Likes: Breed typical, being in the center of it all is the spice of life. Loves being excited, hassling the neighbor dog, anything high impact
Pet-Peeves: What I call "crested males"...older men that are fit and well-postured make him nervous.
Favorite Toy: Mr. Squeaky Man, and he borrows Daniel's all important Leopard Ball. Cardboard boxes are big fun , too...Giants love imposing toys!
Favorite Food: Lasagne and chili, for sure. In general, however, he is a very finicky dog and won't eat first and ask questions later!
Favorite Walk: By the "cat house"...a neighborhood woman who always has five cats lounging in her yard, one of those having high nerves - won't budge from his placement...drives Tiller looney!
Best Tricks: I don't really trick train much...dropping his ball when I ask him was a BIG moment - two years in the making!
Arrival Story: Tiller is my second Giant and I got both from the same breeder, who is clear on the other side of the country, but so worth it! After I lost my beloved Onion, I needed pause, then put a puppy deposit down and had to wait four months, as this breeder will not let go of her puppies until they are 16 weeks old. A day before ship, my puppy vetted out with a heart murmur! Sylvia is so massively cool...she didn't want to disappoint, so she subbed Tiller, who had been held back by her as a show pup and was by the sire Winston Churchill, who everyone lusts after! Years before, Onion had settled in rapidly, but Tiller is a very different dog...a very sensitive emotional bucket, and it took a long time for him to grow comfortable with suburbia, having grown up on a farm. Very tepid,
overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds. There are a lot of idiot bikers in my area who would rev their engines as they passed me....it didn't help in the slightest. I'd often walk at dusk just to avoid the greater stimulus of daylight and was wondering how I'd train him to heel as he never wanted to move in front. At eight months or so, however, Mr. Testosterone arrived, and we've been in an entirely different place. Loves walks, loves action, thirsts for stimulus big time...a real rocket. You need to be patient with this breed. They are very slow to mature and very emotional. No one who sees Tiller now would guess he was once a tepid little puppy. Every dog is an individual....it's always good to remember that!
Bio: Tiller is by far the most complicated dog I have had to raise....absolutely not for beginners, and in inexperienced hands he may well have been a disaster! He is exceptionally sweet natured and immensely tactile...indeed, he wants to be a lapdog and tries to accomplish this by leaning his shoulder atop my knee and flopping his head and neck across my lap. Incredibly willing to train, he heels flawlessly on a loose lead, drops on a dime, and his recall is amazing. As long as I impulsively split work with fun, he is an awesomely enthusiastic worker. He is super sensitive to my moods and always seems to sense when I am blue....it is very striking! Tiller is a very high engine dog.....showy and erect, he loves stimulus and will get intense and animated very quickly. I work very hard on keeping his focus on me; typical for this breed (which I like to call "an Irish Setter on steroids"), he is way over-the-top in terms of pushiness. He's not at all aggressive, but very "on it" and could easily spark a dog fight for how pushy he is (in truth, in character he is in no way an alpha...a total wannabe, but ultimately a lover and not a fighter), and when strangers make him nervous he will play "chicken"....rushing in to try to force to the surface if they are friend or foe. There has been MUCH work put into this complicated dog. He acts very daffy and dim, but in truth is strikingly intelligent. He knows how to open the frig, and when I put a safety lock on it cracked that, too! His work and play clothes are VERY different - the few times he has faced a potentially legit threat, he is hard, still and very serious. This dog is a doll, very concerned that his Cocker buddies are happy and after three years is finally rounding to his more settled adult form. Loves to romp and play....exceedinly athletic and as vivacious as they come. Exhausting, but worth it!