Friday, July 31, 2009


This time of year (but if truth be told most all year) you can feel the excitement among the German Shepherd Dog community anticipating a very special fall event. Many are making plans now or have already done so. They’re booking their hotel rooms, getting commitments from their handlers, they’ve got their airline tickets reserved, they’re making reservations for the Victory dinner and maybe even planning to attend some educational seminars. But whatever activities they plan on doing, you can be sure of one thing, they’re all going to watch or participate in the greatest show on earth in the German Shepherd Dog world. That show is known as the German Shepherd Dog National Specialty Show! This year marks the 96th. Specialty dog show. If you’re interested in conformation, obedience, agility, herding, rally or working dog sport trail or just because you love the breed, there’s something for everyone there. Come look at all the champions and future stars of the breed.

The German Shepherd Dog National Specialty show is put on by The German Shepherd Dog Club of America and a host specialty club. The parent club works in conjunction with the host club making sure the area or grounds they chose can comfortably hold spectators and exhibitors who have come to watch the greatest German Shepherd Dogs in the USA and Canada. Each year, to be fair to the membership a club from a different part of the United States gets an opportunity to host this most prestigious of events. One year it might be a club on the west coast, another in the central part of the states and then another on the east coast.

It takes a tremendous amount of effort, blood, sweat and tears of the many dedicated volunteers from both clubs to put on a successful show. Not only are the grounds where the event is held is taken into consideration. Things like airports that one can fly into with their dogs, hotels to stay in, restaurant availability, concession stands, and space for vendors, rental cars, local attractions, weather for that time of year to insure people pack the appropriate clothing. Then they see if there are special rooms where they can put on their educational programs, also they look to see where they can have their Victory dinner at the end of the show. Let’s not forget those who sell advertising for the show’s catalog? Is there a place for people coming in motors homes to park? What’s the parking like for all the people who will be at the dog show? Are there adequate grounds for the dogs to be exercised? Is there running water for dogs to be bathed? How about the restrooms? Is there an adequate amount to accommodate the people who plan to attend?

Having attended a number of Nationals myself either showing or as a spectator, I can tell you these people take themselves seriously to put on the best show that you have ever seen. But when the sun goes down, no matter how exhausted you may be from all the excitement of the day, many still find time to PARTY! Many people leave their hotel room doors open and people just walk in one room and out the other reconnecting with friends and making new ones. Sometimes the party is at a favorite restaurant where the locals hang out. But one thing is for sure, everyone is in a festive mood…….well except maybe some of those whose dog didn’t take home a ribbon earlier that day.

Whether you come to show, or to watch, one thing is for sure, you’re going to be entertained. Where else will you have the top dogs in the country in one arena? Where else do you have the opportunity to meet some of the most well respected people in the breed? So whether you leave the show with a smile on your face, or tears in your eyes, you just shared a part of history as a new Grand Victor/Victrix, Obedience Victor/Victrix has been crowned. You watched the Parade of Greats and the Stud dog, brood bitch presentations. You watched as some of the smartest and best trained dogs competed for obedience titles. You owe it to yourself to try to attend at least one of these “once in a lifetime” type of shows. Come for one day or stay for six or seven days! Buy yourself a GSD t-shirt, jewelry, magazines or books on the breed. There’s something for everyone to take back home as a keepsake of this most special event of the year. Bring your cameras and be prepared to be entertained. You won’t be sorry!

To find out more about The German Shepherd Dog National Specialty Show:

My rating of The GSD National: presentation (4), educational: (4), friendliness of the clubs hosting: (4)

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I remember receiving my first issue of “The German Shepherd Quarterly” all those years ago back in the 1980’s. I was impressed by the size of the pictures and pages of the magazine. They were probably about 8 ½ by 11, and so much easier to read than the smaller size magazines that I subscribed to. The articles were well written and I thought to myself that this would be a magazine I would be interested in subscribing to and so I did.

After coming back into the breed several years ago, I found I was writing more and more short stories and articles about the breed and was looking for a place to have them published. Someone mentioned this magazine to me. So I sent one of my articles to the editor and she liked it so much that she told me anytime that I wanted to write an article, they’d love to publish it. The warmth and friendliness of the staff at this magazine was truly welcoming. So I contributed and was published in several issues and then became so busy with other writing projects, that I didn’t get a chance to submit something again. I will definitely write something else for this magazine in the near future.

On the down side, the magazine is only published 4 times a year. Many breeders like to advertise on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, so what I have found is this magazine is an excellent resource for information. It’s excellent because the articles are written by some well respected German Shepherd Dog judges and breeders. My favorite part of the magazine is when there are interviews with different dog kennels. I find this very rewarding to learn about how some of these people got started in the breed. I have seen articles on well known dog kennels, health and genetics as well as obedience and working dog stories.

