Breed Spotlight; German Shepherds

German Shepherds are one of the most recognizable breeds in the world. They tend to either be favoured or feared. They are probably one of the most misunderstood breeds, as well. Although German Shepherds have always been known for their police work, scent work and brute strength, these dogs actually make wonderful family pets. Extremely smart and able to learn some of the most in-depth tricks, they can also be a little stubborn. Well, actually, quite a bit stubborn. German Shepherds always need to know that someone is boss and it’s not them. This just means, right from an early age, you must always be utilizing their brain. Teaching and guiding them to be the pet you want.

Originally bred for herding sheep due to their easy train-ability and their quick wit. They are able to focus on the task at hand without any distraction.

As family pets, they adapt easily to their environment and a structured life. They are the ideal pet for a family that likes to spend time outdoors with their furry friend or to just curl up inside on a warm bed.

When considering purchasing a German Shepherd there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. They are a large breed dog. That means food and medications will be more expensive than with a small dog.
  2. Purchase from a reputable breeder. German Shepherds are one of the most over-bred dogs, infamous for back-yard breeders. Certified hips and eyes are a must. They can be prone to hip-dysplasia and panosteitis ( a disease of the eye).
  3. They require constant grooming. Just brushing, but very important so that their undercoat is well taken care of .
  4. Training; Obedience training is an integral part to having a well-behaved dog.
  5. Willingness to exercise. Whether it just be regular games of fetch in the yard or long walks, these dogs need to get outdoors to avoid feeling cooped up inside.
  6. Commitment. 9-13 years!! German Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs in animal shelters and rescues.

We hope that this little insight will offer some better understanding of what a fabulous breed the German Shepherd is.  Majestic, beautiful and intelligent. What more could you ask for?

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Are you making these common mistakes with your pet?

Most of our lives are spent with good intentions and showing our pet how much we love them is a prime example of that. Unfortunately, some times, our good intentions are not the best. Here are a few common mistakes we all make.

Do you yell at your dog when you come home for something he did hours ago?

For example, you come home and realize your dog ate the thawing chicken for tonight’s dinner. Do you…a) yell at him or b) train him not to take things off of counters? Ding, ding, ding… of course B is the correct answer. Yelling at your dog after the fact will only make him scared of you. The guilty face you think you see, is just your pets reaction to your attitude. They know you and your behaviours. Training your dog not to jump up or steal things off of surfaces is a fairly easy thing to do.

Do you give your dog a treat to show you love them?

Your so cute, here’s a treat. Oh, you went to lay on your bed without being told, here’s a treat. Would you like some of my dinner, ok.. here’s a little bit. Dog food is boring all the time, have a little table scraps to add some flavour. It’s time to go to the bathroom, here’s a treat. It’s time to come inside, here’s a treat. Ok, Ok, Ok, enough treats!!!!

Studies show that more than 50% of household pet dogs are overweight. Controlling your pets intake will result in a leaner, happier pet.

Do you hug, kiss and pet your dog every time they seem scared?

Telling your dogs “it’s ok” or consoling them when they are scared is actually giving them the wrong signal. You are essentially rewarding their behaviour and giving them the impression that this is the way to behave under these circumstances. Instead try distracting them or removing them from the situation.

Do you allow your dog off-leash? 

Although your dog may be well-behaved when off leash, remember, not everyone’s are. Most dog fights occur when dogs are off leash which is also the hardest way to stop them. Trying to put your hands in a dog fight to remove your dog to safety can almost always guarantee you’ll be bit. Also, many dogs have been injured chasing after unsuspecting wildlife. Keep off -leash time to fenced dog parks and backyards for the safety of your pet.

Do you share your medications and herbal remedies with your pets?

Although there are some medications and supplements that can be used from people to pets, most are not. Pet medications are made using specific criteria for their body systems. Many medications are not even transferable from dogs to cats due to the extreme differences in metabolic rates. Many human medications, remedies and supplements can actually even be toxic to your pet. Tea tree oil and Camphor ( in topical muscle relievers, such as, Vicks Vaporub) are examples of two regularly used human products that should never be used on your pet. If in doubt, give us a call at 905-846-3316 and we can help you decide whether the product is safe to use.

Do you take your pet to the vet only when they’re sick?

Yearly examinations are an integral part to having a healthy pet. Many times pets will have subtle changes or abnormalities that will make a veterinarian take notice although nothing will be noted at home. Many conditions are treatable or even curable in the earliest stages.

Do you just chalk it up to doggy breath?

Doggy breath! We have all smelled it, but is it normal? Although there is an acceptable level of doggy breath, many times it’s not. Typically, once there is a strong smell to their breath, you usually already have dental health issues. Plaque accumulates on teeth then hardens to become tartar. At this point it starts to push on the gum tissue and aids in bacteria getting under the gum-line. It is this bacteria that then eats away at the root and jaw surrounding the teeth. This is what you smell. An overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. Yuck! At this point, the mouth needs to be taken care of professionally. Easily enough though, good oral health can be maintained by regular brushing, feeding pet food designed for good oral health and many other products. Give us a call to discuss your pet’s oral health.

Is your dog a couch potato?

Pets are no different from us humans in respect to needing exercise. Regular daily exercise is crucial to all mammals well-being. It also won’t hurt us to get off the couch once in a while 🙂

Do you make your pet think?

When was the last time your pet has done something new or exciting. Using their brain is as good for them as it us for us. This is easy enough to accomplish too. Teach them a new trick. Purchase them a new toy or treat/meal dispenser. There are many products on the market for both dogs and cats to keep them entertained and using their brain. Way to go, Einstein!

And last but not least,

hudson carSafety in cars!

Always make sure your pet is safely secured when travelling in a vehicle. 

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