03/12/10: . . . Things are going better with the crate, I try to keep the time frame short and although he doesn't like it, he is getting used to it. Potty training is coming along as well, he knows to go to the door if he's in the kitchen or mud room, but seems to get a bit confused if he's in another room so we had one more accident this week. The house is pretty big, so I think he just doesn't quite get it yet, but I'm sure he will with time. We're only letting him on the main floor right now, to help prevent more accidents.


He is pretty smart though! He's doing really well with his basic commands, and just looks at you for his treat when he knows he got it right! So cute! Our weather has been great, so he's been wanting to stay outside with our older dog, and snoozes on the porch. I'm impressed with how sensible he is, he hasn't wandered at all so far (I keep a very close eye on him through the window if he stays outside). If he spends a lot of time outside, do you think it will make our potty training take longer? On the one hand, he isn't being taken out from inside to relieve himself, but he is consistently relieving himself outside, which is the goal anyway, so I can't decide if it's helping or hurting things. What do you think? (I promise that'll be my last question for a while, I swear!!).


In terms of size, he had his twelve week shots and was 29.6 pounds, and he looks about twice as big. He's adorable, and huge! Thanks for your ongoing support. He's a really lovely boy! ~ Margaret (Ontario, Canada)


04/11/10: Thought I'd send a little update for the "puppy pages"... Wolfgang is doing really well, he has settled into our family with very little effort. To start at the beginning, we had no troubles at the U.S./Canada border.wolfgang


Wolfie is 17 weeks now. At his 16 week check last week he weighed 45 lbs, is about 30 inches long from nose to base of tail, and probably around 19 inches at the shoulder. He is massive!! My neighbor thought he was 8 or 9 months old when she saw him. I swear, every single person who meets him, or sees a picture of him, comments on how giant his feet are! So, I think he may rival his daddy in size when fully grown! His coat is very interesting, he has very light fur on his legs and chest like Berrin, but has a good bit of red across the top of his head and on his sides. I think he's going to end up exhibiting a very interesting combination of characteristics from both Lil' Red and Berrin.


He passed Grade 1 obedience already; I know I already mentioned to you . . . that he was the most laid-back puppy in the class. He's just so sensible for a puppy. His off-leash recall is really, really good (although I'm sure it doesn't hurt that I have a supply of homemade liver treats in my pockets at all times). Despite how smart he obviously is, we have had a challenging time with the potty training: even though I would take him out every hour and he would go, somehow he would manage to have an accident just 20 or 30 minutes after we came back in. So, I switched from free-choice kibble and water to regulated feedings, and that has really helped a lot in terms of getting a better handle on things. I would highly recommend trying it to anyone who's having a bit of trouble. Now that the weather has turned so nice, he's hanging around outside almost all day with our older dog, Heidi, so we haven't had an accident now in over 2 weeks. Hurray!!! with heidiAnd speaking of sensible, he doesn't wander at all: we have 50 acres with the house set far back from the road, and he is very content to hang around outside the house, snooze in the sun, gnaw some bones, play with Heidi, etc. What an amazingly good boy! He and Heidi are great friends, they play and play, and we hike through the woods a couple times a day, and overall I think they have an awesome canine life! I think Wolfgang has really enriched her quality of life, and he follows her around like, well, guess what? A puppy!! Teehee.


I'm attaching a couple of pictures for you: Wolfie's ears have only just gone up in the last couple of days, so this shot has the floppy-eared look. Although they still seem fairly soft, I think they might be up for good now. The other picture shows how big he is, as Heidi is not a small shepherd at 26 inches and 90 pounds. She'd better establish that she's the boss now, while she still can! Anyway, I think that'll do for now. ~ Margaret


rafting06/02/10: Quick update on Wolfgang: he's doing very well, he continues to love every person he meets, and has most definitely gotten over his shyness with other dogs. I've been taking him to "puppy play" at a local kennel once a week, and he even has a best friend now!


