They were missing the snow so much. We usually have consistent snowfall during the winter months, but for the last two years it’s been very little. The pups are used to blizzard conditions, like we last had back in February 2010
But yesterday, we just had a smattering of snowfall. …that will melt by the end of the weekend, and all the lovely little snow angels will have melted away, but forever in my memory will be the imprint of their sweet nature.
Almost a year after I composed the post http://blackgermanshepherd.biz/wolf-hybrid/ , I continued to surf the net trying to find some answers. Wandering, I came across this article which gave me insight as to why Belle is the way she is and what her early life may have been like. Maybe it isn’t in her gene pool after all.
At the gene level, she adds, “the difference may not be in the gene itself, but in when the gene is turned on. The data help to explain why, if you want to socialize a dog with a human or a horse, all you need is 90 minutes to introduce them between the ages of four and eight weeks. After that, a dog will not be afraid of humans or whatever else you introduced. Of course, to build a real relationship takes more time. But with a wolf pup, achieving even close to the same fear reduction requires 24-hour contact starting before age three weeks, and even then you won’t get the same attachment or lack of fear.”
Poor little love of a precious baby girl pup. Glad we found each other. She’ll always be my baby girl.
No, I don’t think she is a full hybrid, but there is something about her…so wolfish…just a few generations back in her line perhaps.
This is not her howling in this video, but this is what we hear when she sleeps…whether it be in the middle of the night or the middle of the afternoon.
Belle is an odd dog. She had been severely abused and malnutritioned when we adopted her. It took two years for Belle to warm up to us humans, but she warmed up to our shepherd Nikita right away and turned out to be a perfect match for him. Still has an issue with being gated, and is fierce and feisty with other dogs when on leash, but when she is free to roam at the no-leash park and interact with other dogs that are also off-leash, she is quite social.
Because of her hard and hungry beginnings, at 9 months old, she was diagnosed with elbow dysplasia and arthritis in her shoulders. That is a rare diagnosis for such a young dog. She was coming up lame after trips to the park, and our vet recommended supplements to manage her condition, which have really helped her. We limit activity and hard running, and she no longer comes up lame.
You can see her lameness in one of her early pictures:
Now, our vet has never told us she is a wolf hybrid, but every behavior she exhibits, tends to make us think that she is.
Every little animal is prey. She has never struck my cat, ever, but when there is a gate between them, she gets quite fierce…and this energy behind her fierceness has not really dwindled with time and familiarity. When she is face to face with my cat, in the cat’s territory, she walks right past my kitty. When my cat is in what she sees as her territory, she backs away and whines until the cat leaves, and while the cat is passing to leave, she barks, but is never in attack mode.
She has come to know that in the colder months, when it’s playtime with Mommy, she can get away with tugging and playing with the wrist cuff of my layered sweatshirts. Well, yesterday, I had a jacket on with deep pockets in front, and while playing up on me, one of her front paws got stuck in my pocket. She yelped like I never heard before. I swear, you could have heard it 2-3 blocks away. She is very high strung that way, and quite unpredictable.
She can be aggressive, but not to the point of attack. She actually cowers at that point, looking to just sniff and examine. She will find the field mouse, hunt for days for it, but will give way for Nikita to attack…which, if it’s a mouse or a bunny, he will. He will eat it. She will just suck at it.
I think a lot of the reason why I have never had really big aggression issues with either dog is because they live in a very active, stimulating environment. That’s really the trick I think. Determine a dogs needs and surpass it, daily.
Even so, she is very destructive to the back yard. She trims the bushes, and digs a lot. Nikita went through the puppy chewing thing, but he grew out of that. She has not grown out of the behaviors one would think she should have by now.
He’s older and was here first, but she has taught him how to dig, how to eat feces, how to hunt for feces of the smaller animals that wander into our yard. He is protective and very tolerant of small children, but although she would never attack a child, she backs away from them. It’s clear she has no need for them, no desire to protect them, no interest in them at all. She is very much like a cat in that she owns us more than we own her and obedience occurs when she feels like it and when it’s her idea.
Gosh, I sound like I don’t like her, when in fact, I adore her wildness and independence. She is a lovely, sweet dog and when she chooses you to be the one she dotes her love upon, you are rewarded far more than any other dog could reward you. She is so different than Nikita that way.
She is more an equal, than a “pet”. Nikita was very obedient right at the get-go…submissive and shape-able whereas Belle has been integrated into our lives for who she is rather than who we wanted her to be. Nikita, can be trained, corrected and is forgiving, but Belle, she won’t tolerate being trained on anyone’s terms but her own, and to force her to do anything, would result in losing the friendship we do have. She will listen to me now, because I took the time and patience to understand her. She is quite different, but extremely lovable for those differences that she possesses.
Nikita’s behavior suggests he senses she is different somehow too. He is such a moral dog, allowing her top dog status in the house, while outside, he remains the top dog, outside of me of course…They both know I am the pack leader. It’s rare to see a German Shepherd tolerate, not only, not, being the only dog on the property, but also him giving in to Belle like he does. Perfect match. They love each other and rely on each other so much.
My dogs. I love them both so much but for very many different reasons…
I took the name of the breed of one of my dogs, because me and that dog of mine have such a connection. I know this sounds all mystical, and I am usually not into all that is mystical, but him and me…we are kindred spirits…oh yes, me and my shadow Nikita. Even in daily life, we share the same rhythms of eating, fatigue, and elimination. When Nikita had his first growth removed, it was located in the same spot on his body, his inner ankle, as my own first tumor, that was removed years ago when I was a child. He was also born on my Mother’s birthday.
He is a strong powerful demon wolf. I have felt his bite. Yes, it was only a small nip on the top of my wrist whilst changing a bandage on his front leg, and he sent many, many warning signals…anyway, he has tasted my blood. There has been a transmission of not only blood, but our souls our joined. He is my most faithful devoted friend.
When I write with my BlackGermanShepherd moniker, I am free to express myself. I don’t “check” myself. No holds barred. Base level. Willing to play with the kids in the yard, but at the same time, aware of my duty to protect…and at times a need arises where I do display my strength and status…the strength and status of the BlackGermanShepherd!