Are Big Dogs Hard To Handle?

What is it about large breeds that appeals to most people?   Is it there docile, yet devoted temperament?  Maybe it’s the fact that they are an ideal home and personal security measure.  Or maybe some people just get along better with big dogs than they do with the little purse pets, of the Hollywood starlets.

Who’s Handling Who?

Letting your dog get the upper hand is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as far as training is concerned.  It is the reason and fact that some people think that allowing your dog to sleep with you is an invitation for disaster.  The reason being that the dog will begin to think that, not only are you two on the same level of the food chain, but they may actually decide that they want to be the big dog and leader of the pack, as opposed to you. I grew up in a family, where my dog slept with me every night and we never had an ounce of trouble from that dog, and it was a relatively large dog.  Is it essential how you raise your dog, as to whether or not they will obey you and strive to please you?  Yes, of course it is.  Training methods that involve very small treats or the praise/reward system should suffice in that area.  Leave it to the ‘experts’ in their infinite wisdom however, to find something wrong with the bonding process, between a child and their dog, by snuggling up together in bed at night.

Define ‘Handling’

If you’re talking about handling a dog, you’re most likely referring to whether or not you’re capable of hanging onto it, if it decides to take off after another dog or another human. Small children walking large dogs, that aren’t completely trained or obedient for example, could be a recipe for disaster.  That child may not be able to hold onto the leash and the dog ends up darting out into traffic or attacking someone or something.

That said however, small dogs can get away from their owners too and are frequently far more high strung and excited.  Small dogs, because of their quickness and sudden movements, can startle a person holding the leash thereby jerking it from their hand. Handling a dog takes more than strength and a leash.  It takes vocal commands and an acquired relationship, between the commander and the dog.

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Maintaining Your Dog’s Weight

 

Don’t think that just because your sleek and beautiful German shepherd comes from the finest most superior German bloodlines, that it can’t end up becoming as obese as any other dog.  A dog, just like it’s human, can be subjected to too many goodies made from too many unhealthy ingredients, thereby ending up with a weight problem.  Of course keeping your dog sleek and slender involves more than simply taking it easy on the treats.

What’s in Your Dog Biscuit?

Did you know that some soft treats for animals contain ingredients similar to those found in antifreeze?  You did know, did you not, that antifreeze is deadly to dogs?  So, why do they put it in there?  Ask them!  It is not a necessary ingredient for any kind of food, whatsoever.  Does it act as some type of preservative to keep the treat fresh and soft? Probably.  Are there other things that could and should be put in its place?  Absolutely, positively, without a doubt yes!   What’s really scary is that there has seemingly been a rash of recalled dog treats, in the recent past, that you need to be aware of.  Pull up your favorite search engine and enter ‘recalled dog treats’ if you had any doubt as to whether or not you may have had or may still have any of these recalled dog treats, in your home and are furnishing them to your beloved four-legged companion.  These treats are capable of doing far more than just making your pet sick… They can be deadly.

Walking Your Dog Is Good for Both of You

With the human obesity problem running rampant, there is no reason why both you and your dog can’t benefit from daily walks.  Take your dog out in the backyard and throw a ball or Frisbee withthem.  Take your dog jogging with you.  As long as your dog is on a leash, there’s no reason why the two of you can’t romp and play together, in the great outdoors.

Of course, you will have to keep an eye open for no pet signs in some of your city’s or town’s parks, and you always want to make sure that you carry a couple of plastic bags, for when your dog does what it is that he’s actually supposed to do on that walk, besides exercise… but all of that aside, that walk can and will be the highlight of both your days, if only you will let it.

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Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Treats?

If you think that there is no such thing as too many treats for your dog think about what happens to you or any other human being, that eats too many treats.  Bad teeth, bad skin and obesity.  All of these can be the same problems that your dog can be plagued by, as a result of too many treats.  Particularly to many of the wrong kinds of treats!  That’s why pet food makers are now investing all sorts of money, in the creation of healthy dog treats.

Does a Dog Need A Treat to Feel Rewarded?

