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Tamarack


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Buggy whip toy would be really easy to make.....what a great idea. I have one of my daughters horse whips from riding many years ago....looks like it is going to get a new life. What fun! :lol:

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Hey Woodrat- sounds like a great excuse to teach the command "Drop" :P

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Hope he is much better now, things can happen so quickly! Shunka is no retriever either, throwing balls and sticks or whatever he has no inkling to go and get them, He watches the labradors and retrievers going to fetch them, He prefers to look for rabbits!

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Hah! He actually does know 'drop it'; we just like to play keep away sometimes simply because it's fun! If I try to sneak the thing away from him, it kicks his brain into gear and it becomes a puzzle that he has to figure out. Just one more layer to add to the teaser toy game! I did teach him the commands 'drop it' and 'tug!' a while ago so we could play tug o' war in a relatively organized manner that didn't give him the idea that he could try to grab things out of my hand whenever he wanted.

 

And he will retrieve - but he's no 'retriever.' He'll play for a while, I think mostly because it gives him an excuse to runrunrun, but after a time he'll get bored and be content to watch the object fly off into the distance LOL. And if there's anything more exciting going on around him, then forget it haha. This dog has a 2 second attention span.

 

This weekend my family went on a trip to New Jersey to visit some relatives and T came along for the ride. He ended up hitting it off right away with my cousins' enormous Cane Corso/Great Dane mix, and what fun it was watching them play! That dog is the only one I've ever seen be able to come even remotely close to wearing him out. T will play literally as long as the other dog will go on for, and Bono was certainly willing to oblige. I was a little concerned about letting T offleash in an unfamiliar area, but he again proved it to be a non issue. The two chased each other in circles around the yard for literally hours until Bono looked like he could barely stand, and then they rolled around on top of each other until Bono forgot he was tired and they ran in circles some more. We had quite a crowd of people standing around watching their antics. Too funny :P

 

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Some others from the weekend:

 

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and right after a bath (hence the extra floofy fur):

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The changes to his coat are a little less dramatic than Willow's, but they're making an appearance nevertheless. I love the silver ticking that's creeping up the sides of his cheeks/forehead and that creamy color that shows through in his neck ruff.

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He's so handsome! Willow also has a cream at the base of her hairs around her mane and tail, and her mask is darkening every day.

 

He looks like he is so much bigger than she is. She stands at 18.5in to the shoulder, and 27in butt to nose. I'm not quite sure what she weighs, but I'd guess between 25-30lbs. It looks like he is having a blast in these photos! Once again, great job with your aperture!

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What a great looking dog he is....I'm just so excited to be involved in the process & the forums here.....tell you what though...it's a real challenge waiting for this to come to pass hearing about all the stories & seeing all the pictures though. Can't wait to add mine....

 

We had a breakthrough here at the house; Ida is now a proud user of our treadmill.(I'll try to get some pictures)... We have been watching Cesar Millan's show on NatGeo for quite some time having implemented many of his techniques with our dogs over the years & I kept wanting to try to train her to use the machine but life seemed always to get in the way. Since there was time over the holiday season I spent several hours working the plan & she actually did a 20 minute session yesterday - OFF LEASH! I was stunned that it came so fast (she's a little skittish sometimes & I didn't expect her to catch on 'off leash' so fast.) We use the treadmill when the weather is particularly brutal here in Chicago as a supplement to the exercise plans (which are improving ) & I must say that it's had a very noticeable impact so far.

 

Anybody else use the treadmill for exercise supplement?

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We are lucky- we live in Oregon, so don't really need a treadmill.. LOL

And congrats on the off-leash work. :)

Isn't it amazing what investing a few hours a week into a dog can yield? :wub:

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It is....unfortunately we did become a little bit lazy in this respect for the last few years....they did have each other though so they were able to work out together in the back yard which they did regularly but as Elsy's health declined that did too.....it's nice though how quickly, even at 9 years old, things can change.

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Isn't it amazing what investing a few hours a week into a dog can yield? :wub:

 

Totally agree Star, These canines are so willing......well, sometimes they are a bit stubborn, due to human error, then it takes a few more hours of training for correction.