The German Shepherd Quarterly is published by Hoflin publishing who publishes magazines about many different breeds of dogs. It is the # 1 independent German Shepherd Dog publication in the world with a readership of over 2,000 people. If you haven’t checked them out, you owe it to yourself to borrow a friends copy and read one of their interviews or articles. I think you’ll enjoy it.

To contact them on the web: or google them by putting in the words The German Shepherd Quarterly.

My ratings: educational content: (4), lay out of magazine (4), value for your money (3)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I’m not going to tell you the history of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, except to tell you that it is one of the largest breed dog clubs in the country. Their new and improved website will do much better justice than I can here in a shorter amount of space. I encourage all German Shepherd dog lovers to spend some time looking over this informative website maintained by dedicated volunteers. Learn about how your beloved breed got started. View pictures of some of the top dogs in the country both past and present. Learn where to buy a puppy. No where else will you find such an up to date wealth of resources about the breed than on this website.

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America counts among its membership AKC licensed judges, handlers, breeders, exhibitors, trainers, groomers, and the “average Joe” who just loves the breed. Where else can you find such a diverse group of people brought together by their love of the German Shepherd Dog?

Learn how to become involved and how to become a member of this organization. Learn how to subscribe to their award winning magazine, “The GSD Review” which is published 12 times a year. Read the informative articles and drool over the beautiful pictures of some of the top German Shepherd Dogs in the country.

One of the goals of this prestigious club is to help promote and educate the public about this special breed of dog. An educated public is the best voice we have to further the awareness of responsible dog ownership. This is the place to learn about the correct temperament and structure of this breed.

So come take a look at all the beautiful German Shepherd Dogs. Stay awhile and get educated and find out how you can become more involved with one of the most popular and beloved breed of dogs. The most beautiful, intelligent German Shepherds in the world are just a click away. Check out their website at:

My reviews and ratings: website: (4), up to date information: (4), ease of navigation: (4), education: (4)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


It’s not unusual to go to a dog show and see people walking around with a spray bottle in their hand. They might have just finished grooming their dog or they are giving their dog a last minute mist before entering the show ring. More times than not, if you were to ask what they had in that spray bottle, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to hear them say, it’s Naked Care. Anyone who shows their dogs knows that having a healthy, shiny coat is a must in the show ring. When competition is tough, you want your dog to have that winning edge.

What is Naked Care? Naked care is a coat conditioner that although it won’t make your dogs hair grow, it will make him look like he has more hair than he does. Instead of laying flat against the skin, it boosts the hair follicle and gives it more oomph making the coat miraculously appear to be plusher. Pigment looks richer and more vibrant.

You mix the product with water in a spray bottle. It may be applied weekly or daily. Not only does the coat look more luxurious, but it makes the dog feel better as well. You can feel the high quality of this product by the way it makes your own hands look and feel. And the smell is yummy!

Naked Care is not just for the show dog. It's for anyone who wants their dog's coat to look healthier and shinier. This product makes your dog look so darn good that heads turn when he walks into a room.

There are no harsh chemicals in this product. The ingredients are: Aloe, Panthenol, Wheat Protein, Jojoba Oil, and Moisturizers & Detanglers.

I’ve used this product and this is my ratings: Does what it says it’s going to do: (4), high quality: (4), ease to use and apply: (4), good value for the money: (4)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I was introduced to the Show GSD e-mail list back in early 2005. A breeder friend of mine told me that now that I was getting back into the breed again, I needed to reconnect with the German Shepherd Dog community. So I sent my application in and heard from the list administration the same day. Soon my inbox was filling up with a smorgasbord of information about the breed that I held so dear to me. Many people remembered me after my long hiatus from the show dog world. I was welcomed with good cheer and embraced once again like I never left.

However, I found that I needed to be re-educated in matters of health, care, feeding and training of the German Shepherd Dog. Well everything that I needed to know was at the tip of my fingers. I just typed in a question, hit send and would receive a wealth of information on my chosen subject. I found members of this list were more than happy to help a fellow list member on any given subject about the breed.

With the information super highway known as the World Wide Web, the need for a place for German Shepherd enthusiasts to communicate was born of necessity with an almost instantaneous way of communication. From the forward thinking minds of Dr. Zoe M. Backman, Barb McGuire, Margery Golant, Dania Karloff, Lissa Cunningham, Tom Langlitz and many others, the List was realized. All of these people were volunteers and brought together by their love and passion for the breed. When the List was first started in April 1996, it was privately owned, but to protect the administrators it was incorporated as the GSD Communications, Inc. At any given time, the List always has 3-5 administrators.

