Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Training Your GERMAN SHEPHERD Dog

God's Picasso
German Shepherd Dog - Photo   by Bad Apple Photography 
The German Shepherd Dog truly is a wonderful animal and not only do they make good working dogs, they also make superb family pets. They are however very different from other pet breeds and need to be handled and trained with a different approach to say your average labrador or poodle for instance.

The GSD is a large, strong athletic dog, which needs a lot of mental stimulation and exercise but a well-trained shepherd can learn to do almost anything. These dogs positively thrive on challenging activities and they are so willing to serve their master and please. As a working dog used by most police forces, the very look of a GSD is usually enough to act as a deterrent but when called into action there are few dogs that can match the German Shepherd as an all-rounder.

If you are considering becoming an owner of a GSD then you need to consider the commitment to training in order that you have happy, well behaved German Shepherd dog that you can take out safely in public.

If you haven't previously owned one of these dogs then please do not take on a youngster lightly. Being involved in GSD rescue I have lost count of the number of young dogs I have had to re-home because owners bought them without doing a bit of research first.

As youngsters, they can be very boisterous and can easily knock over children or elderly relatives, especially if you do not discourage the dog from jumping up when excited. A bored GSD can be very destructive and if left alone will trash your house and contents with ease using their big teeth and claws. Unfortunately, these dogs don't really mature until they are about 3 years old so you are in for the long haul to get through the puppy and adolescent stage

The German Shepherd needs to be well socialized from an early age and needs plenty of exposure to people and other dogs so that they do not develop aggressive tendencies as they mature.

Joining a dog training class from an early age is a good idea and most clubs will accept dogs into the puppy classes from about 4 months onwards. This should be good fun for your puppy and allows him to play and to socialize but it also serves the purpose of teaching him or her what is acceptable and what is not. This will prove invaluable grounding for your German Shepherd training.  

When choosing a dog training class do check out a few first as not all classes make German Shepherds welcome and if any club asks that you muzzle your dog, please give it a miss and move on and find another club. No reputable dog training class would require a dog to be muzzled. If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs there are better ways of controlling the dog safely such as by using a Canny Collar which is a simple effective head collar similar to those used on horses.


The earlier you start training and socialization the better as GSD's often develop a tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs and also towards strangers and they can become very protective towards their owners and property.  

Another important part of training your German shepherd is to get him used to be groomed because they shed copious amounts of hair and although they only molt once a year, it lasts for 365 days. So be prepared for dog hair all over your house, your clothes, in your food and buy yourself a very good vacuum cleaner.

Training your German Shepherd should be very much part of everyday life and it should be fun to stick with it because it really will be worth it in the end.




Monday, October 23, 2017

Fact Sheet: GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG

(Original title: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: Facts You Must Know Before Adopting Greater Swiss Mountain Dog)

Beauty from the Swiss Alps
Photo by Randy Son Of Robert
 
Breed Description

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large, muscular and sturdy breed. Also known as Grosser Schweitzer Sennenhund, this breed is the largest of the long-established Swiss Sennenhunds, which are dogs that involve four regional breeds. This breed weighs typically between 110-140 pounds for males, and 90-120 pounds for females, and stands around 26.3-29.3 inches for males, and 24.6-27.8 inches tall for females, both at the withers.

Coat

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a distinctive tri-color pattern. They have solid black legs, head, ears, and body, with tan or rust-colored calves and cheeks, white chest, toes, muzzle, and tail tip. Their outer coat is very dense, and their undercoats should never be seen.

Activity

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog loves being involved in various sports. They are a very diligent breed, and desires long walks and herding, with pack hikes, particularly pulling. This breed prefers cold climates and has a great desire to play and run off leash whenever possible. Avoid vigorously exercising them as puppies as they will need all their energy to build strong joints and bones.

Temperament

Sociable, active, yet dignified and calm, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a breed that loves to belong to a family. These dogs are loyal and fiercely protective, making them great watchdogs. This breed is appropriate to a simple family life but does require a great deal of space to exercise in. Determined yet stubborn, these dogs do best with owners that have some experience with handling dogs. Generally an intelligent and quick learner, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog makes a loving and loyal family pet that offers a lifetime devotion to those whom he loves.

Overview

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a powerful, keen, and handsome breed that was originally developed to be a watchdog, pull carts, and herd cattle. They love having jobs to do and are competent in conformation, obedience, and agility competitions.

Care

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires brushing weekly, with extra care should be given during shedding season. Bathing should only be done when necessary for this breed. But due to their large size, owners may find this a difficult task. They can be taken to a professional groomer.

Training

Training the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog requires a very consistent and firm yet gentle method at a very young age. Due to their dominance, these dogs should be shown that the handlers are higher in the order than them. Training can be quite a challenge due to the delayed maturity of this breed and may remain as puppies for 2-3 years.


Socialization should be done and is imperative for the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Their natural instinct to protect and guard makes them suspicious toward strangers and new situations if not socialized properly.

Character

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is friendly, intelligent, eager to work, protective, and reliable. They are composed and watchful, with highly recognized obedience and sociability. They thrive on human companionship.



