Tag Archives: German Shepherd

Tips for Dealing with Dog Fur


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It’s a known fact that most dogs shed, but this doesn’t keep us from loving them. At the same, it can be a pain to find fur all over your clothes and furniture. Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, shed more than others. Whatever the breed, we’ve got the tips you need to keep your dog’s shedding under control.

Brush, brush, brush!

Brushing your dog’s fur regularly (for some dogs, this means daily) pulls out the loose hair that will otherwise end up on your carpet. It will also leave Fido’s coat cleaner and softer and will prevent his fur from matting.

Invest in a good vacuum.

Especially if your dog sheds seasonally, you’ll need a good vacuum to pick up after his fur. Spare yourself the headaches that come with a weak-suction vacuum and get yourself a machine that will get the job done the first time.

Use a lint roller.

Don’t underestimate the power of a good lint roller. The simple, inexpensive product can be a lifesaver in a home with a super-shedding dog. Use an extra sticky lint roller such as this one to easily pick up stray fur from yourself and from around the house.

Feed your dog a high-quality diet.
Dog food made from mostly corn or grains can be difficult for your pup to digest, causing dry skin and excess shedding. Food allergies can also contribute to hair loss and skin issues, in which case a veterinarian should be consulted. A diet high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids can improve overall coat texture.

Choose the right brush for your pup.

The type of brush you use for your pup can make a big difference in controlling his shedding. Your veterinarian can advise on what kind of brush to use, but there are generally brushes for two fur types: short and long. For dogs like Beagles and Bulldogs with shorter coats, a natural-bristle brush or hound mitt can be used. For dogs with longer, thicker coats, especially double-coated breeds like Pomeranians and Collies, a slicker brush or rake makes a better tool for getting rid of all that fur. Start by brushing in the opposite direction of your pup’s hair growth, then brush again in the direction of hair growth to fully remove all the loose, dead fur.

Give your dog a bath.

Regularly bathing your pup is not only a staple of good doggy hygiene, but it is also key to a healthy coat. Products like NuVet Conditioning Oatmeal Shampoo help sooth itchy skin and prevent dryness that can ultimately lead to hair loss.

While shedding might be one of the few things we don’t quite love about our dogs, it doesn’t have to be a burden. Instead, grooming your pup can become a daily bonding activity for the two of you. Less fur, more fun!

Why the World Needs Purebred Dogs


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May 1 is National Purebred Dog Day, a day to appreciate the centuries-old tradition of breeding dogs for specifically valued traits. The day’s founder, Susi Szeremy, writes that each dog breed is “a living legacy of the culture that created it,” and the continuation of purebreds keeps their respective culture’s history alive. While mixed breeds are cool, too, there are good reasons to support purebreds. Read on for the top three reasons why we think the world still needs purebred dogs.

1. They’re predictable.

One big reason why purebreds are valued dogs is their predictability. Because each breed is bred for specific traits, one can expect to find particular physical and behavioral qualities in any one member of the breed. While these traits can vary within individual dogs, you know that if you breed a Chihuahua you’ll be getting a pint-sized pup that fits in your purse, while if you breed a Great Dane, she’ll be even bigger than the Chihuahua the moment she’s born! Moreover, the predictability of purebreds makes them indispensable in the many pup-powered jobs which our communities depend on. In the US alone, ten million people suffer from allergies, many of whom rely on specific allergy-friendly dog breeds to accommodate their health needs. For example, the intelligent and low-shedding Poodle makes a qualified assistant to disabled people with dog allergies. Purebred dogs are our service dogs, police dogs, military dogs and of course, the loving companions that brighten up our homes. They can be specially trained to serve purposes that go above and beyond fetching a bone. Purebred dogs are society’s four-legged superheroes, often trained as early on as birth to fulfill roles such as guiding the blind, sniffing out drugs or explosives in the airport, detecting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, and the list goes on. Purebred dogs are crucial, irreplaceable members of society who improve the lives of people you know every single day.

