What to Consider Before Adopting a Rescue Dog

If you are thinking about rescuing a dog, here are a few important points to consider…

Think About Age and Temperament

Puppies are adopted quickly from rescue shelters since many people prefer the idea of raising their dogs from as young as possible. However, adult dogs deserve a second chance just as much as puppies. Older rescue dogs may have had more negative experiences in their past that resulted in unusual temperaments, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily a lost cause. In fact, adult rescue dogs can be some of the most loving pets.

Listen to the Rescuer’s Evaluation of Your Dog

It is always best to meet any prospective rescue dog before committing to adoption. This is to make sure that you and the dog get along and feel comfortable together, even if it’s only a little at first. Talk to the rescue team or volunteers about how the dog behaves and what they know about the dog’s history. This will help you make a more informed decision about what you are capable of taking on.

Prepare for Your New Pet’s Wellbeing

Whichever dog you choose to adopt, you will need to prepare your home for their arrival. Apart from supplying a soft bed, plenty of toys, and nutritious food, you will also need to think about their future wellbeing. Considerations such as dog insurance are just as important as buying a harness or treats. Does the dog breed tend to experience particular health concerns? Does the rescue you’re interested in have any underlying medical conditions? The more you know, the better you can prepare.

Provide a Safe and Calm Environment

Set up a part of your home where your rescue dog can enjoy their privacy. This could be a quiet room or a crate that’s big enough to be humane and comfortable. Blankets, towels, toys, and water will all help your new dog to settle in quicker. Having somewhere they can retreat to is a great way to let them explore on their terms.

Plan Introductions to Other Pets

If you have other pets, you will need to be careful about how you introduce your rescue into the home. Some rescue dogs will never be able to live alongside other pets and the shelter should be able to advise on this. Keep existing pets separate from your new rescue dog and introduce them to each other gradually and with constant supervision.

Go at Their Pace

Your rescue may be able to handle some changes better than others. Progress won’t always be regular and there will be occasional backsliding. Don’t let this dishearten you. By going at your dog’s pace and letting them grow comfortable in their own time, you reassure them that you can be trusted. This will eventually sink in and they’ll start to feel at home.

Rescuing a dog rather than buying a puppy from a breeder is one of the most thoughtful and ethical ways to adopt a pet. While some breeders do operate within legal and ethical rules, it is very kind to give a dog a second chance at living a happy and safe life through rescue adoption. As long as you are prepared for the hard work, you will be rewarded with loyalty and love.

When Do German Shepherds Stop Growing?

We all stop growing at some point, right? Yeah, the same is true for the descendants of the 19th-century German herding dogs. These overall-utility canines have an interesting growth journey from childhood to adulthood as they transition through different growth phases.

As a responsible dog owner or parent, however, one needs to understand these phases for several reasons, like changing the diet plan, determining exercise intensity, and what to expect generally through the years because this mostly depends on the breed of your German Shepherd. Summarily, the need to take proper care of one’s dog is why this question is important. So, getting right into it, when do German Shepherds stop growing? We explore the growth stages below…

Growth Stages of German Shepherds

Neonatal Stage (0-2 weeks)

The neonatal, or newborn, stage includes the first two weeks of puppies right after birth. During this period, they cannot walk, see, or hear, so they rely solely on their mother’s care. They depend solely on their senses of touch and smell to navigate the environment. Also, they sleep for most of the day as their other senses develop.

Transitional Phase (2 weeks-4/5 weeks)

For the next two to three weeks, following the neonatal phase, German Shepherd pups begin to hear, see, and walk. They wobble in the beginning because their muscles are still developing, but it is during this period that they begin to explore on their own with some support from their mother. Also, their first set of teeth become visible.

Socialization Phase (1-3 Months)

Socialization literally means social interaction with one’s immediate environment while learning to inculcate socially acceptable behavior. Therefore, this is the stage where your pup’s senses develop considerably and they begin to socialize with you and their littermates. It’s safe for you to take them out and begin basic training. It is, in fact, necessary, as this lays the foundation for well-adjusted adult behavior.

Juvenile Stage (3 Months-6 Months)

This is the period when GSD’s become even more independent of their parents. Their motor skills should be almost perfect now. Also, their mental capacity blossoms, and since they’re excited about the world, breaking things in the house is not unexpected. Therefore, there’s no better time to teach commands and impulse control and go for brief walks to burn some energy. By the fourth month, they will grow adult teeth anytime over the next 40 days, and by the sixth month, your pet is gearing up for sexual maturity.

