DUTCH

Currently enroute to his foster home..please check back for more info & photos
  

UDATE: This is one handsome Dude! Dutch is now comfortably ensconced at his foster's home, busy checking things out. He's still recovering from a recent neuter surgery and not too thrilled when having to wear his E-collar. He is also showing early signs of kennel cough, aka shelter crud, and is already being treated with antibiotics.

Our impressions are very premature and likely to change in time but for now he appears to be very confident and self assured. He's been relatively quiet save for a 'hurumph' when the gardener was at the screen door.

He has not marked in the house..yet.. and he seems to prefer a spot indoors where he can keep his keen eyes on his surroundings, over a cushy bed.

Dutch came from a pack of GSDs so his new environment is probably quite different for him. He seems not to have had any training..not even sit...so we will give him time to feel better before putting him to work. We will also be trying commands in several languages to make sure we're not just on a different page.


 
 

He has not shown any aggression, has allowed us to inspect him all over, has not shown any interest in a ball. He was alert yet neutral with other dogs at the shelter; we will be doing more dog testing as well. Leash work will begin once he's a bit more settled in..it's been only 24 hrs. He is crate trained, appears to be housebroken, UTD with vaccinations and chipped.

Stay tuned for updates as we get to know this beautiful boy.

UPDATE: What follows is a recent update from Dutch's foster Mom. While he has certainly made progress, we have yet to see a photo of him 'smiling'...OH, to have been a fly on the wall; what has this sweet boy experienced that has him 'apologizing' so much?

We usually attribute a lack of the typical GSD animated personality coupled with no interest in toys, etc. to sensory deprivation. Dogs that we describe as "flat" have had little to no regular human interaction or attention. They have lived outside or been kenneled or isolated most of their lives or might have had only other dogs for companionship. It is also possible that Dutch misses his pack which always has a strong leader that directs all of its' members every move, so he's quite uncertain as to where his place is now.

It is always incredibly rewarding to see them blossom..just like a flower..and start to become curious and playful. It does, however, take time and patience. And we certainly have plenty of that for him.

Dutch no longer parks in the middle of the room so he can patrol at 360 degrees..he's found the comfort of his beds and is clearly more relaxed.

Hey Steff , Just a few observations to keep you posted on Dutch boy’s progress.

As I mentioned he had no obedience training when he arrived but he is very smart and picking things up quickly, he has sit, down, place, and heel down pat and has only needed very soft corrections with his martingale. He is sometimes slow to act on a command and lags behind occasionally during walks but I think it’s a combination of insecurity and limited physical activity, I should have him over that in a week or so and we will move on to stay and stand.

I have taken him on several errands with me, he’s still not crazy about car rides but he’s getting better. We have been to PetSmart, the farmers market, Costco, Dutch Bro’s coffee shop for caffeine, Barnes and Noble to stimulate our minds, and of course the park, no inappropriate behavior.

He also went to the groomer and Amber said he was wonderful, even with is nails.

He still acts like he is in trouble during training, I hope this goes away soon. Knowing the rules will build his confidence but it is so sad to see him hang his head even when he does the right thing and is being praised.

He is a joy to be around and although his obedience is limited his manners make up for it. He is gentle, kind, and careful. No marking on furniture inside or out. No jumping, barking, mouthy behavior, or pushy stuff. Now that he knows sit, he does it all the time for attention and will bury his head in my lap every hour or so for hugs.

Nikki (our Tucson director) insisted that I find something ‘bad’ about him soooo...

...While washing and recovering his bedding I caught him picking at some of the foam. I told him no and he stopped immediately (good dog). Then he got tired of waiting for me to recover the batting on his bed and decided it was good enough.

   
what's a little foam nibbling Sorry..can't wait for the cover I guess it was worth waiting for afterall

I included a photo at the groomer ...... I’m still working on a good head shot but he is not cooperating…..


Oh my, he lost his ears at the groomers!

Up until now we have been speculating as to why Dutch is who he is; we have since learned that, what we thought, was exactly the case. He was part of a 4 dog pack, all adult litter mates, which included two other males and one female. One of the other males repeatedly pinned Dutch to the ground, constantly demonstrating dominance over him. Even the female pushed him around...he was bullied. He responded with submission, a plea of "please don't hurt me, I'm sorry." Which is just what he is doing when uncertain as to whether or not he got it 'right' with his new human..dropping his head, avoiding eye contact..submitting.

The isolation was there as well. He was either left outside or when indoors, was immediately put in a crate..an ongoing rotation to keep the dogs separated. Mix in no socialization, no training, no time and Dutch, essentially had no life.

He is already showing sparks of interest and curiosity..he is a quick study. This week he grabbed a chewy off the shelf at PetSmart and carried it all the way to the check out. He was definitely excited to get it home...a first! He's starting to slowly respond to his environment and finally became very tuned in on a feral cat running through the yard!

