Looking for a breed that is clever, courageous, faithful and fearless? The german shepherd may be your pup of choice. They are very muscular and strong, obedient, and ready to learn. They have been known to give their lives for their humans and are a very loyal breed. They love their families, but can be wary of strangers. They should not be left alone for long periods of time and need to be around their people. They are usually not big barkers, unless they find it necessary, but they can be whiners! They do require a strong handler and training from an early age or they may get skittish and definitely need socialization. They love to have “jobs” and do great as working dogs in the police force, guide dogs, tracking, or security positions. They are not couch potatoes and if they are left to sit around in the house or locked in a back yard, may become very destructive and out of control. German shepherds are heavy shedders and shed year round. Some of the common ailments and diseases that can affect the breed are hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, bloat, epilepsy, and flea allergies. Our own Gwinnett Pet Watchers, Robin, just rescued a german shepherd puppy and she is a love! If you want an active and protective pup, then they would be a wonderful choice.
Back then the DNA Kits were a little bit expensive back around $90.00. But if you watch you can catch them on sale for under $60.00.
The hardest part about getting the sample was isolating the dog. In my house we have dogs, a cat, and even a bunny rabbit. So we had to put Domino in a room by himself, no toys (not that he would care) that another animal may have had in their mouth, clean water bowl … After two hours we went in and got our swap, put it in the envelop that came with the kit, and put it in the mail box. Then waited for the answer, Border Collie or imposter!
It did not take long to get a package in the mail from BioPet. With anticipation we all made our last bets then opened it … Imposter! I knew it! It turns out that Domino is German Shepherd Dog, Chow Chow and Labrador Retriever …. Not a drop of Border collie not even a little bit!
Most of you would think the fun would end their but no now instead of saying, “He doesn’t act anything like a Border Collie,” we say, “That’s the chow in him!” Even his groomer says, “See, that’s the German Shepherd in him.” Goodness we love our Domino no matter what his ancestry is.
On that same Christmas I gave a DNA kit to my kids for their new pup Bella… great minds think a like! But as they say, that is another story for another day.
Be safe and have fun.
One of the things that most fascinates me about working with dogs is learning about their nutrition and health needs. Many of the ideas I grew up with are no longer valid. You must be diligent in your reading to keep up on what is new in the animal world.
In my household I have five dogs:
- Suzie, a 15 year old female Border Collie
- Domino, a 12 year old male German Shepherd mix
- George, a 4 year old male Beagle/Border Collie mix
- Jake, a 3 year old male Australian
- Lucy, a 1 year old female Australian Shepherd mix
With the age spans I have to pay close attention so that I am meeting everyone’s needs with the right amounts and types of exercise and nutrition. Sometimes it is a little overwhelming.
When I bought this house 6 years ago I had all of the carpet replaced with hardwood floors for easy cleanup. At that point I only had two dogs and that worked out very well for a long time. But now my oldest dog, Suzie, is having trouble with her back legs. She can sometimes lose her footing when excited or when she gets jostled by the younger dogs. Now I am putting throw rugs down in strategic areas. It is amazing how fast she is came to realize that these are safe spots and if she feels a need for more security she gets on one of those throw rugs.
In an article titled “Tips for Helping Dogs Walk on Slick or Uneven Surfaces”, Patricia Hill writes:
“Elderly pets are a higher risk for falls and accidents, especially when walking on smooth surfaces and steps, but injuries often occur in younger pest, including puppies. Here are some tips that will help keep you dog safe on slick surfaces and steps.
Stairs are one of the most common places injuries occur. Elderly pets with decreased or limited mobility suffer from falls either going up and down steps or at the landing of the staircase. Younger dogs, especially puppies tend to receive injuries going up and down steps the same as elderly dogs do; however, their falls are a result of playfulness or lack of coordination.”
When choosing where to put down the rugs, watch how your dog moves around your home. Pay attention to where she needs to make turns. Make sure there are no long spans of open floor; break it up by placing small throw rugs every few feet. Be careful when buying your rugs and choose ones that will not catch on her nails since this can cause a tripping hazard.
If you follow these suggestions your older pet will feel safe and secure moving around the house and you just might find your dog interacting with the family more making everyone happier.
Have fun and be safe!