The beautiful thing about the List is that it is authored by its membership. That is, the administrators are not the ones who are writing (unless needed to do so) on the list. It is the members who write and share their expertise on any given subject. And those subjects are as varied and different each day that you never know what they’ll be talking about next. It’s not unusual to find members talking about frozen or chilled semen, or using stored semen from a deceased stud dog, or discussions about feeding dogs raw vs. dry kibble. You’ll find your questions answered about health issues, structure of the German Shepherd, movement, genetics, supplements, vitamins, dog show wins and litter announcements. This is definitely a place to “strut” your stuff if your dog just did some big time winning or if you feel proud that he even placed at all at a dog show. This is the place where people will pat you on the back, encourage you to seek help with a dog related problem, or a place for a shoulder to cry on as you say good-bye to a beloved dog. It’s rare to hear of a problem that someone else hasn’t experienced. That’s why it’s safe here to share with others, because 99% of the time, someone else has experienced the same thing. Who better to get advice or information from then those who have experience in the breed? This is not like picking up some book and looking for answers and perhaps never hearing of its author. This is a place that you don’t have to put out a dime and you’ll not only get an answer from one person, but many people on the same subject.

It’s not unusual then when you bring together many different personalities about any given subject to have disagreements arise from a conversation. After all, you are dealing with people who have strong opinions about something that they feel they are experts in. Their passion is so strong that some times, you can feel it come through their type written messages. Oh they don’t mean to be unfriendly; it’s just that when they feel strongly about something, they stand behind what they are writing. After some back and forth comments from many different people who have now joined in on the conversation, most of the time a healthy resolution is agreed upon and everyone is friends again. But this is how we all learn. It’s from the passion of these people who have lived it, experienced it and who so freely share their visions and viewpoints that it might help the novice person, or open up the mind of someone who might have seen it differently. Few people lose friends this way, but many more times have gained new respect and acquired a new friend instead.

There’s a very special time in the fall on this list. For those who show their dogs on a National level, what a wealth of information awaits you here. If you are among the many who can’t attend a National GSD show, don’t feel too bad. The List (anchored by Mr. Evan Ginsburg) and directed by Dr. Zoe Backman will bring it to you right in your living room…..well almost. Both of these GSD lovers have devoted hours upon hours of their private time to bring the membership up to date information as it happens at the show. With Evan’s off the wall brand of sense of humor and Zoe’s technical expertise, the rest of us can sit back and read almost everything that happens at the National as its happening. From 1st. place to 4th. place and all the places in between, we get to enjoy the National without it costing us a penny. No plane to catch, no hotel to book, no car to rent, no jumpy nerves to contend with. Now how nice is that?!

Of the many goals of the List which includes breed rescue, education, communication of membership and Parent Clubs (German Shepherd Dog of America) and the Parent Club of Canada (German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada), perhaps the one I like the best is education of the public through responsible breeders. An educated public is one of the most important things that we can do as a breed community. If it can help keep one more GS dog out of a shelter, or prevent the back yard breeders from making another sale, then we have reached one more person. And that one more person can be the voice to help further our goals of responsible breeding and ownership of the best breed in the world!

In keeping with it’s goodwill towards the German Shepherd Dog and it’s community, the List was able to help those in need by doing a Stud Dog Auction a couple a months ago. The money that they raised for this auction was distributed among those in the GSD community who found themselves in need due to the economic melt down. It is this kind of charity that binds those in this breed and reminds us all that we are a family of like minds and goals for the betterment of the GSD and the people who love them. Although sometimes these people will not always agree with one another, you will not find a more intensely protective and loyal group of people than you’ll find in the GSD community. It is then that you’ll find that the true character of these people rising up to the occasion.

If you are like most people who belong to this educational, informative and yes sometimes wacky group of good natured people, you’ll find yourself starting your mornings with a cup of coffee and beginning your day reading the e-mails from other half awaken members as well. I mean where else can you invite, AKC judges, breeders, handlers, and GSD owners into your living room while you’re still in your pajamas? Then after a long, sometimes hard day, when the kids (both human and fur kids) are put to bed, with eyes barely open, you’ll pull up just one more e-mail from the List asking it’s members “What should I do about my dog who loves to eat it’s stools?” With a yawn, you turn off the computer and bid the List and its members a good night until the next morning when you just got to find out the answer about the stool eating dog.

