Published Articles

You can count on me

An article featured in the September 2007 issue of Dog Fancy featuring Barbara Williams, Nero and the German Shepherd Breed. Click on the image to view the entire article.

Who Will Pay the Pied Piper?

by Barbara Lee Williams

German Shepherd Dog Review, November 2007

Every German Shepherd Dog, American and German, carries some undesirable genes, and some even carry deadly diseases in their genes. It is impossible to expect or demand perfection from anything, be it canine or human. That is true, but with the canines, breeders are controlling the breedings through their selections of mates, and as breeders they are obligated to exercise every precaution to prevent the introduction of deadly or debilitating diseases to their breed's gene pool.

When deadly genes are encountered in a breeding, responsible breeders must take every step required to stop those genes from passing on to future generations. Such genes should be announced as existing in a particular breeding to the fancy at large, so that evetyone can take heed and control the spread of these undesirable and often dangerous genes.

In the whelping box, even when we do our homework (and study the pedigrees, often only barely scratching the surface) and indulge our fantasies of the expected progeny, full of the praises and recommendations of the Stud Dog owners who elaborate further ·with High praise from his previous litters, if such exist.

Or listen to the Breeder's glowing words of the close to perfect progeny of those Sires and Dams and Siblings , of the dam of our expected litter.

Read more: Who Will Pay the Pied Piper?

Temperament in the German Shepherd

By Barbara Lee Williams

The most dangerous dog, of any breed in the world , is the ‘unpredictable one’…

Those who do not know themselves how they are going to react to any given situation, person, etc.. They  do not think, they just react.. Dogs who are left alone to learn about life and it’s lessons from day one, of puppyhood…never handled, nor loved by a human, grow up a little wild and some never quite  get it all together…and that sets the stage for the reactionary influence to rear it’s ugly head.. 

One cannot expect to take an intelligent breed like the gs and leave it alone , in a kennel or pen, or yard, and only feed it and play with it on a limited basis and expect the dog to learn any of life’s lessons..

   It is impossible, even for the most intelligent among them…children who have had strange and odd relationships with their parents and /or care-givers, often turn inward as well.. They can become loners , discouraged with the world and those who inhabit it.. If they are treated unkindly, along with the isolation, they can develop serious   mental problems.  In some cases they may  decide to ‘make the world pay for their pain’…’ 

 Dogs can well do the same.. 

Read more: Temperament in the German Shepherd

Twisted Inside

by Barbara  Lee Williams

     From the time she was a little girl, Barbara Lee Williams had an emtional attachment to German Shepherd dogs. It peaked in the mid-1960s, when Williams was a young adult and had a dog named Man O War, whom she nicknamed "Red" because of his unique coloring. Williams recalls one of the first times she competed with Red: "After we all went around with our dogs, the judge told me to take him and go over into the corner and wait. I was worried, and didn't know what this was about. We watched all the other dogs go around again. Then the judge asked me to take Red and circle one more time. The judge said to everyone, 'I want all of you to take a good look. This is what a German Shepherd is supposed to move like.' That's the way I remember him."

     Red became one of the country's top winning Shepherds, and Williams received regular phone calls from people wanting to breed their dogs to him. "He had absolutely beautiful movement," she says, "and outstanding temperament. And all his offspring were the same – just phenomenal." Williams and Red were the center of attention at every show they attended.

Painful Surprises

     Late one night, when Red was nine, his abdomen suddenly swelled and he got a stricken look in his eyes that Williams had never seen before. "Once you see that look, you'll never forget it," she reports, her voice trembling even 20 years later. "It's like they know they are going to die. You see dogs get hurt sometimes while they're playing. This is different. They stand in a strange manner, with their heads down. They start retching like they want to vomit, but can't. They try to listen to you and follow your commands, but they just have this hopeless look. They are in sheer pain."

Read more: Twisted Inside

Prostate Cancer, The Hidden Killer

A Lesson Too Late for the Learning

By Barbara Lee Williams
July 2009 / German Shepherd Dog Review

      I would like to strongly urge all of you to have your veterinarian check the prostate glands of your German Shepherd males at your earliest convenience. Serious prostate problems can start with an enlarged prostate and, in some cases, progress into prostate cancer which can cause minor to severe urinary complications. It is particularly a problem in older stud dogs.

     We know that prostate disease is very common in men, especially those 55 years of age or older. I believe the incidence is one in six men can expect to be affected by prostate cancer as they age. It is not as common in dogs, as far as it is known. Perhaps many cases have gone undetected and blamed on kidney failure, etc.

     Unfortunately prostate disease often goes completely undetected in dogs. Some early signs sometimes can be observed, such as straining to urinate, often with a small urine stream that may stop and start. In other words it isn't a normal full stream with a constant flow of urine. Sometimes the color of the urine can be very light, almost clear, which is an indication the kidneys are failing.

Read more: Prostate Cancer, The Hidden Killer