Sunday, August 11, 2019

Basic Instincts of German Shepherd That all Breeders Need to Understand

Note: This post was published in this same blog on Feb 06, 2008. After a long 11 years I noticed that the health of this breed (both psychological and anatomical) have considerably worsen, while the health should have improved. Owing to this fact, this post has been reproduced again because this is the need of the hour.

GSD instincts as inseparable part of its behavior

German Shepherd or Alsatian Dog is one of the most Versatility canine breeds in the world - this is beyond all controversies! A well bred German Shepherd Dog is his master's truest companion, although not all shepherds are equally versatile. If bred scientifically a German Shepherd puppy will grow up with all the desirable and mandatory instincts that would make it a true type royal dog and a perfect protective companion of his owner.

While working on the development projects of make a true type working dog, Captain Max Von Stephanitz emphasized more on the working ability of the breed, rather than the look. Insofar its capability as a protective working dog is concerned it is mandatory to have the 5 basic instincts of a GSD. Here are the 5 Basic Instincts of well bred German Shepherd Dogs that are genetically inherited by a puppy from dam and sire. Idea of selective breeding comes to play its role here. Responsible breeders try to retain the basic instinct of the breed through planned and scientific breed programs. Breeding scientifically will result near-to-perfect progenitors. Remember no dog is a 100% perfect dog in this world.

The 5 Basic Instincts of a "well bred" Alsatian dog have been broadly categorized into two categories, viz. Critical / vital Instincts and General Instincts. Both these types of instincts in Alsatian or German Shepherds are of utmost importance and aspiring breeders must keeping in forefront of their mind the importance of retaining them in progenitors while breeding German Shepherd Dogs.

Critical Instincts in German Shepherd Dogs 

1. Booty Instinct OR Prey Instinct: This is one of the two Critical Instincts of a well bred Alsatian or German shepherd dog. This German Shepherd instinct triggers the dogs character trait to chase moving objects like flies, moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, etc. and seize them. This is one of the most vital GSD instincts for excellent Schutzhund protection work. The Booty or Prey Instinct plays most vital role in acting as one of the most critical motivator of striking with speed and power, which is a mandatory part of a German Shepherd Dog characteristics. This critical instinct starts to develop as the puppy reaches 6 months of age and eventually becomes prominent as it grows.

2. Fighting Drive: Another Critical instinct in a well bred German Shepherd Dog is his Fighting Drive. This GSD instinct is also referred to as "Active Aggression" or "Offensive Aggression", which is as important as the Booty Instinct, because it stimulates the dog's working ability as a protection dog. This GSD instinct helps the dog to deliver "rhythmic & explosive barks" during protection. Each of those regular deliveries of bark helps the dog to get positively stimulated, which in turn helps him to give high degree protection service. The Fighting Drive instinct of German Shepherd Dogs is highly desired for the Schutzhund protection work.

 Photo courtesy: Kraftwerk K9

3. Hunting Drive: Hunt drive or Hunting drive is another critical instict of GSD breed that helps the dog to use and combine all other drives to find a prey. More intense the hunting drive is, better the dog is for detection work. Hunt drive is important for any GSD to be a perfect patrol dog. Intense hunting drive helps the dog to effectively find the criminals.

General Instincts German Shepherd Dogs 

4. Self Preservation OR Defense Instinct: The Self Preservation of Defense Instinct is also called "Reactive Aggression". This GSD instinct should not be confused up with Prey Instinct and Fighting Drive Instinct in German Shepherds. Reactive Aggression, as a typical Alsatian dog or German Shepherd Instinct, helps the animal in developing an inherent protective trait related to territoriality. This German Shepherd instinct denotes the degree of Sharpness of its behavior as a protective dog.

This is one of the most significant part of GSD character and behavior. Reactive Aggression Instinct in GSD or Alsatian dog acts as the catalyst for the two Critical Instincts, viz. Active/offensive aggression and prey instincts, as it heavily stimulates the booty instinct and active aggression. However the Reactive Aggression Instinct of well bred German Shepherds also stimulate the Social Aggression Instinct.

