, thanks for your support and kind words. I will be back on Wednesday/Thursday to give an update on his initial transition.

Jared
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Decided to change my wake-up alarm since I have a new pup to walk in the morning. Hence the early post.

His first day at home went as well as I could have hoped for. I am considering changing his name to David Copperfield...... he made my cats vanish!! I have high hopes that maybe one day they will get along....... but for the moment the cats are just eyeballs under my bed. The nice thing is we have a sliding glass door in our bedroom out to the deck so they have a way in and out of the house without doggie confrontation.

As I remember and as my father reiterated to me........ I have a new trip hazard! He wants to be in whatever room I am in.

My cocker Harley stands his ground with him which is pretty funny to watch. It's like watching Gary Coleman scream at Arnold Schwarznegger.

Jake seems to have an issue with my Macaw. I have a 19 year old Ruby Macaw that is very rarely ever in her cage and I had to lock her up yesterday as any movement she was making was sending Jake into a frenzy. HE CAN almost reach the top of the cage. He calmed down as the day went on. I am hoping with some continued discipline he will eventually ignore her.

Got him in his kennel last night and after about 10min of grumbling and whining he settled down and drifted off to sleep.

I half considered taking him to work with me and kenneling him in the SUV between breaks..... I abandoned that Idea but may re-visit that in the spring time.

After work today I am going to take him to pet-co to pick out some chew toys. The one tennis ball we could find is now in 2 pieces.

All in all, he has his full throttle moments and is mellow the rest of the time. He shows absolutely no fear or signs of aggression. He did bark at my daughter when she got off the bus. He was on his leash and I took him to the ground. After some hand sniffing and ear rubbing he was fine again and at times was following her around the house.

More to report later!!

Jared
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