This coming weekend, we have set up a play date for Dutch, with a playful, typically joyful, exuberant and well trained Labrador who belongs to a staff member. We're eager to see his response and if he will play. Regardless, Dutch will be learning that leadership is NOT about dominance. Please check back to see how he did......

Next month is all about building: confidence and muscle.

NOTES FROM THE PARK: Dutch had a play date last weekend, with Bella, our recently adopted senior gal, and Hauser, the male Labrador.

First, he spent some one-on-one time with Hauser prior to Bella's arrival. His tail wagged enthusiastically as he approached, then sniffed every inch of of the submissive Labrador. He seemed eager to interact, however, did not actually drop into play posture. One thing is clear; Dutch is neutral with dogs unfamiliar to him, even a non threatening male. Bella, on the other hand, is a very confident older female and based on her pack position, would be considered Alpha. There were no real conflicts and Dutch did not force his presence upon her by keeping a respectful distance. He did offer his displeasure with his less than friendly greeting with some low key vocalizations.


MEETING BELA


DUTCH & BELLA SHOULDER TO SHOULDER

The real take away from this gathering was the degree to which Dutch has started to engage with strangers and his environment. He was obviously thrilled to be around people and activity in a social setting.

For us, the change in his expression was most welcomed and long awaited.


NO LONGER A WORRIED LOOK

German Shepherd Dogs are very expressive..you might say that they wear their emotions on their 'sleeve'. The serious and more intense look on Dutch's face since he arrived had us concerned; it seemed to say, "I'm uncertain..not real comfortable and somewhat sad", as though he were waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We have been eagerly watching for a sign of that classic "smile" ..a true indicator of his comfort level.


Week one

After two weeks

While it's not a a 'laughing out loud' look, it IS a total change in his demeanor..... .......the flower is opening.....

Next weekend Hauser, a pretty passive guy who simply does not wish to "rock the boat," will be visiting Dutch on Dutch's turf for some backyard hangin out.

Dutch & Hauser did get together in Dutch's yard last weekend and much to our delight, Dutch dropped into play posture! We're hoping Hauser can get Dutch interested in toys next time.

UPDATE: A few weeks ago, despite the very positive changes in Dutch's demeanor, we were still concerned as to why he might be lagging behind on walks; he was not limping or demonstrating any pain but we needed to know. We had already done a complete physical on him; his heart and lungs were fine, thus we knew he wasn't just "running out of steam".

He saw an orthopedist and had a full set of X-rays on both elbows and forelimbs taken. Dutch has bi-lateral elbow dysplasia and the arthritis resulting from it not being addressed when he was younger. While the Doc was not able to illicit any pain response, the recommendation was to leave it alone and treat for any pain or discomfort. We inquired about the possibility of scoping him, a laparoscopic, less invasive procedure to sort of 'clean up' the elbow, but were advised against it. Doc said that would still create scar tissue which would do more harm than good. Meanwhile, since Dutch has been on an anti-inflammatory, he's been bouncing around...literally....jumping, running, playing and hiking as though he had a new lease on life. Clearly, he is quite the stoic fella. We wanted to be sure there wasn't more we could do for him so we made an appointment with another well respected orthopedic surgeon for a 2nd opinion. Dr Dixon offered the same advice. Both specialists that Dutch saw remarked that he had the best temperament of ANY GSD they had ever handled. Dr Dixon even hit the floor to play with him while declaring, "I would not and have not ever done this with another German Shepherd". He even called 2 other doctors into the exam room to meet Dutch and to see how handsome and easy going he is. They were rewarded with a face full of licks.

Dutch will be on anti inflammatory drugs for life. They should be switched to another med periodically to avoid any issues. His long term prognosis is very good; it is probable that when he is older, Gabapentin will likely be added to his regimen. His foster Mom has contacted a friend with a pool for when the warmer weather kicks in as swimming would be great for him, as well as low impact exercise. We would like his forever home to have a pool as well; we have seen the positive affects of swimming regularly with such conditions.

Dutch weighs 86 lbs, he is a big dog on the thin side as it is best to keep him trim which is less stress on his elbows. He is also a much lower key guy than your average 4yo GSD; he's up for whatever you are, yet entirely comfortable just hanging out at home watching TV. He's quiet and will check in for an ear rub periodically as GSDs love contact with their person and Dutch is no different in that regard.

This golden boy is vaccinated, chipped, crate and house trained, neutered, friendly with dogs and people. Living with cats are unknown, however, he has gone nose to nose with a feral cat in his yard, without incident. Older kids preferred.

Adoption fee $335.00.

 HOW TO ADOPT OUR DOGS - REQUIRED READING