The Rebarkable Dogs: A German Shepherd Cross Called Indie

July 22, 2021
July 22, 2021

Indie is my german shepherd cross. I’ve had him since a puppy! And I thought it about time I introduce him to you guys properly. 

He was born in Slough, outside of London, Raised in Essex, outside of London. Then, he moved four thousand miles from the UK to the east coast of the US!

The Name…

Poor pup had an ignorant mum. My now-husband suggested his name, to be named after the great Indiana Jones. Indy was the right name. It’s one of those things that you just know the right name when you find it, right? 

Well, only problem was is for some reason, I used indie as opposed to y, now everyone thinks my gorgeous boy is a gorgeous girl – doh! 

We all make mistakes, right? Luckily he’s not still angry at me… 

indie in the landshark sport 1.5 inch collar
Despite the best of raising, socialisation and training, Indie developed reactivity in his second fear phase. It’s something quite common amongst german shepherds. I became a trainer because of this. And I slowly learned that his reactivity came primarily from his poor breeding – so please don’t make the same mistake I did.

Age

Indie’s just turned 5 years old! Despite this? He’s still a total goofball. He was neutered probably too young given the data on German Shepherds, but I followed veterinary advice. As a result, I do watch him daily for hip and elbow dysplasia – I’m a mum who cares too much, okay?!

Diet

Indie is Raw fed, he has a little princess tummy bless him and can’t digest kibble or wet food. We went to the vet every second week for a while there due to the fact that he kept getting diarrhoea, and they … figured out nothing. We (luckily) had a fantastic raw shop close by and it was basically an overnight miracle. 

Everything went right and Indie started growing again (hooray!) and came out as my gorgeous woof you see today.

Indie’s favourite is duck, he doesn’t like pork, but he’s gotten a lot less picky about his food than he once was, I’m guessing this is to do with having two sisters suddenly who are basically walking hoovers.

I have to manage the amount of ‘biscuits’ he gets or he struggles again, but the problem is? These are the ultimate treats for Indie. If I go out with a thing of chicken and cheese, it’s not as well received as biscuits. Go figure. I always tell you high value is relative to the dog and I was not joking!

(This does mean Indie is sometimes exempt from food product testing! Luckily the girls pick up where he can’t stomach it)

Indie the german shepherd from Rebarkable, wearing bully billows collar
Indie from Rebarkable, wearing bully billows Ramsey Range collar

About Indie

He lives for a ball. His favourites are the XL orange chuck-its? They’re great and they actually last despite Indie’s obsessive chewing on them.

He learns things quick (both good and bad) but he is a total people pleaser at heart – and just about the biggest chicken I’ve ever met! To be fair, it isa german shepherd thing (contrary to popular belief) is that they’re all super, super sensitive, and they want you to be happy with them. 

I think it’s one of the biggest misconceptions of a lot of “Tough Dogs” (I think dobies and rotties get it too, though they’re very different dogs). 

modern Icon tracking harness for dogs tactical harness as seen from the side on Indie the German Shepherd
The sit here does look a little awkward, but it’s because of Indie’s excess neck skin and abundance of floof, but do you see the strong straps? These are double layered and velcroed together throughout which provides added strength like no other harness I’ve tested

Reactivity 

I had loads of input from friends “He’s trying to become an alpha”, “He’s just aggressive”, and then the ones I had from strangers killed me, questions like “Is he a rescue?” as though I had done it to him… 

I tried a few things with no success, and there was a lot of confusion, and a lot of tears. Then I decided to take control of it. The Trainers local to me weren’t giving me the understanding I needed to proceed and help my puppy get over it.

He’s actually the reason I became a trainer. 

I trained myself, to train him to get him over it. I found a lot of my local trainers were using methods I didn’t agree with and I knew wouldn’t work for my dog.

(This is why in the pupdates, that I am massively passionate about you doing this with your puppy. It’s really important that you can be this, because you’ll instinctively know when something will or won’t work, and when you can take a chance with something vs when you won’t.) 

I then started attracting the large and grouchy dogs? Because people knew I could handle them! This then developed though into today’s business. Slowly, I began to realise what was going wrong was often happening at young stages and I could have avoided it with a little more support. 

I’m a massive advocate of getting things right from the start? And that’s partially where the pupdates come from! 

Equipment Preferences

Lots Of On Leash – Modern Icon Tracking Dog Harness
Lots Of Off Leash – Perfect Fit Harness
Collar – Landshark Sport Dog Collar 1.5″
Muzzle – BUMAS

Tricks Indie Knows

Sit, Paw, Other paw, lay down, roll over, roll back, spin, backwards, up, pray, paws off, paws up, bow, around, come, stop, touch, snoot, boop, side, relax, bed, heel, turn, catch, ready, over, easy, quick, slow, down, walk it, pick up, drop, hup, speak, quiet, stay, through, Ball, Find it, Weave (There are more that I can’t even remember)

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!

 

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