Pup links!

Those ears! German shepherd pup on the beach. Click for source.

Dog-related links from around the Web this week:

People and Their Pets. I love this sweet and moving photo series by Stepan Obruchkov; I’ve pinned a lot of his images on my Dogs board on Pinterest. (Wolf Eyebrows)

To Pet or NOT to Pet. This is a really helpful and illustrative re-post about reading dogs’ body language; it would be great to show these photos to classrooms, particularly. But, actually, the more I think about it, the more I think your average person could benefit from discerning between these images. I’m constantly amazed at how poor we are at reading dogs’ body language and how many myths still persist about what dogs are trying to tell us. Great post. (Success Just Clicks)

Therapy Dogs Helping Seniors Live Longer. A feature on an assisted living facility in our area that welcomes therapy dogs; apparently it’s one of the only ones in our region that does. (Dog Days/Grouchy Puppy)

Puppy Breath, Take Me Away. Tales and Tails visits a socialization day for a new litter of fuzzy, heartbreakingly cute German shepherd puppies. Just because we can all use more puppy pictures on a daily basis. (Tales and Tails)

Green paws? The malinois is really getting into gardening these days. I just loved these photos; he looks like he is having such a good time. (Exercise Finished)

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First home visit scheduled

Not much to report today, except that we have scheduled our first home visit with a volunteer and foster parent from Southeast German Shepherd Rescue! I am SO excited.

Lyndi, whom we'll meet on our home visit.

She will be bringing her two current fosters with her, too: Lyndi and Onyx.

Lyndi (above) is a 1.5-year-old female who was rescued from a backyard breeder in North Carolina. She is a very beautiful and ladylike black-and-tan, but she does have some shyness issues and needs work with confidence-building. Lyndi was on trial with a family, but the family’s busyness and young children didn’t make her very comfortable. Her foster mom says she’s already made great strides in her confidence, but will continue to need gentle and reassuring guidance and training.

Onyx, whom we'll meet on our home visit.

Her foster sister Onyx perhaps has the opposite problem: She’s a very bold, extremely intense Belgian malinois/shepherd cross and she is just stunning; she is sable with orange-rust-colored eyes and looks like a wolf. Onyx sounds amazing, but probably way too much to handle for us, being first-timers. Her foster mom says she is twice as intelligent and twice as energetic and driven as any shepherd she’s ever fostered! Schutzhund–and daily 5-mile runs–would probably be best for Onyx. She doesn’t sound like a fit for us, but I am excited to meet her just the same.

Right now, I have my heart set on Lyndi… I am now petrified that someone is going to snatch her up before we can meet her. (I hesitated even posting her picture here, for fear that someone would see her beautiful face and try to adopt her… You won’t do that, will you?) I am positively obsessive right now. Can’t wait. Can’t.

The visit is scheduled for just two days after we move in, so it will be a little crazy, but I am more than ready for it to happen! One week and six days…

Breed Love: Belgian super-dogs

Sambuca (Buki)
This is a Belgian sheepdog, also known as a Groenendael; breed standards requires them to be all black. Source: Flickr, user 3blackdogs

Belgian sheepdogs are INTENSE. This trio of breeds (all pictured here) contains some of the dog world’s most energetic, intelligent, and athletic members. The Belgian malinois, for instance, has become the preferred dog of the U.S. military and local police forces for its determination, stamina, and intelligence. (Malinois are rapidly replacing German shepherds in this role because the breed has not been tainted by the popularity that plagues GSDs, which often creates poor, careless breeding.) It is reported that the dog who accompanied the Navy SEALs in capturing and killing Osama bin Laden was a Belgian malinois.

Interestingly enough, my dad grew up with a father-daughter pair of Belgian sheepdogs (the black variety, also known as a Groenendael). The dogs were apparently rather high-maintenance, however: the father was named Satan and his daughter was Satin.

Belgian Tervurens
These are Belgian Tervurens. Not that different from Belgian sheepdogs, except for their coloring. Source: Flickr

I don’t know a ton about these three closely related breeds, but what I do read about them is certainly impressive. Because of their relative rarity and working demands, I don’t think I’d ever get a dog from this Belgian trifecta of awesomeness, but I find myself content to admire them from afar.

Belgian Shepherd Dog - Malinois
Finally, this is a Belgian Malinois. Looks like a German shepherd, but isn't. Source: Flickr, user dominik_peters

Keep up the good work, Belgian super-dogs! I salute you.

Belgian sheepdog links: