Tag Archive | #snhusmm

Dog of the Week-German Shephard

German Shepherdspexels-photo-350428

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

german shepherd stance

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.




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!


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. 



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!




Dog of the week-Rottweiler

Cute Rottweiler Dogs On Lawn


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.



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.



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. 



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. 


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.


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- Dachshund


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.


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.


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.


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.

my dogs

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

choc lab

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.

Image result for lab webbed toes

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

Image result for lab toes yeast infection

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.

Image result for Marley and Me

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!

Image result for black labs

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.

Image result for black labs Image result for black labs

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.

Image result for free stock photos therapy dogs golden retriever

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?

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

What can be said about Puppies?

Puppies, while we love them, they can be a ton of work.  Before you run out and adopt a new puppy, take the time to realize how much work they really can be.


Potty Training

While we all know that potty training can be difficult for some puppies, some are easy to train.  What options do you have for training your pup?

Crate Training

One option is crate training.  Crate training can be stressful for both you and your dog.  If not done properly, crate training can cause fear of the crate, stress, and anxiety in your dog.  Some very helpful tips can be found on Cesar’s Way .

One of the most essential tips for crate training your dog is to make sure to get your dog accustomed to spending short periods of time in the crate before leaving them for long periods of time.  Dogs who have been abandoned or spent time in shelters may be more afraid and stressed than other dogs, mainly because they already know what it is like to be locked in a cage.  Make the cage a happy place to be with treats and toys.  Something to chew on is a plus as it will keep the puppy occupied for a short time.  15 minutes of stimulation for a dog is plenty and will mentally exhaust them so that they will nap.  Show the puppy that even though you are leaving, you will return.  Leave them for a few minutes to start with and return.  Then for longer periods of time, and return.  Showing the puppy that you will eventually return, and not because they are barking or whining.  Even though some puppies can be quite shrill, be sure not to run back if they start to cry!  They need to accept that you cannot come running every time they cry, just like children.

Pee Pad Training

I am personally not a fan of pee pad training for a puppy.  This still teaches them that it is okay for them to go potty in the house.  To me this is not acceptable.  Teaching a dog bad habits that you will just have to break later, is not ideal.  Unless you are okay with buying pee pads for the duration of the dogs life, and are happy to keep cleaning the mess up every day, this in not something that I recommend.  However, it is something that people do and it is an acceptable way to train your dog to potty in one spot and not all over the house.  More information on Pee pad training can be found here

Image result for dogs on pee pads

Helpful Tips for Potty Training

  • Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his/her food between meals.
  • Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him/her outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he/she goes out last thing at night and before he’s/she’s left alone.
  • Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his/her business. His/her scent will prompt him/her to go.
  • Keep him/her on a leash so you know when the puppy has done his/her business
  • Stay with him/her outside, at least until he’s/she’s house trained.
  • When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him/her or give him/her a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.

Behavior Training

Behavior training is another thing to consider before jumping in to get a puppy.  Some puppies are easily motivated to do what you want them to do on command, and others are a bit more difficult.  Behavior training can be done at home with little money, just invest some time spent with the dog each day training, usually in increments of about 15 minutes a day(puppies have a short attention span).  Other dogs may be a bit more difficult, or have issues that you are unable to address on your own.  When this happens, you may need to invest some serious dollars in order to hire a dog trainer.  The best dog trainer in the world of course is Cesar Milan, and I refer to him frequently in my blogs.  He has many helpful tips on training dogs on his pages.  If you ever have a question about dog related anything and you cannot find it on my blog, see his page Cesar’s Way

Image result for training treats

Treats seem to be a favorite of most pets, in my experience, I have found this the best way to train a puppy.  Most dogs, with a bit of time and a few treats, can be taught basic commands.  Sit, roll over, stay,  beg, all can be taught using treats.  To keep your dog from becoming food aggressive, while they are eating, just toss in a couple of treats.  Each time you do this move your hand closer and closer to the bowl until you can reach your hand into the bowl with no response from your dog!  This is one of the best tricks I have learned yet.  Of course, all training has to be the same for everyone in the family.  One person cannot use sit and another use down for the same command.  If you want your dog to sit use simple one syllable words like sit.  If  you want your dog to lay down use commands like down or lay.  Dogs can understand simple one-two word phrases.


Key Takeaways for Today

  • Training requires time
  • Training is not for the faint hearted
  • Training needs to be the same with every person in the home
  • Everyone should participate, so the the puppy listens to everyone
  • Potty training can be a long process
  • Stay away from pee pads unless you want to spend your life cleaning up after your dog