2. They help us make scientific advancements.

Purebred dogs help us make advancements in science that enhance our understanding of both humans and other dogs. For example, a recent study discovered a gene found in Dalmatians associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome in dogs. This research not only reveals an important factor of this canine disease, but it may also lead to a breakthrough in research for respiratory disease in humans. This research and others like it would not be possible if not for the uniform traits in purebreds which lend themselves to objective scientific testing.

3. They tell a story of the past.
Each breed tells a unique story form the time and place in history it came from. Perhaps it was the German Shepherd, herding the fields of Germany during the turn of the 20th Century. Or maybe the Yorkshire Terrier, working alongside factory workers during the Industrial Revolution. Each breed has its very own story tell, and believe it or not, these stories are in danger of fading away. There is such a thing as an endangered dog breed, and if it were not for the efforts of responsible breeders, these breeds would not survive.

Breeding purebreds is not just a tradition that provides us with a fun and furry look into the past. Rather, purebred dogs are indispensable to lending a helping hand (or paw) to present day problems such as physical and mental disabilities and health issues. This National Purebred Dog Day, let’s take a moment to look around at the amazing creatures who fill our lives with joy on a daily basis. We hope to have them around for years to come.

These 10 PuppySpot Puppies Would Like to Wish You a Happy Easter


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Easter Sunday is a time for family to get together, have egg hunts and celebrate rebirth in spring. And when puppies get involved, it makes the holiday all the more enjoyable! Check out these 10 fun and festive PuppySpot puppies celebrating Easter!

This Havanese pup named Hudson looks picture-pawfect in a festive egg frame.

Naomi the Frenchie is getting comfortable in the Easter Bunny’s nest.

Laura the Lhasa Apso has rounded up her loot from the egg hunt!

This Bichon Frise named Brody has a gift basket to share with you.

This Cavalier pup named Buddy poses adorably beside his own basket of Easter eggs.

This German Shepherd pup named Rilie walks with a bunny on each arm.

Tucker the Cockapoo stands out from his pastel surroundings.

Peter the Pug has lots of Easter toys to play with (and doesn’t want to share).

This Mini Pinscher pup named Anna loves this blooming time of year.

Last but not least, this Havanese pup named Maggie wants to wish you a Happy Easter!

What Does Your Dog’s Poop Mean?


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It may be a gross topic, but let’s face it – if you’re a responsible dog owner, you’re picking up your dog’s poop multiple times a day. So, you might as well know what to look for to determine whether your dog’s poop is normal or problematic. We’ve broken down the do-do, so you don’t have to. Here’s the “scoop” so you can learn more about your dog’s health and well-being.

First, let’s define what normal dog poop looks like. Although varying from dog to dog and breed to breed, typical dog poop should be basically brown in color, neither too soft (diarrhea) nor too hard to pass (constipation). Use your dog’s healthy poop (color, frequency and consistency) as a baseline to compare when he is not feeling well so you’re aware when there’s an issue.

Diarrhea
Poop of a liquid consistency or that looks like “cow patty” or “soft serve” is typically not a cause for concern. If it improves within 24-48 hours, no action is needed. A wait and see approach is advised, and if the dog is acting normally (eating well, not vomiting and displaying a happy demeanor), there is usually no need to seek medical attention.

Black or Very Dark Poop
This may require an urgent trip to the vet as black or tarry consistency can indicate a gastrointestinal ulcer or bleeding high in the GI tract. A bleeding ulcer can oftentimes be caused by human medications with aspirin, steroids or NSAIDs, so be careful of ever giving to your dog without consulting your vet. Other generalized bleeding can be from rat poison, heat stroke or immune-mediated disease. Blood work and/or an ultrasound are typically recommended to get a full look at the intestinal tract.

