July 28, 2016
Dog Tails Dog of the Month: Bear the German Shepherd
This month’s Dog Tails Dog of the Month is Bear, a handsome, playful German Shepherd from Hilliard, OH. We found out about Bear from Emily and Pat West of DogWatch of Columbus. They had recently worked with Bear’s dad Ike Morris to help him resolve a difficult behavior of Bear’s that had completely disrupted the household – Bear would not stop barking at his tail. We reached out to Ike to ask him about Bear, training with the BigLeash Remote Trainer, and life with an energetic, athletic and loyal German Shepherd Dog!
DogWatch: When did you adopt Bear? How did you find him?
Ike: We’ve had Bear since May of 2015. When we got him, he was right around 4 1/2 years old, mostly trained with some bad habits. His former owner lived in our neighborhood. As you find in life, things change and [Bear’s former owner] found he did not have enough time to devote to Bear and thought it would be better for him to be with a family who did. I found out about the situation and Bear through mutual friends. He had had Bear since he was six weeks old and loved him very much and it was a very difficult thing for him.
DW: What drew you to German Shepherds, and Bear in particular?
Ike: I’ve always loved the German Shepard breed for a lot of the same reasons others do. Their look, athleticism and intelligence. And in Bear we found it all. He’s a beautiful dog can who can catch a football at 20 yards a hundred times. And he’s quick to learn new things.
When we met Bear he was a high energy, in-your-face dog ready to play. He had a lot of pent-up energy. His intensity and concentration on playing drew me to him. I saw that he had lots of potential.
And I personally love when you’re walking down the street and people cross to the other side just because of your dog. If only they knew he would lick them to death!
DW: Does Bear have any siblings (human or canine)?
Ike: Our son Mitchell is the person in our family the dog has picked as his inseparable pal. (You can see Mitchell with Bear in the photo at the top of the page.) At all times the dog must know where [Mitchell] is or know that he’s not at home. We also have a 15 year old son that he loves to play with too.
DW: How big is Bear?
Ike: Bear is around 85 pounds and thinks he’s a lap dog. His paws are as big as your hand and at that size and weight his agility is at times almost unbelievable with his leaping catches and turns in mid air.
DW: What is Bear’s favorite toy or treat?
Ike: His favorite toys are soccer balls and basketballs. He will even try to shoot hoops with the kids. He’s great at defense and sometimes knocks in a rebound shot with his snout. He also loves a football that his former owner had given us.
When it comes to treats Bear is easy to please. Believe it or not, water is his favorite treat. He will leave most food treats on the floor or ground but offer him a drink and he’s right there.
DW: What was the behavioral issue that made you seek out DogWatch? When did it start?
Ike: [When we adopted Bear] about a year ago he had a few issues most of which were just pent-up energy due to lack of exercise and proper training. But there was still one thing that completely disrupted our household: the dog would just randomly bark at his tail.
His former owner said he’d always had a thing with his tail. When we first got him he looked like a ring-tailed German Shepard [because] he had completely chewed the hair from about a four inch section in the middle of his tail. With proper exercise and play, the chewing stopped and hair grew back, but he would still bark at it all the time.
DW: How did you find out about DogWatch and the BigLeash Remote Trainer?
Ike: I’ve known of the DogWatch company but did not have a dog. We talked to Emily West [of DogWatch of Columbus] at the Home and Garden Show here in Columbus, OH and explained our situation with Bear and his random anxious barking at his tail. She recommended trying the BigLeash Remote Trainer. And I had tried almost anything and everything.
DW: How is the tail-barking situation now?
Ike: That now has stopped. It has been three or four months since we got the BigLeash Remote Trainer. Now if he starts any undesirable behavior we can just put the collar on. Just that usually does the trick, but if not, very rarely do we have to use more than the vibrate feature to remind Bear.
I was skeptical about trying the remote trainer as is my human nature and thought them a little cruel but was at the end of my rope with the constant barking. The results are peace and quiet in my household and as a training tool I would hands down recommend the BigLeash to anyone with any type of similar issues with their dog.
DW: Finally, what is your favorite thing about Bear?
Ike: His loyalty to me I think is what I like most. I’ve always wanted a dog that sits or lays at guard where ever I may sit and Bear has that. As long as he is with his people he is happy.
Would you like your dogs (or other pets) to be featured on our blog? Tell us about them in the comments, or reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email. We can’t wait to hear to your stories. And a big thanks to Ike for sharing your story and for choosing DogWatch!