The List is now over 1200 members strong. To join the List, two sponsors are required and its members may send feedback about the applicant. No one who is on suspension from the AKC or CKC or brought up on animal abuse charges or without sponsors are permitted.

I thank Dr. Zoe Backman for supplying me with information to write this article. I also thank the administration for allowing my many, many articles or stories I’ve written over these last few years to be sent over the List.

For more information about the Show GSD List……..

My rating: List content: (4), communication with members: (4), up to date information: (4), ease of reaching administration: (4)

Friday, July 24, 2009


The German Shepherd Dog is one of the world’s most beloved breeds. It’s easy to see why. Not only are they a beautiful, noble breed to look at, but their intelligence and will to please their master is rivaled by very few. Their ability to learn quickly makes them sort after for police work, Seeing Eye dogs, therapy dogs, rescue dogs and dogs that are trained for the military. Their bravery is well documented. But what about those people who are not looking for a dog for this purpose? Does a German Shepherd make a good family and companion dog?

Having owned German Shepherds for most of my adult life, I find this breed is good for just about anything and makes a wonderful companion to share your life with. But make no mistake; this is not a meek dog. This is a dog with keen senses and it’s rare for them to miss anything. Yes, I would say they are a very nosy breed. They want to know everything that is going on in their surroundings. They are quick to pick up their master’s moods and emotions. Because of their keen intelligence and strong muscular body, early training and socialization is a must. They must consider you the alpha at all times. In order words, you must be the master and what you say goes, not the other way around.

Because the German Shepherd is a dog who likes to please, most of the time they enjoy being taught and trained. It makes for a more peaceful environment. You’re happy and the dog is happy. This is a breed that likes having something to do. He is not content lying around in a kennel all day. He has a tremendous need to be with his master. If a dog was classified as co-dependent, this would be the one. He becomes your shadow, ever watchful, ever ready to protect and always available for a good belly rub! He just wants to be part of your life.

Now the German Shepherd Dog’s breed standard says that he should be approachable but aloof and he doesn’t make the overture himself. He is his master’s dog, not the “I love everyone” type of dog. He’s discriminating and one must prove he’s worthy of this dogs friendship. A stranger will not fair well by forcing himself on this breed of dog.

A German Shepherd can be your child’s best friend, playmate and protector. The child should be taught respect when interacting with a dog of ANY breed. Size does not determine a dog’s temperament.

The German Shepherd should never be timid or shy, or aggressive. To be so, is an indicator of a dog with bad temperament. Look for the outgoing puppy. Don’t fall for the little puppy hiding in the corner that you feel “maternal” towards. This is an indicator of future bad temperament. Look for the one who is full of himself and readily comes to investigate who you are. A German Shepherd who is beautiful to look at and is a pleasure to live with is the ideal type of dog.

Is this dog for everyone? No! Who should not own this type of dog? Households that have unruly children that are not taught respect for animals that like to tease and hit an animal is not a good household for any dog. This is not a breed that should be tied up in the back yard or locked away in a kennel all day never being socialized. This dog is not for the person who is not strong enough in personality to be the alpha of his home. In order words, you must be the boss of this dog without being mean to him. Never try taking this dog’s dignity away. He was born to be noble. Anything less…….well it’s just not a German Shepherd.

There is a reason this dog is so beloved. He has so much to offer his owner and mankind that there’s just not enough words to describe all this dog can achieve in his lifetime. Not every breed of dog can do the work this animal is capable of doing and come and lay by your side at night content that all is well in your life and his. Your happiness is what makes him happy.

My rating: intelligence: (4), beauty: (4), good with children: (4), devotion: (4), easy to live with: (3)…..because of his need for exercise and training.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Last Hope, Safe Haven bridges the gap between shelter and rescue. What does this mean? They contact the shelters who have German Shepherd Dogs and in some cases German Shepherd mixes and provide transportation to a foster home until a permanent home can be found. Many times they foot the bill for veterinarian costs related to the proper care for the animal. This can include heartworm treatments, worming, trauma cases, injuries, etc. Last Hope, Safe Haven believes none of our beloved breed should ever end up in a shelter. They have been instrumental in helping re-home over 350 dogs in the last couple of years.

Last Hope, Safe Haven is the brain child of its founder, Dawn Restuccia. She is supported by an equally devoted and hard working group of people who helps share her work load. Dawn is also the recipient of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America's President's award. She is an ambassador and lover of this breed and has fought hard to make the public aware of what goes on in shelters. Many shelters are kill shelters and her organization works feverishly to save as many German Shepherds as humanly possible. They know all too well that they won’t be able to save them all.

