6 Month Update

Hello again. I just wanted to post an update as Archer approaches his 6 month mark. He continues to impress, and grow. He’s nearly 55lbs and doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon. My friends and family are all taking bets… I’m putting my money on 95lbs when all is said and done, but time will tell. Once Archer’s shots were completed we started going to the local dog park and he loves it. He’s also a pretty steady customer at doggie day care on the days when I can’t get back to let him out. His socialization is going very well. He’s not bothered by kids of any age, regardless of how “rough” they play, and didn’t even react when a friend’s 2 year old found their way into the room where he was eating and began pulling his tail and ears. And people say GSDs are dangerous!?

I must say, though, that Archer is easily the most vocal dog I have ever owned. He will whine to go out, moan when he’s bored, and complain when it’s time for me to wake up. But he doesn’t bark when I leave so that’s a plus. He’s proven himself enough that he no longer sleeps in the kennel, though that’s where he stays when I’m out of the house to prevent boredom from becoming destructive.

Last week he lost his final puppy tooth and is very much enjoying the strength of his adult teeth. He can now shred light rubber toys but hasn’t been able to beat the red Kong ball yet. If he ever does, it’ll be time to switch to the heavy duty black Kong. He recovered very quickly from his surgery, never requiring a “Cone of Shame” as he stopped playing with his stiches after only a few quick “No’s!” from me; which is awesome.

After staying at my folks for Christmas, I began to notice what everyone says when they tell you a GSD picks one person in the family as “theirs.” He’s extremely sweet and polite to everyone, but he really responds promptly to my commands, whereas my parents needed me to call him back often when he would look at them and go back to whatever he was doing.

He’s still enjoying 2-3 walks a day and experienced from serious outdoor hiking along the Appalachian Trail. He did great off leash and on whenever other people/pets were around. It catches me by surprise as he keeps getting bigger just how strong he has gotten in the last few weeks. Overall I couldn’t be happier with him and even when he’s being loud and looking for attention he’s still the best pup I’ve had. I’m sure there will be more to add later!

Archer’s Update (a.k.a. Gustav)

It’s been just short of 60 days since I first brought home Archer (the GSD formally known as Gustav). He is the first German Shepherd I have owned and the first puppy I have raised in nearly 10 years. I remember everyone telling me how great shepherds were, how they were incredibly smart, and that they were great family pets. I’ll admit I had high expectations for Archer given the reputation of the breed and having met some of his bloodline. Well, without a doubt, he exceeded those expectations quickly and greatly. The first time in the kennel he whined nearly continuously thought the night. The next night a while at first, and then only a few shorter periods the rest of the evening. By the third night he was whimpering only a few minutes when the door shut and then around 2am. By 7 days he didn’t make a sound when he was put to bed and was sleeping through te night entirely (7 hours). He picked up walking on the leash quite literally immediately, never so much as pulling or needing to be “drug” to get him to follow. Even now he walks just about at my heel most of the time and almost never pulling all the slack out of the line. Housebreaking was practically a non-event. He had less than a dozen accidents inside (and none in his kennel) before he had a strong handle on the fact that biting the leash that hung next to the front door was his ticket outside. After purchasing a radio/alarm clock, he no longer whimpers when I leave for work. Chewing furniture and electrical cords ended quickly after a few simple “No’s!” and directing his attention to his chew toys, and I was able to remove the kiddy gate blocking off the rest of the apartment from the living room where he stays a few weeks ago without incident. Archer has had plenty of opportunity to socialize with other pets and people during his 2-3 walk a day, while at doggie day care, or when we’re visiting family and friends. He plays very well with other dogs, is gentle with children of all ages, and doesn’t play bite for the most part anymore. Lately, he’s really begun to enjoy riding in the car and has been thrilled to explore new parks, pet stores, the great outdoors, and even been to work with me once or twice. Training has been fairly easy as well. He responds quickly to praise and treats, so much so that I never found the need to begin “clicker” training him as I thought I would at one point. He’s able to reliably speak, sit on command, high five with both paws, and lay down. We’re still working on coming when called consistently, and heeling to the left side when told to do so. Overall I couldn’t be happier with him and after almost two months already couldn’t imagine not having him around. Great dogs undoubtedly start with great breeders and working with Triple S Shepherds has been wonderful. Thanks again for such a spectacular animal!

 

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