Red Poop
The red color could indicate bleeding within the GI tract. Streaks of blood can indicate colitis (inflammation of the colon), rectal injury, anal gland infection or even a tumor. Less worrisome may be slight reddish color in an otherwise normal stool, which is typically indicative of inflammation in the large intestine. Regardless, you’ll want to monitor your dog closely for any further changes in stool and also behavior.

Pink or Purple Poop or Large Volume of Diarrhea
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) can be a common cause of pink or purple poop (often described as looking like raspberry jam), or a cause of a large amount of watery or bloody poop, especially in smaller dogs. While most will recover with treatment, seek veterinary attention immediately as this condition can be fatal if left untreated.

Grey or Greasy Poop
Poop that appears fatty or glistens could indicate a condition called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), which occurs when the pancreas does not produce necessary enzymes to digest fat. Commonly referred to as maldigestion, EPI is treatable. German Shepherds and Rough-Coated Collies are often afflicted with EPI.

Green Poop
Check with your vet immediately, as green poop can indicate a variety of issues from as mild as eating a lot of grass to as serious as swallowing rat bait poison or ingesting a dangerous parasite. Exposure to rodenticides is certainly dangerous, so let your vet know if that may be the case.

Orange or Pasty, Light Poop
Often indicative of a liver issue or biliary disease, orange poop warrants a call to your vet. Hopefully from professional evaluation, it’s determined that the orange color is simply from the poop moving too quickly through the GI tract to pick up bile, which makes poop its normal brown color.

Yellow Poop
If you’ve recently changed your dog’s diet, yellow mucus in poop usually means a food intolerance or allergy, causing an upset stomach. Isolate the suspected ingredient(s) and remove from future diet.

White Flakes or Specks in Poop
Have you noticed grains of white rice in your dog’s poop, only to realize you haven’t fed him any rice? While not serious, this likely means your dog has worms. Roundworms (spaghetti-like shaped) are typically found in puppies. Small, flat worms (found on the outside of stool or around the rectum) may be found in your dog’s sleeping areas as well and typically indicate tapeworm, which take over when a dog has fleas. Worms require a visit to the vet, but don’t panic upon first sight, as they are treatable with parasite medication.

It is worth noting that slight variations in your dog’s poop or infrequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation are often no cause for concern and don’t constitute an emergency situation. For example, if your dog eats something questionable off the ground or out of the trash (commonly referred to as garbage gut), he’ll likely pay for it with an upset stomach and abnormal stool.

However, if your dog’s abnormal stool is accompanied with vomiting, refusal to eat or drink, or other concerning symptoms, a trip to the vet is necessary. Your vet may even ask you to bring a stool sample with specific storage instructions for laboratory testing. Other diagnostics such as blood work or radiographs may also be warranted depending on the symptoms.

Tax Day: 5 Surprising Dog-Related Write-Offs


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Most people dread tax season, full of paperwork and potential money owed. While the majority of pet costs (veterinary, food, grooming, or boarding bills) are not eligible for tax deductions, there are a few exceptions for qualified dog owners. We’ve broken out several IRS-approved dog expenses, which may be considered eligible tax deductions. Keep the following tax-friendly dog scenarios in mind for next year’s filing!

1. Moving Costs
If you’re moving residences and unable to take your dog with you, consider using a professional transportation company to handle the hassle of shipping your dog cross-country. Pet relocation costs are considered above-the-line deductions. The IRS simply requires a filled out worksheet and Forms 1040 and 3903 to complete the claim. The extra work is sure to be worth the savings.

2. Guide, Service or Therapy Dogs
The IRS says that if a guide dog is needed to assist the hearing or visually-impaired, you can write off all costs-associated with the dog’s care, such as the dog’s actual purchase, training, food, grooming and of course, medical expenses. A good rule of thumb is that any expense necessary to keeping the dog healthy enough to perform his service-related responsibilities, may be written off. Similarly, if you have a therapy dog trained or certified to help with treatment of a physical or mental health condition, all costs associated with the dog are approved as medical-related expenses.

