Monday, February 14, 2011


Before I begin today's article, I wanted to let you know about the feed back that I received about the show dogs and whether or not they make good house dogs. About 95% of you told me that you keep your show dogs in the house with you and have no problem showing them and keeping a good attitude on them. A few people say that they alternate their show dogs from being a house dog and a kennel dog. Only one person told me that they keep their dogs out all the time. However, I had others tell me over the phone that they too keep their show dogs outside. So there you have it and thank you all for your comments.

Recently there was a conversation going on over on my list (The GSD Showcase) and it was about whether or not to bring our dogs inside when the temperatures drop down to the freezing mark. Someone wrote that he thought that we baby our dogs too much. So that got me to thinking about this a little bit more. Do we really baby our dogs too much?

Some people think it’s perfectly alright to keep their dogs out in temperaments that reach freezing and below as long as they have insulated dog houses and covered or protected dog runs. I never leave my dogs out in temperaments that are at the freezing mark or below. They go out and do their business and then they come back in again. My house dog can’t tolerate it very long either. She will hold her paws up off the ground because it bothers her. I don’t think that it’s because I baby them too much, but I don’t care how used to it they are, their ears still get frozen. I can see how they shake their heads when they come in. Sure they have an insulated coat with the undercoat that they carry, so it’s not their body skin that I’m concerned about……it’s their feet and their ears. We all do what we feel is best for our dogs.

Then I received a private e-mail saying that we make our dogs too soft rather than keeping them strong. What he said is that we “humanize” them too much. We forget that they are dogs and we try to make them like one of our kids. I think he was upset about reading how some people’s dogs sleep in the bed with them or lay around the house all day. He reminded me that this is a working/herding breed not a toy breed. He said that this is a breed of dog that was meant to be a tough breed that works and protects not a soft lazy breed that watches television with us all day. Hmmmm…….I wonder how many of us have the luxury of watching television all day?

He went on to say that we provide our dogs with designer this and designer that. I think he was disturbed about those who chose to use holistic dog food and treats. He said no wonder our dogs stomachs are the way that they are. They are too weak. If they were in the wild, they wouldn’t be eating designer foods and treats. They’re stomachs would be a heck of a lot stronger than they are. Forget about vitamins and coat supplements. He compared our dog’s coats with that of the wolf that has a gorgeous coat and he doesn’t receive vitamins and coat supplements! He lives outside and doesn’t sleep on a foam mattress either he reminded me!

He called today’s show dogs weak in body and mind and poorly bred for genetic health problems. He blamed breeders for the health problems in the breed. He said we soften the dogs temperament and that most of them couldn’t do a days work without collapsing from exhaustion! He said stop babying the German Shepherd Dog and bring back the true character of this breed.

I would venture to guess that most people will be offended by this writer’s remarks. Does he have any legitimate complaints? Do we baby our dogs too much? Have we bred dogs with too many genetic health problems? Have we softened up the temperament of the German Shepherd Dog in favor of sweeter, nicer nature dog?

I like living with my dogs and having them share in my life. I believe we all do what’s right for us and our dogs and our life style. I don’t want to toughen up my dogs too much especially living in a “sue happy” country. I want them to be able to protect me and my home, but I don’t want a raving maniac either. I want to be able to live with them and at the same time be able to depend on them. I want to enjoy them, and I can’t do that if they’re away from me outside all day long……..just to keep them tough!

If we spoil our dogs, it’s simply because we love them and they are very special to us. Yes I like to feed my dogs’ good food and yes I do add a supplement to their diets. Yes my house dog has special rugs and quilts for her comfort and warmth when she lies on the floor. Sure I buy them treats and bones to chew on. And yup, they have their toys lying all over the living room floor. But you know what; I don’t call that babying them too much. I call it loving them very much!

From the book: "A DOG'S PURPOSE"....Dog lovers will absolutely love this book. The author masterfully captures what many of us would imagine to be the thought processes of our dogs, and makes the reader think about the role we play in our pets' lives, for good and for bad. While the book has its uplifting moments, make sure to have some tissues nearby as there are many, many tearful moments in the story of this dog's numerous lives. Lest anyone think that this is yet another book in the growing dog channeling genre, rest assured that this book is much more than that. This is a book that will make you think not only about the purpose of a dog's life, but the purpose of life in general.

My rating: Babying and spoiling a dog: (4)!

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