Monday, November 29, 2010

Working dogs

by Mary Torio

People meet my Okette(aka "Monster")
and tell me "Oh, I want one JUST like HER!" I usually reply:
"No, you really don't." Don't get me wrong, she's a perfect fit for
me;I wouldn't trade her for love or money. But she REQUIRES 6-10 hours
of exercise, 5-7 days a week.

Here's an example of why I don't recommend working-line GSDs
to most people: due to my being busy, Okette only got "normal dog"
level exercise since Tuesday, other than an
hour of swimming on Sat. When I got home last night & the dogs
crowded the door Kona growled at someone for jostling her. This happens
every single day & Okette ignores it. But last night intensity girl
was out of her head with unexpended energy so she
attacked Kona and had her pinned down as I came through the door. It
took two hands for me to pull her off, and she tried to go back for
more. This is NOT typical! I have no doubt this only happened because
hadn't had enough exercise or mental stimulation for the past 4 days.
Keep in mind she DID get walked and played with the other dogs here all
day! When she's had enough
exercise she completely ignores being growled at and even nipped. But
only 4 days of 6-8 hours exercise she was off her head.

Working line dogs are
bred to DO stuff, and their energy requirements are off the hook. How many dogs wind up in rescues or even put down
because of "behavior problems" that are just due to boredom or lack of exercise? People get
so offended when I try to talk them out of getting one like her. Lemme
repeat, I LOVE this dog, wouldn't trade her if I could. I LOVE her
energy & drive. But most people aren't up for all that. And
there's no shame in that! I just want people to recognize what they are
and are not up for, and get their dogs accordingly.

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