3. Working Guard Dogs
If your dog is necessary to your line of work (for example, your Rottweiler or German Shepherd guards your storefront or warehouse inventory), then you may write off the dog’s expenses related to the job. Standard business deduction rules such as keeping track of the hours your dog spends on the job would apply to this scenario. However, as long as you can prove that the money spent on your dog (e.g., food, medical, training) is required to keep him up to guard dog condition and that his presence is necessary to maintaining your livelihood, these costs would qualify as business expenses.

4. Dog Breeders
As an animal breeder, your breeding stock is an essential part of your business and thus you’re allowed to deduct all necessary animal-related expenses from your taxes. The IRS allows you to claim animals held for breeding of at least 12 months as either capital assets or as a part of your regular inventory. By claiming your breeding stock as capital gains, this allows you to depreciate them and ultimately reduces your taxable income. Make sure to use all of the right forms when filing your income taxes and reporting all sales to get all the breaks you’re entitled to.

5. Charitable Donations, Fostering Animals or Regular Volunteer Work
If your love for dogs involves continuous and regular philanthropic work, you could be eligible for related tax write-offs. Perhaps you routinely donate to an animal rescue organization or volunteer at a local shelter. Or, you foster pets for a temporary period of time until they are adopted into permanent homes. Be sure to retain all receipts and records associated with pro-social work and foster pets and be sure to itemize deductions under the charity section of Schedule A.

6. Canine Sports Leaders
Does your dog compete in professional dog shows? If you participate in dog competitions, agility meets or a canine-related income-generating hobby, such as selling portraits of your dog, or lecturing on dog-related topics, unfortunately the income is taxable. However, you may use the hobby’s expenses as write-offs, to offset the hobby’s earnings. Hobby expenses can be itemized under Schedule A, but the total must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income before it can be deductible. Note that if the pet-related hobby starts to generate income on a regular basis, you should consider turning it into a business, where you could write off even more expenses.

7. Pet Trusts
Not surprisingly to most dog lovers, it’s become accepted practice to include beloved animals in wills and trusts to ensure that whomever takes possession of the pet after death will receive adequate income to pay for the pet’s expenses. Depending on the structure of the trust, dog owners can work with their attorneys to make sure taxes are paid from the trust itself without adding to the beneficiary’s tax liability.

Check Out These 7 St. Patrick’s Day Puppies!


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On St. Patrick’s Day, we wear green, talk like leprechauns and bet on our luck. These 7 cute PuppySpot pups are in the St. Patty’s sprit!

Churchill the Bulldog dons a leprechaun hat today.

Dylam the Havanese is looking for a four-leaf clover.

This Pomeranian named Coco Bear wonders if she’ll find the pot of gold under a rainbow today.

Patty the Rottweiler celebrates St. Patty’s in style.

This Maltese named Giovani is waist-deep in Irish ale.

Molly the Lab won’t get caught getting pinched this year!

Lucky #7 is Ruthy the German Shepherd!

 

K9 Veterans Day: A Day to Say ‘Thank You’ to Military Dogs


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On March 13, we recognize K9 Veterans Day, a day to salute the brave war dogs for their service to the U.S. military. While dogs have been accompanying humans in battle for centuries, official training centers for pooches under the Dogs for Defense did not come about until 1942. Today, there are about 2,500 working military dogs, and the day we commemorate them is also official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps. Let’s learn more about these paw-some military pups!

The Use of K9’s
Why would there be a demand for military dogs in the first place? The answer is that canines have special skills that surpass the human senses, proving very useful on the battlefield. Their superb noses can be used to sniff out explosives, locate soldiers and detect intruders. In addition to their ability to smell from far away distances, dogs can react quickly to dangers in their surroundings, and their innate strength is enough to intimidate an attacker without having to use lethal force. They are even trained to bite on command, revealing their discerning ability to stay loyal to their handlers while protecting them against their enemies. With their combination of optimal physical traits and fierce loyalty, dogs make the perfect partner for military use.