Many obedience dog trainers do admit to using very small treats, as the positive reinforcement, during their dog training sessions.  Some change over from a small treat to praise from there, knowing full well that all our dogs want is to please and be praised.  Yet other trainers never utilize treats and rely solely on praise and approval.  There is nothing wrong with giving your dog small treats during training.  Coupling it with praise, so that you don’t always need a treat is a smart move, however.  A dog will seldom say no to a treat, but neither will it say no very often to petting and praise.

Does Size Matter?

The size of the dog doesn’t matter and neither does the size of the treat, as far as whether or not it can be too small.  The tiniest little treat will suffice, no matter how big your dog is. They know they’re getting something good and that’s all they really care about.  What’s in the treat, however matters. Always check the ingredients in your pet’s treats, because some of the soft treats contain a substance comparable to some of the same ingredients found in antifreeze.  In case you didn’t get the memo, antifreeze is deadly to dogs.

Just as a human being’s life can be shortened by health problems, resulting from eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods, your four-legged family friend for a lifetime can have its life cut short, by the seemingly well-meaning action of feeding it too many treats.  Learn how to say no and learn what kind of treats are okay, when you do say yes.

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Where Should Your Dog Sleep?

Knowing full well that a child with a dog has found a family friend for a lifetime, and you would certainly never want to do anything to discourage that relationship, should you let your family dog sleep with your child?  If you’ve got one of those little teacup dogs, your child could rollover on top of it and suffocate it.  With a larger dog, such as the German shepherd, that would certainly never be a problem and German shepherds are typically mild-mannered enough for the job.  But, is it good for the child and the dog?

You Get 6 Hours Your Dog Gets 12

Your dog usually gets about twice the amount of sleep that you do every day. They sleep in crates, on couches, in chairs, on the floor, in dog beds… Many sleep anywhere they please. Then of course they would love to be sleeping not just in your room when you’re sleeping,  but right next to the bed, if they can.  Some trainers will tell you that letting that brand-new puppy sleep in bed with a humans is one of the first mistakes that can be made as a dog owner.  They talk about dominance and the fact that the dog now feels equal to its human, thereby not feeling that it any longer has to obey the human’s orders.  They even go so far as to suggest that your dog may actually assert a more aggressive behavior toward you feeling that you can be challenged, as the leader of the pack.  That’s what the ‘experts’ say.

A Boy and His Dog

That could read a girl and her dog as well but regardless, the bond between a child and the family dog is, 9.5 times out of 10, an unbeatable and unbreakable one.  Most dogs would go to the ends of the earth, for a child in the home in which they live be it protecting them or snuggling up in bed with them.  Dogs simply aim to please. They depend on us not only for food and exercise, but for love and companionship… as we do them.

Of course you never want your child to be subjected to fleas, just because they slept with your dog, or other illnesses, for that matter.  Ideally however, your dog is not going to have fleas or other illnesses, particularly considering all the remedies that can be found in pet stores and veterinarians offices.  Choosing where the dog sleeps is of the utmost importance to the family  continuity, as you do not want the dog roaming the house at night, while the family is sleeping away.

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Traveling Long Distances With A Pet

No matter how much you feel your dog may possess a super character, even the best behaved animal can have issues with traveling – particularly when it involves long distances.  It can get so bad for some animals in fact, that they have to be medicated or the entire ordeal will simply be too horrific either for them or their traveling companions.

You Have a Car Seat, Your Dog Has A Crate

To make it easier on both the dog and the others in the car, many dogs travel better crated than they do roaming around the car.  It’s also not safe for dog to roam around the inside the car, anymore than it is for your child to be crawling around inside the car, when you’re driving.  Harnesses that clip to a seat belt are available for dogs, if your dog doesn’t do well in a crate or if you like having them next to you.  It is essential that you disengage an airbag, if your dog is riding in the passenger sea,t because the airbag itself can kill your dog should it go off in an accident.  For smaller dogs there are also a type of booster seat that still contain the harness and seat belt clip, so that the dog can see out of the window comfortably.

