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Dog of the Week-German Shephard

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What can I say about the German Shepherd?  As one of America’s most popular dog breeds, they are strong, smart, and brave.  Classified as a working class dog, his devotion and courage cannot be matched by any other breed.  German Shepherds are excellent at whatever they are trained to do and are often seen working for police and military service.  They are great herding dogs as well as search and rescue, drug detection but are also great companions.  And of course, the German Shepherd has been one of my favorite breeds for years.

 

Characteristics of a German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are one of the most sensitive dogs that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  They are very attuned to their owner/handler and know by sense when something is wrong.  I once had a GSD that was amazing and my best friend.  She was highly intelligent and knew my routine very well.  It so happened that she and I were home alone one night when we heard a thump on the front porch.  Now I lived in a very small town and only a block from the police station, therefore my front door was never locked.  I opened the door and looked around, but never saw anything out of place.  I closed and locked the door and within the hour, went to bed, not giving it much more thought.  Upon finishing up the night time routine and climbing into bed, my dog would not settle down for the night, she kept jumping on the bed and off the bed and repeating this process over and over again for about 10 minutes.  However, once I finally moved away from the door and let her lay on the side closest to the bedroom door, she settled right down and went to sleep.  She wanted to put herself between me and the door, all because I locked the front door of the house, which was out of the norm.  And even though I did not feel stressed, upset, or anxious she could certainly feel any underlying anxiety that I had and wanted to protect me.

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I have also met a lot of GSD that are highly anxious dogs, and do not adapt well to change.  They will do OK in apartment living, but prefer a house with a yard where they can run and play.  They do really well in colder weather, but do not like to be alone and prefer (like most dogs) to be in a pack.  The GSD is also one of the most friendly dogs you will meet, however, again some of them (feeding off their owners energies) are more anxious than others.  If the owners are relaxed and strong, the dogs will be as well.  They can be great around other dogs, if exposed early and often and taught by their owners how to play without aggression.  They make excellent pets for everyone, children, no children, these dogs are great companions and make excellent baby sitters.  If you have an active child as well as an active dog, they will be sure to wear each other out in the back yard!

Intelligence

GSD are one of the easiest dogs to train!  Easy for even novice owners.  They are extremely eager to please their owners.  Making their owners happy makes them happy and their high intelligence allows for information retention easier than some other breeds. GSD’s have a high prey drive which helps in the case of search and rescue.  When they are on the trail of something, it is hard to get them to stop until they find what they are looking for. 

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Needs

The GSD is an extremely high energy dog, they require tons of exercise in order to maintain proper weight maintenance.  They are extremely playful and enjoy spending time with their families, running, frisbee, fetch, anything you want from your GSD all you have to do is ask, they will do it with great enthusiasm.  The GSD can also be  a little mouthy and without training can have a potential to bark or howl, with or without reason.  However, the GSD are generally healthy dogs, who would live a nice long life with you and your family. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Takeaways

  •  Family and kid friendly
  • Generally Healthy
  • High energy
  • Affectionate
  • Easy to train
  • Extremely sensitive
  • Used by police and military
  • Used for search and rescue
  • Smart
  • Prefers to be in a pack

What is your favorite breed of dog?  Have you owned a GSD before?  Would you own another?  Leave me a pic in the comments below, I love seeing everyone’s fur babies!

 

 

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Dog of the week-Rottweiler

Cute Rottweiler Dogs On Lawn

Rottweilers

Rottweilers are simply amazing animals, the Rottweiler is strong and true with a loving heart!  My first dog sitting job was for a male and a female Rottweiler family, Loma and Tahoe!  These two dogs stole my heart from the moment I met them.  No matter what they were doing, whether it be running, playing, rough housing, if I gave them the command, they would lay down and stay.  They were SO loving and gentle, even though their size was intimidating, you could not have wanted for better dogs.  They have both since crossed the rainbow bridge and will await me there to give me plenty of doggie kisses when I finally arrive!  I miss them terribly and keep their photo on my side table, where I can still see them every day.  While thinking about these two i decided it was time to make my dog of the week the Rottweiler.