Adolescent Stage (6/8 Months-2 Years)

At around six to eight months, depending on the gender, your dog reaches sexual maturity. The males become territorial, and the females go into heat and, as a result, may show aggressive behavior. But it shouldn’t be too much of a headache if you have established a bond and taught your dog to obey your commands. In order to convert your GSD’s aggression into more productive endeavors, increase the intensity of their training routine. You may also consider spaying or neutering, especially if you do not want an unplanned litter.

Transition to Adulthood (1 1/2 Years-3 Years)

At 18 months, GSD’s continue to grow physically (in height and weight), and it’s a good time to switch up their diet to something more adult. Ensure you provide high-quality dog food to meet their energy needs and, most importantly, their specific nutritional needs. At about age three, GSD’s reach full maturity and stop growing. When exactly depends on the breed of your German Shepherd and gender.

German Shepherd Height and Weight by Age

Male and female German Shepherds grow big, but differently. The males tend to grow bigger and taller than their female counterparts. Check the table below for appropriate weight and height through their first three years:

The Wrap-Up: How to Check Your Dog’s Weight and Height at Home

Height (Using a tape measure)

1. Stand your dog against a vertical surface (door, fridge, wall, etc.). Ensure all four paws are touching the ground
2. Keep the legs at shoulder-width distance
3. Find the withers (shoulder blades) using a flat object such as a ruler or book while keeping the dog steady
4. Ensure one end of the ruler is touching the wall
5. Mark the spot on the wall and let the dog out of the picture
6. Get a tape measure or use the same ruler to measure the distance from the ground

Weight (Using a bathroom scale)

1. Place the scale on the bare ground
2. For small dogs, place the dog on it and keep it steady for a few seconds to get an accurate figure
3. For older and bigger dogs, carry the dog in your arms
4. Hold securely in your arms for a few seconds till you’re confident before stepping on the scale
5. Memorize the number and get off the scale
6. Step on the scale once again, but this time without the dog.
7. Calculate the difference to determine your dog’s actual weight.

10 Fun Indoor Games to Play with Your Dog

Playing games with your dog not only provides them with much-needed mental and physical stimulation, but it also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. While outdoor play is fantastic, sometimes the weather or other circumstances might keep you indoors.

Thankfully, there are plenty of exciting indoor games you can enjoy with your doggy companion, even inside your rental apartment. In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 best games to play with your dog indoors, ensuring hours of fun and laughter for both of you!

Hide-and-Seek

This classic game can be adapted very well for indoor play. Have your dog sit or stay while you find a hiding spot. Then, call out their name and wait for them to seek you out. When they find you, reward them with treats or a belly rub. This game not only engages their sense of smell but also reinforces their recall training. It’s a great way to have them explore the apartment safely as well, which is very good if you just moved with your pet to a new home.

Treat Puzzle Toys

Invest in interactive treat puzzle toys that challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills. These toys usually require your dog to figure out how to access hidden treats. Watching them maneuver and strategize will entertain you as much as it does them. Plus, this is a great option if you need to keep them busy while you are working from home, during meetings or interviews.

Indoor Fetch

You don’t need a massive open space for a game of fetch. Choose a soft toy or a lightweight ball and play fetch in a hallway or a room with ample space. Make sure there are no valuable items that could accidentally get knocked over during the excitement! Utilize your vertical space well and have your dog climb and jump to retrieve the soft toy. This will be a very good way of keeping them fit as well.

Tug of War

Tug of war is a great way to make sure your dog spends their energy while also reinforcing their impulse control. Use a sturdy rope toy and remember to let your dog win occasionally to keep the game fun and engaging for them.

Simon Says

Put a canine twist on this classic game starting with teaching your dog basic obedience commands like sit, stay, lie down, or spin. Take turns being “Simon” and issue the commands. Reward your dog with treats for following instructions correctly. This will be very mentally stimulating for them.

Scent Detection

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell and scent detection games tap into their natural instincts. Hide treats around the house and encourage your dog to find them using their nose. You can make the game progressively challenging by hiding the treats in different spots that are harder and harder to reach. You can also hide treats higher up on stable surfaces, so your dog has to jump up, or under things so they have to search and access more difficult spots.

Indoor Agility Course

Create a mini agility course using household items like chairs, broomsticks, and cardboard boxes. Train your dog to navigate the course, jumping over low obstacles, weaving through poles, and crawling under makeshift tunnels. This game combines both exercise and mental stimulation.

Find the Toy

Show your dog their favorite toy, then have them wait in another room while you hide it somewhere in the house. Give them the “find it” command and watch as they use their senses to locate the hidden toy. Reward them with praise and playtime when they succeed.