Things To Remember About Traveling With The Dog

Remember that just like you, your dog is going to have to stop to relieve himself occasionally.  If your dog is nervous about traveling, this may need to be done on a more frequent basis.  Be careful what you feed your dog before leaving, because giving it to many liquids will cause it to have to relieve itself more often.  If your dog has digestive problems, you want to make sure you don’t feed them anything that will cause more problems, because dogs with gas or diarrhea in a car is never a good thing – not for the dog and certainly not for you or anyone else riding in the car.  Make sure that you have a strong leash, so that when you take the dog out of the car to relieve itself, it will not get away from you and run back into traffic or at other dogs or people at a rest stop.  Do obey the rules at rest stops and only walk your dog where the signs permit.

Always check with your vet, before packaging your dog up for an airline flight.  You may prefer to take the extra time to drive rather than subject your dog to the trauma or you may just choose to medicate the dog to make the whole trip easier.  If you do fly with your dog and want to have it somewhere other than baggage, you must check with the airline first.

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The Dietary Needs Of A Show Dog

It’s no surprise that winning German Shepherd show dogs come from superior German bloodlines.  No matter how stellar a dog’s bloodline and background are however, without the right care, maintenance and food, a show dog stands little chance of taking home that coveted blue ribbon.  Individuals that are no stranger to dog shows undoubtedly have not only all the credentials, but supplies that they need in order to give their prized pooch the best chance of winning.  If you’re considering owning and maintaining a show dog, you will want to be prepared.

Does Your Dog Have Allergies To Certain Foods?

Just like humans, some dogs don’t seem to do well with certain foods.  Though meat is a substantial part of a healthy diet for a dog, certain meats are more easily digested than others.  If your dog exhibits signs such as vomiting or diarrhea, it could be a reaction to something that their body is finding it difficult to digest.  Foods that are commonly associated with allergic reactions in dogs are as follows: soy, wheat, corn, chicken eggs, fish, lamb, chicken, dairy products and beef.  That doesn’t mean that your dog will be allergic to all of those, it simply means that one or more of them could be the culprit, if you’re noticing what might be allergic reactions to food.  Symptoms, in addition to diarrhea and vomiting, can be skin infections, hot spots, excessive scratching, hair loss and infections.  Sometimes in fact, antibiotics are required to help an animal through a rough spot, after a reaction. While the usual number of bowel movements for a dog should be around 1 1/2 every day, dogs with allergic reactions can sometimes go as many as several times a day.

What’s In Your Dogs Food Besides Food?

Naturally your dog needs the right kinds of nutrients and vitamins, in order to stay healthy and happy.  And as just mentioned, meat is an important part of your dog’s diet.  An extremely important part of a show dog’s diet contains substances that are essential for a healthy, thick and shiny coat.  As with humans, healthy skin and hair can be helped along by products applied to the skin and hair itself however, it’s best to start from the inside out, with the proper nutrients.

Additionally, did you know that your dog’s breath could have something to do with what he eats?  Not all dogs have bad breath.  Sometimes it can be caused by their stomach, lungs or mouth containing bacteria build up.  Even worse it could hint that there is something wrong with your dog’s kidneys, liver or gastrointestinal tract.

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Teaching Your Dog Obedience Skills

No matter what kind of dog you prefer, you can’t deny that some dogs simply take to training better or more quickly than other dogs. German Shepherds, for example not only have incredibly super character, but they are quick to catch on, when it comes to potty training, obedience training and tricks.  Possibly this is one of the reasons that they are the preferred breed for the canine police force.  They are also exceedingly protective.  Strangely enough, as protective as these dogs are they are also perfect with children, thanks to their previously mentioned character, temperament and steadfast devotion and dedication.

Training Your Dog Yourself

As if potty training wasn’t hard enough, there are any number of things that you should instill in your dog that are of the utmost importance.  Sit up, lay down, speak… All handy little commands.  However, ‘stay’ is an extremely important command, as is ‘come’.  You’re going to need both of those.  Some people like to train their dogs completely and totally on their own, while others prefer to go to obedience school with their dog and learn the basics of proper training techniques.  There are a plethora of training techniques, when it comes to animals.  Many of them however start out with positive reinforcement and go from there.  If you have even the slightest doubt as to how to train your dog then obedience school may not be such a bad idea.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to receive good, quality training, for both you and your dog.