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Origins

Rottweilers were originally dogs bred to drive cattle to market. Later they were used to pull carts for butchers. They were among the earliest police dogs and serve with honor in the military. Most important, they are popular family guardians and friends.
Read more at Dogtime.com 

The Rottweiler is an extremely sensitive dog.  They will be there for you when you are sad, and will provide plenty of comfort for you.  Like most dogs, the Rottie prefers to be in a pack (at least 1 other dog) and does not prefer to be left alone.  They adapt well with most climates referring the warmer climate to the cold.  However, these dogs do need someone who has had a strong willed dog before and are not good for novice owners.

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Friendliness

While the Rottweiler is a intimidating dog because of their size, they are really big teddy bears!  These dogs are extremely friendly and patient.  They are great with kids, wonderful family dogs.  They are relatively tolerant of other dogs and can play well in a pack with supervision.  And even though they are intimidating, they are not the greatest guard dogs, as they are extremely friendly towards strangers. 

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Health

The Rottie has a high potential for weight gain.  You have to closely monitor their feeding and keep them on a strict diet in order to maintain proper weight to size ratios.  They are extremely easy to groom, but they also shed a lot for short haired dogs.  Rottweilers are considered medium sized dogs and generally have quite a few health problems.  We lost both Loma and Tahoe within a year of each other to cancer. 

Intelligence

One of the most intelligent dogs I have ever worked with, Rottweilers are quick to learn and are easily trained.  I know that Loma and Tahoe were very food motivated which made treat training a breeze for their parents. These dogs have a high prey drive which made them very good at herding cattle, and have a potential for mouthiness and can bark quite a bit if not trained to not bark.

Exercise

These dogs require extensive amounts of exercise, they are great running companions because they have a very high energy level with a need for tons of exercise.  A Rottie that is not well exercised can cause destruction, gain weight, and Rottweilers can become dangerous bullies rather than the companionable guardians they’re meant to be. Rottweilers walk a fine line between protectiveness and aggressiveness and it takes a firm and loving hand to have them behave int he ways that are acceptable to society.  Rotties have a natural instinct to protect their families and can be ferocious in their defense. It’s essential to channel their power and protectiveness by providing early socialization, firm, fair, consistent training and leadership, and a regular job to perform.  These things will keep your Rottie healthy and happy.

Key Takeaways…

  • All around great dogs
  • Fierce protectors of family
  • Have a tendancy to bully
  • Early socialization is key
  • Super friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Highly intelligent
  • Sensitive
  • Loving

Whats your favorite breed of dog?  Any that I have written about so far?  Would you ever own a different breed?  Post pics int he comments below…

 

Dog of the Week-Border Collie

border collie

Border Collies

I have had the pleasure in my life of taking care of many Border Collies.  They are active, fun, smart, and affectionate.  They were originally bred to of course, to herd sheep, which they are still used for, on the border of Scotland and England.  These dogs have an unlimited amount of energy, stamina, and working drive, which to me makes them a ton of fun to play with.  From playing frisbee and tennis balls, they Border Collie is just always such a joy to watch and play with.

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Adaptable?

The Border Collie is a highly adaptable dog, suited more for outdoor space and a large yard, they can accommodate apartment living just fine as well.  However, they do not like to be alone, therefore if you own a Border Collie, in my opinion, if you work, they should have at least 3 days of Doggie Daycare a week.  This will keep them socialized with other dogs and well rounded with plenty of play time and exercise.  Be sure that the doggie daycare that you choose provides a ton of outdoor time for your pooch to keep them healthy and happy.

Grooming?

Border Collies have long beautiful fur and do require a fair amount of grooming.  Almost daily brushing in order to keep the coat soft and smooth and free of mats.  The also shed a decent amount, so be prepared to be vacuuming dog hair a few times a week as well.  Other than that they have fur  that is easily brushed and if you start early on your Border Collie and teach them while they are young that it something that they have to do, they will grow accustomed to it.  This can be a great bonding time with any dog.  Brushing calms the dog, removes unwanted hair, and is a fairly constant touching of the dog, which he/she will love! 

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Training?

Oh my are Border Collies easy to train!  One of the worlds smartest dogs, the training almost does itself.  Of course, as with training any dog, it takes time and patience, but the results are quick.  The border collie was bred to serve, and that is all that they want is to serve their master in the best way they can!  And by learning your commands quickly they will be one of your brightest pupils!  Obstacle course?  No problem for a Border Collie!

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Catch the frisbee you say!  GOWWWWT IIIITTT!

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Lay here and keep you company?  I can do that too!

 

Family?

Border Collies make great family dogs!  They are affectionate with family, incredibly kid and dog friendly.  They also do not make good guard dogs, as they are friendly towards strangers as well.  Your Border Collie will want the burglar to come and play frisbee in the back yard with him/her.  This about sums it up!

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Key Takeaways

  • All around great dogs
  • Great for families and children
  • Easily trained
  • Great with other dogs
  • medium grooming needs
  • SUPER SMART
  • fun loving
  • lots of stamina for active lifestyle
  • Adapts well to almost any situation

 

 

Dog of the Week- Dachshund

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Recently I have come to own a Miniature Dachshund.  Now this is a first for me in a very long time, and I told her upon adoption that I did not really know how to be a little dog mom, but that we would learn together.  And what a learning experience it has been.  I have learned a lot along the way, and it has only been a couple of months of having her.

Dachshund

One thing that I learned about Dachshunds that I found interesting is that they have an unusually high prey drive.  Dachshunds in particular LOVE to hunt.  Originally bred to hunt and fight badgers, they will track and hunt anything in your yard, lizards, frogs, birds, gophers, they just love to track and hunt.  Godiva, my Dachshund, will hunt lizards in the heat of the day, in the rain, and even at night.

Given their small stature, people are prone to trying to protect them, but make no mistake, the Dachshund is tough enough to fight badgers, so do not worry about a small mole.  However, they do not do well with cold weather, and would rather burrow into a blanket than be outside in the cold weather.

Family?

Dachshunds are wonderful dogs to have in your family, they are friendly and fun loving, they are adventurous and curious.  They make a great addition to any family.  If walking or running with your Dachshund, please keep in mind they have tiny legs and that they will get tired much faster than you.  They have a good amount of stamina for exercise and have an average exercise need.  They are active players, and if anything like mine, they are vocal players as well.  Lots of growling and showing of teeth, but all in good fun.  They are great with people of all sizes and make great playmates for children.  They are quick on their feet and are able to avoid falling toddlers very well.

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Apartment life?

Dachshunds are great at adapting to apartment living.  Unlike larger dogs in my previous Dog of the Week Blogs, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers  a dachshund does not mind living in an apartment.  Like all dogs though, they do like social interaction with other dogs.  They do not even mind the size of the dogs that they play with, my dachshund plays with our pit/bulldog mix all the time, and bosses around the mastiff.

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Key Takeaways

I have learned a lot from being the owner of a very small dog!  They love to cuddle!  They love attention and are prone to weight gain.  You do not want your dachshund to look like Vincent the overweight Dachshund that got national recognition after losing 1/2 his body weight.

Always keep your Dachshund warm in the winter, they do not generally hate clothing, that you can buy to keep them warm, and always keep a blanket where they can burrow into it if they get cold.

What is your favorite breed of dog?  Do you like big or small dogs?  How do you keep your dogs in shape?  Leave a comment or picture below…

Dog of the Week-Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Pictures

Labrador Retrievers!

What is there NOT to say about a Lab?  Anyone who has ever owned a lab may never  own a different breed of dog.  Labs are smart, loyal, lovable, and will do whatever they can to please their owners.  Labs come in three colors like the ones pictured above.  The American Kennel Club standards for the breed allow three colors: black, chocolate and yellow. Blacks are all black, although a spot of white on the chest is permissible. Chocolate Labs range from light to dark chocolate brown, while yellow Labs range from fox-red to light cream. Yellow Lab coats also might appear golden, causing them to become confused with the golden retriever, which is a separate breed, each color has their own unique characteristics….or do they?  Some may agree or disagree

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Chocolate Labs

The crazy ones of the breed.  These dogs are high energy and require tons of exercise.  Although they are loyal, they are also retrievers and love a good game of fetch!  All Labs love swimming and have webbed toes to make them excellent swimmers.