Breeds of the Military
Breeds used in the U.S. military have been narrowed largely to five breeds, the majority of which are German and Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. In fact, 85% of military dogs come directly from Germany and the Netherlands. In result, their handlers typically learn a few commands in the language of the dog’s country of origin. These breeds in particular are chosen for their consistent qualities of intelligence, loyalty and athleticism. Other breeds are used for more specialized roles, such as Golden and Labrador Retrievers as odor detection dogs. Others include Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies (short coat) and Giant Schnauzers, Alaskan Malamutes and American Eskimo dogs.

Canines in Combat
There are several different roles that military K9’s may serve. Sentry dogs are taught to guard supplies and warn their handlers of incoming danger. They are especially useful for nighttime operations, when soldiers are more vulnerable to covert attacks. In addition to possessing the skills of sentries, the specialty of scout or patrol dogs is to detect the presence of the enemy long before soldiers become aware. According to the United States War Dogs Association, when a scout dog senses the enemy approaching, she will stiffen her body, raise her hackles, prick her ears and hold her tail rigid. There are messenger dogs that travel silently with their handlers, mine dogs trained to detect dangerous obstacles and casualty dogs that seek out the injured and fallen. Tunnel dogs were used to explore underground in Vietnam, and explosives detection dogs are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the War on Terrorism. There’s a canine role for just about any job in the military.

After Service
After these heroic canines have finished their service, they often stay with their handlers and their handlers’ families as pets. They may also find homes with law enforcement, or get adopted into families who welcome the opportunity to give these deserving dogs a happy home where they can enjoy retirement from working military life.

Dogs are pretty amazing, huh? Use the hashtag #NationalK9VeteransDay to show your support for canine veterans today!

Bloat: A Serious Condition Every Dog Owner Should Know About


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Bloat is a commonly used term to refer to a severe medical condition in dogs called “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus.” Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and causes the stomach to expand. This, in turn, increases pressure on other organs. In some cases, the stomach will rotate and twist, which hinders blood flow and prevents blood from flowing back to the heart and other important areas of the body.

Bloat usually comes on very quickly, so time is of the essence in treating the condition and preventing it from becoming life-threatening. Thus, as a responsible dog owner, it’s crucial to understand the warning signs as awareness and action could very well save your dog’s life.

Is My Dog at Risk?

While any dog can get bloat, the condition is more frequently seen in deep-chested, large dog breeds such as the following:

In addition to breed, age and gender may also play a factor in proclivity. It is widely believed that dogs older than seven years as well as males are more likely to get bloat than females. Dogs with an aggressive, anxious or fearful personality are also more likely to experience this issue, as stress and negative emotions seem to play a part in triggering the condition.

Causes & Prevention of Bloat

While the exact cause of bloat is not known, there are a variety of factors that raise a dog’s risk of getting bloat, so do your best to protect your dog from these possible causes:

  • Eating or drinking too quickly. Gulping large amounts of food or water at once often means the dog is gulping air, which can increase pressure in the stomach.
  •  Eating dry dog food that is too high in grain. Grain gets fermented in the stomach, which releases gas. Try grain-free food options to see if that makes a difference in your dog’s digestion.
  • Exercising during and especially immediately after eating. Give your dog an hour or more of rest time before and after eating to allow for proper digestion.
  • Experiencing extreme stress, such as mating, whelping, boarding, or due to a change in routine or new dog in the household.
  • Bloat may also be hereditary, especially if your dog has a first-degree relative who has suffered from the condition.

What to Look For: Signs & Symptoms

Nobody knows better than you what is normal behavior for your furry friend! Keep an eye on your pup, and if you notice any unusual behavior, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible. The most common symptoms are:

  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to vomit (nothing comes up, or possibly just foam/mucus comes up).
  • Unusual behavior, such as asking to go outside in the middle of the night.
  •  Anxiousness and restlessness.
  •  Abdomen is bloated and tight.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing.

Your dog may also be pacing, whining, drooling, panting, or gagging, and may be standing or laying strangely. An accelerated heartbeat, weak pulse and collapse are indicators of a serious problem.

Keep in mind, not every dog will exhibit every symptom. If you’re not sure if your dog is experiencing bloat, contact your veterinarian. It’s of course better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your beloved pooch!

Treating Bloat

There are a few ways bloat is treated, depending on the severity of the case including:

  • The vet may take x-rays to see if your dog’s stomach is twisted.
  •  If your dog’s stomach is not twisted, the vet can release the pressure inside it by putting a tube down the dog’s throat into the stomach.
  •  If the stomach is twisted, a tube may be unable to pass into the stomach, so the vet will insert a large needle through your pup’s belly to release the pressure that way.
  • If the stomach is twisted, it is likely your dog will need surgery to untwist it and put it back where it belongs. Often, the vet will secure the stomach in the right place to prevent your dog from getting bloat again.

9 Pups Who Prove Smiling is Contagious


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It’s been proven that smiling is contagious and that your pooch can recognize human emotion on faces. We dare you to look at these pleased pups and not reciprocate their cheerful dispositions.

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This Shipoo is delighted to see you.

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This Bulldog wants a high-five.

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This Springer Spaniel is pleased as punch.

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This Husky is drunk with laughter.

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This German Shepherd wants you to THROW THE BALL ALREADY.

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This Pomeranian has never been happier to go for a ride in the car.

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This Shar-Pei is relieved to take a nap.

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This Shichon is takes “Tongue Out Tuesday” very seriously.

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This Corgi is ready for his close-up.

Getting to Know Guide Dogs


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Guide dogs, also known as seeing eye dogs, are special pooches that help the blind navigate their world. Guide Dogs of America provides blind and visually impaired people with guide dogs free of charge in North America. Now that deserves a “round of a-paws.” Let’s get to know more about these paw-some pups and how they perform heroic acts every day.

History
The first school for training service animals, including seeing eye dogs, was established in Germany during World War I to assist veterans blinded in war. Outside of Germany, interest in service dogs did not become widespread until the mid-1900’s. The first guide dogs were German Shepherds, appropriately coming from the service dog school’s country of origin. In 1929, Nashville resident Morris Frank succeeded in convincing Americans to grant people with service animals access to public transportation, hotels and other open public areas. By Federal law, blind people with service dogs are now allowed to go anywhere the general public is allowed, including restaurants, hospitals, stores, airplanes and taxis.

Breeds
The dog breeds used in guide dog service are chosen for their easy trainability and sound temperaments. The most common breeds selected as guide dogs are Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds, but other breeds have also been known to be good choices, such as Labradoodles, Standard Poodles, Collies, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Havanese and Vizslas.

Training
Many guide dogs are trained from birth for the special task of aiding the visually impaired. Dogs who start training at birth take about 18 months to complete their program (DGP for Pets). Just like all domesticated dogs, guide dogs must first learn housetraining and basic obedience before receiving additional guide dog training. After about one year, the guide dog meets her partner and they train together for two weeks.

The guide dog recipient is just as responsible in training as the dog. It is the responsibility of the visually impaired person to use his or her senses to judge whether or not it is safe to cross the street, for example, but the guide dog may refute the action if she deems it hazardous. The dog’s intentional refusal of a command is called “intelligent disobedience.”

Meeting a Working Guide Dog Team

If you encounter a visually impaired person with a guide dog, you should treat this person as you would any other stranger on the street and respect boundaries. Do not pet, feed or talk to a guide dog without asking for the owner’s permission first. While they may be irresistibly cute, guide dogs are at work and should not be distracted. After all, the owner depends on his or her guide dog to be vigilant of dangers.