5. Pack Instinct: This instinct is almost common for all pack animals including dogs, wolves, foxes, jackal etc. The Pack Instincts is not unique in German Shepherd Dog breed, but is commonly found in almost all the canine breeds in the world. In a well bred Alsatian dog the Pack Instinct is noticed quite prominently, compared many other other breeds. This is another most important German Shepherd Instinct that is highly significant for the Schutzhund trial, as it stimulates the inherent behavior of the dog to protect the pack members and act alike. Acting like all other pack members helps the dog to act in the way the handler or the owner wants him to act like. This in turn makes it easy for the owners/handlers/trainers to train the dog and teach him desired tricks. Remember... viewing from the dog's perspective, the dog considers his the owners/handlers/trainers as his pack members. Easy to train GSD (i.e the dog with desirable degree of Pack Instinct), backed by the correct blend of Territorial Instinct and Social Aggression makes the dog stay closer to his pack members. This stimulates the dog's protective behavior, which is one of the most important trait considered for Schutzhund.

6. Social Aggression: Social Aggression is another desirable German Shepherd Instinct. Like the other instincts of Alsatian Dogs Social Aggression also increases the degree of trainability -- especially for the Schutzhund protection services. Social Aggression Instinct makes the dog deliver "deep grumbling bark" towards any threatening situations, thereby proving its territoriality and dominance. This typical male German Shepherd Dog instinct can be considered as a warning signal to the threats or the strangers. Each of such barks stimulates the dog by generating power within him, which in turn helps him express himself more dominantly. This is one of the most important and desirable determinants of a guard dog character. This particular GSD instinct called "Social Aggression" is exclusively a male instinct found in most canine breeds that have been recognized guard dog breed. Found prominently in well bred male German Shepherds this instinct usually remains un-exhibited until the dog is made to face a threatening situation. Social Aggression is profoundly backed by right degree of Territorial instinct in German Shepherd Dogs and in all other dog breeds used for guarding services.

A Few More words About German Shepherd dog Instincts

It is probably due to some of these typical instincts that this majestic breed - the German Shepherd Dog has been stigmatized as one of the aggressive dog breeds. This has given a hard blow to the breed's popularity, although Alsatian Dogs is still one of the most popular dog breed in the world. It is to be kept in the forefront of the mind that these instincts are typical for the German Shepherd Dog breed and has to be genetically engineered to the heirs through proper breeding. Without the right degree of such aggression, a particular dog would be an incomplete German Shepherd. It is t be noted that German Shepherd Dog is quite friendly to the pack members including kids, but not so to the strangers, which is of utmost necessity for a perfect protection dog.


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Breeding Goal For GSD

Photo: Qvido Vepeden
Bred in: CMKU (ČeskoMoravská Kynologická Unie - (CZECH REPUBLIC)) FCI
Date of birth: 11.03.2012
Height / Weight: 65 cm / 43 kg

Dog breeding, alike breeding any other animal, is a dynamic process, and has to have a transparent, clean and meaningful goal. It is important for a breeder to stay focused on the science and art of breeding – especially when it comes to breeding working dogs like German Shepherds that was actually created to work with man and not to be kept with family as a token of status and pride. Successful breeders look back often times to check what are those things that were advised yesterday and are still important today, and what are those that should be filtered out.

With the increasing popularity of the breed – especially after the world war II, breeding GSD became a livelihood for many people around, and the practice is carried out even today. These days the people who do not even understand the breed properly are breeding these dogs to earn a living, which is a serious concern. The result is the rise in the number of backyard breeders who run after look, rather than working ability, still cannot come up with puppies with correct expression and proportion – the two major criterion for 'look'. The concept of breeding for working ability started to diminish at a faster rate; and today there are only a handful of breeders in the world who keep their focus set on the producing structure for actual working ability. DDR Line - East Germany Working GSD Has Maintained Its True Heritage. However, it's less popular.

Fact is that a few original breeders across the globe, who responsibly do it right, can't make money out of breeding German Shepherd Dogs.

Breeding for look:

Breeding for look has only started during the mid 19th century. A trend has developed to breed for look. So-called breeders tend to breed head turner GSDs with rich tan marks, big bones and huge volume. These dogs are much different from what is actually demanded for the working ability. Unlike breeders, who are inclined to produce head turner show piece specimens, the breeders of DDR and Checz lines are way more focused in producing actual German Shepherds that are more effective while working with police, military and sentry etc. and are more able to work under stressful situations, in any environment and in different terrains.

