Baby showed up at my husband's and my house about late October. We have a German Shepherd Dog who does not like other dogs at all. We put out food, which this then-emaciated little dog ate ravenously. He was very skittish; ran away if we raised our hand to wave at him. It took him 3 weeks to allow us to touch him. Eventually (despite the fact that he was terrified of a 6-foot long leather leash), we got him to our vet's office to be scanned - no microchip. We put him in our lower paddock, away from our German Shepherd - we have nowhere indoors where he will be safe. He wants to be friends with Jonathan, but that is not going to happen. In the paddock, with our spending small bits of time with him every day, he has blossomed! He loves to play ball, and will now go in his house (since we put a hole put in the back so he knows he won't be trapped). For cheese, he will heel, come, sit, down, etc.
As of December 21, 2012: However, outside the paddock he is completely terrified. We managed to get him to our vet and he is now fully up to date on all of his shots. We cannot have him neutered while he is with us, because we cannot bring him indoors. He has no aggression at all, even when he is terrified (which is always when he is outside the paddock). We have begun trying to work with him on learning to walk on a leash outside his paddock - but he bucks like a mule and plants his little legs. We love him, and were it not for our beloved shepherd's aggression toward him (they are in totally separate fenced-in yards), we would keep him. He will need a patient and loving owner. The good news is that he learned to trust us, in a relatively short period of time So, he should be able to trust someone else. Ideally he would have owners who have at least one other dog-friendly dog, and who would spend time playing with Baby and training him. He will be a project - but once he trusts his new owners, he could possibly be an obedience, agility, or flyball prospect. He looks like a half-size Hovawart (he's now chubby at 50 pounds) .
Update January 3, 2012: Baby is learning very quickly how to walk on a loose leash outside the paddock! A very nice lady who is helping us with him has been coming to work with him – and he now loves her as much as he loves George and me. So we know he’s able to develop trust in other people. This coming Sunday, a female dog is coming to visit to see if they will play nicely together. He’s still afraid of getting into a car, but we’re working on that as well. We’re using a fabric martingale collar on him when we walk him (we keep a buckle nylon one on him all the time; it has his rabies tag on it). He is a heavy chewer of anything fabric, as well as fairly substantial limbs – so we have given him several very tough Kong toys which he adores. His collars, leash, and toys will all go with him to his “forever” home. We think he would do best with at least one other dog-friendly dog (probably female, simply because he’s male), and with people who could teach him house manners and have a fenced yard so he could be an indoor/outdoor pup. Cold/wet weather does not seem to bother him. He has an undercoat, and so far his coat has not matted at all. He adores playing, being petted, running, and retrieving. He’s now eating dry dog food pellets along with lean turkey meat and a little cheese. He will do pretty much anything for cheese! Now that AKC is registering mixed breed dogs (once they’re neutered or spayed), I believe he might be an agility, flyball, rally, and/or obedience prospect. Definitely needs only positive training – responds very well to tone of voice – and wants to please.
Because of his size, Baby is obviously not a purebred Hovawart, and we so appreciate your club's willingness to post him on your website. We will be happy to contribute some money toward the cost of having Baby neutered, and we will require that he be neutered by his new owners. He does not have heartworms. He is now on heartworm and flea/tick/mosquito protection. He did test positive for whipworms and roundworms. He’s now had his second (and last) Drontal tablet, so should be totally free of the whipworms and roundworms. His blood work was otherwise quite good. He is definitely younger than 2 years old – and may be closer to one year – his teeth are just gleamingly white, with virtually no wear.
Any adopter will be required to provide references, including veterinarian references. This boy has stolen our heart and he deserves the very best home possible. He may have been feral, but he is a tremendously fast learner and has beautiful eye contact with us.
Baby has gone to his forever home!