Ernie (formerly “Jack” from Willow+Moose’s May 2018 litter) is holding at right around 35 lbs., and that’s where he feels like he’ll stay, I think. He is the sweetest thing we have ever seen–happy and affectionate and friendly to everyone he meets. He literally does not know the meaning of aggression. He is gentle in his every interaction, from taking treats to playing. On the few occasions where he runs into an aggressive dog, he looks at them like, “Well, that’s funny way of playing, but okay!” That said, he is not submissive. He is fully confident, just blissfully clueless about anger and aggression.
If there’s any negative to him at all: he marks things occasionally (once every two weeks?) inside and he’s got the Wheaten-Greetin’ jumping up thing that we’re working on. He also loves to chase squirrels, so we rarely, if ever, have him off leash for now. But I hesitate to even mention these things because his positive stuff is just so overwhelming. He is a really really great dog.
He knows a whole range of basic commands–sit, stay, come, down, paw, inside (when it’s time to go in the house), up (to get in the car or on a couch), go to your spot (sits on the couch when people are at the door), time pee/time to poop. Most significantly, he responds IMMEDIATELY and UNFAILINGLY to wait. When you give that command, he stops dead and sits (if he’s walking on a leash) or lays down (if he’s off leash). I practice this every day in the yard, chasing him around and having a good time, then interrupting the game abruptly to give him a “Wait!” Works every time.
The kids in the neighborhood adore him, and he is so good with them that we’ve been approached to train him to visit kids in hospitals, which we might start this winter.
That’s about it. He is a great heart dog. Thanks so much, and drop a line if you need anything else.
Matt and Cathleen