Breeding just for look unfortunately gave rise to a number of problems – especially anatomic, physiological and psychological defects, some of which have gone to such a degree that they are transmitted to progenitors genetically, having balance problems, with back issues and hind quarter issues.

Breeding for working ability: 

The idea of breeding for working ability is gradually fading out with time. Up till the first phase of 1960s German shepherd breeders did not any choice but to breed according to the what was advised – breeding for working ability. But in the fag end of 60's lots of Creative things started to be taken into consideration to produce award winning specimens, that could be further bred with a goal to produce dogs with conformation for championship – rather than for actual workmanship.

Breeding German shepherds for working ability– doesn't necessarily mean that they would have to be bred to work only as shepherds for herding sheep. The goal should to producing dogs that are physically healthy, anatomically perfect and mentally stable to work as army dogs, sentry dogs, police dogs, sniffer or drug detection dogs, and not to be forgotten, as therapy dogs, companion dogs, seeing eye dogs... which means producing specimens to fit in all faucets of work. The breeding goal for original working line is aggressive eradication of dogs with slightest indications of dysplastic hips or elbows and weak temperament. Simultaneously the goal is to breed dogs with straight toplines, large and strong head, strong and bones, perfect agility. The working dogs are bred for innate strength, athleticism and ability to work under stress and in all weather... in one word – a perfect functional dog.

A Note About DDR and Czech Lines German Shepherds 

On the contrary, the DDR Line - Deutsches Demokratische Republik Dogs (German Democratic Republic) – East Germany in English and the Czech lines - German Shepherds in the Czechoslovakian Republic have always been the finest examples of working GSDs. Both there lines used to have a single motive – breeding original working dogs for police and soldiers, and they still carry their heritage with pride.

DDR - Deutsches Demokratische Republik German Shepherds are actually bred for working as border patrol dogs, war dogs, sentry and the likes. In the past most of their training used be carried out during the night for night maneuver exercise sessions. The Diensthundefuehrer ( Dog Team Leader ) used to be responsible for the overall maintenance, care and training of the DDR border patrol dogs. On the other hand in the Czechoslovakian Republic breeding GSDs had just one single goal, and that is breeding original working and service dogs. The breeding for Czech GSDs was carried out in a single highly organized kennel that was owned and maintained by the Czechoslovakian army, with approximately 30 staffs working in the kennel per day. Czech dogs were bred to trigger the ingrained protective instincts and were trained to protect their handlers (border patrol force) when attacked by any illegal intruder. Simultaneously these dogs were also responsible for stopping these offenders while they attempted to escape.

Take away from this chapter 

The breeding goal of German Shepherd Dogs or any working breed should be producing dogs with purpose. Breeding demands immense responsibility – NOT TO EARN A LIVING OR TO WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. Compared to the yesteryears, today's breeders have loads of scopes to use technology and methods to determine the goods and filter out the bads. Breeding German Shepherds or any other breed should have a well formulated program supported by science and NOT by emotion.
A couple of good reads here: The 5 Basic Instincts of German Shepherd Dog that the modern breeders need to restore. It's the need of the hour!

Schutzhund – The Breed Evaluation Test: Developed For German Shepherd Dogs


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Using Motivational Factors in Dog Training Techniques For Your GSD

Positive Motivation Dog Training Techniques With Corrective Measures

One of the undeniable aspects in dog training techniques is motivational dog training. Whether for your German Shepherd Dog or a Chihuahua positive motivation dog training techniques should be adopted by trainers. A handler can only be considered as a good trainer if s(he) has learned the art of using motivation in his/her dog training endeavor.

At the very beginning, it is important to let know that any reward based dog training techniques cannot be considered as positive motivation dog training, although both are considered as positive dog training methods. Many dog trainers – both freshers and experienced – are found to confuse reward based training with motivational dog training.

