What do Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherd’s, Border Collies, and German Shepherd’s have in common?￼
They are crazy, beautiful and neurotic. They have high drive, are meant to do high drive jobs, are not designed to sit around and do nothing and one walk a day will not tire them out and make them satisfied.
Siberian huskies are bred to run long distances with high stamina and NOT STOP. Australian Shepherd’s and Border Collies are meant to herd sheep ALL DAY LONG from sun up to sundown. ￼German Shepherd’s are meant for protection and chase and apprehend￼ bad guys for the police and the military for the first 4 years of their life.￼ All of these breeds need to be told when, where and how much. All of their drives have to be controlled and trained. If not, they will become neurotic and out-of-control.￼
What happens is these dogs go into a household with individuals or families with the expectation of a golden retriever. Happy, Social and full of life￼. They may take one training class, but that’s just for obedience(they say “because it needs to listen,”) as it is not and does not also cover an outlet for their energy.￼￼ Outlets include Agility, doggie daycare, running, hiking, dog park, frisbee and other focus related activities.
A large percentage of dog owners obtain these breeds primarily because of their looks. This is where the problem starts.￼They watched Rin Tin Tin, Max, Megan Leavy, Hatchi, 101 Dalmatians, Eight Below or a variety of dog movies that showcase these amazing and intelligent breeds doing a JOB and told themselves that at one point they will have one of these breeds.
The wonderful thing about the movie Marley and Me is it shows what you should NOT do as a dog owner. People watch this movie and laugh, but I watched it and became furious. ￼The owners do everything wrong. They don’t kennel train Marley so he destroys their house, they take him to a training class without the right training tools and he flunks, and after 6 to 7 years they love the dog because he has calmed down.
Perhaps as a kid your parents owned a dog that was one of these breeds and it was amazing, but you don’t truly remember doing anything with it because you were so young and most of the training had been done by your parents. Being that you had fond memories, you￼ tell yourself, I want one of my own when I grow up￼.￼
I myself wanted a Dalmatian as a kid because they were super cool and beautiful. I knew nothing about the breed or how neurotic they are, but I wanted one because I liked how they look. I even bought a sweatshirt. You can only imagine what happened when I saw 101 Dalmatians! ￼￼In theory, I still want one, but I’m super glad I didn’t get one as my first dog.￼ ￼ I definitely know what I would be coming against as I know the breed and characteristics now as an adult.￼
My first dog was a German Shepherd. He was a beautiful, calm, white beast of a dog that in the end was not a true Shepherd. He didn’t bark at anything, didn’t run after anything and was actually quite calm. So I had a German Shepherd that wasn’t a German Shepherd. Granted, before I got him I worked at a German Shepherd breeding kennel so I saw what they can actually do and what it entailed so I did not go into it blind, but it was still a lot of training and I remember crying after class because “All he wanted to do was play with other dogs and not focus on me and training.”
So many times, an individual or family decides to get a dog and upon the excitement of getting a dog, they don’t think about what could happen down the road. When the dog reaches sexual maturity and starts to exhibit signs of the breed standard, the individual or family starts to see that they chose the wrong breed and they don’t have enough time to dedicate to the breed and they decide to give it up.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
I don’t see that as a bad thing because it would be better to find a better family than to put the dog through not utilizing his full potential. The hard part about it is that the dog ends up going from home to home and with each home he starts to feel like it has failed more and more.
I have seen the toll that it has taken on dogs that have been bounced to multiple homes and it’s really sad.
So what is the solution? The number one thing that we always talk about is making sure that you research the breed that you were interested in.
With the above breeds that we talked about specifically, if you are not ready to run, live on a farm with sheep or understand how protective a dog can truly be, you need to refrain from getting all of the above breeds.￼￼￼￼ If you live in an apartment, have a full-time job and a family and do not have time for training, do not get the above breeds. Actually, just steer clear of any dog with herding instincts or prey drive.
That leaves an English bulldog or a cat. Lol
No matter what dog you get it needs training. That starts at eight weeks of age. We train our service dogs for 18 months to get them ready for their new home. Their family then trains them for another 18 months before they truly settle in to their job and their home. Just because we trained them for 18 months doesn’t mean they’re a robot in the family house and do nothing.
Respect is given to those that earn it. Those that put in the time and understand it will reap the rewards. How long does it take to train a child? 40+ years? You wouldn’t expect a child to move out, get a job and be independent at the age of 7!
*Keep in mind that for every year of a dogs life it equates to seven years of a humans life.￼￼
Why on earth would you expect a dog to know everything within one year, especially within that first year of exploration, adventure and excitement.￼￼￼￼
We end on this note. Getting a dog is exciting. Getting the dog of your dreams is amazing. Obtaining something that you’ve always wanted is an exciting journey, but it doesn’t work without hard work and consistency. I would love to have a “state of the art” training facility just given to me, but if I don’t have the money to keep it going and the means to make sure it stays a “state of the art” facility, it will become rundown and broken within a very short period of time.￼￼￼￼￼
Research, research, research.
Figure out what your current living style works with and what amount of time you can realistically handle. Then, research your breed of choice and see if it fits. Talk to the breeders, ask them questions. They will honestly tell you if you are crazy or not! Talk to people who own the breeds you are interested in and see what a day in the life of that dog is. Doing your research will only help you￼ in the long run!
If you have questions regarding training or advice on problematic issues at home, go to http://www.ruffacademywi.com and check us out! Send an email to us and let us know how we can help!