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Shepherd Guide, Issue #018 -- Jan 12
January 31, 2012

Happy New Year! 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.

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

January 2012

In this Issue:

  1. In the News - German Shepherds Care for Newborn Tigers
  2. GSD Hero of the Month - Rescue Dog Rescues Owner
  3. Training - Not an Option in Germany
  4. Health Issue - Hip Dysplasia - GSDs Ranked 39th
  5. What's On Your Mind?

1. In The News

Three white tigers born at an animal reserve in China, are being nursed and nurtured by German Shepherds.

The tiger cubs are their mother's third litter in 18 months and she was unable to care for them. Caretakers at the reserve came up with the idea of GSDs as temporary foster parents. The dogs stepped up and their maternal instincts took over.

Both the cubs and the dogs appeared to enjoy the experience.

Watch the video.

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

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Read more stories about German Shepherds in the news.

2. GSD Hero of the Month

Teagan, a German Shepherd rescued from abuse, returns the favor by alerting her owner to a fire that could have turned deadly.

A stuffed animal had fallen onto a baseboard heater and quickly began emitting deadly smoke. When Teagan woke her guardian, Nicole, the apartment was already filled with smoke and the curtains were charred.

The smoke alarms never went off. Thankfully, Teagan's fast alert kept the situation from becoming much worse.

Good girl, Teagan! Read more about this amazing dog.

3. Training

Dog training is not an option in Germany. When you get a dog, not only must they be spayed or neutered, but you are required to go through training which will allow you to take your dog anywhere.

Last time I was in Germany, I traveled with my brother and sister to what used to be East Germany to see where our father had grown up. I was surprised to see a gentleman boarding the train with his huge German Shepherd. When I asked if he was a therapy dog, the owner looked at me like I was crazy. He told me that you are allowed to take your dog anywhere in Germany. Because when you get a dog, you must go through required training. Quite a contrast from the US, where they must be certified therapy dogs!

At a typical park, you will see dogs running around unleashed. If you ask about about this phenomenon, you will be given the same strange look and asked, "is this not a park?"

I think this is wonderful, as I take my dog wherever she is allowed, which typically limits me to PetCo, PetSmart, Home Depot, Lowes, or the local DOG park. Tip: if your dog is not trained well on a leash, do not bring her there if you need to make a purchase.

I often take Schatzi to home improvement stores just to browse and practice her commands. Luckily, there is also a dog friendly mall nearby. Most of the stores allow dogs. Although, some of the stores dogscriminate and only allow "small" dogs.

4. Health Issue

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has seven hip grades for dogs, three of which qualify for breeding purposes: excellent, good and fair. There is also a borderline category, and those that are not recommended for breeding are mild, moderate and severe.

What I think sucks is that breeders are not regulated. Any backyard breeder or puppy mill can breed a dog without regulation. And the AKC allows this.

Surprisingly, according to the OFA, GSD's are ranked as the 39th most susceptible breed for hip dysplasia. According to their stats, 19 percent of GSDs are prone to the disease.

I have had great success using a natural remedy for my Schatzi.

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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