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Shepherd Guide, Issue #017 -- Oct 11
October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Welcome to another issue of the Shepherd Guide!

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

Special note: Looking for a GSD? Please consult a German Shepherd Rescue. There are many deserving GSDs looking for their forever home.

October 2011

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - Are German Shepherds Going Out of Style?
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Detective Rescues Samantha Ray
  3. Training - Alpha Roll
  4. Health Issue - Updated Dog Vaccination Schedule
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is replacing their German Shepherd police dogs with Belgian Malinois. The Malinois is a less popular breed and are considered hardier and more reliable.

Is this a blow to the German Shepherd breed? Or a blessing in disguise?

I think it's the latter. Over time, less visibility will lower demand. Those unscrupulous breeders trying to make a profit on the popularity of the GSD breed will be forced to find another meal ticket.

Breed founder, Captain Max von Stephanitz, created very specific and exacting standards. He would roll over in his grave if he saw the German Shepherds that are being produced by some "breeders" today. Especially the show lines with their overly sloped backs.

This once carefully bred dog soon becomes one of the 20th century's most popular working breeds. They even served as the Army's official mascots in WWII.

Many American breeders carelessly produced puppies on a mass scale to keep up with demand. This resulted in a deterioration of the breed, seen in an alarming rate of hip and eye problems.

Perhaps if other departments follow the lead of North Rhine-Westphalia, GSD's will be less visible. Hopefully, this will give the breed a chance to recover.

One Dog That Has Dad Its Day

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

Former Stray Samantha Ray

This month's hero is Miami-Dade police Detective Roy Rutland. While driving back to the police station, Detective Rutland saw a car hit a German Shepherd.

When the driver failed to stop, Rutland pursued, but lost track of the individual.

He rushed back to try to help the dog. "The shepherd was yelping out loud, almost calling for help. It was a pitiful sight," Rutland says.

He thought he would be helping the 3 year old female, who had suffered a broken leg, to die peacefully. He and Officer Debra Hilliard took the dog to an animal clinic, but workers said they couldn't take a stray dog.

Since she was in a great deal of pain, Rutland paid them to sedate her until she could be transported to county animal services.

"This case has affected the officer I was with that evening and me," Rutland said.

While Samantha Ray has a chip, her owners have not been found. But her good fortune continues as volunteers have picked her up from the shelter and an orthopedic surgeon is treating her for free.

"I just happened to see on the news last night that this had happened," said Dr. Robin Holtsinger. "I'm an orthopedic surgeon for animals. So, that's what I do."

Samantha Ray's prognosis is good. She will be at the clinic for a few more days and then be placed in a foster home.

But this wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for the kindness of Officer Rutland.

Paws 4 You volunteer Judy Berger summed it up well, "There are not a lot of people who will stop in the middle of the road and pick up a dog, especially a German Shepherd."

Thanks to Detective Rutland for saving Samantha Ray!

3. Training

I'm a big believer the Cesar Millan's methods. Except when it comes to the alpha roll.

The information I've read from The Monks of New Skete and Stanley Coren, PhD, speak of its danger and highly discourage use of this method.

While Millan still performs the alpha roll on occasions, he cautions that only a professional should ever forcibly put a dog on its side. If you have a dominant or aggressive dog, and are inexperienced, you could be bitten, mauled or attacked.

Find out more at Alpha Roll in training German Shepherds.

4. Health Issue

Doing the happy dance!

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccination Task Force updated vaccination guidelines for 2011.

According to

Developed in a manner consistent with best vaccination practices, the 2011 Guidelines include expert opinions supported by scientific study, published and unpublished documents, and encompass all canine vaccines currently licensed in the U.S. and Canada. The task force that developed the guidelines included experts in immunology, infectious diseases, internal medicine, law, and clinical practice.

What's different?

All core vaccines, except the 1 year rabies shot are now recommended at intervals of 3 years or more.

The task force even acknowledge that for non-rabies vaccines, immunity lasts at least 5 years for distemper and parvo, and at least 7 years for adenovirus.

Annual shots for core vaccines are no longer recommended. This is great news since over vaccination results in vaccinosis.

Read more about a recommended dog vaccination schedule.

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 time,

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