Most Recent Notes on Apollo Chase’s Behavior/Temperament- as of April 30, 2022

In the words of Apollo Chase’s most recent (temporary) foster family:

Chase is a dog such a sweet and incredibly high potential dog — true to his GSD breed, he has demonstrated that he is able to learn very quickly, making a ton of progress even in the past 3 days, as long as someone is willing to teach him the way. 


Overall Training Needs (Not unreasonable, most dogs would benefit from these anyway): 

  • good exercise to get his energy out, either walking or play-time (e.g. he seems interested in tug of war)
  • Confident leadership (he submit/backs off when we use body language/body blocking)
  • Consistent guidance on what is acceptable and not

Getting along with other dogs:

  • Chase still has puppy energy and needs to learn boundaries.  We had Dashi (our dog) socialize with Chase under our careful supervision for a few sessions and saw the following: 
  • Chase likes to nip and wrestle in his play style. He tried to hump Dashi if we let him get too excited and play too long. Dashi tried to check him (no snapping, she was pretty patient) to let him know she doesn’t like the nipping, but Chase didn’t get the message immediately. 
  • One method we used to help keep things under control was stepping on the leash — not actively tugging, but stepping on the leash so Chase wouldn’t be able to jump too high.
  • He showed some early signs of learning. He left her alone after a while and when we intervened. They were able to coexist in their own beds (outside of his crate) when he calmed down.
  • He would do well with a bigger younger dog that also has similar play energy. Our dog doesn’t really like to play, she just likes to lay/coexist.

General behavior:

  • Jumping: 
    • He gets excited to see you if it’s been a while (e.g. one of us showered/brushed our teeth), and does try to jump.
      • As mentioned, this is something that can be trainable — lots of resources online on how to address this (ignore/turn back when he jumps and only give attention when he calms down, step on leash so he physically cannot jump, etc.)
    • He was able to jump over our standard 6ft fence.  Not sure if there was something he could jump off of, but definitely be aware of that and train recall. He came back when called though which is a good sign. 
  • Car rides: He does EXCELLENT in the car. Easily stepped in and out of my sedan car hammock, and was very calm throughout the car ride. Just sat and laid down. Not a single whine.  I would NOT leave the window open though, because he did try to sneak his neck and body out far. 
  • Prey drive: Typical GSD behavior, he is very interested in chasing squirrels
  • People-oriented: He sought lots of attention from Ming, my husband (belly rubs/pets) 
  • Crate: I wouldn’t say that Chase is definitively crate trained.  As in, he doesn’t see it as his personal safe space/den.  He will whine when he’s in there for a while, and will eventually settle down, but I don’t think he is “crate-trained” in the technical/traditional definition.
  • Sleeping: After the 1st night, he calmed down and by the 2nd and 3rd night, slept through the night in the bedroom with Ming. 
  • Energy: Had no problem on our 4mile hike (a little under 2 hours, relatively easy terrain). He likes chew toys, and tug-of-war

Diet:

  • Suggestion for his diarrhea: worth talking to the vet to try getting Chase on EN food from Purina, or some other kind of gastroenteritis-friendly food.  Sensitive stomachs are apparently common with GSDs. Our GSD (Dashi) had diarrhea/loose stools until we got her a stable mix of the EN food and another regular food.
  • He is food motivated with his treats, but isn’t extremely excited about his current dog food (didn’t finish his food)
    • I measured what the appropriate amount/mass of food is per the bag, and 6 scoops is about the equivalent of the 75-100 lb dog range they recommend. 
    • He ate about 5 scoops of the food throughout the day, he didn’t immediately eat all of his food during meal time. 

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