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I just ordered a buggy whip toy (not as ambitious as Star!), and saw that they have pumpkin treats, too. My dogs go crazy for them - we've gotten both the blueberry and sweet potato and they love them both.

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Anybody else use the treadmill for exercise supplement?

 

Draco (20 months old) actually enjoys running on the treadmill.

 

Wicca 8 1/2 months is a shy girl. When it starts making noises and moving, she's not so interested. But, then she sees Draco having fun, so it will just take some time & patience and she'll be on it, too.

 

Our record is about 15 minutes at above 2.5 mph. Top speed was in double figures but felt potentially dangerous -- at least in our physical situation.

 

It took some experimenting to find Draco's comfortable speeds and it changed constantly until he reached physical maturity. Some speeds were so "in between" his natural gait that he had trouble staying on it (I can relate.) and obviously was frustrated. But, when we found his speed, he settles in and just jogs/cantors/runs. I've got an unclear video somewhere that shows him smiling running next to Joan on the stationary bike. If I come across it, I'll post it.

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  • 2 months later...

Just another update!

 

Tamarack continues to do well, despite some minor setbacks. One being that he acquired a lovely wart on his lower lip that was confirmed to be an oral papilloma - nothing serious, but it is very contagious and as a result he hasn't been able to play with any other dogs for the past month. I guess it's pretty common in dogs under a year old as their immune systems aren't at full force yet and aren't always able to fight it off. It's kinda like chicken pox for dogs - once they get it they have immunity to it for the rest of their life. Luckily the thing is finally starting to shrivel up so I'm guessing we're in the home stretch here.

 

The other setback was T getting attacked by a boxer a few weeks ago. We were hiking up the local mountain and some numbskull was evidently trying to train his boxer to walk off leash by his side. I put T in a sit stay on the side of the trail to let the guy pass, but of course the dog didn't listen to his yelling and blundered right towards us. I distinctly remember thinking, 'wow this poor dog must have some kind of neurological problem' because it's head was twitching repeatedly to one side as it was trotting up to T. T got up to greet the dog, they touched noses and went to sniff each others' undersides at which point the boxer very abruptly flipped his lid and tried to nail T in the side (thankfully it was a boxer and not a dog with a real face, so it didn't actually get in a bite). I didn't put 1 and 1 together until after the owner pulled his dog off and dragged it off down the trail, yelling at it all the way, that the bulky black collar the dog was wearing was most likely an electric collar and the dog was probably being zapped the whole time it was walking up to us, hence the twitching. And the dog probably got zapped while sniffing T. Really, some people never fail to amaze me <_>

 

T's been really jittery on that trail ever since and tends to freeze and tense up when greeting other dogs on leash now instead of the usual loose, waggy greeting of the pre-boxer days. This is more upsetting to me than anything else, but I think that T's ability to rebound potentially traumatizing situations should be able to pull us through this one okay. The problem is that because of the wart thing he hasn't really been allowed to interact with too many other dogs since and now I'm nervous about taking him to places where off-leash is the norm. It also doesn't help that most of the dogs we've passed on walks ever since have, for the most part, been reactive and explode in anger at us. I think I need to work on teaching T to sit and redirect his attention to me when there's another dog in sight because I suspect his wide-eyed nervous stare at the other dog is probably at least in part triggering these strong reactions. Just one more thing to work on, I guess!

 

Other than that, things are going great. He just finished another 6 wk course of agility classes and we're going to leave it at that for now only because it's so expensive. He did tremendously well, though, and I'm very proud of him. I just wish I'd gotten a video of him running through some short courses on his last day.

 

He is, surprisingly, still growing. I'd thought for sure he was done a month ago, but he weighed in at 51 lbs yesterday and 22.5 inches at the shoulder.

He has also apparently become frightening looking, as evidenced by the mother who grabbed her kid by the wrist and dragged her across the sidewalk to avoid getting close to him (who hadn't even taken notice to them) the other day in town. :rolleyes:

 

few pics spanning from early March to just a few days ago:

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And a video of the absurdities that go on between a really grumpy old dog with a head-humping problem and a play-deprived young dog who's learned that sometimes you can get the old dog to play with you if you let him hump you first. Talk about adapting your play style to match the other dog...!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUPaMDTKTCY

Edited by woodrat
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AMAZING PHOTOS!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!! Tamarack is absolutely one of the best!!! The second photo left me speechless!!!

