Are You Thinking About Adopting A Large
You are going to be investing a lot of time in an animal
that weighs twice as much as a 5 year old child. Get as much
history as possible on the dog before you decide to bring him
or her home. Any dog can be re-trained, but you don't want a
skittish biter around your children. Find out if the dog has
any allergies. Dog allergies can be life threatening.
The large dog is sometimes neglected
when it comes to love and training.
The large breed and extra
large breed dog comes from a working class and unless he or she
is given "chores" to do, you are going to end up with a bored
and destructive dog. This is the main reason big dogs are
turned loose to fend for themselves or taken to a humane
society shelter. Another reason big dogs are abondoned is the
price of treating dog allergies or other conditions such as hip
I can always tell when I have been neglecting
my German Shepherds, they start to dig holes in the yard. I
grew up with German Shepherds and know that they are working
dogs. They are gentle giants unless called to protect their
family or territory. This is my grand daughter who thinks the
dogs are small ponies.
Trials and Tribulations of a Rescued
Kelsey is my adopted dog. She is a registered German
Shepherd with a sable color. I got her when the family she was
living with decided she was just too big. They got her from a
family that had a couple of small children and they were afraid
the dog would hurt the children.
Kelsey is a big baby. She has been abused and is more than a
little skittish. She is terrified of men. My husband was on TDY
when I took her in. When he got home, she almost lost it. Now
they are the best of buddies and she loves to go run with
He had the patience to go very slowly with her. He never
tried to grab her and he never raised his voice to her. She had
been trained to walk at heal on a leash but never seemed to get
excited when the leashes came out or if you asked her if she
wanted to go for a walk. (Bess practically turns herself inside
out in excitement if you say the word walk to her!)
At first, she would cower whenever my husband came into the
room. It broke his heart. I don't know if it was the first
family or the second that abused her. Perhaps it was just a bad
trainer. She is still shy of men but now she thinks the sun
rises and sets with my husband.
She is long and lanky and could never be a show dog. She is
a big loveable duffus who never seems to know where her feet
are. She wants to herd you, so quite often she is "in the way"
in the house. When she decides that she is a lap dog, all 85
pounds pretty much pin you on your chair.
Kelsey would not harm a fly. She has a ferocious bark and is
hugh so she is intimidating if you are near the yard. She is a
great rat catcher, but somehow seems to know the difference in
what to kill. Last year we had a nest of baby blue jays fall
out of one tree. The dogs had the babies cornered but did not
try to bite them. I used some wire to keep them in one corner
of the yard under a bush. Sometime that day, mama got them to
fly enough to get them out of the yard.
As with any abused animal, if you back Kelsey into a corner,
she will stop cowering and begin to snarl and snap.
Last summer, one of the neighbor boys would not leave her
alone. He kept trying to hold on to her collar and pull her. He
was told repeatedly to leave her alone. Finally Kelsey started
to growl at him and when he still wouldn't stop, she snapped at
his hands. At that point, the kids called me to come to the
back yard. She had not broken the skin on his hands but you
could see the dents.
Did I punish her? No way. Did I send him home? You bet. I
even went with him to explain to his mother what had happened.
In case you were wondering, the boy was 14 and certainly old
enough to know better. On the very few occasions when this
young man is at my house now, you better believe he stays well
clear of Kelsey, who still doesn't like him.