Guide dogs are special service dogs that have helped aid the blind for decades. Their ability to learn techniques above and beyond basic training techniques in order to devotedly assist their partner is truly remarkable. We never cease to be amazed at what dogs can do in our everyday lives.

9 Things You Didn’t Know About the Golden Retriever


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Golden Retrievers always rank high among the most popular breeds in the United States, and they’re #3 on PuppySpot’s list. These loyal, sociable dogs are excellent with children and families, and excel at obedience training and therapy work. They’re eager-to-please companions that can adapt to many environments, from apartments to larger living spaces. Here are 9 facts you need to know about Golden Retrievers!

1. They’re talented.
Not only do they make great family pets, but Goldens are also helpful to greater society. They’re used as hunters, guide dogs, search-and-rescue dogs and more. Their great trainability and keen sense of smell makes them useful for many jobs.

2. They love to swim.
Golden Retrievers give meaning to the term “doggy paddle.” These dogs have a knack for swimming in their blood; they even have water-repellent coats! They’ll joyfully take a dip in the pool or the ocean with you (sometimes without being asked).

3. They’re all over TV and cinema.
The camera loves Goldens, and is it any wonder why? Their friendly smiles and lovable character are irresistible to viewers everywhere. You might recognize the breed from the Disney movie franchise “Air Bud” or from Comet in the TV series “Full House.” This breed is a favorite in television and movies, and we’re not complaining!

4. They’re considered the fourth smartest dog breed.

According to the AKC, Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest dogs behind the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd. That must be why they’re so good at many different jobs!

5. They belonged to presidents.
US presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan both had Golden Retrievers as pets while serving in the White House. The name of Ford’s Golden was Liberty, and Reagan’s was Victory.

6. They come in three recognized colors.
When it comes to Golden Retrievers, there’s not just one version of “golden.” The three standard colors of this breed are gold, light golden, and dark golden.

7. They’re calm and cool.
Despite their size and strength, Goldens are not particularly loud. They don’t bark much, except for if a stranger comes to the door. Most of the time, this majestic breed is quiet and well-behaved.

8. They get along with others.
Cat, dog, goldfish—doesn’t matter, a Golden can get along with just about anyone. They’re also very gentle around small children, though supervision is still needed because Goldens can get overexcited and accidentally knock over a child.

9. They set the bar for obedience.
Goldens excel in tests of obedience. In fact, they were the first three consecutive winners of AKC’s Obedience trials starting in 1977. These champs are truly outstanding dogs.

Westminster Insight
A Golden Retriver named “Tamarack And Blueprint’s Defying Gravity” placed in third among the Sporting Group at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What do you love about your Golden Retriever? Comment below!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About the Yorkshire Terrier


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Pint-sized and playful, Yorkies rank #4 on our list of most popular pups. The oft-spoiled Yorkshire Terrier has risen to fame as a pampered lap dog with an attitude that beats its size. But there’s a lot more to this pup beyond its cute and cuddly appearance. Here are 7 facts you need to know about Yorkies!

1. Their history is less than lavish.
The Yorkie was brought to Yorkshire, England by Scottish workers to work in the coal mines, textile mills and factories during the Industrial Revolution. Yorkies were originally used as ratters (rat catchers) until they eventually found favor among British elite as well as American gentry.

2. Their name is misleading.

Contrary to the “terrier” in their name, Yorkies are registered as part of the Toy group, according to the AKC.

3. They change color with age.
The steel-blue and tan Yorkie we know and love isn’t actually born that color combination. As a matter of fact, Yorkie puppies are born black and tan, almost looking like mini German Shepherds, then develop their characteristic fur color after a few months.

4. They make good watchdogs.

Sure, their small toy bodies aren’t enough to take on a threatening intruder, but since Yorkies don’t realize how small they actually are, they’re not afraid to give someone much bigger a piece of their mind. A Yorkie’s sharp yelp can alert owners of a trespasser, and the Yorkie won’t give up until the threat to safety is gone.

