A Publication of St. Louis Critter Sitters
July 2007

Breed of the Month –The Great Dane

The Great Dane is properly called the Deutsche Dogge or German Mastiff, a name eschewed by fanciers in English-speaking countries. However, there is no evidence that the dog developed anywhere but Germany, and there is no known reason for it to be named for the country of Denmark. The breed originated from dogs of the mastiff type and was developed to hunt wild boar, guard castles, pull carts, and participate in battle.

Although he can be somewhat active and needs a period of exercise each day to stay fit, the Great Dane is a great house dog. Puppies can be clumsy, but adults are surefooted and seldom knock things over just by walking around. They like children but may be too much of a challenge for toddlers who are unsteady on their feet.

Although the breed is generally gentle with people, some Danes can be dominant unless taught with a firm hand and some can be aggressive to other dogs and small critters. Obedience training is a must; an energetic 130-pound dog that towers over a preschool child and can easily rest his head on the dinner table must have some manners. Training must be gentle; leash-jerking and harsh discipline may make him distrustful and edgy.

Above all, the Great Dane is a people-dog. He needs space to accommodate his long legs and large body, but he likes nothing better than to spend time with his person.

Front –clip harnesses provide better control with less resistance.

For people tired of being dragged down the street by their exuberant canines, there’s a new training tool: The front-clip harness.

Pat Miller of Hagerstown, MD., an author, dog-trainer and former president of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, says a front-clip harness uses a dog’s own forward motion to train him not to pull.

“The new harnesses have a ring in the front where the leash attaches, so you get the same turning effect as with the head halter.  The pressure is on the shoulders, not the nose, so dogs find it less objectionable,” she says.  “I have not had even one dog fight the front-clip harness the way that many fight the head halter.”

Four front-clip harnesses are on the market, although not all of these products may be available though major pet-supply outlets.  If you can’t find a harness at your usual pet-supply store, look to buy from trainers, shelters, or specialty training Web sites, as well as from the manufacturers directly.  Premier (www.premier.com; 888.640.8840), manufacturer of the Gentle LeaderÒ Headcollar, offers the Easy Walk Harness.  Nicest feature:  Shading on the lower park of the harness makes putting it on easier to figure out.

The harnesses help make possible one of life’s simplest pleasures:  Taking a long walk with a best friend.

Pet Tip:
Don’t Lower the Dog, Raise the Bowl

It is obvious how prevalent Hip dysplasia is nowadays, most especially on large breeds. Although it is mostly genetics, there must be something we can do to minimize the risk of your dog being afflicted with this kind of disease.

It is now common knowledge not to run your dog too early in their life especially large breeds. Most mature later than smaller breeds.

But how about their posture? It's like people who are sitting on a bad chair all day, you get bad back.

How often do we see dog bowls fed from the floor? Now is the time to change position! Raise the bowl!

By raising the bowls up off the floor it helps our K9 companions in the following areas:

1. Better posture (especially with older dogs)
2. Better digestion (ever try to eat a sandwich while doing a handstand?)
3. Less stress on the pasterns (K9 forearm/wrist area)
4. Therefore less "leaning", so as not to impart more stress on hips or shoulder area.

This simple precaution is so simple your best friend will love you more for it!

St. Louis Critter Sitters
Recipe Corner

Peanut Butter & Honey Dog Biscuit

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/4 cup Rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla


Heat honey and peanut butter until runny (about 20 seconds in the microwave.

Mix ingredients together and drop by 1/2 teaspoonful onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.

This normally makes about 45 to 50 biscuits.

Dog Facts

Do dogs dream? If you look at your dog while it's sleeping, sometimes you'll see its eyes move and twitch under its eyelids. Humans do this too, and we definitely dream. So researchers are almost positive that dogs have dreams too. But guess what? No one knows what dogs dream about. Maybe the next time your dog wakes up from a dream, you can ask it!


Why do dogs chew?
Puppies needs something with resistance to chew on while their teeth and jaws are developing - for cutting the puppy teeth, to induce growth of the permanent teeth through the gums, to assure normal jaw development and to settle permanent teeth solidly in the jaws.

The adult dogs desire to chew stems from the instinct for tooth cleaning effect, gum massage and jaw exercise-plus the need for an outlet for periodic doggie tensions, loneliness and spite.

Tartar accumulates on the teeth of dogs particularly at the gum line, more rapidly than on the teeth of humans. These accumulations, if not removed, bring irritation and then erode the tooth enamel and ultimately destroy the teeth at the roots. Most chewing by the dogs is an effort to do something about this problem for themselves.

Tooth and jaw development will normally continue until your dog is more than a year old, but sometimes much longer.

It is very important that dogs not be permitted to chew on anything they can break, or indigestible, things which can be bitten off in chunks, such as toys made of rubber compound. Vinyl or plastic may cause an intestinal stoppage if not regurgitated.

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of humanity."
...George Bernard Shaw