Mountain Critters : Happy Dogs

Deb D’Andrea, Nederland.     Many of us realize our dogs are much happier when out and about, engaged in sniffing, hiking, chasing squirrels, and playing with their favorite canine friend or human. Other dogs are incredibly happy cuddling for hours, being as close as possible to their favorite person, just relaxing. Over time the roles dogs play in our lives have shifted, with many dogs having an ideal situation based on their ancestry.

I have herding dogs in my life: Tiki the Blue heeler-husky mix, Bear the Australian Shepherd (or Aussie for short), and Sally, an Aussie-Chow mix. They all need a job to be as happy as possible. Herding dogs are used to round up cattle or other livestock like sheep, and love all types of mind-stimulating exercise like agility. They are very smart, excellent protectors and often are used as therapy and guide dogs. German Shepherds are extensively trained to assist the military and police, helping in many situations where K9s perform best.

There are working dogs that excel at helping humans in search and rescue or helping pull heavy loads.  These dogs are highly intelligent, having been by our side for many years and are very loyal companions. The St. Bernard comes to mind as a dog that is a large working breed used in the Italian and Swiss Alps for alpine rescues. These dogs would arrive at your side with a keg filled with brandy to save you! (Actually, St. Bernards never carried these barrels, but the image stuck after they were depicted carrying them in an 1820 work, “Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler.”)

Sporting dogs like pointers, retrievers, and spaniels require a lot of exercise and are always eager to learn. Instinctually they want to hunt and collect prey, and can become very bored if not engaged in activities that suit them. They are also extremely dedicated to their humans, loving to play fetch and swim.

Of course there are dogs that don’t fall into the above categories, the non-sporting pups that make wonderful best friends; or the Hounds who are great hunters; the Toys who are perfect lapdogs; and the Terriers who are spunky and feisty. When choosing a dog to add to your family, or when working with your own dog, you know they will enjoy their time with you, the exercise you provide, and your love, which is reciprocated.

Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz, provides mobile Canine Massage, Canine Agility and Petz Nanny Services for dogs, cats, birds, fish, horses, and other critters. 4TheLuvOfDogz home-made dog treats are sold at local stores, and K9Birthday Cakes are available direct. Contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or for more information.

Deb D'Andrea

Deb D’Andrea, columnist for The Mountain Ear, and founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and visits your home or Vet to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2018 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: