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Shepherd Guide, Issue #009 -- Mar 10
March 30, 2010


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.

March 2010

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - GSD Rescues Rabbits
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - K9 Veterans
  3. Training - Online Dog Training Video
  4. Health Issue - Canine Sebaceous Cyst
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

I must admit, it was difficult this month to find a positive story involving GSDs to share. But, I persevered a found a heartwarming one!

K9s are known for rescuing lost and injured humans. But, Scout, a German Shepherd in Gilroy, CA, located and brought back to his owner two black-tailed jackrabbits.

Tom Schatzel took his dog on an early morning walk in the fields near his home. Scout ran off and returned, carefully carrying a tiny 4-ounce rabbit, which he dropped at Tom's feet. He then took off only to return with one more cold and very wet bunny.

Tom asked Scout where he had found them and the dog led him to the exact spot where he had discovered the babies. Luckily, there were no more.

Jackrabbit mothers tend to hide their babies (called leverets) in nests of grass, returning at dawn and dusk to nurse. While it's not known if these rabbits were orphaned, they may not have made it after being exposed to inclement weather.

Tom brought the jackrabbits to his mother who dried them off and warmed them up. She then took them to a Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center. There they will be handfed, weaned to grass and re-released into their original habitat.

As the weather warms up and you get ready to mow your lawns, take care to check for leverets or other small creatures not easily seen in tall grass.

Have something incredible to share about your dog? How about telling us 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

This month, we are proud to honor all Military K9s. These life saving heroes put themselves in harm's way to protect their beloved handlers.

There is a nationwide effort to establish March 13 as K9 Veteran's day to honor our four legged soldiers and working dogs. This is the anniversary of the K9 Corps which was established in 1942.

I'm proud to announce that my hometown of San Diego has adopted this day of rememberance. Luckily, lots of other localities are taking suit.

Sadly, Joe White, the gentleman who started the effort has passed away, but his wife is picking up where he left off. Learn more at K9 Veterans Day.

3. Training

While waiting for good weather to return, I studied another program for training German Shepherds. This month, I reviewed Dove Cresswell's Online Dog Training Video Series.

Dove is a Hollywood dog trainer and as such, is under pressure to show results fast. She created this online video series to help dog owners quickly learn the basics.

Her unique approach details her tone of voice as well as the proper dog training posture. This can be helpful since GSDs are so intelligent, yet can be a bit stubborn. I'm sure you know what I mean.

The videos consist of 7 lessons covering puppy house training and potty training; crate training; dog obedience training; walking politely on a leash; the recall; good puppy & dog manners and special dog tricks.

I learned some leash training tips and fun tricks to teach my German Shepherd.

4. Health Issue

Right before I was about to go on vacation, I found a lump on my dog. Worried, I immediately called my trusted vet. She asked me a number of questions, such as:

  • is it easily movable, or attached to the tissues under the skin
  • bleeding
  • growing in size
  • irregular in shape
  • painful

Based on my answers, that it was not movable, wasn't bleeding, changing in size or irregularly shaped, and it didn't appear to hurt my dog, she suggested that it may be a sebaceous cyst.

Because I was so worried, she came by the next day and diagnosed it as a likely sebaceous cyst.

Regular dog grooming can help prevent these as they are usually caused by a buildup of sebum (oil) in the hair follicles.

I don't know about your dog, but my GSD does not like to be groomed. She'll get used to it, as I have now made this a regular part of her routine.

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,

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