Animal Stories - People Talking About Herding Dogs


Animal-World info on German Shepherd Dog
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GSDGenes - 2010-09-06
A GSD should NEVER weigh 140 pounds! The breed wasn't meant to be gigantic. Neither the AKC or SV breed standard calls for a dog taller than 26 inches at the withers for a male, 24 for a female. GSDs are meant to be agile and versatile, in fact some of the most knowledgeable police or working dog handlers will tell you the best working dog is a small quick tough bitch. Dogs within the standard of size are much better able to do such tasks as search and rescue, especially in sites such as WTC 911 where dogs had to be small enough to get into small openings and agile enough to balance themselves on precarious footing. Standard size dogs are also more adept at drug searches because a smaller dog is more agile and athletic and can go where a dog who is too large cannot go.
Oversize also contributes to health and soundness problems. Contrary to popular belief, the GSD is not one of the breeds most prone to hip dysplasia. Breeds such as the St. Bernard and English Bulldog top the list, dogs who are broad and heavy in body build.
Many people exaggerate the size of their GSDs too. Who is going to check and see if someone's claimed 140 lb dog really weighs that much?
Longcoated GSDs appear to be larger and heavier boned because of the illusion of size added by the longer coat and heavier quantity of undercoat. Likewise a very short slick coated GSD can appear small and fine boned because of the short slick coat.

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-09-06
    That does seem to be very large! Here's what we know from the experts...

    The American Kennel Club (AKA) does not have a weight for these dogs, either on their website, nor in their official publication "The Complete Dog Book / American Kennel Club" (20th Edition). In the standards for the German Shepherd they do state "...ranging in size from 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder"

    60 to 140 pounds, however is stated as the lower and upper weight limit for these dogs by author Kristine Mehus-Roe in her book "Dog Bible: The Definitive Source for All Things Dog".
  • Rebecca - 2010-11-12
    I have a 90lbs 3yr female. She looks huge *L* specially as she is a black longcoat. All her siblings are large, her sire being a big male (he'd be over close to 120lbs. She is from working lines, some of her siblings work in security etc. My girl is a pet but does do obedience training, which she loves!
  • Bekas - 2013-05-20
    My family has had four genrations of GSDs. Each one was a delight and joy .once they were about 18 months old. Puppy obedience school is essential and you must have someone in the house who is Alpha. We found that the dogs did well when they sort of belonged to a single family member, particularly when it came to going to obedience school. By dog #2 we figured it out.You do need patience with puppies. One jumped up on a child's desk and chewed up her homework. (The dog really did eat the homework. She had to redo the chewed/torn pages, but was allowed to take a few pages with teeth marks as evidence.) Shoes were found with pieces missing in the back of closets. Digging was a past time of one of the dogs. We woke up one morning to find the arm of a sofa slightly munched.But yes they are wonderful with kids and love to play chase and tumble and being in a tent made from two dining room chairs. Lots of great memories.My dad now has a Rottweiler that stole his heart the day my brother brought him home as a puppy. The puppy parked himself on my dad's foot & fell asleep.Dogs are the best;-)
  • Chance - 2013-05-22
    Every dog and breed is different but 95% of the time the dog is mean is becsuae it was trained to be or it was raised bad most people think Pitt bulls are all vicious killers witch is so not true its how u raise them. German shepherd s are the 3rd most wanted dog in the country and the first in military and police work, that's got to mean something!
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Animal-World info on Shetland Sheepdog
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Jack - 2010-08-04
I have a Sheltie named Butch. He and his friend Double the Bubble are pals forever lasting. DTB {Double the Bubble} is a Doberman Pinscher, Sheltie, German Shepard, and Cocker Spaniel mix. How could you hate cockers?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-20
    A couple of darling dogs for sure, and I love the names, especially 'double the bubbles'...lol
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Animal-World info on Collie (Smooth or Rough)
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Cheyenne N. Pine - 2009-08-18
What would a Rough Collie and a Golden Retreiver mix be called?

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  • Anon - 2010-12-14
    A mutt.
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Animal-World info on German Shepherd Dog
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The Whisperer - 2009-05-19
Socialization is a must, the more positive experiences around different people, different animals, sights, noises, etc that a GSD puppy experiences as he grows up, the more confident and stable in temperament that dog will be.

Obedience training is also a must. A GSD is much like a smart 3-year old child, he will test you to see what he can get away with and push you as far as you let him. Positive consistent obedience training until a dog reliably and quickly obeys you, will help you and your dog form a good master=dog bond, can PREVENT many problems from occurring and in some cases may even save your dog's life. Once you've lived with a well-trained dog, you will never want to live with an untrained dog again!!!
A GSD NEEDS things such as obedience exercises to learn and do, to keep him from getting bored. A bored dog, especially one used to doing as it pleases, is likely to wreak havoc on its environment as it digs, howls, barks, chews things up, and engages in other undesirable behaviors to relieve its boredom.


