Back to Back Issues Page
Shepherd Guide, Issue #005 -- Sep 09
September 16, 2009


Welcome to another issue of the Shepherd Guide!

Thank you for subscribing. As always, in respect for your time, I will keep these monthly updates short and to the point.

September 2009

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - Teach Your Dog to Read
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Tuff Love Mother
  3. Training - Gentle Leader Collar
  4. Health Issue - Dog Allergies & Pet Food Coupons
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

Klaus, a 2 year old German Shepherd has learned how to read, says owner Rita Parr.

Parr holds up written commands on paper, such as "roll over," "shake," and "high five." After looking at the paper, Klaus will follow the command.

Parr taught Klaus to read by writing in distinctive letters and repeating the command several times while showing him the written command. After doing this a few times, Klaus appeared to recognize the letters and performed without being told what the paper said.

Some may theorize that Klaus is reading Parr's energy before obeying the instruction. But, Bonnie Bergen, president of the Bergin University of Canine Studies in Santa Rosa, CA, believes that dogs can actually read. Her book, Teach Your Dog to Read, offers advice on teaching dogs to recognize and respond to written commands.

Everyone's dog has a habit or two that make them undeniably theirs. What makes your dog unique?

Share your dog stories here.

Read more stories about German Shepherds in the news.

2. GSD Hero of the Month

After trapping a GSD mix, Animal Control officers in Summerville, GA, were surprised when they were escorted back to the shelter by the GSD's mother, a Lab mix. Half the size of her son, the officers attempted to catch her as well. When they were unsuccessful, they headed back to the shelter, while this devoted mother wore out her paws, running alongside the truck which carried her precious cargo.

There is no limit to a mother's tuff love. Sadly, they were both being kept at a high kill shelter. But a comment on the story reported just today that both of them had somehow escaped from the shelter.

Here's hoping they're both OK. Bless their beautiful hearts.

3. Training

If your dog continues to pull on walks, one collar you may want to try is the Gentle Leader collar. It was recommended at my puppy training class and it will definitely make your walks much easier.

I knew we had to do something when my four month old pup yanked my boyfriend off of the front porch, breaking his foot. Using the Gentle Leader, he was able to walk her... on crutches.

To be effective, it must be fit correctly. And constant pressure should never be used - just quick corrections. Otherwise, it can put too much pressure on the back of your dog's neck, and all they will do is balk.

Make sure you watch the DVD that comes with the collar. When used properly and fit correctly, you will be able to comfortably walk your dog. Instead of the other way around.

4. Health Issue

Many dogs appear to have skin allergies. I recently dog-sat for a couple whose dog itches so bad, she scabs and has constant hot spots. She is now on Rimadyl. The owner told me that it was an expensive drug, but appears to be working.

When I saw the food they were feeding her, Beneful (dry) and Old Roy (canned), I realized that the low cost food might be the source of her problems.

My GSD eats Wellness Core (dry) and Old Mother Hubbard (canned) exclusively. A fussy eater, I had to try several foods before finding this winning combination.

It must be working as everywhere we go, people comment on her beautiful, shiny coat. A couple stopped me at PetCo one day and asked if she ever had allergies or skin problems like their GSD. I told them no, because she eats quality food.

Yes, it costs more, but it saves even more at the vet. No Rimadyl for my girl.

To help defray the cost of quality dog food, I have found some pet food coupons.

As I find more, they will be added. Except for coupons that are only good for cheap dog food.

Your dog's health is too important.

5. What's On Your Mind?

As a fellow German Shepherd lover, I want to hear what you may have questions or concerns about.

What would you like to read about in future issues? Reply to this email and let me know.

Until next month,

If you like this newsletter, tell a friend.

Back to Back Issues Page