Who Can Resist A Puppy?
We took that step in July and decided to get another dog (I thought it would be much longer before I was ready to get another puppy) after we lost our precious Sadie in April. I didn’t get the first litter of pups I looked at, or the 2nd or 3rd. I was able to walk away, and my husband was shocked each time, thinking I would give in to that first little puff of fur. But I was thinking, is this my “forever” dog? When I didn’t feel a connection, I was able to walk away.
Then came Ellie. I found her on Craig’s list. I followed all the rules that you aren’t supposed to follow when looking for a purebred dog. First off, I don’t really care about the purebred part. I actually wanted a mixed breed. I feel like they tend to have less issues than purebred dogs. This couple was not a backyard breeder. They both had shepherds that the girls mom accidentally left together, at the wrong time. It was the female’s first litter and she had 4 pups. One female and 3 males. I can certainly understand why a good breeder is important though. We found several issues, she was covered with fleas when we got her, she had a staph infection on her elbow and of course she was full or worms. Most puppies do have the worms, but according to what I read, she should have had several de-wormings before we took her. I asked and they gave her the first one the night before we picked her up. She was 8 1/2 weeks old when we got her.
I also didn’t notice, or know to ask, about the parents ears. I later found out that her mom’s ears are floppy ears. They do stand at attention when she’s excited, or alerted (which she was when were were there looking at her puppies).
A German Shepherd puppies ears typically stand up from about 8 weeks – 14 weeks. They say they should be up by the time they have finished teething. Ellie’s still aren’t up at 20 weeks. She still has several baby teeth though. I’ve been reading about several options, and will share all that in another post.
Gizzy is our other dog. She’s 8 years old, and likes to play… sometimes, just not ALL THE TIME! You can see how close in size there were here. Gizzy was a little bigger than Ellie, at 8 weeks. Gizzy is about 20 pounds, Ellie is 16 pounds.
Ellie is growing fast! One of the first things people say when they first see her is, “Oh my gosh, look at those huge paws! She’s going to be a big one.”
She loves the water, except of course when I want to give her a bath. She has been swimming a few times at Dave’s cousin’s house, and a couple other places there is water. This would be a nice time to have a real pool she could swim in, so I didn’t have to give her a bath after every pond experience. She has so much fun, but she comes out smelling like pond scum.
Here she is when she’s three months old. Her coloring has changed a lot already. She had a lot of black on her when we first got her. Her Dad was a very light shepherd and mom had a lot of black. Of the four puppies, she had the lightest coloring, and they said she would probably get much lighter.
At four months, you can see how much bigger she has gotten. She now weights 50 pounds, and Gizzy can actually stand up underneath her belly. She has a multitude of colors on her. She has white, gray, tan and black. From everything we’ve read and have been told, her markings are that of a black and tan shepherd.
She still drives Gizzy nuts. As soon as Gizzy is within reach, she’s attacking her (playing). I think Gizzy has a constant wet mark on her shoulders where Ellie goes for her. Ellie generally stays in the kitchen area, blocked by our dog gates, so that Gizzy can have some peace and quiet to relax. They go outside together often and I’m getting the hang of walking them together. Ellie also comes out into the family room in the evenings, since she’s potty trained now.
She and I have been taking obedience classes. I took her to the PetsSmart class when she was 10 weeks old and now I have her in another obedience class and beginning agility class. I have to say that I had no idea how much training I needed! I’ve never done an official dog obedience class before. With a shepherd, and knowing how protective they can be of their family, I don’t want to take any chances with her. I want to do everything right, to make sure she is well trained and well socialized.
How about this puppy face?
Gotta love her!