Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Family Member

As you know from previous posts, Elvis finally succumbed to his cancer. After a month I was finally able to talk my husband into checking out a German Shepherd pup. He's always wanted a GSD, but different things popped up. Like Elvis. But this was his chance. He was grieving as badly as I over our loss, but in an effort to save his sanity from my nagging, he gave in. We took Cocoa with us, just to make sure they got along okay.

The breeder was wonderful! She introduced us to a calm, well adjusted pup who was not too terribly excited about anything. While outside, he loved to eat the goat droppings (ick!). He wandered around, checked us out, then followed us all into the house to view a video of his dam and sire working. We got to see his dam in person, who was NOT too happy to see strangers with her pup! Oh my! Jethro is gonna be a big puppy!!!

Cocoa wasn't interested in the pup, and he wasn't too interested in her, either. And when we decided to take him home, Cocoa REALLY wasn't happy! We coaxed Jethro into the car, and the poor baby road the entire way from the breeder's house to ours (3 hours) on the floorboards!

Jethro is now 6 months old, almost 7, and smarter than both of the humans in the house! Where Elvis didn't mind the 3' dividing fence down the middle of the yard, Jethro hates it, mostly when it keeps him from me. Did I mention he's a mama's boy? Oh yes! At first, he climbed over the fence, and dropped down the other side. He injured his shoulder doing that! And scraped up his back leg. He could easily break a leg doing this! So I decided we needed to work on this immediately.

We worked for an hour in drizzle, me trying to leave thru the back gate, Jethro jumping the fence, me leading him back. At first I would say "No! Bad dog!". After a while I stopped talking, just gave him the cold shoulder as I led him back to his side of the fence. Did this work? Nope.

It only took Jethro 2 minutes to figure this out after watching me demonstrate. Did I mention he was a smart pup??

Next up: remote controlled shock collar. After getting "bit" by the collar a couple of times for jumping the fence, he would still go over. But it lead to another problem: every time he saw the collar (you NEVER leave it on your pet all the time!), he started shutting down, crawling in under the piano, or behind the couch. After only a couple of days, once he saw the collar, you couldn't do anything else with him. So it was returned to the store.

So you think you can outthink me? Bwahahahahaha!

Third idea: electric fence. I got a low power electric fence box, some stab-in-the-ground fence posts, wire, a rebar, and some plastic holders, and hubby and I set up the circuit about a foot out from the regular fence. We know it worked, because Jethro touched it. Twice. Once down by his regular jumping spot, and once up on the deck. What happened? He sat down, looked at the wire for a few seconds. Then he walked out to the middle of his yard and took a running start at the fence, clearing it and the wire by more than a foot. It was beautiful at the same time as it was disappointing. Sigh. Back to the store to return most of the stuff.

So now we are resigned to the fact that we will NOT be having a picket fence separating the dog yard from the garden/people yard like we had wanted. If we had listened to all the research we did on GSDs, we would have known from the beginning that the 6' fence was the only way to go. But we just didn't want to put in a 6' fence! Well, what we want, and what we NEED are three different things. Until we have that fence, if I want to visit my neighbors behind us, I have to put Jethro in the house. Maybe when he gets older he'll be better about it, but then....I've always heard once a mamma's boy, always a mamma's boy.

1 comment:

  1. Jethro's a handsome dog! Atticus is still a mamma's boy, and he's five.