Because of the economic crisis we all face in this country, the shelters are filling up faster than ever before. People are losing their jobs and homes and it’s not unusual to see a once beloved pet heading to their last residency at a shelter. Many times it’s a senior citizen dog who becomes quickly depressed wondering where his owners went. This is no way for a devoted companion dog to end his life.

Last Hope, Safe Haven recognizes and appreciates all the generous donations from the public. Without these donations, another life is lost. You may see Dawn or one of her volunteers handing out literature about this organization at a dog show or outside a local grocery store. Besides those who donate funds, there are those who transport dogs to a foster home, or volunteer their time spending many hours on the telephone, etc. Any way someone can help to spread the word about our beloved breed and the fate some of them find themselves in is very much appreciated. An uneducated public can do noting to further their cause. An educated public can mean the difference between life and death.

For more information about this wonderful organization, look up their site on the web at:

My rating: communication with the public: (4), success of helping save a life: (3), dedication: (4), support and follow up of organization: (4)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I received a private e-mail yesterday suggesting a topic to be reviewed. She said she'd like to see a review about stud dog owners. Being a stud dog owner herself, she has lots of experience in this area. Apparently, this stud dog owner goes above and beyond when it comes to being a responsible dog breeder. She told me that she has gone as far as giving bitch owners a place to stay overnight in her home. If the bitch owner doesn’t come with her for the breeding, this stud dog owner will call to let them know she has arrived safely. She let’s them know when the breeding took place, and how long the tie was. She lets the bitch owner know how well their girl is doing and if she’s eating her food. In other words, she lets the bitch owners know what is going on every step of the way to reassure them.

I remember years ago that it was not uncommon for the stud dog owner to take a picture of the ties of the animals to assure the owner that their bitch was indeed being bred. I have found most stud dog owners to be accommodating and go out of their way to make you comfortable. I’ve had them invite me to stay for lunch or dinner. One time when I was staying overnight in a motel, the stud dog owner let me take many of her old German Shepherd Dog Reviews to read. The next day I came back and she was frying up a hamburger for lunch for the two of us.

Sometimes you will get a stud dog owner who is a novice as far as breeding dogs and really doesn’t know too much. This can be frustrating to all involved including the stud if he’s a young dog. Many times the nervousness of the stud dog owner will affect the dog and he might become a bad breeder because of it. I bred to a young stud one time that after he tied my bitch, he tried to lay down and look at himself in the mirror and boy did he scream in pain. It was quite traumatic for him and his owner. My bitch looked at him like he was nuts! Thank God she remained calm as this poor boy tried to twist and turn himself. An example of lack of experience!

I would say that 99% of the times, stud dog owners have been good to deal with. However, I did have one occasion where this was not the case. One time I called a handler who also had complete control of when a stud dog was being bred and to which bitches he wanted bred to him. I wanted to breed my Best in Maturity Champion ROM bitch to him. Well, he was as rude and nasty as can be. Oh yeah and condescending as well. Well that didn’t sit too well with me and he lost the breeding. I’m sure the dog’s owners would not have been happy learning about that. But all in all, I’ve been lucky. So here is my rating:

STUD DOG OWNERS: Responsible: (4), Friendly & welcoming: (4), Knows what they’re doing: (3), Honesty: (3)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This blog is about all things pertaining to the German Shepherd Dog. It’s about the people who love them and care for them. It’s about the clubs that promote the betterment of the breed. It’s about the products used to care for their health and beauty. It’s about the services used to train these beautiful animals. In short, it’s about anything and everything pertaining to the betterment of the German Shepherd Dogs world.

This is the place to find ratings and reviews on all things related to the German Shepherd Dog. And it's you who rates and reviews the subject matter. So you are getting first hand opinions from those who have experienced using a product or service. However, it is not necessarily the opinion of the blog owner. Also this is not a place to belittle or abuse someone. It is a place for honest evaluations.

The products or services will be rated using a rating system. The rating system will be graded on a scale of 1 – 4 stars. 1 = bad, 2 = fair, 3 = good, and 4 = excellent. Then after you rate it, you can leave a comment on how it can be improved upon or if you think it’s fine just the way it is. Each time I write a blog about a subject, you have a chance to rate it. I believe this will help everyone who wants to know about something before they use it or buy it. Subjects for review MAY include products, services, stud dogs, magazines, etc. For this first review, I'm giving my opinion on the subject matter. In some cases the rating system will be broken down on different aspects of the subject. So here goes:

Today’s subject is: THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG REVIEW: (official publication of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America) Content: (3), Appearance: (4), editorial: (4), value for the money: (3). Comment: overall a very good breed magazine, but in my opinion needs better marketing to generate more advertising.