August 7, 2018

Meet Hank

Everyone is different about getting a new dog after you lose one.  My husband and I knew pretty quickly after we lost Tucker that we are not a one dog family. 

Bitsy, the best coworker, glued to my side during work
My husband wanted something around a year old, and he wanted something more loyal than Tucker was.  We didn't mind getting another Husky, but we had to keep in mind that with our travel schedules, it couldn't be something completely wild.  He also wanted something trainable that he could take hiking and maybe do some agility with.

We spent a month scouring PetFinder and visiting rescues with no luck.  Then one night I was browsing Craigslist and saw an ad from a city two hours away that literally had three phrases: German Shepherd Husky mix, awesome dog, housetrained, $100. 

And that's how we got Hank:

Derp.

Hank is a 1 year old GSD/Husky mix, although the more I get to know him the more I think he leans waaaaaaaaay more to the GSD side of that mix.  His behavior and attitude are like 80% GSD, 20% Husky.


We know from fostering many Huskies that the first couple weeks are always rocky as they adjust to a new house and routine, and Hank is no exception.  He's had very little structure in his life so far, the gerbils in his brain tend to go a million miles an hour without direction, keeping pace with his feet, which run everywhere he goes.


But he's proven to be wicked smart and easily trainable, which is awesome.  He came with "sit" and "paw", and in the 48 hours we've had him he's added "down", "wait", "get in your crate", "get in your bed", the "'no' noise", and has a reasonably reliable loose-leash "heel" like 50% of the time (he's a terrible puller). 


Like any high-energy, young working breed, wearing him out is going to be key to our success with him.  We've been doing walks with water bottles in the backpack before work, clicker in hand, working on "heel", "sit", and "pay attention to the human because I will change direction at any moment and you have to deal with that".  That's been working out pretty well so far:

Tired doggo = good doggo

We have a place in town that trains GSDs for police departments in addition to having a doggy daycare and obedience/trick training/etc program, so he's going to start going there a couple days a week for part day playcare, part day obedience. 

Learning about waiting patiently in the checkout line

More than anything, I want another dog to put him in his damn place and teach him some doggy body language, since while he respects Bitsy as queen of the house, he doesn't understand that she has ZERO interest in playing with him.  And also, he does need someone to play with him and we can't provide that.

Bitsy guarding her pig ear, and Hank respecting her even though he REALLY wants it

He was supposedly housebroken (nope), and supposedly crate trained (only if you count knowing exactly how to open crate latches and escape within minutes of being put in one), so we're having to stay one step ahead of this super smart guy.  A couple of carabiners and zip ties on the crate fixed his little red wagon last night, and we got to listen to him cry himself to sleep when he realized he couldn't escape from the crate.

Privacy fence = worth every penny with this dog

Even with all that, he's already an awesome addition to the family.  Can't wait to see what kind of guy he grows up to be!

29 comments:

  1. German Shepherds are wicked smart. Which makes them easy to train... but they also are smart enough to do things like escape from their crate ha ha!

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    1. Yeah! I've known a few, but never owned one before. It's definitely a new challenge for us, but one we're enjoying.

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  2. EEEEEESOCUUUUUTE!!! Congrads on your new Tasmanian devi... er I mean, doggo.

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    1. Hahaha, right? He DOES have an off-switch, that's our only saving grace.

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  3. very cute Love him! Good luck but sounds like he is settling in great and daycares are the best. WEAR THEIR ASSES OUT! :)

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    1. Yessssss. Can't wait til he's able to start there!

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  4. Our first dog was a German Shepar/Samoyed/Husky and he was the best dog ever. So smart, high energy, very loving but work oriented as well. We called him the "Jolly Pirate". You are going to have so much fun with this guy and he is lucky to have landed with you...

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    1. Awwww, he sounds so awesome! It seems like we will, just have to get past this early stage with him. Yeah, we were talking to the owner, you never know what you'll get when you post a dog on Craigslist, he had a lot of weirdos come look at him and offer $25. That's why he was firm on the $100, hoping a good family would come along for him.

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  5. What a goofy boy. :-D He looks so sweet! Reminds me of the white GSD my mom grew up with

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    1. Haha yeah, he's going to think his name is Goober because we call him that so much. That's cool!

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  6. He’s adorable! Congratulations on the new addition

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  7. I had a husky in high school, and they can be tough, but so loyal and loving! He sounds like a handful, but a good handful. I'm sure you'll have each other all figured out in no time. Congrats on the new doggo!

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    1. They can be for sure! After years of Huskies we're excited to be branching out a bit with the GSD mix. Thanks!

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  8. Congrats on the new addition to the family! Definitely sounds like a handful, but who wouldn't LOVE that face.

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  9. OMG I cannot imagine having a dog who can escape from a crate within moments.... nightmare status!

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    1. I honestly prefer his level of escape artistry than Tucker's. Tucker chewed a literal hole in a metal crate to escape. At least this guy just picks locks!

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  10. He's beautiful, and more importantly, he sounds like he's going to be a great dog :)

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    1. I think he will be! Just needs some time and good old fashioned training.

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  11. Welcome home, Hank! You'll have a wonderful life with Jen. =)

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    1. Thanks :) He's so happy to have some structure in his life!

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  12. Hank hit the jackpot!! Lucky dude! Welcome big guy!

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    1. He definitely had a soft landing off of Craigslist!

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  13. I'm currently fostering a mama dog with 7 puppies and the mama is husky/GSD! The verdict is still out as to what breed/breeds dad(s) was/were, but the puppies look lab or pittie to me. Nellie (the mom) is a WONDERFUL dog and we are definitely sold on the GSD/husky mix. She would be the PERFECT dog if only she didn't shed quite so much. She was pulled from a shelter 5 days before she had her puppies so I'm sure once the puppies are weaned and she has a "normal" life she won't shed as much.
    Enjoy your new boy, he's beautiful!

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    1. Awww, I just looked at your blog for puppy pictures, they are SO cute! Yeah, the hair is definitely an issue but honestly we're finding that although Hank sheds a lot, the hairs are a bit bigger and easier to brush off things, whereas Tucker's hair would get irreversibly embedded into fabrics. Honestly I couldn't do it without my Roomba though, haha! Thank you :)

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  14. He's ADORABLE! And I definitely need to try the backpack w/weights situation because on the days we don't run, Ollie needs some workout of sorts!

    What a nugget!!

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  15. SO cute! Can't wait to hear more about him!

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