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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon!

Around eight months ago, our family of five took in a 6 week old German Shepherd, and the only name we could agree on was Rex. I did not really like the name at first given how common / famous / infamous it is, but in my eyes, he has more than earned it since then.

In our relatively brief time together, we have successfully tackled house training, biting, food guarding, jumping as a greeting, running out front through open doors, and quite a few other things. We are still working (but making great progress) on chasing the cats, and having some persistent trouble with food/garbage theft and nipping at the 5-year-old boy who terrorizes him whenever our backs our turned. To be fair, I would probably bite the kid, too.

Anyway, he is now nearly 90 lbs large, loves to wrestle nicely (never uses teeth) with everyone except for said 5-year-old, has a passion for tug of war, climbs mountains, chases cats, and runs from chihuahuas. He does not know a wide variety of commands, but the commands he does know should serve us all well to keep him and others safe. He is respectful enough to usually wait to be invited into the house, and he now obeys stay even with a wide open door to the super exciting front yard. If we tell him to leave something alone, he will do it, and he will drop virtually anything on command, including food. The one exception is food defiantly stolen out of the trash, which he generally makes me reach in and pry out of his mouth after trying to sneak it into his time-out crate.

I am here to get a better understanding of my dog and what I can do to help him grow up to be a healthy member of the family, a productive member of the family, and an appreciated member of the family. I often see in people a firm belief that every dog deserves to be appreciated simply for being their wonderful self, and while that is certainly true, I do not feel that sort of appreciation compares to also appreciating a dog for something more substantial. How would you feel toward a lazy/flaky spouse who you love, compared to one you love just as much but also know you will always be able to count on? Well, if my dog were a spouse (man that sounds crazy!), I would want it to be the latter... and not just for my family's sake, but for the Rex's sake as well. It is always good to feel justifiably appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Attached are some pictures... the one in the shower is about two months ago, and the one on the mountain is quite a bit further back. He has gained a lot of weight since then!
 

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Welcome! Your Rex is a a handsome boy. Your training philosophy is interesting.
 
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