Reward Based Dog Training Vs Motivational Dog Training

Reward based dog training and motivational dog training are both positive dog training techniques, with very subtle conceptual distinctions - Semantic Deviation. Reward based dog training techniques are designed to positively reinforce and facilitate the development of the desirable behaviors and actions by offering them reward. Motivational dog training, on the other level, is one of the evolving positive training techniques in which your German Shepherd needs help to perform as desired, and this can be done though effective inputs of all motivational factors that stimulate the dog to learn what is taught.

Reward Based Dog Training

Reward based dog training is a positive training technique where the dog is allowed to succeed, followed by rewarding for successfully performing the desirable action –Positive Reinforcement. Reward based training method is a form of teaching, which is fundamentally called Classical Conditioning, though which connections are set to form between the event (what the trainer tries to teach while showing the reward - treat) and the subject’s reflexes (involuntary emotional responses in the dog – drooling). The reward is given when the dog does what is desired and is refused to be given when the dog doesn’t do what he is required.

Motivational Dog Training

Positive motivation dog training techniques involve creating the friendliest environment for your dog. This environmental engineering to optimize your dog’s performance level is aimed towards helping your dog to get rid of all fears and shyness and gain confidence, which help him to effectively trying to understand what his handler wants from him.

How to motivate your German Shepherd During Training?

The challenge lies in setting up the methods of motivating the dog to learn new tricks. The first step to creating the motivational environment for the dog, is helping him to:

a. Trust his trainer (building trustworthiness)
b. Get rid of fear (strengthening nerves)
c. Gain confidence in every experience related to training (diminishing shyness and gaining mental strength)
d. Choosing a place that the dog likes (a zone friendly to him)

These 4 steps are critical for effective positive motivation dog training. You absolutely cannot start off with training a dog that doesn’t trust you or that is fearful and shy or that is not confident about his safety. Once your dog is happily confident and trusts you it will become easier to build a strong relationship with him which is again essentially necessary. Remember strong trainer-dog relationship acts as one of the most potential motivating factors for the dog.

Following the above important ways to creating motivating environment for our dog, there are next set of methods that should be viewed as the connecting steps. Connected to the above factors, the other ways to motivate your GSD to learn new tricks is Positively Reinforcing Your GSD To Act Desirably By Rewarding Him, which means motivating him by giving rewards for each of his desirable actions. Here are how you can motivate him:

a. Motivating your shepherd by using food as a reward
b. Motivating your shepherd by using alluring toys as a reward
c. Motivating your shepherd by lavishly praising him as a reward
d. Applying force as corrective dog training techniques - Using force to make the dog do what he is required to do

Using Food as Reward in Positive Motivation Dog Training Technique

Using foods to get things done by dogs is one of the most traditional methods, and has been into practice probably since when man started domesticating dogs – a few thousands of years ago. This is hence quite commonly known to any dog owners, and even to those who have never stayed with a dog. What is challenging here is to master the art of presentation and timing of rewarding your dog with his favorite treat when he does what is desired. Remember, the treat is used as a reward to trigger motivation and drive to perform an action when desired. This is an art that gets mastered over time and with experience. The food based training is considered as a successful positive motivation dog training endeavor only when it motivates the dog to perform the desired action, and not just motivate the dog to participate in the training session. If the food motivates the dog just to participate the training session, then the trainer may have applied the process incorrectly, and the dog requires vigorous corrective training.

Using Alluring Toy as Reward in Positive Motivation Dog Training Technique

Not all, but a few dogs may refuse treats, and they become tough to be positively motivated by offering food. Alluring toys comes to play one of the most important roles here. But if the dog doesn’t have adequate prey drive, which is one of the basic instincts in the German Shepherd breed then even alluring toys doesn’t work good as a potential reward. Prey Instinct or Booty Drive may be genetic inherited by your GSD. This instinct stimulates the dog to chase a moving object. If this instinct is present in your dog then you can be pretty sure that your dog has ability for Schutzhund protection work. Prey drive in GSD starts becoming prominent as the puppy reaches 6 to 7 weeks of age. The trainer can enhance the instinctive quality of Prey Drive starting from the age of 8 -9 weeks. If a puppy is born with Prey Drive, it is important to strengthen it through optimal practice and drive building exercise, else the drive will be naturally diminished. Most of the dogs naturally lack in extreme Prey Drive, but many of them will have it in an adequate degree so as to put this instinct effectively to motivate it in the training as a reward.

