So its been a couple of months since he was rescued by The Dogs Trust and seven weeks since we brought him home and so a progress report on Jackson …
He’s putting on weight, which is a good thing because when he came to us he was very skinny at 27kg, the ideal weight for an adult male German Shepherd is 34-43kg so he’s got a bit of filling out to do, just weighed in yesterday at 31kg but still feels very bony.
The Dogs Trust vets estimated his age at 18 months, definitely no more than 24 months and I think he’s on the lower end of that scale, we had a German Shepherd from a 12 week old pup many years ago and her development was very much as we see Jackson now, at this age they look very gangly, its like their legs grow all the way to adult length before the rest of them does and sometimes he looks like he’s walking on stilts with a big papier mache head on, his head is huge in comparison to his body but it’ll all be relative when he fills out a bit.
He’s still an excellent house dog, has needed no training from us at all, is very playful, there’s always time for throwing a ball in the garden and he has taught himself to bring it back and drop it at your feet to be thrown again, well thats not exactly right, for some reason known only to him he drops it BEHIND you for it to be thrown again. He loves drinking out of the pond and eating the fish food off the surface when they are fed every evening, its only a matter of time before he climbs in there to help himself, that will be a nice surprise for him when he finds his feet won’t touch the bottom.
He has just one problem – leaving the home. Its almost impossible to walk him if you are on your own, he just won’t do it, you put the harness on him and he gets all excited about going out, you walk him down the drive and as soon as you get to the pavement outside he stops and simply refuses to go either up or down the hill. If there are two of you he will go, he still has his moments, the odd panic attack every now and again but with two people he will always follow if one of you walks on in front but with one you have no chance – a call to the behaviorist at The Dogs Trust is coming up soon.
All we can put it down to is that his abandonment has been a big trauma to him and it obviously happened when he was out on the lead with one person, I still don’t know how someone could do that to a dog that has barely left the puppy stage.
So there he is in all his glory, sitting on the chair in front of the window and if the wife reads this, yes I know he isn’t allowed on the chairs but you’d gone out in the car and he was watching for you coming back, honest …
The Dogs Trust in Leeds (York Road) are having their annual fundrasier open day on Sunday 7th August, we’ll be there (with Jackson) and there may just be an opportunity to bid for a couple of dog paintings by a famous local artist 🙂