Muffin Tin Treat Game

Place treats in a muffin tin and cover each treat with a tennis ball. Your dog will have a blast figuring out how to remove the balls and get to the tasty rewards. It’s a simple and fun game that will keep them entertained for quite some time.

Laser Pointer Fun

For dogs who love to chase, a laser pointer can be a great indoor game. Move the laser pointer around the room, and watch as your dog tries to catch the elusive light. Just be sure not to shine the laser directly into their eyes as that can be very dangerous.

Concluding Thoughts

Playing indoor games with your dog is an excellent way to keep them mentally and physically active, especially during unfavorable weather conditions. These ten games provide a mix of mental stimulation, obedience training, and pure fun that will create lasting memories for you and your furry companion. Remember to adapt the games to your dog’s age, size, and energy level, and most importantly, enjoy the precious bonding time with your beloved four-legged friend!

What You Need to Know When Adopting a Greyhound

The greyhound industry sees thousands of ex-racing dogs needing loving homes each year. Fortunately, many retired greyhounds do end up finding their forever families where they can live out their final years with loving owners.

Just as you would research any dog breed before adopting or buying a puppy, it’s essential to do the same for greyhounds. Whether you’re adopting a young dog or a retired racing dog, here are a few helpful facts to help with the decision-making process.

They Are a Flight Risk

We all know how fast greyhounds can be. So, it might not be long until you’re looking for greyhound collars in Australia or elsewhere in the world. The slim necks of greyhounds combined with their speed and high prey drive can sometimes mean they can slip their collars and be out of sight before you know it.

Fortunately, you can purchase collars specially made for the unique neck structure of greyhounds. As new greyhound pet parents, you can also invest in tall fencing and take them for walks on a leash.

They Are Gentle and Calm

There are plenty of dog breeds you definitely wouldn’t describe as gentle or calm, but the greyhound is one you would. This graceful breed is known for bonding with its family and happily adapting to your lifestyle. They take everything in their stride, making them an ideal family pet.

They Love to Sleep

Greyhounds can run at speeds of up to 45 miles an hour, but that doesn’t mean they’ll need you to take them for long runs every day. While you’ll need to exercise them like any other dog, greyhounds are perfectly happy cuddling up with you on the couch or sleeping away the day.

Some greyhounds can be so disinterested in doing anything other than relaxing that they won’t even get off the sofa to greet your guests at the door. If you live in an apartment, have a small yard, or lead a largely sedentary lifestyle, greyhounds might be a dog you’d consider welcoming into your family.

They Are Easy-Care

Many dog breeds require a great deal of maintenance. Besides feeding and exercising, they need regular grooming and washing. Some breeds also shed a great deal, requiring you to vacuum far more often than you’d like.

Greyhounds might surprise you by how easy-care they are. They rarely shed and have thin fur that doesn’t typically leave an odor. You might also find that your greyhound only requires one weekly brush and the occasional bath.

They Are Vulnerable to the Elements

Greyhounds are undoubtedly an easy-care breed, but their low body fat can mean they are particularly susceptible to the elements. If your greyhound loves spending time outside, ensure they’re adequately equipped. This can mean putting a coat on them when it’s cold and setting up a cool area with plenty of water and shade when it’s hot.

Greyhounds make excellent family pets, especially for their gentle nature and low maintenance requirements. However, research can be crucial before adopting one. The more you know about the breed, the more confident you will be in your decision to welcome one into your family.

The Benefits of Dog Training: Building Stronger Bonds and Well-Behaved Companions

There’s nothing quite like coming home to a wagging tail and a joyful bark, right? But imagine this: What if, instead of the usual jumping and licking, your dog fetches your newspaper or obediently sits by your side, all with just a simple command? Wouldn’t that be something?

Dog training isn’t just about teaching your pup to sit, stay, or fetch. It’s about introducing them to the human world and making them understand our language through signs or verbal cues. Well-trained dogs aren’t just obedient; they’re more confident and less jittery around humans. They’re happier and more engaged because training keeps their minds ticking.

And here’s the deal: Training also sets behavioral expectations. It’s like teaching your kids manners. The outcome? An absolute delight for a dog that’s less likely to create a ruckus with constant barking, chewing, or, heaven forbid, showing aggression. It’s a win-win, making life for both of you much more enjoyable.

The Perks of Training Your Dog

Builds A Stronger Bond

Training is one of the best ways to establish a strong bond with your dog. It involves spending quality time together, working towards common goals, and celebrating successes. The process also requires mutual trust and respect, further deepening your relationship.