Edited by maria
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I made the mistake of watching this video when Lili was napping in the room here next to me....she heard the commotion & lost her mind...apparently thought that Ghengis Kahn was invading from the East!! Hilarious!

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Very fun. Gorgeous photos as always. I did so enjoy watching T try to say, "It doesn't matter that I'm bigger. Here, I'll get lower for you!"

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My dear Woodrat, people are inordinately afraid of black dogs. People feared Tara when she was a pup. As an adult dog, even people that announce they "aren't afraid" of her clearly are. T's white patch helps but now that he's 50lbs he will scare the crap out of some people. A family member looked at a picture of Waki and remarked that he was "formidable" looking. I wouldn't trade Waki for anything but I know his color may scare people when he gets big.

 

Black and with those elder eyes, your T will spook some people that might otherwise not be afraid.

 

Wow what a stunning boy. Sorry about the idiots with off lead dogs. It's a hot button issue for me. It's an epidemic (the idiot part) and a real problem for the rest of us. Your zap collar guy really takes the cake! I can hardly remember being passed by a properly trained & supervised off lead dog. It has happened but it's not as common as it was 20 years ago. People seem to think that it's a right to let their dog run free (in leashed only state parks) w/o the slightest attention on their part, like free range w/o supervision is some kind of virtue.

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Fantastic photos! I think T is so breathlessly handsome.

 

So sorry to hear about his (and your) idiot encounter. I walk D. with an older dog who doesn't do well with most other dogs. She wouldn't hurt another dog, but there can be some "discussion" and snarkiness that scares people. My friend always has her on a leash and has her under control; pulls her off the trail and does attention exercises until the other dog goes by. BUT we always seem to run into dogs off leash. I go ahead with D and ask the person to leash their dog while walking past the GSD to keep everything safe and calm for dogs and people. Now these are always places that have leash rules so their dogs should be leashed. 9 times out of 10 the answer is, "Well, my dog is friendly." Excuse me??? Is that going to be helpful when the snarkiness happens? They will only blame the GSD who is actually under control! We call these idiot encounters. Most of the time I can convince the folks that their dog being friendly isn't enough, but then there are those other times.... The zapper dude should be tazered--he's beyond idiot.

 

Woodrat, come on down and visit with T if you can! I know the two dogs would get along and the dog park I go to has a group that meets at 8:30 every morning and the dogs are lovely and the owners are knowledgeable and attentive. It'd sure get T back into a social life fast. Guest room is always ready if not previously booked! (And the both T and D are within a pound of the same size.)

 

Again -- wonderful photos.

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O.K. add me to your list of photo admirers. Those are really exceptional. I love that you have caught so many of Tamarack's expressions.. One minute he looks fierce, and then there is the soft eye side of innocense. Great facial study. :)

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Sherab - I'd always heard it was a thing for people to be generally afraid of black dogs, but 'til T came along I never actually experienced it despite having spent the past 11 yrs with a black dog at my side! I guess floppy ears and half-length legs go a long way to dispel people's inhibitions about coat color. Actually I'm not too upset about having a 'scary' dog now, being as that I'm female, look younger than I am, and live in a relatively rural area. As sad as it sounds, I'd be lying if I said it's not something of a confidence boost to have a dog that might make someone with ill intent think twice.

I'm finding it especially interesting to see kids' reactions to him. A few weeks ago it was "ooh look at that dog! He's scaary," but the other day we were walking on the sidewalk behind a couple pushing their daughter in a stroller, and she was peering back around the side of her stroller and holding eye contact with T the whole time with a little smile in her eyes. He, in turn, had moved up a pace in front of me to get closer to her and had lowered his ears to half mast. I couldn't help but get the sense there was a conversation going on and only the two of them knew exactly what was being said.

 

As for off-leash dogs in leash-only areas... yeesh. It's been a hot button issue for me, too, because Cairo is one of those super snarky dogs who WILL react pretty intensely if the right dog tries to come sauntering up. It blows my mind that it doesn't seem to occur to people that the safest thing for their dog is to refrain from letting them charge up to every one else's. Of course, the boxer was in an area where off-leash was allowed, but quite frankly I don't think that gives the owner an excuse to play around with training a potentially dangerous dog at everyone else's expense. The guy didn't even have a leash with him.

On the flip side, I do really love seeing people with complete verbal control of their off-leash dogs. There are quite a few of them on these particular hiking trails, and I'm always really impressed.

 

Gramtot, 'idiot encounter' definitely sums it up. Cairo is just like the GSD you describe, so I've been there and done that for that past 11 yrs. It's beyond frustrating. There's always some hope in my mind that Cairo's reaction will convince them that they should at least ask before letting their dog run up to every other one in sight, but I know they're just blaming it on me for bringing my snarky (leashed) dog out in public.

I almost sent you a message a couple weeks ago because I had an unexpected long weekend come up which I spent in MA, but then I remembered that D is still a youngun and might be susceptible to these confounded mouth warts that T's got; I would feel terrible if I passed them on. Hopefully the next time I get a weekend off I'll be able to make the trip down! T's wart is just about gone so that shouldn't be an issue. For now he's going to go back to playing with his usual crowd, but after about 5 min of chase they're bored and just want to play ball or eat sticks and dirt. <_>

 

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

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Woodrat, I agree that there is comfort in a dog that gives pause. We live back in the woods and even the previous owner of the house had GSD's to "scare the bikers away". I like doggie accessories. They can help accentuate your black dog's to look more or less intimidating. A blaze orang or camo coat can emphasize his security, a blue or red coat or hanress can take the edge off all that black and if you really want to soften his look, rabbit ears or a pink bow. http://www.dinodirect.com/set-vest-collar-leash-dog-mesh.html :) Even an unblack coat can be helped: http://www.k9storm.com/cataloguenew12.html

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  • 1 month later...

The bandana accessory is always very disarming.

 

Here's another (Coyo at a formal party):

 

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I generally hate dressing a dog, but this was fun, and he loved the attention.

 

Back packs also make people smile.

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and if you really want to soften his look, rabbit ears or a pink bow. http://www.dinodirec...h-dog-mesh.html

 

Oh my. I can just imagine the looks I'd get from passerby (not to mention T himself!) if I were to try that one out!! LOL.

 

I'm not really one for dressing a dog either, despite having one that actually genuinely enjoys it (Cairo..). In T's puppy class one of our homework assignments was to practice putting a t-shirt, socks and hat on your dog and bring them all to the next class and prove you can do it in front of everyone else without your dog putting up a stink (goofy assignment, but it was to get the pups used to being handled in weird ways). That was a pretty funny class and T did great. B)

 

Coyo looks very classy in his bow, perfect for a fun formal event! I personally love dog accessories that are simple with a touch of class. T just got his Big Kid collar - an amber (to match his eyes) leather collar with green trim and his name engraved on the back.

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Backpack, yes. Ever since we got Willow her pack, she wears it constantly. It keeps people from being afraid of her being a "coyote", and also helps me keep unwanted touches away. She loves the attention, but as she still acts very puppyesque, it helps to be able to deter people from attacking her with love, and excitement, allowing me to keep her attention.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh, yes, that's the one, Allison! Such a beautiful dog - and photo! Someone else had done one too, I think maybe it was of Lola? Lola next to her puppy self in a backyard. Maybe I'll try one of T.

 

Here's T's neck cross section (it's even prettier when it's not in shadow). Sherab, Waki might very well have the same effect when he grows up! I doubt it is that unusual among AIdogs, they all seem to have the same base sable markings no matter what the overall color.

 

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Woodrat, Waki has a coffee with cream undercoat on his neck. The grey is very striking and I wonder if it's a primitive thing that differentiates these dogs genetically because I've never heard of a grey undercoat on a black dog. Black on black, coffee with cream, yes, or white on a silver sable (both our malamute and our silver sable GSD) but grey on black seems very different to me, like blue or yellow eyes. Anyone else ever come across it?

 

Miss Willow is such a pretty little gingersnap. 30 lbs vs T's 50? Such a size difference from bro and sis. Hope to see them side by side some time too! Family reunion pix!

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