Using Lavish Praise as Reward in Positive Motivation Dog Training Technique

When you are training your GSD for a new trick make sure you always praise lavishly for any good job done. Handler’s praise is crucial as a motivation factor in positive dog training technique. However, praise doesn’t work alone. It needs to be combined with other factors of motivation – like food and prey factors (toy). Another most significant component for “praise” to work well is a strong and positive relationship of the dog with his handler. Without a good dog-handler bonding praise will turn to be a big flop. Building relationship is a time consuming process. And building relationship that will be fruitful for “positive motivation dog training” is more challenging as it is required to be supported by trust and leadership (Alpha Membership); hence for “praise” to work really effectively as a motivational reward is not something that can happen within a fortnight. Establishing alpha leadership in the pack is an art and requires understanding of your dog's psychology.

Using Force in Positive Motivation and Corrective Dog Training Technique

‘Force’, which may sound weirdly awkward when it comes to dog training, is something that should be a part of positive dog training techniques, as long as ‘force’ doesn’t become abusive. Corrective dog training techniques requires the handler to allow the dog to do mistakes by its natural instinct, and then correcting it by firm handling.

However, applying force and being firm to a dog that is under a rigorous training session sounds easy; unfortunately it’s not. The challenge lies in understanding how much force to be applied and on what situations may be dog be forced to do what is desired. Many so-called professional dog trainers have been noticed to have applied force even to a degree that compromised the relationship. Such ‘force’ contributes to the decline in dog’s confidence and trust on the handler, accompanied with an increase in the degree of shyness, which merge together to end up with all trash, making the dog even harder to be trained.

While using any of these rewards as motivational dog training techniques do not forget to counter-conditioning the related behavioral issues. Subtle behavioral issues linked to good work done may be enhanced to bigger shape if rewards are given without conditioning the issues. Your German Shepherd may be intelligent but he doesn’t know that he is being rewarded only for the good work minus the behavioral issues.

The motivational dog training method requires the handlers to communicate with their dogs in a prominent, positive clear and compelling way. It is hence most important to establish a strong bonding between the handler and the dog. A strong positive relationship with the dog, building trustworthiness, strengthening nerves and helping the dog to gain confidence are the foundation of positive motivation dog training.


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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Does Your German Shepherd Dog Eat Grass?

Does your German Shepherd Dog eat grass?

Grass Eating Habit in German Shepherds

If your German Shepherd Dog is eating grass, he is certainly not the only dog on the Earth that exhibits such strange behavior. There are many schools of thoughts and theories as to why a German Shepherd Dog eat grass, but there’s no proven and confirmed conclusion as to why they eat grass. Dogs, irrespective of breed, gender and age eat grass at some point of time.

Veterinary researchers have been pounding on the mystery of dogs eating grass. Dr. Benjamin Hart, DVM, PhD, has studying on animal behavior for over 50 years and according to him one of the questions he is hit with most frequently from dog owners is: “Why does my dog eat grass?” Researchers have carried out study on the dogs eating grass. A number of 49 dogs were exposed to vegetation and grassland. It was observed that around 39 out of 49 dogs had consumed plants at some point of time. It noticed that the grass was preferred more than other plants by most of the dogs. Now the question is: Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

This behavior that is characterized by knowingly eating things by a species that are not their food is called “Pica”. If your German shepherd Dog or any other dog or mongrel is eating grass, this is a kind of pica, a behavior that is not necessarily fatal or harmful, as long as you garden is free from poisonous pants along with the grass that your dog can accidentally ingest.

There are different reasons but none of them have been scientifically proven and confirmed. Some the probable reasons that many canine experts have laid down are as follows:

Settling their stomach: Those there in the veterinary profession would clearly say that your GSD eats grass because he has a natural instinct to use grass as a medicinal herb, whenever they feel irritation or ache inside their stomach. According to some people (especially those directly or indirectly related the veterinary profession) believe that dogs – irrespective of breed – eat grass and then vomit in order to settle their stomach.