There Is No Such Thing As a Bad Dog… Just Bad Owners

Unless there was a problem with breeding somewhere down the line, dogs are not born bad.  They are not born to fight with other dogs or attack humans.  The dog is a product of its breeding, surroundings, training and upbringing.  Spend lots of time loving your dog and training him with positive reinforcement and you will raise a loving and devoted animal. Beat your dog, starve him, antagonize him and ignore him for long periods of time and you will not have a well-adjusted, nicely behaved animal.  If there are children in the house, this becomes undeniably important.  You cannot have a child in a house, with a dog that is less than patient or doesn’t quite know how to handle unintentional harassment, by a child who doesn’t know any better.

If you are rescuing a dog from a shelter, you will want to make sure ahead of time that the dog has some kind of training and is okay with kids, if kids are in the house.  If you have another pet, the dog is going to have to be all right with other animals and you always want to check out the shelter ahead of time, to make sure they have a good reputation.  The same goes for breeders.  If you’re getting a puppy from a breeder, you want to make sure that the breeder has a spotless record and is fully certified.

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The Basics Of Owning A Puppy

Major rule number one, about getting a puppy is this: puppies potty.  They go indoors, they go outdoors and everywhere in between.  Get used to it, get over it, it’s their job… They’re are dog.  Some dogs train easier than others, when it comes to not just potty training, but behavioral training in general.  German Shepherds for example, tend to ‘get it’ quicker than some other breeds.  If however, you are going with a larger breed of dog, please make sure that you have plenty of room for the dog, both indoors and out and are prepared to exercise it, walk it and pay higher food bills than you would with a smaller breed of dog.

Seven Little Pieces of Puppy Knowledge

Here are some little tidbits to help you with your knowledge of puppies:

  • Puppies are tiny and they need just a tiny bit of room… At least for starters.
  • It is not cruel to crate train a puppy.
  • You should socialize your puppy with other animals, including dogs.
  • Get to know the breed of your puppy, before you bring it home– research, research, research.
  • Puppies,  just like human babies, need lots of attention, time devoted to them and love.
  • Your little puppy has a great little outlook on life; extremely positive and incredibly patient, for someone so young.
  • You’re going to be taking that puppy to the vet more than once.
  • Puppies, like young children, need stability, repetition, and training.

Your Shopping List for Your Puppy

Make sure that you’ve done all your shopping before the puppy comes home, so that you don’t have to leave them alon,e just run to the store:

 

  • Hopefully they’ve already been on FrontLine or something comparable to it, so make sure they have their own stock.
  • The previously mentioned crate for at home and one for travel.
  • To discourage your puppy from chewing on things, some breeders recommend Bitter Apple.
  • Try to pick out treats that are healthy and good for their teeth.
  • Every child needs toys – make sure they are puppy safe.
  • Every dog should have a bed of its own.
  • Make sure that you have healthy, highly recommended puppy food.
  • Your pet should be licensed and have an ID tag worn on their collar and never go out without a leash.
  • And of course they need their own little place setting complete with food dish and water bowl.

Whether checking out breeders  or an animal rescue… Do check out the place from which you will be purchasing your pet, well in advance.  Be leery of puppy mills or puppy farms. Always ask for credentials and check online to see if the place from which you are purchasing your puppy has any type of reputation… Good or bad.

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Will Your Kids And A New Dog Get Along?

What are the chances that your child is going to get along with a new pet?  A lot depends on the child and an awful lot can depend on the pet, as well.  The family dog is a member of the family, in many homes throughout the world.  Some dogs are more working dogs than they are snuggly pets, but regardless of their service, they are cared for and loved by the family… Particularly when kids are involved.

Little Dogs with Little Kids? Maybe Not.