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With this webbing also comes the issue of yeast infections between the toes. 

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If your lab is a swimmer, make sure to thoroughly dry between their toes to prevent yeast infections.  Ear infections are also common in Labs, due to a lot of swimming, moisture builds up in the ears.  Regular cleaning of the ears and ensuring they are dry  just like the feet, will keep your lab healthy.

Yellow Labs

Remember Marley and Me, the movie with Jennifer Anniston and Owen Wilson?  To me this is the perfect example of a yellow lab!  Yellow labs are strong willed and stubborn.  Each yellow lab  that I have met in my life have been that way.  Dragging their owners down the street during walks, running off when they got the chance, so many behavioral issues.  Yellow labs take a strong willed human to care for them, and someone who is more stubborn and determined than they are.

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With that being said, like any lab, they are great family animals and with the right training, can be great family dogs.  Remember to always be the Alpha with a yellow lab, as they need direction and do well when you are the leader.

Black Labs

The more docile of the group are the black labs.  They are more laid back and easy going.  They are easily trained and willing to help.  Unlike the other 2 a black lab is just as comfortable lounging around with his human as running around the dog park.  Like the other labs, they do have high energy and require a good amount of exercise to be kept healthy and active.  But they are just as happy to spend the weekend on the couch cuddling with their human!

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Black labs all seem to have these tender and loving eyes, that sparkle with excitement when they are about they are up to mischief.  But the eyes always have a sad look to them, like they are deep in thought and you can see into their soul, even as puppies.

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Have you ever owned a lab?  What is your color of choice?  Would you own another?  If so, what color would you choose this time?  The same color you have already had, or something different?

 

 

 

Dog of the week-Golden Retriever

Each week for a while, I want to take the time to give some basic information on one specific breed.  Each breed highlighted will give you some insight on whether or not you may want to get a dog like this or wait until I give more information on another breed you may like.

This week I want to highlight the Golden Retriever.  As many of you may already know I have sat for a few golden retrievers in my time, they are great dogs in my opinion, with a wonderful temperament for families with or without small children.  They are patient and loyal, and are always available with a tail wag when needed and of course a good snuggle.  Golden Retrievers are absolutely one of my favorite breeds.  They are beautiful to look at and are so much fun to play with!  They are super smart and easy to train, which makes them a great companion to almost anyone.

Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. The breed’s friendly, tolerant attitude makes him a fabulous family pet, and his intelligence makes him a highly capable working dog. Golden Retrievers excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out drugs, and as therapy and assistance dogs. They’re also natural athletes, and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.  With this being said, they also require a good amount of exercise in order to keep them sharp.  They do not adapt well to apartment living and prefer to be in a home with a yard where they can play, hunt, or herd.  They are especially sensitive to everything around them.  Which makes them great therapy dogs, because they are also sensitive to peoples needs and can be very calm when needed.

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General Information

Retriever Info

Photo credit: dogtime.com

The above information can be found here
As you can see, the Golden Retriever is a very well rounded dog, needing plenty of exercise, but not for long periods of time, they are playful, fun, loyal and do not tend to run away.  You do have to carefully monitor food intake for your Golden Retriever, because they do have a tendency to put on weight easily.  They are also very well known for the amount of hair that they shed on a daily basis.  If you do not like vacuuming every day, or cleaning up hair, then the Golden Retriever is probably not the dog for you.  They are easy to train, but you cannot train them not to shed.  Golden Retrievers do not like being left alone and would rather be in the company of their humans or at least the company of other dogs to play with. A good #doggiedaycare is almost essential unless you are a stay at home parent, as they love to play with others (2 legs or 4). 

Key Takeaways for today…

  • all around great dogs
  • easy to train
  • lots of grooming
  • potential for weight gain
  • high energy levels in short bursts
  • great therapy dogs
  • wonderful family dogs
  • loyal dogs
  • friendly towards other dogs
  • friendly towards strangers
  • weather tolerant
  • prefer to be in groups

Leave me a comment about your experiences with Golden Retrievers!  Have you owned one?  Would you own another?  How did you deal with the hair?