Controversy: Many dogs, most of the times, do not vomit after eating grass. This goes a long way to prove that grass is not used by the dogs to vomit in order to settle their stomach. Moreover, in a survey it has been noticed that grass eating and vomit do not always go together… nor grass eating and illness are always associated. In the study of clients and veterinary students it was observed that 18% of the clients’ dogs that ate grass vomited after eating. On the other hand, 9% of the dogs owned by the veterinary-students showed some symptoms of illness before eating grass.

Nutritional deficiency: Some experts consider that dogs eat grass because of nutritional deficiency in their regular diet. Since dogs are not purely carnivorous they needs plant fibers as a part of their diet. Some dogs eat grass probably because their food doesn’t meet their requirement of veg nutrition which they try to compensate by eating grass.

Controversy: Many dogs that are fed on purely non-commercial food, without any vegetables also eat grass. Home made food usually consist of meat, eggs, fruits, veggies etc. that are quite nutritious. Many dogs that are give enough of vegetables of different types also eat grass. Moreover, if it’s a question of nutritional benefits, there wouldn’t have any reason for some dogs to vomit after eating grass.

Natural instinct: Grass eating habit of dogs is a natural instinct. Their ancestors used to eat small amount of grass and plants nutrients as a part of their natural diet indirectly by eating the intestines of herbivorous prey for instance deer, goat, sheep etc. This is considered as the instinctual craving for the roughage or minerals or fiber present in the vegetation

They love to eat grass: Some canine experts conclude that dogs love to eat grass because they like the taste. Grass and plants or weeds contains a vegetable sap that is a sometimes tastes sweet. Your German Shepherds probably like eating grass because of the taste.

We do not have any solid explanation as to why dogs eat grass. There are different school of thought and theoretical statements and believes. Researchers have been burning their midnight oil to come up to a rock solid reason for dogs’ grass eating habits. Now the question is: Is there anything to be worried about? Dog’s grass eating habit doesn’t always cause for alarm. Dogs usually do not eat grass excessively. If you notice your GSD eating grass in excessive quantity you should consult your vet instantly. Grass eating by dogs is something not to be worried about as long as your lawn is not treated with poisonous substances like fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or any other chemical components.

Important Related Read: Herbal Cure For Dogs


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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Panosteitis (Pano) or Long Bone Disease in German Shepherd Dog

X-Ray of the Dog's Long Bone having Panosteitis
(Fatty bone marrow inflammation)

Panosteitis (Long Bone Disease) is a growth disorder which causes great pain to young dogs but vanishes with age. Different rate of growth of the bone plates is the culprit causing the discomfort. The bone growth stops once the dog reaches maturity. Hence, in adulthood, there's no more pain experienced by large, big boned dogs, for instance German Shepherd dogs apart from Great Danes, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador and Dobermans. The incidence of Panosteitis is higher in males than females.

Usually when the dog is in between the age of 6 to 18 months, the growing pain affects the animal. In short, it is a juvenile disorder which automatically regresses with the onset of sexual maturity.

Signs that Says Panosteitis

The pain causes limp and more than one leg can get affected by Panosteitis (short name is Pano), which should not be considered as a disease but as a teething problem of body growth in canine breeds. The lameness is clinically described as 'shifting lameness' or 'shifting pain disease'.

Generally such dogs show signs of lethargy and appetite loss (since they remain depressed) combined with feverish body temperature or tonsillitis. Also evident is increase in the white blood cell count. There is a noticeable reluctance to walk or exercise. The clinical symptoms of Panosteitis is periodic and reflect a waxing and waning pattern. The signs last either few days or few weeks and then disappear to resurface again.

More About Panosteitis

The key characteristic of Panosteitis is fatty bone marrow inflammation – the limb bones are the targets of Panosteitis. The long bone shafts which have higher percentage of bone marrow face the brunt like ulna, radius, femur, humerus, tibia, pelvic and foot bones. The bone pain can be excruciating and might lead to lameness. The bone inflammation occurs because Pano leads to degeneration of fat cells of bone marrow and certain structural changes like osteoblasts.

The cause of Panosteitis is yet to be deciphered. Initial hypothesis point that some bacteria were responsible has been ruled out. There is a consideration that Pano is viral keeping in mind the symptoms of virus infection (fever, decreased white blood cell count, etc).

