Feb 29, 2024
Feb 29, 2024
Three Thousand Years are looking down upon you
Thundered, Emperor Napoleon, coaxing his legions in the shadows of the Pyramids of Europe. Around the same period (1400 BC) was sculptured in limestone, the statue of a dog that now adorns the Egyptian Gallery in the Louvre, Paris. This dog chiselled in a limestone, that is around 60 million year old is interesting as it resembles a German Shepherd Dog (GSD).
This breed is no ordinary breed of dogs. It has a history and a great ancestry and above all it is a ‘super dog.’ To own such a dog you have to be an above average person if not a super human. It is a beauty to watch a well-bred GSD gait in front of you. He doesn’t trot, he simply flows. But this doesn’t make him a ‘super dog’ you may be musing!
Imagine a giant press which can generate a pressure of 760 pounds per square inch. Place a wooden block, say four cubic inches, between the jaws of the press and start the machine. To your amazement in a few seconds the piece of solid wood will become pulp. Incidentally, the jaws of an adult GSD generate the same pressure. No wonder, your dog in a fit of boredom chews off the sturdy looking legs of your teak sofa in no time!
The neck of a dog is one of the most powerful organs of his body. Ever seen six to eight week old puppies play together? They catch hold of each other’s neck and shake it so hard that, such a shake on your neck might dislodge a vertebra or two. But nothing happens to the pup. This is because the neck of dogs has two sets of muscles, one along the neck and other around it. This feature makes their neck quite a powerful part. Watch a GSD move and see how he carries his neck. After reading these lines, if you watch a GSD again you will realize what I mean.
This high power neck is an asset to your dog and it is sometimes a pain for you. Most dog lovers are great human beings and they are quite humane too. They use an ordinary round collar to walk their GSD. It is a sight to watch-looks as if the dog is walking the master! Many times you see master holding on to the leash with both hands, wrists straining and dog pulls him along. Many times GSD owners fall flat by the jerk from the neck of their pooch on the leash, and fracture their scaphoid (snuff bone-the bone in the hollow at the base of your thumb and the wrist).
But it is not only the physical prowess that makes a GSD a super dog. It is his uncanny intelligence that makes him superior. A full grown GSD sitting by your side in the verandah of your house does not start howling at the visitor at the great, neither does he rush to him gyrating his hind portion and wagging his tail simultaneously. He just keeps an eye and if he finds the visitor to be a regular one, may at best slightly wag his tail without moving from his spot or even act to ignore the visitor. But this does not mean that the visitor can take liberty with you or open the door and walk in. The moment he does so, he will hear a deep throated growl from the pooch and may be a loud bark once. That is enough to deter any one from taking things for granted.
They are superfast learners. Repeat a command followed by a reward and see how fast he learns. GSD pups are better learners. Up to the age of four months, they seem to follow the owner. But thereafter they develop the ‘bolt complex’. In fact all dogs develop that at this age, but the GSD particularly being fast runner and larger tend to make the owner lose his breath, chasing the pup. At this stage the pup knows that he can outrun you. To avoid such a situation it is better to fully train your pup to stay and come on command, before he learns about his own caliber. If trained beforehand, the pup will never dream of running away.
But if the situation goes out of hand and you have not been able to teach the pup, do not be disheartened. The moment he scoots, you start running in opposite direction and reverse the game of catch me if you can! The pup will begin to chase you. Once he is in your reach, never lunge at him and start showing him your anger. Instead hold him lovingly and with all the honey in your voice tell him he is such a sweetheart.
There is a misconception amongst the Indian dog lovers that a GSD is a bigger and more hairy dog than an Alsatian. Please forget this myth. The breed has a German origin. There it is known as German Schaferhund. The breed caught fancy of the British at a time when Hitler’s concentration camps in Germany were at the peak of notoriety. They abhorred the idea of prefixing or suffixing anything with German. As a result the breed was termed as Alsatian by the British. Thus whether you own a GSD or an Alsatian, it is immaterial, but always remember that you are the proud owner of a super dog. Therefore try to be a super owner and enjoy the companionship of this great breed.
Image (c) Gettyimages.com
|Thanks Dogfather. You seem to be really involved with your dogs! Great. Keep it up.
|Hi Sir. Another nice article from you. I was delighted to read it. It made my day. I fully relate with this. My boy, Mojo, can easily outrun any one around. I use the same lure. He is mad about tennis ball and i carry many of them. Even when he has tired himself, he is difficult to catch. I use the other balls as lure. Undoubtedly, GSDs are the topmost intelligent and powerful breeds. Keep writing Sir...