GSDs come in a variety of colors and patterns. The dominant pattern for distribution of the black markings over the red/tan/cream/silver ground color of the GSD, is the agouti (called sable in the USA and grau or gray in Germany=neither which correctly describes the pattern). Second to agouti is the two-tone pattern with the two colors, the ground color and the black markings being fairly clearly divided (the familiar black and tan dog is of this pattern). Third comes the darker dogs, blankets and bicolors (for which there is no standardized degree of black, thus what different people claim is a blanket or a bi, may differ from others opinions of what constitutes a blanket or bi. Most recessive in this series is the solid black which frequently isn't actually solid black but shows hints of ground color, often called shadings or bleedthrough, in the lower legs, inside of the hindlegs, and around the anus.

The ground colors are red/tan/cream and silver, with variations in intensity and clarity. Puppies ground colors are usually muddied, with grayish tinges, and intensify and get clearer as the puppy grows. The marking color is usually black, although there are two different recessive dilutions, liver and blue. Liver or blue merely changes the black pigment on a GSD to blue or liver.

An agouti/sable puppy is born fairly dark, then the black tipping fades until the puppy at 7 to 8 weeks of age is a dull grayish tan with very little black on it. The black tipping comes back in and the puppy darkens again at around 4 months of age. There is another stage at around 7 months of age where the black tipping in an agouti/sable puppy fades again, but the second fading of the black is much less obvious than the first one. After that the puppy's color will get richer and darker and as an adult the puppy will overall be approximately as dark as he was as a newborn. There is also some minor seasonal variation in the appearance of the black tipping. An agouti/sable may appear lighter in overall color in the winter when he has a lot of undercoat, and darker in the summer when all that light undercoat has shed out!

A two-tone puppy is born much darker than he will be as an adult. As the puppy grows, the ground color (red/tan/cream/silver) steadily spreads upward and outward. Thus, a puppy that is destined to be a saddle black and tan adult, will be quite dark with the black color extending to the elbows and will steadily keep getting lighter in appearance until he reaches his adult saddle pattern.

White is on a totally separate locus. A white GSD is a GSD of any of the possible agouti series colors/pattern combinations from agouti/sable to solid black, that has its pattern and colors masked by the white gene, just as if you would drop a white sheet over the dog. White dogs whose ground colors are genetically reds or rich tans, tend to have reddish, orangish, etc tinges in their coats. Whiter whites are usually genetically creams and silvers (ground colors are what affects the degree of white in a white dog, not the black marking color/pattern)

Mutations in colors/patterns are always possible in the GSD, just as they are in any species. Recent color/pattern mutations include the Panda shepherd, a mutation for large white markings and sometimes change of eye color to blue and also at least two instances, one positively confirmed by DNA, of spontaneous mutation of ground color to brindle.

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Lee - 2012-10-29
I want to know if the Snow Shepherd and White German Shepherd is the same breed?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2012-10-29
    Yes, they are the same breed and frequently called a white snow german shepherd.  It is a reference to the color - not the breed. Actually white was one of the orignal colors of the breed.  They are gorgeous.
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Animal-World info on Border Collie
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jesse - 2009-09-21
I love these dogs. I have 1 that is really active. He can jump about 4 foot high. His name is charlie.

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  • Leila - 2011-08-17
    A neighbour of mine had a collie also and she used to love to play fetch with sticks. You just had to pick up a stick for her to get ready to aim! She was a real peoples dog and never bothered with other dogs. She had blue eyes.
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David B - 2008-07-17
When I was growing up we had a border collie because my grandfather used them on his horse ranch and they were my father's favorite dog. The dogs name was Tippy and I must say, they are the smartest dog in the world! He was a great family dog, very protective (I have 2 brothers and 1 sister) and was very good at understanding what was going on in humans heads. He always understood what you wanted and was more than willing to do it! I will never forget that dog.

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Animal-World info on Cardigan Welsh Corgi
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lauren - 2013-01-23
I love animals.

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Animal-World info on Border Collie
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Anonymous - 2009-04-20
I love these dogs. They are the smartest dog I've ever seen. They are also extremely active. They will try to herd everything and everyone. Mine herd everything from our ducks and chickens to my thoroughbreds. I couldn't imagine a better dog breed.

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Animal-World info on Old English Sheepdog
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vicky - 2011-02-08
Hello I am looking to give a forever home to a old english sheep dog free to good home. He/she would have lots of walks love and attention.


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  • Tracey Walsh - 2011-03-10
    I was curious if you were still looking for a home for your Old English Sheep dog. I have a 6 year old OES and would love to add another to our family.
    Thank you,
    Tracey Walsh
  • Jennifer Elliott - 2011-06-24
    Where do you live? Jenny
  • Jodie - 2011-08-15
    Where do you live? We are breeders and often rehome dogs in which we are retiring from breeding, or have decided not to breed. We may have a 3 year old female available.
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