Sunday, October 22, 2017

ROTTWEILER - Dogs of the World


ROTTWEILER - Dogs of the World - Photo: Pixabay



Saturday, October 21, 2017

DOG TRAINING Secrets

English: Galomy Oak's Aurora del Mango - servi...
Galomy Oak's Aurora del Mango - service dog in training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every dog and every dog owner has his or her own unique dog training challenges.  Each breed of dog has a different temperament as does each individual dog.  And dog owners are no different.  Despite the differences, there are some basic things in common for training all dogs.

No matter why you have a dog, he should at least have some very elementary dog training.  No one wants a dog who isn't housebroken, who runs away or into the street, who won't sit, come or stay when you want him to.  Both you and your dog will be happier with a little common ground on obedience training.

One of the first things to take into account when dog training is that dogs are programmed for a world of leaders and followers.  You have to be the leader in your relationship.  Signs of a leader are absolute consistency.  Know what you want your dog to do and keep that constant from day to day and training session to training session.   Don't shout.  That is a sign that you have lost control.  And keep your dogs' attention focused on you during the entire training session.

Attention is the second important thing to keep in mind for dog training and one of the hardest to maintain.  It has been said that ninety percent of dog training is getting and keeping his attention. Dogs are very much like small children and have short attention spans.  Keep training sessions short - 20 minutes is fine, or even a couple of 10-minute sessions.  Work with your dog in a quiet environment that is free of distractions.  Talk to your dog in a quiet voice.  Use his name and explain what you want him to do.  He may understand no more than, "Blah blah blah, Toby", but your voice will keep him focused in your direction.

Experts have found that positive dog training is more effective than a system of rewards and punishment.  A dog who looks forward to training sessions as fun and full of rewards is a dog who will learn faster and better.  Reward accomplishments with treats or words of praise or pats.  As your dog learns new skills, you can reward him for each step along the way.  If he doesn't respond the way you want, rethink what you are asking him to do and how you are asking him to do it.  What worked as a dog training method for one dog may not work as well for the next.  Your dog may need to review some more basic dog training lessons before going on to new lessons. Rather than punishment, a stern NO, blocking a movement with your hands, or withholding rewards when he doesn't perform, and remaining consistent are the best ways to encourage your dog to exhibit the behavior you want.  Remember that it is in his nature (as well as yours) to want to test limits and see how much he can get away with.  Consistency in dog training and rewards are what get positive results, not punishments.



Dogs are very much like us.  They want to follow a leader they respect.  And dog training is just like school.  They like to do things that are fun and make them feel good, where they get rewards for accomplishing what is asked of them.  And they want the same thing their owners want, a happy and safe relationship with the ones they are love.  A little dog obedience training will go a long way in making this happen.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Health Concerns in SIBERIAN HUSKY

Scarlet the Siberian Husky Enjoying the Denver Blizzard of 2006.
Siberian Husky - Photo   by    Jeffrey Beall 
Siberian huskies are basically healthy dogs who usually live from twelve to fifteen years, but, like all breeds, they do have some health problems. Some dogs carry genes for eye or hip problems.

The most common kinds of health problems in Siberian Huskies have to do with their eyes. Cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, which can diminish the amount of light entering the eye. Juvenile cataracts can be seen by the age of two. Fortunately, most cases are not severe enough to cause blindness, but that is a possibility.

Research shows that the DNA that causes cataracts might reside in a recessive gene. That is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it is good that the gene is recessive so that dogs who carry it do not get cataracts. On the other hand, it makes breeding Siberian huskies riskier because it is not always clear which dogs are carriers. More research needs to be done to develop a test that would recognize the gene for cataracts in carriers.

Progressive retinal atrophy is another genetically transmitted disease of the eye. It affects the rear part of the eye where light forms a picture after going through the lens and center of the eye. It affects mainly male dogs, being inherited in a sex chromosome, the X. Females have two X chromosomes and can be carriers without the disorder if only one X chromosome is defective. When a mother dog with one defective X has puppies half her male puppies will have the defect, which can lead to blindness by the age of 5 months.

Corneal dystrophy is a mild disorder of the eye, which does not affect vision. It affects the transparent covering of the outer part of the eye. Fat deposits in the cornea can cause a slight cloudiness, sometimes forming a circle, which is not harmful. It can be seen with any eye color.

Hip dysplasia is another genetic disorder that can affect Siberian huskies, but it is fortunately rare, believed to be present in only about 2 percent of the dogs. It is caused by a combination of genes, making it difficult to breed out of the population, since normal healthy breeding pairs can produce a certain number of puppies with hip dysplasia. The disorder affects the acetabulum, or top, of the femur, or thighbone, where it fits into the hipbone. When there is a poor fit arthritis, or inflammation of the joint, can take place, and the joint can be worn away. It can make walking, running or climbing stairs painful and can result in constipation.




A concentrated effort is being made to evaluate Siberian Huskies for defects and to keep them from breeding. The Siberian Husky Ophthalmic Registration (SHOR) keeps track of dogs who have had veterinary examinations each year to make sure that they have no eye defects. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) performs the same function for hip dysplasia.

Before buying a Siberian Husky it is a good idea to check and see whether both parents have OFA and SHOR registrations and clean bills of health Before buying a Siberian husky ask to see the OFA and SHOR registrations of both parents. That will not guarantee to get a healthy dog, but it will decrease your risk of getting a puppy with eye or hip problems. Enjoy your new best friend.

    Camille Goldin, talks about different health concerns in a Siberian Husky dog. She writes for TrainPetDog.com, a website that gives information on Dogs .
    Articles Source: GoArticles