Yesterday was Wedge’s first birthday!
I can’t believe our tiny 15 pound puppy has turned into this 100 pound giant. He’s still very much a puppy in behavior, but looks like a grown up dog. Personally, I’m hoping he doesn’t get much bigger, but who knows.
Surprising things out our first year with Wedge:
- He only barks at the doorbell or if there are dogs barking on TV. Otherwise he does this funny whine-talk, a bit like huskies. He’s very sassy with his whines, so he fits in here just fine.
- Potty training went surprisingly well. Granted, I took him out almost every hour at the beginning. But he was sleeping through the night within a week of getting him, and hasn’t had an accident in 6 months.
- He is the least alpha dog I’ve ever seen. He goes belly up to our neighbor’s Chihuahuas, and the one time another dog tried to attack him, he didn’t even defend himself. Which I’d rather have that than the other way around!
- He’s pretty good about not chewing things he shouldn’t, with a few exceptions: socks, shoes, and [weirdly] headphones.
- He’s not quite as snuggly as some dogs. From what I’ve read, it’s a breed thing: shepherds and working dogs aren’t always interested in cuddling the way other breeds are. He does love being on the couch with us (a recent development), and prefers for us to all be in the same room.
- Wedge doesn’t have much endurance. We haven’t run with him very much (way too cold here in OK for that mess), but when we do, a 1/2 mile will tire him out for the rest of the day. Playing fetch for 20 minutes works too. We’ll work our way up with the running, but it’s also nice to know we’ve got a sure-fire way to wear him out quickly.
- That being said, I walk him MILES every day. Minimum two, usually three on weekdays and more on weekends. Not all at once, but we’re outside a lot and I’m very attuned to the weather now that we walk twice a day.
- Wedge is a total pushover and just wants to love people, but his breed means he looks fierce at first glance. As a puppy, strangers would rush up to snuggle him, but now they always ask. I don’t mind strangers petting him, but if you rush up I make no guarantees about keeping him from jumping all over you in happiness.
- People nearly always challenge me when I say he’s a German Shepherd. “Really? A German Shepherd? He doesn’t look like one!” Yes, he’s a German. Technically he’s half Shiloh Shepherd, which is a long-haired variant of German Shepherds. But German Shepherds can be as furry as he is. If you’re having a bad day, just google German Shepherd puppies: instant therapy!
I know that having a dog is NOTHING like having a human child [Hello, potty training in a month]. But it has opened my eyes to some of the everyday normalcies that come with having someone else dependent on you for their basic needs. Making plans around them, or planning for dog sitting when traveling. The amount of times I’ve been 5 minutes late because I had to corral the dog before I left home and didn’t leave enough time is almost embarrassing. Again, I have the advantage of leaving him unsupervised when I need to run errands, unlike having kiddos.
We celebrated Wedge’s first birthday with some special toys and extra treats. Happy birthday Wedge!
All photos copyright Teaspoon of Nose