Whether or not Panosteitis is genetic, the scientists are yet to determine. A connection is made to the genetic link since certain breeds of dogs are more affected than others. But the main reason behind Pano is seen as diet that's rich in protein and fat. So, the occurrence of Pano is more dependent on nutritional aspect rather than genetic or viral aspect.

How to Diagnose Pano?

Panosteitis goes away and hence it is not a matter of utter concern; only your little pup will have to undergo a passing phase of pain. It can be diagnosed by X-Ray and only a vet, specialized in canine orthopedics, can identify the disorder from the X-Ray plate.

Vet surgeons have found out that there is an increase in bone density in Panosteitis. In the later stages the bones take on a patchy or mottled appearance, which returns to normalcy once the dog outgrows puppyhood.

Treatment of Pano

Never administer steroids to dogs afflicted with Pano. Pain killers come with side-effects like irritation in the intestines. Most important of all, is feeding an appropriate diet to such dogs is crucial because food plays a vital role in the growth and skeletal development. Natural nutrition and exercise management are ideal ways out to deal with Panosteitis.

Make a Stop to Growing Up Too Fast

Retard the process of growing up too fast – because that's the reason behind Pano. Ideally the growth rate should be slowed down in puppies affected by Panosteitis. Puppies who are not affected by any conditions should be offered good quality food with right amount of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals. Home made food with right amount and types of ingredients are great option. An all-natural diet is helpful in this regard. Even in home food, the amount of bones should be kept to minimum. Strategic feeding is highly recommended by your vet.


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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Stride Without Extremes

Please note: This article was lovingly contributed to be published on the German Shepherd blog by Linda J Shaw, MBA Author of “The Illustrated Standard for the German Shepherd Dog” on Saturday, Mar 12, 2016. This article and the image(s) remain under the copyright of Linda J Shaw and Aringsburg, and are not to be used without my written permission.

* Aringsburg and Shawlein jointly assert full copyright over the images in this post.

* "Seven photos should be self explanatory" - Linda J Shaw

The article goes here...

I am not especially enthusiastic over the increase in rear angulation that has commandeered the breed in North America over the last fifty years, and is now taking hold in Germany. The theory has always been that more acute angulation between the great levers of the hind leg; the femur, the tibia/fibula and the metatarsus; creates more drive and more powerful propulsion. I found, from my study of the gait of the wild gray wolf, that this is not the case. An increase in angulation does increase the length of the stride at the trot, but it also requires the dog to trot faster, and will tend to tax the dog’s endurance. Moderate angulation provides the best balance of speed and endurance.

Extreme angulation has also resulted in hindquarters that sag, producing an abnormally sloped topline and hocks that sickle and rotate to the midline, cow hocks, and sink to a plantigrade position. None of these problems should be rewarded in the show ring, but they are. I doubt that show judges or breeders will ever reject an increase in angulation in the rear. The side gait it produces is just too attractive.

However, it is possible to “have your cake” as it were, and produce beautiful side gait without the collapsing hindquarter and weak hocks. The dog pictured is a female from thirty years ago. In the black and white photos, she was about 18 months old (and out of coat). In the color photos, she was about 30 months. She obviously possessed the side gait so loved in the North American show ring, and appeared when posed to be as angulated and any judge would want.

Interestingly though, when set up in a normal support position, or “four square”, with the rear feet under the hip joints, or even with the rear feet set under the rear of the pelvis, she actually stands very high in the rear. Her hind legs are long, and not abnormally angulated. From the rear, her legs and hocks are straight and strong. She moved cleanly going away and was an enthusiastic jumper and fast at the gallop. At the trot, her back remained level and strong, not sloping, and she did not stand or run with her hocks on the ground.

No doubt few show people would want to see a dog standing with its croup higher than its withers. In actuality, she normally stood with her hind legs more or less in a show pose, and with a level back. She never sagged into a crouch or sit. I know because I owned her. She finished with three five point majors at specialty shows, including under Sam Lawrence, and in the working group defeated Canada’s top winning dog, all breeds. She had issues, but strength in the rear wasn’t one of them.
So if show dogs are your thing, there is no excuse for weak, sagging rears and soft, sickle hocks. They don’t have to be the price for the extended side gait required to win in the show ring.

Please Note: Copyright: These pictures are copyright protected by Aringsburg and Shawlein.


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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

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