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Posts Tagged ‘working German shepherd’

anka

Dogs come into our lives. Sometimes, they just live out their days as wonderful companions. Others wind up changing our lives for good.

Anka was the dog that change my perspective entirely. I never liked German shepherds, and I really didn’t like the working ones.

But after spending a week working with one of these dogs, I knew I would never want to be without one.

Her arrival coincided with the arrival of Quest, and Quest has wound up opening many doors for me. I came to know people with top of the line German shepherds of the three or four major types, but as time went on, new opportunities began to avail themselves.

Last November, I realized that I was about to come into to some opportunities, ones that meant I would have to spend less time working my unregistered sable dog. At the same time, she was developing some serious same sex aggression towards other female dogs, and she was losing her tolerance of Zoom, our male whippet.

We were able to manage her aggression through crate and rotate, but because I would be getting new German shepherds like her in the near future, I would be forced to spend less time with her.

And that’s no life for a truly exceptional dog.  So Anka now lives on a farm with two young boys to take care of. This dog has strong tending instincts, and she has a profound fondness for children. So I sent her to live in the perfect home– where she is the only dog.

I cried more over placing this dog than any other, but I know that my decision was a correct one. If I lived with only one dog and just wanted an active pet, I would have held onto her. She is a truly special animal, and I will always get a bit gooey whenever I see a sable working German shepherd.

As for those new opportunities, well, stay tuned to this space.

These new opportunities would never have happened without Anka. I wish I could thank her somehow, but I guess thanks is living on that nice acreage and having the perfect life.

And so the future comes. And it holds many beautiful adventures to come.

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So Jenna and I tried something very different today. We went up to work with Quest on sheep with  a herding trainer instructor, Tonya Haney of WORK N GSD

We thought Quest might possess the instinct. He tries to herd Poet, the little brindle whippet,  when we play ball with them, and his mother has been on sheep before and does have the instinct.

Keep in mind that Quest had never seen sheep before, and he is of a breed that relatively few people use on livestock. So we honestly had no idea what he would do.

Well, this 8-month-old pup really does have the instinct.

After we saw that he could do it, I gave it a go.

He’s just started on sheep, but it is really amazing to see that he has this instinct to gather up the sheep. The brown one kept breaking off from the other three, and he would put pressure on it to make it flock properly.

We had  a lot of fun trying Quest out on sheep, but I doubt we had as much fun as he did. He really loves to do what his ancestors were bred to do,

Yes, Quest is a show dog. He will very likely have an AKC conformation championship and maybe an actual show career as he matures.

But it would be great to get him some titles on both ends of his name.

So we will be doing this a lot in the future.

Plus, there are few things more beautiful than a well-bred, sound German shepherd trotting around you as it herds sheep.

If you’ve never seen it in person, it is truly a sight to behold. 

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I can’t believe I have such a nice dog.

anka posing

The eyes pretty much say it all.

I never thought I’d like a dog of this breed, much less consider one my best canine companion.

I think I’m always going to have at least one Deutscher Schäferhund in my home. They are that much fun to train and play with, and they are so clownish and loyal. Plus, they are great watch dogs that can easily be trained not to bark excessively, and the best ones are not vicious.

She is stable and attuned my mood. She is sensitive and eager and quite brainy.

Which is a good thing, because she is built like a body-builder, with massive muscles in her hind quarters and forelegs.

I would not want a dog like her if it was a crazed lunatic that went around randomly attacking people. She could do a lot of damage, but she’s docile and domesticated.

I have, however, seen that demure clowny coyote suddenly become all business when she thought her job was to be the protector.

Anka is what I like in a dog. I’ve always been looking for that perfect balance of drive, good sense, and intelligence in a dog, but it’s harder and harder to find in golden retrievers. It still exists, but it is something one must seek out with a great deal of rigor.

And even then, you may be turned away.

Working German shepherds are really common, and because people often don’t know what they are getting when they purchase a puppy– “I want one of them straight-backed ones” is a common idea in the public mind– they often are in need of good homes. What most people don’t get is those straighter-backed Rin Tin Tin dogs have far more drive than most people are accustomed to having in a dog, and they would be be better suited to buy an actual show-bred dog.

Living with both forms of this breed has given me a deep appreciation for each type.  I can’t say that I am as fundamentalist against the show dogs as I once was. I had to change my mind, because I was wrong.

And yes, we can have all these debates about functional conformation in this breed. We can post that image that shows the horse with the extreme rear angulation. We can show photos of Hektor Linksrhein/Horand von Grafrath all we want.

But i have changed my mind about what breeds I do like to have. One of these days, I’ll probably up my game with a Malinois or a Dutch shepherd, which are like five or six clicks more driven than a working German shepherd,  but for right now, I enjoy what I do have.

A good dog.

 

 

 

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Ball dog

This is a German shepherd a millisecond before the snap.

ball dog anka

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Anka likes this one. It’s durable, and it squeaks.

anka-red-ball.jpg

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anka new ball

Anka got a new ball from Tractor Supply. I didn’t catch the name of the ball but decided to try it out. It is perfect for this kind of dog. It is soft enough that she can catch it the air and tough enough to withstand the GSD carnassial crunch.

 

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This is what a fit dog looks like:

fit anka

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