Little dog lovers don’t just like their little dogs, they love their little dogs – like on a Zen level.  And, whether they choose to admit it in public or not, little dogs can tend to be a bit snippy.  They are traditionally a little higher strung than some larger breeds.  That said, people with children should take into consideration the dogs demeanor, because kids can tend to be a little inappropriate around pets, when pet ownership is new for them.  They make fast movements, which dogs don’t particularly trust.  They might tug on the ears and the tail and don’t really realize how rough they’re being with small animals, until it’s too late.  Though large dogs, that have not had the proper upbringing, may not be crazy about that kind of behavior either.  Dogs such as German Shepherds tend to be a bit more docile and accepting of behavior – provided they have been brought up, in an appropriate loving environment.

I Promise I’ll Feed It, and Walk It, and Clean up after It, and….

And as a parent, how many times have you heard that during the begging and pleading process, that usually precedes the obtaining of the family pet?  You would be well served to hold your child to those promises, not just because it means a little less work for you, but because owning a pet is a huge responsibility and your child needs to learn that.  Whether some adults were never raised with that appreciation or simply have forgotten about it, far too many pets end up abandon and in shelters, because of irresponsible or cruel human beings.  Which is also something to consider, when looking for a German Shepherd or other family dog.  Rescuing a dog is a noble action, that will bring both you and the dog happiness and love.  Not all dogs are suitable for adoption into a family with children, so find out as much as you can about the dog, before taking it home to live in a house with children or other pets.  German Shepherds do tend to get along well with both other pets and children, just as a matter of reference.

Whether you get the family dog from a rescue or reputable German shepherd breeders, or go with some other breed of dog, there can be no denying that a child and its dog is a bond that will last for years and years.  And, it’s an important bond at that!

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What To Know About Owning A Pet

 

There is no denying that owning and caring for a pet is a huge responsibility.  It is a good way for children to learn what responsibility and having someone else depend on you is all about.  Our family dogs, no matter what breed, depend on us for everything, from love to food to being walked, exercised and let outside, when they need to be.  There are adults that don’t take the responsibility of owning a pet seriously, so teaching children early is an important step, in the upbringing of a child.

Are German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

German Shepherds make some of the best family dogs available.  Small dogs can sometimes get underfoot and get stepped on by smaller children and adults.   Also, smaller dogs don’t always have the right kind of temperament, for the kind of pestering and playfulness  they can receive from young children.  Here are several reasons to make a German Shepherd your breed of choice:

  • With their gentle disposition and demeanor, they are the perfect companion for the elderly or disabled.  Many of them are in fact service dogs.
  • Though they do need space in which to run around, they are equally happy indoors or outdoors.
  • They enjoy the company of people and other dogs and will ordinarily take very little time to adjust to new surroundings.  They will commonly bond with those who are friendliest toward them.
  • Their resounding bark is extremely aggressive to the ears of intruders making these dogs excellent security systems.  Their reaction time is extraordinary and their hearing is extremely sensitive.  So good are they in fact, that they are the top choice for the canine police force.
  • They love going on walks and being played with.
  • Housebreaking and other types of training are easier with German Shepherds than with some other breeds.  Ordinarily they will get along with other house pets.
  • Caring for German shepherds and maintaining their general health is relatively low maintenance.
  • Once bonded to their owners, they will protect them to the death.
  • And, aggressive behavior  is not a problem, with the family children. They will protect the children and are very even-tempered around them.

However, all of these traits depends on the proper breeding.

Dogs Can Be As Different As People

Just as no two human beings are alike, no two dogs are like either.  How a dog is raised has everything to do with how a dog behaves.  There is also a concern for how dogs are bred. Certain puppy farms, for example are the worst place possible, from which to purchase your family dog.  Many times they are raised in filthy conditions and can even be subjected to breeding, within the same family.  This does not apply to every breeder however, but you would be well served, by checking out a breeder ahead of time should you choose to purchase from one.  Ideally, rescuing an animal is an excellent way to help, not only your family, but the animal as well.

There are rescues all over the world and can be found online, even if you want a specific breed.

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