School for dogs like “I Said Sit!” in Los Angeles emphasize this aspect of dog training. Their approach involves not just training the dog but also coaching the owner. This ensures that your dog sees you as their leader and respects your commands, further solidifying your bond. The success of their approach is evident in the numerous positive reviews they have received from satisfied pet parents.

Training Techniques that Foster Stronger Bonds

Various techniques are used in dog training, all with the primary aim of creating a stronger bond between you and your pet. Techniques such as positive reinforcement, where good behavior is rewarded, help build trust and affection between you and your dog.

Another technique is clicker training, a form of positive reinforcement where a clicker marks the desired behavior. This method lets you communicate clearly with your dog, enabling them to understand what you want from them.

Regardless of the method used, the key is consistency and patience. Training is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Celebrating small victories along the way encourages your dog to keep learning and strengthens your bond with them.

Understanding Your Dog Better

Training your dog doesn’t just improve their behavior — it also gives you a deeper understanding of your pet. By spending time training, you learn to recognize your dog’s unique signals and behaviors. You become more attuned to their needs and better equipped to respond appropriately.

Training lets you discover your dog’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you tailor your approach to their needs. For instance, a dog that excels at fetch may benefit from more active training methods, while a shy dog may require more patience and gentle encouragement.

Ultimately, understanding your dog better leads to a stronger bond. It fosters mutual respect and makes your relationship more rewarding.

Promotes Good Behavior

Training is crucial in molding a dog’s behavior. From basic commands like sit, stay, and come, to more advanced techniques like leash walking and behavior correction, training teaches a dog to behave appropriately in various situations.

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for promoting good behavior. By rewarding your dog immediately after they display the desired behavior, you encourage them to repeat it. Over time, this behavior becomes ingrained, replacing any negative behaviors they may have exhibited previously.

Moreover, training provides a constructive outlet for your dog’s energy. A bored dog can quickly become a destructive dog, but training keeps them mentally stimulated, reducing the likelihood of unwanted behaviors.

The Role of Consistency in Dog Training

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability, and training is no exception. Consistent commands, rewards, and consequences help your dog understand what is expected of them, making the training process more effective.

It’s also important to maintain consistency in the commands and rewards and the training schedule. Regular training sessions reinforce what your dog has learned and keep the lessons fresh in their minds. Remember, training is not a one-and-done task — it’s a continuous process that requires regular time and effort.

Additionally, consistency should extend beyond the individual training sessions to your dog’s overall lifestyle. Rules established during training should be maintained consistently throughout your dog’s daily routine. This shows your dog that good behavior is always expected, not just during training sessions.

The Benefits of a Trained Dog in Public

Having a well-trained dog offers numerous benefits when you’re out in public. A dog that knows how to behave in different situations is more enjoyable and less stressful. For example, a dog that responds reliably to the “sit” command will be much easier to manage in a crowded park or a busy sidewalk.

Obedience training is particularly useful in public settings. It teaches dogs how to react to other animals and people, reducing the risk of altercations or misunderstandings. Commands such as “leave it” can prevent your dog from picking up potentially dangerous items, while “stay” can keep them from running off in unfamiliar or potentially unsafe areas.

Moreover, a trained dog is more likely to be welcomed in public spaces, like pet-friendly restaurants or hotels, making your outings more enjoyable. After all, everyone loves a well-behaved dog!

How Training Benefits Your Dog’s Mental State

Think about it, we humans need mental workouts to stay sharp, and our furry pals are no different! Providing your dog with training keeps their minds sharp and active.

Imagine your dog is home alone, bored with nothing to do — what’s their best option? Barking non-stop, chewing your favorite shoes, or engaging in other forms of mischief are symptoms of a bored dog. But here’s the solution, by engaging their minds through training, you’re keeping such behaviors at bay. You’re paving the way to a happier and more balanced canine companion.

What Happens When You Skip Training Your Dog?

You might think, “Training requires time and patience; why bother?” Here’s why!
Without proper training, dogs can develop erratic and annoying behaviors. We’re talking excessive barking, relentless chewing, and at times, aggression. Managing these can be a real headache, and they can put a strain on your precious bond with your pup.

Untrained dogs can also be a bit of a wildcard. They might ignore safety commands like “come” or “stay,” potentially putting themselves and others in harm’s way.

By investing time in training your dog, you are pre-empting these issues. You’re setting yourself and your dog up for a more relaxed, enjoyable life together.

Wrapping Up

Training your dog isn’t just about making them follow commands. It’s about investing in your future and theirs. You’re building an unshakeable bond and promoting good behavior. At the end of the day, training transforms your dog from a lovely companion to a well-behaved pet who is a joy to be around. And isn’t that what we all want?