5. The first therapy dog was a Yorkie.
The use of therapy dogs for hospital patients, veterans and the disabled has gained popularity in recent years. While modern-day therapy work most typically employs dogs like the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, the first ever therapy dog was a Yorkie named Smoky who comforted wounded soldiers after WWII.

6. Their fur is a lot like our hair.
If you’ve ever seen a Yorkie show dog, you’ve noticed its long, flowing, silky hair. Yorkies are one of a few dog breeds that don’t shed; instead, their hair grows continuously, much like human hair. Their coat can grow up to two feet long! Therefore, owners who don’t want their Yorkies to have unmanageably long fur should get their dogs regular trims.

7. This dog has graced the White House.
Though former US President Richard Nixon is widely known for his Cocker Spaniel named Checkers, few know about his Yorkie, Pasha. While Pasha didn’t get the spotlight time that Checkers did, she was one of Nixon’s three pooches who joined him in the White House.

Westminster Insight
A Yorkie named Cede Higgins won Best in Show at the 1978 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

What makes your Yorkie special? Comment below and share with us!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About the German Shepherd


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Intelligent. Brave. Strong. These are three words describing the German Shepherd (formally known as the German Shepherd Dog), America’s second-favorite dog, just behind the Labrador Retriever, and #2 on PuppySpot’s list of most popular dog breeds. But there’s more to these popular working companions than what you might think. Here are 6 facts you need to know about German Shepherds!

1. They are very trainable.
Despite their reputation as an intimidating and stubborn breed, Germans take direction well and are valued in police and service work, among other jobs. As quick learners, these active dogs are favorites for all types of training including military, obedience and agility skill sets. They live to learn and obey commands, whether it’s sniffing out explosives at the airport, or fetching a Frisbee in a game at the park.

2. They weren’t always called “German.”
Like their name suggests, German Shepherds originated in Germany as sheep-herding dogs on farms during the twentieth century, but the name did not totally stick. Due to tensions between Germany and the US during World War I, the AKC temporarily renamed the breed the Shepherd Dog. Also during that time, the English started calling them Alsatian Wolf Dogs and now, they are known widely as Alsatians in Europe.

3. They make great watchdogs.

Because they are so loyal to their owners, German Shepherds will go out of their way to offer their family protection. In this way, they live up well to their image as fearsome guard dogs. They’ll bark at suspicious strangers and can intimidate aggressors with their size alone, yet a well-trained German is gentle and friendly, especially towards children, making the breed a versatile companion.

4. They come in several different colors.
While the traditional German Shepherd you’ll see is more often than not black and tan, Germans can come in a variety of colors and patterns, including full black, black and silver, blue, gray, sable, and even white. Don’t be fooled, though; despite what some may want you to believe, no one color of German Shepherd is more “rare” or valuable than the common bi-colored coat.

5. They’re movie stars.
This breed first gained fame after WWI Corporal Lee Duncan rescued the German Shepherd “Rin Tin Tin,” who went on to make several appearances in war movies. Other featured roles by the German Shepherd include “Wolfie” in The Terminator, “Hobo” in The Littlest Hobo and “Delgado” in Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

6. They’re everyday heroes.

There are countless stories of German Shepherds assisting and even saving the lives of their human companions. According to Les Anges Gardiens, in 1970, a German Shepherd named Kanaka was recognized for her numerous rescues and success in uncovering evidence for police in Ontario. Another famous German, Orient, graduated from the Seeing Eye Program and became the dog of Bill Irwin, leading him through the grueling Appalachian Trail. Nearly every day in the news, you’ll hear about a courageous German Shepherd having saved a life, making the world a more secure place to live in.

Westminster Insight
A German Shepherd named Rumor was awarded Best In Show at the 2017 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Rumor is one of the only two dogs to win Best in Show from the Herding Group. The last was a German Shepherd Dog named Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan in 1987. 


How has having a German Shepherd changed your life? Comment below and share with us!