Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things are seldom what they seem.

(Make sure your speakers are on and the volume is up to play the video)

When I adopted Sasha, I was looking for companionship, but also for a bit of a deterrent to any ne'er-do-well who might want to harm me or my home. I knew she was a mutt and I was perfectly fine with that. In fact, in my opinion, mutts often make some of the best dogs. They generally have better health and fewer temperament issues than purebreds do. The lady from the adoption and rescue place said that her father was a 90 lb German Shepherd and that the mother was a shepherd/something mix. That sounded fine to me because I knew that German Shepherds are a larger breed of dog that are generally smart, loyal and protective. Perfect!

Unfortunately, it seems I may have been sold a bill of goods. After talking to the owner of one of Sasha's litter mates after training class the other night, it looks like the mother may have been (at least part) Shiba Inu. While these dogs, of Japanese origin, are also know to be intelligent, they are SIGNIFICANTLY more petite than German Shepherds. For instance, a German Shepherd averages between 49 and 88 pounds. A Shiba Inu often weighs in between 17 and 23 pounds. It's gonna be hard to frighten an intruder with a dog that they could just kick to the side. On the bright side, I might have a few additional years with her. The life expectancy of a German Shepherd is 7 - 10 years and a Shiba Inu is around for 12 - 15 years.

At this point, all of this is pure conjecture really. I guess I'll have to wait until she's about 1 year old before I can really have an idea of her eventual size. It's not looking like she'll be all that big though based on her paws and ears. They aren't exactly huge.

Here latest conquests? She's learning more skills. She's mastered "sit" and "lay down". We're working very hard on "leave it" (I can't wait until she responds to that one better!) and we're even working on some tricks! In order to keep her occupied and exercised, I'm thinking about working on agility training with her using a homemade apparatus once the weather is a little warmer. The trainer I go to is even going to teach a class in flyball in the spring that I think we'll try. I think Sasha will have a good time with it!

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