Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
We had two dogs. Why did we need another?
I didn't have time for a puppy.
I was still grieving the loss of my corgis who had been with me for nearly 14 years.
I couldn't be tempted.
Until I met Rezso.
He didn't get along with Freki and Gunnar. He wanted to be in charge. It would have been laughable, but the big dogs were adamant they didn't want an interloper in their world.
But he somehow managed to win our hearts--and most of the toys.
He was such a beautiful puppy!
And he loved to cuddle! (Still does, actually)
He demanded to sleep with us. Not going to happen, I said. After the first week, he slept with us every night.
Housebreaking-- made it eventually.
Chewing-- still does, and we have the chewed baseboards and window sill to prove it.
Training-- he has earned his Canine Good Citizen award, and a Novice Trick Dog title. But his biggest challenge lies ahead. But more on that later.
If you follow Rezso on Instagram (#adventureswithRezso) or even on my facebook page (Cathy MacRae Author), you'll have seen Rezso grow through his training classes at our local(ish) dog training center. (An hour and a half drive, but worth it)
Rezso's heritage is working dogs. His pedigree is thick with Schutzhund titles, agility, tracking and herding certifications. I thought agility work would be fun, and we still might pursue that route.
But we've been sidetracked.
In December of last year my husband and I made the decision to train Rezso as a service dog. Without going into the 'whys', I'll just state that as time passes, he is becoming more valuable to me in his new role.
(Isn't he adorable in his harness? He's 5 months old here, and it appears he's going to need a bigger harness now)
When I contacted a service dog trainer about furthering Rezso's training, she cautioned me about protective German Shepherds. I have to say that's the only down side about placing Rezso in this role. He IS protective, though he is also thoughtful (which is a word his breeder used to describe him, and very accurate) and doesn't just dive into situations, for which I'm very thankful.
We now meet with the SD trainer twice a month and she helps me teach him new tasks. He's doing so well--I'm afraid I'm his limiting factor. It's humbling to admit the dog may be smarter :-)
Wow! Can you believe he's already 6 months old?
He arrived at our house at 8 weeks old, and fit fairly seamlessly into the family.
Rezso still has a lot of growing to do, and he's working hard at it! He downs 2.5 cups of food twice a day, plus training treats and other goodies in his bowl.
He loves the water--I've never had a dog so happy to take a bath! Of course, after playing in the kiddie pool and rolling in the dirt, he needs a bath often.
He started obedience classes at 10 weeks old, and has been the youngest in his class ever since. In level 2, the trainer mentioned he might not be old enough to do the off-leash recall, and the lady sitting beside me--who had been in Rezso's level 1 class with her dog--leaned over and whispered, "She doesn't know Rezso, does she?" Rezso loves to 'work'.
He's got some big work ahead of him. I'll keep you posted!
After graduating Basic Obedience Level I, we've moved on to Level 2! This is prep work for Rezso's Canine Good Citizenship certification. He's working hard on accepting new situations, and is already a hit at Lowe's and PetCo, and he's even a seasoned traveler with a weekend stay in a hotel.
Not to mention, he's a whiz at his lessons and loves to help with the laundry. (That's his story, and he's sticking to it.) But, seriously, he is learning to pick up things I drop and carry them for me. But more on that on another post.
We also enrolled Freki in a class. She has a difficult time accepting other/strange dogs and we'd all but given up on being able to take her places with us where we knew there were other dogs.. Thanks to a wonderful trainer who took time to work with her and assured us it was a lack of confidence, not aggression, that fueled her bad behavior, we got up the courage to ask the trainers at Canine Sports Academy if we could give class a try.
They were welcoming and helpful, and it has been wonderful to see Freki slowly losing her preoccupation with the other dogs in her class and focusing more on what dad is asking her to do.
Attempting to stand on wobbly discs, rubber 'peanuts' (see the red ball in the background?) or any of the other activities in this class puts her in a somewhat vulnerable position (to her mind). Not to mention there are other dogs happily going about the same stunts only a few feet away. It's a bit noisy and challenging with Rezso just outside the ring shouting encouragement. But Freki is surpassing our expectations!
Way to go, Freki! Can't wait to see where you go from here!
Isn't he a handsome boy?
Rezso is now 4 months old and completed basic 1 obedience class Monday night. He's such a super puppy!
At graduation, each dog was required to do a trick not taught in class. There was a poodle with a faux fur ruff that jumped through a hula hoop decorated with felt 'flames', a terrier that stood on increasingly smaller (or would that be 'decreasingly'?) pads, until his feet touched-- another 'circus' dog!
Lots of other really cool tricks that showed how dedicated the owners were to having wonderful, well-behaved dogs that enjoyed being part of their family.
Our planned trick was 4-fold. Hi-five, turn around, lay down, and roll over. Pretty cute. And required Rezso to focus beyond a single trick and reward. And, let me tell you, he's all about the reward.
But last night, a little girl walked in, fell in love with Rezso, and decided he would learn to jump through a hoop for his trick. She was quite serious.
So, after Rezso did his trick for me, I let him do a trick for his new friend. He's such a trooper!
Here are a few photos from previous classes. Look how much he's grown!!
"Rezso" is a Teutonic name meaning "legendary wolf".
Here he is at 9 weeks old.
(Sorry it took a while to get his post up. We're all a bit sleep deprived around here.)
I'll just say we're completely in love with his smart, confident personality. He's also a cuddler! He sees absolutely no reason for him to be away from us and it has taken us nearly 2 weeks to convince him he needs to sleep in his crate at night. (I shudder to imagine the chewed chair legs--and anything the cat decides to knock off a counter or table top, midnight dashes to chase said cat, and endless potty spots to clean if he wasn't in a crate)
Freki likes him some of the time. He's fearless and charges right back into the fray if he gets knocked down, and she probably admires his tenacity. I have to remind her frequently that he is still a baby. One with very sharp teeth and a tough as nails attitude, but a baby nonetheless.
He's already learned to sit, shake hands, down and walk on leash. He started obedience class Monday night, and he was the youngest in the class. Perhaps a bit overwhelming at first with the sounds and bigger dogs, but he took measure of things, squared his shoulders as if to say "I've got this" and seemed to have a great time.
We'll need a 'trick' for graduation. Suggestions, anyone?
Follow #adventureswithRezso on Instagram for more fun photos!
This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
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