Speaking of eating, I had him weighed this week and he is at 66 lbs at 5.5 months. Non-dog people continue to mistake him for an adult dog, just because of his size! . . . He is having a very difficult time with the hot humid weather, though, it effects both his eating and sleeping. Have you ever trimmed the coats on your Shepherds, or do you manage to avoid this summer weather in Northern MI?


I'm attaching a picture of Wolfie out on the raft with our son.....who says Shepherds don't like water?!? ~ Margaret


12/13/10: . . . I was happy to see on your website that Lil' Red and Windy are pregnant again, as I know you had a difficult time earlier in the year with unsuccessful breedings. You're going to have a busy, busy Christmas this year!profile


So yesterday was Wolfgang's first birthday, and I thought you would like an update. Regarding his size, he is around 88 lbs now. Over the last few months, he has slowly gained a few pounds between 80 and 90. Last official weight was 87 lbs about 6 weeks ago, so 88 is pretty close. He stands about 27.5 inches at the shoulder, although this is a tough measurement to be accurate with as he constantly turns his head to see what I'm doing, making his shoulder drop! The vet is pleased with his development, and says to "keep him skinny" until about 18 months to help protect his bone and joint development. I'm certainly not trying to do that, he eats as much as he wants, I think he just burns it all off!! He was such a quiet, reserved guy when he was little, and now he is just a giant energy ball! I'm still taking him for one day of play a week at the local kennel, as he loves that intense play with other young dogs.


sitIn terms of his personality, if I had to sum him up in one word it would have to be sweet. He just loves to be with us, is eager to please, is terrific with everyone that he meets, and overall is just a wonderful, loving family member. If I'm going to be 100% honest, though, I have to include the word "goofy", because he is just hilarious, and goofy, and has no idea how big he is (he still likes to sit on our laps....awkward!). He is just a great dog! He has this beautiful thick plush coat, so the weather is finally cold enough for him to be comfortable. This is a huge blessing, as I can't tell you how many summer nights he kept me awake with his panting! (air conditioning and fan on!). His coat is much darker than I thought it would be, based on Lil' Red and Berrin's coats, but who knows, it still may change yet again. He is gorgeous to look at, and people are constantly asking me what breed he is.


I'll attach a couple of pictures so you can see for yourself. I'm hoping the family that has his brother Komet will send an update soon too, as I'd love to see what Wolfie's full brother is looking like. Good luck with the new pups! ~ Margaret


12/16/10: Your email made me laugh as Wolfgang LOVES to chase anything that moves: he considers it his life's mission to catch a wild turkey, or maybe a deer. So it sounds like he and his sister Lilly have a lot of similarities. During hunting season, we would be out walking in the woods and he would spot deer down in the ravine, if I didn't notice and tell him not to he'd be gone like a shot, and I'd be standing there at the top of one side watching him bolt down through the bottom (including the stream) and up the other side!! It was great exercise! That instinctive behavior did turn him into a bit of a butthead, though, in terms of his training/listening...thank goodness deer season is over! It was hilarious, though, I've gotta say! . . .


I have no problem if Komet's mommy wanted to email me directly, you could give her my email address and just leave it up to her whether she wanted to communicate or not. I do think that Wolf looks more similar to Lil' Red, especially in their puppy pictures, they look almost identical. He really has almost no red on him now though, he's just that very light tan (sable?) and black with a teensy bit of red on top of his head.


One behavior question before I go: everyone said that our female GSD would establish her dominance over Wolfgang when he was a puppy and that would be it. For the most part, that seems to be true, but there have been a couple instances where he has aggressively challenged her over a chew toy or something. I can't have this as she is rapidly becoming very frail and he could really hurt her. When it happened this week I was standing right there, so I just verbally corrected him with a super stern voice and he immediately got submissive....is this good enough, so he understands the hierarchy is me, Heidi, then him? Or do you think that this might continue to happen? Because if that's the case, I may need to consider neutering him a little early as I can't risk him really hurting the old girl. Thoughts? Before these incidents I thought I might not neuter him at all, as he's very bonded to our house/property and doesn't seem inclined to wander. I'm just wondering if less testosterone might make him easier for Heidi to get along with. Thanks for your input !


. . . I'll be checking your website for baby pictures! ~ Margaret


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